Satellite overtakes cable in Germany

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
SES S.A. logo

ASTRA is the Leading TV Infrastructure in Germany

  • Historical breakthrough: For the first time, more households watch TV via satellite than via cable
  • Satellite boosted its reach in Germany in 2011 by 900,000 households to 17.5 million
  • Cable lost 900,000 households, reducing to 17.3 million
  • 90 percent of the German satellite households are digital
  • 5.9 million German satellite households watch HD
  • 1.8 million analogue satellite households remaining at year-end 2011

LUXEMBOURG & MUNICH — SES S.A. (Paris:SESG)(LuxX:SESG) announced today that for the first time in the history of television in Germany, more viewers are watching TV via satellite than via cable. At the end of 2011, 17.5 million households were watching TV via satellite, almost 900,000 more than in the previous year. Ninety percent of these households were digital, leaving 1.8 million households still in the analogue reception mode. Out of the total, 5.9 million of all satellite households were watching High Definition (HD) TV. At the same time, cable lost about 900,000 households in 2011 and reducing the reach of cable TV to 17.3 million. Digital terrestrial TV lost 180,000 households, bringing its coverage down to 1.8 million. IPTV has continued to grow; with an increase of 330,000 households, IPTV exceeded the million mark, reaching 1.3 million.

These are the results of the latest TV Monitor, which SES presents every year and which is carried out by the market research company TNS Infratest. For the study, TNS conducted 6,000 interviews across Germany in November and December 2011. The figures are showing the primary reception mode of TV households. The European reach study will be presented in March. SES owns and operates the ASTRA satellites.

Ferdinand Kayser, Chief Commercial Officer of SES, said: “The new TV Monitor reveals a historical quantum leap for ASTRA and Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite reception in Germany. The phenomenal results show that more and more TV viewers acknowledge the advantages of satellite reception and that ASTRA continues to lead the digitalisation in Germany. In only two years, we were able to increase our reach by 1.3 million households. With more than 260 German-language channels, of which over 37 are in HD, ASTRA offers an unrivalled range of programming in excellent picture and sound quality. We are confident that we will be able to develop further significant momentum until the definitive technical switch-over from analogue to digital satellite transmission taking place on 30 April 2012.”

The number of German satellite households still watching analogue TV dropped by 1.2 million between the end of 2010 and the end of 2011 to reach a figure of 1.8 million. The switch-over gained considerable momentum during the course of the year. In the first half of 2011, the number of analogue satellite households dropped by more than 400,000, while in the second half nearly 800,000 made the switch to digital. The remaining homes today have nearly three months left to make the move to digital satellite TV. The research found that 85 percent of households are aware that the shutdown will occur on 30 April 2012.

TV Monitor 2011 – overview of key results

Overall TV reception in Germany (Households in millions)

              2011  2010  Change
              ----  ----  -----
Cable         17.3  18.2    -5%
Satellite*    17.5  16.7    +5%
DVB-T          1.8   2.0    -9%
IPTV           1.3   0.9   +36%

* Includes reception from ASTRA and 160,000 DTH-homes from other operators.

Digital TV reception in Germany (Households in millions)

              2011  2010  Change
              ----  ----  -----
Cable          7.9   6.8   +16%   
Satellite     15.8  13.7   +15%   
DVB-T          1.8   2.0    -9%   
IPTV           1.3   0.9   +36%

Digitization rate: Share of digital TV across all households

                 2011   2010
                 ----   ----
Cable             46%    38%   
Satellite         90%    82%   
DVB-T and IPTV   100%*  100%*

* DVB-T and IPTV are fully digital technologies per definition