DTH platforms pass $100BN in revenues

Joseph O'Halloran | 13-11-2013

More than 150 platforms with TV revenues primarily derived from DTH satellite broadcasting are expected to amass 202 million subscribers generating over $100 billion in revenues according to new research from Euroconsult.

The analyst’s DTH Platforms: Key Economics & Prospects report benchmarked commercial strategies and economic performance of DTH platforms, and provides a number of key findings and items to support future development priorities. It revealed three market profiles with different growth patterns and service availability.

In advanced markets— such as the US, UK, France and Japan—there is a high pay-TV maturity and fierce competition from telecom and media convergence and online entertainment. By contrast transitional markets show pay-TV penetration reaching over 50% and consolidation taking place among pay-TV providers in order to reach critical size and solid operating margins. Finally emerging and fast growing DTH markets had 126 million subscribers and 20% growth over the last year driven by strong competition exists among platforms in countries like India and Indonesia.

High definition has emerged as a must-have for DTH platforms worldwide with Two thirds of platforms now offer HDTV content, and the number of platforms with more than 20 such channels more than doubling in the last two years.

Even though HDTV penetration already reaches up to 40-60% of subscribers for certain players, in general terms it still remains a niche service in many fast growing economies. SKY Perfect JSAT in Japan should become the first HD-only platform by 2015.

“In a highly competitive environment, content stays at the heart of the development model,” said Pacôme Revillon, CEO of Euroconsult. “Excluding new platforms, the standard offering now stands at 100-150 channels, with around 25% of platforms offering more than 150 channels.” The analyst added that emphasis is being given to proprietary content and channels, and for securing premium TV rights, resulting in higher programming costs, usually representing over 40% of operating costs and 30%-40% of revenues.