ASTRA Germany: Satellite Reception Boom Continues

Monday, February 11th, 2008
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2007 another record year: 11 per cent growth in digital satellite receivers. CI receivers skyrocket by 45 per cent

The demand for digital television continues unabated. Current figures for 2007 issued by market research leaders GfK once again clearly demonstrate the penetration achieved by digital reception via satellite compared to other forms of delivery. Sales of digital satellite set top boxes hit 2.23 million between January and December 2007 – representing an increase of 11 per cent, or more than 270,000 receivers compared to the same period last year. Compared to its two digital rivals cable and terrestrial, satellite’s share of the total number of digital receivers retailed is just under 66 per cent. It therefore remains the main digitalisation driver.

Satellite is the first choice, particularly when it comes to technically compatible receivers. Growth amongst devices with a Common Interface (the CI is a norm for DTV receivers that enables the addition of a conditional access module to accommodate different forms of cryptography) reached a new peak: sales were up 45 per cent – equivalent to an increase of 316,500 units – which graphically demonstrates the shift towards CI-compatible devices. CI receivers are also supported by entavio, the new open digital satellite platform launched by SES ASTRA in September 2007. Future-proof CI devices account for 46 per cent of total sales of digital satellite receivers. Particularly gratifying is the rise of 113 per cent chalked up by HDTV-ready receivers. Sales of free-to-air satellite receivers have slid by comparison, with GfK reporting just 1.2 million over-the-counter sales.

ASTRA Germany CEO Wolfgang Elsäßer comments: “In terms of receivers sold through the retail trade, the trend is clearly towards satellite as the core driver of digital TV – as is shown by current sales volumes. The marked rise of 11 per cent in 2007 has helped further improve on the already excellent progress of the previous year – a situation unmatched either by digital cable or terrestrial. Free-to-air receiver sales also continue their downward trend. Sales of digital aerial receivers dropped by almost 15 per cent, and although digital cable receiver sales were up, GfK reports this as being just eight per cent of the digital device market. Our concept of providing viewers with first-class picture quality and wide programming choice is really bearing fruit.”