Advanced Television

SES channel growth tops 11%

January 13, 2016

By Chris Forrester

Satellite operator SES says its channel growth has exploded over the past year, rising by 11.3 per cent. It is now carrying 7,268 channels and says its strongest growth “is in emerging markets”.

Growth is also occurring in HDTV broadcasting, and SES says that its Ultra-HD confirmed channel count now amounts to seven channels with broadcasters in Europe and the USA also booking capacity for extra channels, with the outlook for “significant growth in the coming years” in 4K/UHD.

SES adds that its expansion is outperforming its industry competitors where overall annual growth is typically about 2 per cent.

“[Our] superior development was driven by the continued introduction of new High Definition (HD) channels across Europe and North America, as well as the further expansion of SES’s Video business across emerging markets. Nearly 60 per cent of all channels on the SES fleet are now broadcast in the MPEG-4 compression standard,” says SES.

The number of total TV channels in Europe served by SES increased by 9 per cent to nearly 2,600 channels, while the total channels in North America was unchanged at about 1,800 channels. The continued penetration of HDTV channels, which require more satellite capacity than Standard Definition (SD) channels, was the principal contributor to growth, as the number of HDTV channels grew by over 25 percent to nearly 700 channels in Europe and by over 3 per cent to more than 1,200 channels in North America.

SES says the growth of SES’s global channel count has been particularly pronounced in the emerging markets, where the company is successfully expanding its presence in global Video, as a key element of SES’s differentiated strategy. SES now carries close to 2,900 TV channels across a range of fast-growing emerging markets, such as Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (40 per cent of the total of channels). This compares to just over 2,300 channels at the end of 2014 representing a growth of 25 per cent in only one year. It also includes a doubling in HDTV channels to well over 300.

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