Rodolph Belmer, CEO at Eutelsat, in an interview with French financial daily Les Echos, says that he does not see the threat from OTT players putting significant pressures on its customer base. He adds that for every hour of OTT viewing, TV consumption only declines by 10 minutes.
Moreover, while broadcasters will inevitably attempt to negotiate lower prices for their channels and gain lease concessions on their capacity, he believed that Eutelsat is strong enough to maintain transponder prices.
Recently, Eutelsat has faced pricing pressures from a number of broadcasters, not least Canal+ and its services over Poland and Canal+ Reunion in Africa. These squabbles led to legal actions and claims by Canal+ that Eutelsat was abusing its dominant position.
Belmer also addressed the prospects of further industry consolidation, but stressed that Eutelsat’s standalone prospects were very solid. Paris-based Eutelsat, he added, also represented key national and “sensitive” assets.
Eutelsat has significant investments from French governmental agencies. SES in Luxembourg also has investors which are government-based, and consequently any merger between these two European giants would be difficult to engineer.
Eutelsat has also confirmed that it is to replace the current ‘Hotbird’ fleet of three satellites, with two new more efficient craft (supplied by Airbus Defense & Space) and which will supply more than 1,000 satellite DTH channels. The pair will launch in 2021.