Satellite Leads European Digitalisation

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008 

  • 83 per cent of European satellite TV households are digital
  • Satellite more than four times more digitalized than cable
  • Satellite most popular digital reception mode with a 58 per cent share of total digital market
  • SES ASTRA and SES SIRIUS satellites reach 117.2 million homes in 35 countries

LONDON/BETZDORF (Luxembourg) — SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), today announced that according to its most recent annual reach study 83 per cent of the satellite TV households in Europe and North Africa are digitalized. This is more than four times more than in cable where in average 20 per cent of all households are digital. With a share of 58 per cent of all digital households satellite represents the most popular digital reception mode. These are the results of the new SES ASTRA Satellite Monitor which has been presented today in London.

Of the 239 million analogue and digital TV households counted across the examined 35 countries in Europe and North Africa, nearly 100 million are digital out of which 56.8 million are digital satellite households. 41.1 million of these homes receive digital services directly from ASTRA or SIRIUS satellites. Over 99 per cent of European satellite TV channels are digital. Overall the combined satellite systems of SES ASTRA and SES SIRIUS serve 117.2 million analogue and digital homes in Europe and North Africa. 50.3 million of these homes receive their signals directly from ASTRA or SIRIUS satellites (Direct to home, DTH). The other 66.9 million homes receive signals through a satellite feed to cable head-ends.

The SES ASTRA Satellite Monitor is conducted annually by leading market research institutes in the respective countries and on behalf of SES ASTRA. For the monitoring, more than 70,000 telephone and face-to-face interviews were conducted all over Europe at the end of last year. The methodology and the results are controlled by independent institutes. The ASTRA and SIRIUS satellite platforms in Europe include Sky in the UK, Canal + in France, Premiere in Germany, Sogecable in Spain, Canal Digitaal in the Netherlands, UPC, Czech Link and Sky Link in Central and Eastern Europe.

“Our new Satellite Monitor clearly confirms that satellite is leading the digitalisation across Europe and remains the most attractive digital reception mode,” said Alexander Oudendijk, Chief Commercial Officer of SES ASTRA. “Satellite remains one of the fastest growing TV infrastructures and has increased its reach over the last five years across the 35 countries that we measure by 50 per cent. The ASTRA and SIRIUS satellites have again proven to be the leading European system for direct TV reception.”