Eutelsat’s senior management, whilst hosting a dinner for analysts, revealed that its five largest markets are Italy (helped by contracts with public broadcaster RAI), Russia, Poland, Turkey and English-speaking Africa.
Analysts from investment bank Exane/BNPP who attended the event said that these five markets account for half of Eutelsat’s Video division revenues, and reported that Eutelsat is currently seeing no signs of increased competition from fibre.
As far as recent contract renewals were concerned with their ‘blue-chip’ broadcasting clients, “management reported growing annual revenues (sometimes with volumes offsetting price discounts) in all cases,” says the bank.
The long-awaited completion of Eutelsat’s joint-venture with California-based ViaSat and which would take control of Eutelsat’s Ka-band satellite-by-broadband activity was also discussed. The bank reports: “Management is still discussing the precise terms of its partnership with Viasat and noted that manufacturers are aggressively pitching the company for alternative Very High Throughput Satellites (fibre-like).”
CEO Rodolphe Belmer, speaking on February 16th, told analysts that the ViaSat joint-venture would start making additional progress with activity in “new geographies” including Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
Eutelsat’s managers were dismissive of the threat from the growing number of massive LEO constellations to its business. The bank noted: “Low capacity density, high user terminal costs and low maximum fill rates are the main reasons why Eutelsat does not expect upcoming LEO constellations such as OneWeb to target its core residential broadband business. Management made the credible claim that GEO satellites offer better bandwidth economics for residential broadband.”