Digital TV gaining ground in Germany
Jörn Krieger

Demand for digital satellite television continues to rise in Germany with almost 1.5 million digital satellite receivers sold in the first eight months of this year, corresponding to revenues of around €167 million, market research institute GfK reports.

The figure represents an increase of 7.5% in set-top-boxes sold in comparison to the same period last year. Altogether more than 2 million digital receivers were sold by retailers from January to August 2009, around 70% of which were for satellite reception, 22% for DTT and 8% for cable.

Currently around 72% of the more than 16 million satellite households in Germany receive digital television. A further increase in digital TV households is expected through the planned HDTV offers by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF and leading commercial broadcast groups RTL and ProSiebenSat.1, together with the public broadcasters’ recently announced plans to terminate their analogue satellite distribution on 30 April 2012.

Satellite operator SES Astra launched a digitalisation campaign in May in order to prompt the remaining five million analogue households in Germany to switch to digital television. The campaign will continue in the fourth quarter of this year, focusing on cost issues and the possible savings to be gained through digital satellite television compared with other ways of TV reception.