ASTRA Extends European Reach To 122 Million Homes

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Over 47 million homes now receive digital satellite signals

LUXEMBOURG/LONDON — SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announced today that it has significantly increased its reach in Europe, particularly in France, Ukraine and the UK, and is now broadcasting to 122 million analogue and digital TV homes across Europe.

The significant increase in reach was especially driven by the increase of ASTRA’s digital satellite penetration across Europe. The satellite operator gained 6.1 million digital satellite households in 2008, reaching in total 47.2 million digital satellite homes (74 percent of all digital satellite homes). As the leading digital player in the direct satellite reception sector (Direct-to-Home, DTH), ASTRA also continues to be the most important platform for High Definition (HD) TV, featuring nearly 70 HD channels on its satellites and reaching an estimated 1.9 million HD homes across Europe today.

Today, 50 percent or 122 million out of the 243 million TV homes in Europe receive programs digitally. Overall, satellite – including other operators – has again proven to be a main driver of digitalisation, providing more than a quarter of all TV households or 52 percent of all digital households with digital TV signals. The digitalisation rate of satellite, as an infrastructure, is three times higher (89 percent) than that of cable networks (27 percent).

These are the results of the latest SES ASTRA Satellite Monitor, conducted annually in 35 European and North African countries, and based on more than 65,000 face-to-face and telephone interviews. The methodology and the results are controlled by independent institutes and accepted by regulatory bodies as objective market measurements.

“The new study shows that SES ASTRA is able to significantly increase its presence in a rapidly changing and very competitive environment,” said Alexander Oudendijk, Chief Commercial Officer of SES ASTRA. “We are benefiting from strong dynamics in several growth markets and sectors across Europe and North Africa. Our success encourages us to continue our strategy of being a neutral service partner for broadcasters, not investing in content and programmes but in high-end technology that will take the development of TV to the next generation.”

Satellite Monitor figures for year-end 2008 in Europe and North Africa at a glance:

  • Total of 243 million analogue and digital TV homes in Europe
  • ASTRA fleet reaches 122 million analogue and digital TV households in Europe and North Africa (53.4 Direct-to-Home, 68.8 through cable headends)
  • 50 percent or 122 million TV homes receive programs digitally (includes all reception modes: satellite, cable, terrestrial, IPTV)
  • Satellite reaches 63.9 million digital homes (52% of the digital market), cable reaches 19.7 million digital homes (16%), terrestrial reaches 31.7 million digital homes (26%), TV over DSL reaches 6.8 homes (6%).
  • ASTRA reaches 47.2 million digital satellite homes (74% of all digital satellite homes)
  • ASTRA adds 6.1 million digital satellite homes
  • ASTRA features nearly 70 HD channels and reaches 1.9 million HD homes
  • Digitalization rate of satellite three times higher (89 percent) than that of cable networks (27 percent)