SES delivering to 361m homes

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The annual SES Satellite Monitor survey shows that, globally, 361 million homes are being reached by SES (as at the end of 2020), but this is a fall from 2019 data, which stood at 367 million.

Nick Stubbs, SES’s SVP/GM for Western Europe, hosted a briefing event and Ricardo Topham, senior market business analyst at SES, was the event’s number cruncher. Topham departs SES at the end of this month and will be replaced by Elisabeth Eberhardt.

The key European/Africa data was drawn from 26,000 European interviews and 4,500 in Africa.

Topham said the fall in overall homes reached was largely down to India and its local regulator, and how India measures active/inactive subscribers to satellite or cable delivery.

The survey shows that 147.5 million are viewing by satellite, 144.8 million via cable distribution, 47.2 million on IPTV-based systems and 21.5 million on terrestrial TV.

SES satellite services are available in 39 per cent of European homes (including Turkey). The French and Spanish surveys, for example, were covered by GfK in Q4/2020 and 5000 people interviewed in France and 4000 in Spain.

SES is carrying 8250 channels globally; this includes 2900+ in HD and 41 in UHD (of which 37 UHD channels were from commercial broadcasters as at Q4/2020).

“Standard definition TV is gradually fading out,” said Topham. Some 87 per cent of European homes own either an HD or UHD television set and 20 per cent of European homes own a UHD set, although French and Spanish UHD ownership is higher than the European average.

Topham said that UHD was seen by broadcasters as a ‘nice to have’ and not necessarily a ‘must have’, and that business models for some broadcasters had proven to be tough.

Geographically, the breakdown shows the following reach:

Europe 170.1 million
North America 64.8 million
Latin America 42.4 million
Africa 37.3 million
Asia-Pacific 32.9 million
Middle East 13.4 million

The survey showed that more than 50 million European homes were now equipped with UHD television sets. However, the UHD channel count is also down from 32 European UHD channels delivered in 2019 to 25 UHD channels today. SES is reaching 124 million European homes with HD channels.

Topham said that UHD is becoming increasingly popular in France and Spain (4.7 per cent in France, 1.8 per cent in Spain).

SES’s important (and original) 19.2 degrees East orbital location is delivering signals to 118 million European homes. Its 28.2/28.5 East location (used by Sky UK as well as other regions) delivers to 42 million homes. SES at 4.8/5 degrees East serves 56 million homes while 23.5 degrees East delivers channels to 41 million homes.

SES says that in Europe some 31 per cent of TV homes are using OTT services in addition to their conventional satellite/cable signals. The SES measurement examined OTT connectivity. The homes in the survey had to be connected to a conventional TV set connected to satellite, cable or IPTV, with 273 million European homes making use of OTT services and in addition to TV broadcasts.


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