Astra powers ahead in digital Germany

Germany has been slower than the rest of Europe to take up digital TV. At last that position seems to be changing. SES Astra says that in 2008 the number of digital-satellite homes in Germany leapt 14% to 11m homes.

Astra says it holds onto its position as the leading supplier. The proportion of digital Astra households now lies at 69.4% of all satellite homes, with around 5 million households still relying on analogue television. 31.3% of all cable households are now digital.

Of all distribution methods (satellite, cable, terrestrial, IPTV), last year for the first time more than half of German television households – 53%, or 20 million – received digital television. In 2007 the figure was 42%.

In total, Germany had 37.67m analogue and digital TV homes by the end of last year.

With 16.2m households, satellite reached a share of 43% in 2008. 18.45m households watched television via cable equaling a share of 49%. DVB-T had 2.75m viewers (a 7% share), followed by IPTV with 270,000 households and a share of one percent.

“This year’s Satellite Monitor confirms that satellite represents the most attractive digital reception mode and continues to be the leading infrastructure for digital broadcasting,” said Wolfgang Elsäßer, MD of SES Astra in Germany. “The fact that every second household in Germany receives digital television, represents an important milestone.”

Astra is launching a marketing campaign this year in order to further drive the acceptance of digital television and the conversion from analogue to digital TV reception.

Astra Satellite Monitor figures for year-end 2008 in Germany at a glance:
• Total of 37.67m analogue and digital TV homes in Germany
• 20m TV viewers receive programs digitally (up from 42% in 2007 to 53% in 2008
• Satellite reached 16.2 million households (43%)
• 69.4% of satellite households are digital
• Cable reached 18.45m households (49%)
• 31.3% of cable households are digital
• Terrestrial TV (DVB-T) had 2.75m viewers (7%)
• IPTV reached 270,000 households (1%)

These findings were the results of the current Satellite Monitor, which is compiled each year by market research institute TNS Infratest on behalf of SES Astra.