Satellite TV now reaching 8.2 million homes in Italy

Thursday, April 18th, 2013
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New study confirms Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD position as the first choice for satellite TV viewers, chosen by 7.3 million Italian homes

PARIS and ROME — Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) today revealed the first results of its new survey on TV reception modes and trends across its global footprint, with a presentation in Rome of the Italian broadcasting landscape. Working in collaboration with Ipsos, Eutelsat announced that 8.2 million homes are now equipped with a Direct-to-Home antenna, consolidating the role of satellites as a core broadcast infrastructure serving one in three TV homes in Italy.

Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD satellites, the longstanding reference for multi-channel viewing across Italy, account for 7.3 million homes, showing a gain of over 200,000 homes in 24 months. A further 700,000 homes are equipped to watch satellite TV from other Eutelsat neighbourhoods, led by EUTELSAT 16A, EUTELSAT 9A and EUTELSAT 7 West A. Over nine out of ten satellite homes in Italy are served by a Eutelsat satellite.

HOT BIRD: the preferred neighbourhood

Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD broadcast satellites, already home to 378 Italian TV channels, have anchored their position as the platform of choice for exclusive Free-to-Air and pay-TV channels. HOT BIRD is also becoming the first port of call for the fast-growing HDTV market. The Sky Italia pay-TV platform has a subscriber base of 4.8 million homes at the HOT BIRD position and is driving HDTV take-up, with three out of four subscribers watching over 50 channels in HD. A total of 2.4 million Italian households are watching free-to-air channels, of which over 1.5 million are equipped for DTH reception of TivùSat, the satellite DTT platform, up from 1.3 million homes since the switch-off of Italy’s analogue broadcasting network in July 2012.

Satellite: a core digital infrastructure

Overall, Italy’s satellite TV universe continues to expand and is the second most popular route to multi-channel viewing. Of a nationwide base of 24.7 million TV homes one out of three has opted for satellite reception of pay or free-to-air channels. Sixteen million homes watch TV via the terrestrial network, while only 250,000 homes, in highly urban districts, are IPTV subscribers.

Jean-François Leprince-Ringuet, Eutelsat’s Chief Commercial Officer, commented on the figures: “Satellite continues to make inroads in Italy’s digital broadcasting landscape and we believe that the move to higher quality in the form of HD, 3D and for the future, 4K, will further consolidate its place as a core infrastructure. Our new survey reveals that Eutelsat’s satellites, our investments and our partnership models enable broadcasters to optimise their reach across Italy and enable viewers to benefit from both choice and quality.”

Eutelsat’s two-yearly TV Reception Barometer, produced in collaboration with Ipsos, is an extensive multi-national analysis of TV reception modes and trends. The market research in Italy was carried out from September 2012 to November 2012 via face-to-face interviews.