Upbeat satellite forecast

Written by Chris Forrester

To date satellite broadcasting has been wholly immune from the economic crunch. Pay-TV broadcasting as well as thousands of free-to-air channels have their capacity booked years in advance, so are unlikely to be cancelling those contracts. However, a new study from highly regarded EuroConsult suggests that there’s even more growth ahead for satellite operators, helped by new services like HDTV.

EuroConsult says that an estimated 1,185 satellites will be built and launched for the period 2009-2018, an increase of about 50% compared to the previous decade (1999-2008). Market revenues generated from the manufacturing and launch of these satellites are forecast to grow by the same rate, reaching $178 billion for the period 2009-2018. The numbers come from Euroconsult’s latest ‘World Market Survey’ (“Satellites to be Built & Launched by 2018, World Market Survey.”)

Both governmental and commercial sectors will contribute to this market growth, albeit unequally, according to Rachel Villain, the editor of the Survey and the Director for Space & Communications at Euroconsult. “The ongoing global economic crisis will have a limited impact on the industry. Governments around the world remain committed to space technology development and only a small number of commercial satellite operators with business or financing issues will be affected by the downturn.”