Eutelsat: “Still strong growth in HD”

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Eutelsat continues to strongly back Ultra-HD, but also admits that there’s plenty of growth still in High Definition as broadcasters switch from Standard Definition transmissions.

A December 2018 investor presentation said that the growth in the number of channels in two of their key markets (EMEA and LatAm) remain impressive. In 2017 there were some 20,900 channels in these two regions. By 2027 this total will grow to some 23,000.

Moreover, the HD penetration rate is also growing. For the Eutelsat overall satellite HD footprint will grow from around 22 per cent (in 2017) to 49 per cent in 2027. In Western Europe the expansion in HD channels will be even greater, and grow from 34 per cent in 2017 to 84 per cent by 2027.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s HD channels will grow dramatically from a mere 5 per cent in 2017 to 23 per cent by 2027. Russia and Central Asia will grow from only 12 per cent to 38 per cent.

Even the extremely mature North American market (although not of major interest to Eutelsat) will see the number of HD channels grow from 41 per cent in 2017 to 86 per cent by 2027.

Eutelsat reminded investors that satellite DTH costs broadcasters a fraction of the charges levied on OTT delivery of content, once a 50,000 threshold of viewing homes is reached. “For a large Pay-TV platform, OTT distribution would be much more expensive than satellite,” said Eutelsat.

The operator also states that it expects Video-based traffic will represent more than 80 per cent of IP traffic in 2021. Indeed, Eutelsat says that IP-based demand and viewing in Europe is winning its growing audience share from terrestrial TV, not satellite.  By 2022 Eutelsat expects overall viewing by satellite to be broadly stable (at about 25 million homes).  Eutelsat receives about 65 per cent of its revenues from Video applications (DTH, cable head-ends and professional video).


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