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Solid growth for satellite operators

28 июля 2010

According to Euroconsult’s soon-to-be-released report “Satellite Communications & Broadcasting Markets Survey, Forecasts to 2019,” the fixed satellite sector grew both in terms of transponder demand (+5.3%) and revenue reaching $10.3 billion revenue in 2009.

Euroconsult announced that, despite a limited market slowdown, the fixed satellite market reached a new high in revenues last year.

The company maintains a positive outlook for the future of the industry. Television broadcasting and emerging markets continue to be the primary growth drivers, with satellite broadband service (“BBS”) systems contributing to growth as well.

“Operators’ revenue grew in 2009 -- albeit at a slower pace than the previous year, -- due to sustained capacity demand in emerging markets” said Pacôme Revillon, CEO at Euroconsult. “This combined with an average operating margin for the industry that increased to 35% last year and a global fill rate of 77% underscores the good health of the satellite sector, and we forecast 6% revenue growth in 2010.” Despite these positive results, growth last year was still somewhat constrained (especially compared to record revenue growth in 2008) due to modest capacity additions, high fill rates and the impact of the economic crisis.


Last year was a record year for satellite procurements by FSS operators, with over 30 new satellite orders. More than 30 operators have at least one satellite under procurement for either replacement or expansion.

The largest procurement campaigns are currently coming from industry leaders Intelsat, SES and Eutelsat with a total of 22 satellites ordered. However regional operators are trying to challenge this dominance. Last year capacity leased by the four leading operators totalled around 3,725 transponders, for a market share of 65% and a net increase of 150 transponders. By comparison, regional operators added approximately 300 transponders for a total of over 2,000 transponders leased – increasing their market share from 33% to 35% in two years. Fast-growing regional operators such as Arabsat, Spacecom, RSCC, Star One and Singtel Optus benefited from the strong dynamics in their respective emerging satellite markets.

Many established and aspiring operators have been seeking financing for their new satellite projects, either to leverage the benefits of new satellite designs or to focus on certain vertical markets. With financing remaining a challenge for many but the most established operators, satellite companies will likely continue to rely on export credit agencies such as Coface in France and the Export-Import Bank in the United States, as they have done heavily over the last two years.


The broadcast of TV channels continued to drive growth for satellite operators last year, representing roughly 42% of net additions in capacity usage and contributing to an estimated 50% or more of revenue increases. Close to 27,000 channels were broadcast by satellite in 2009 with a net increase of approximately 3,000 channels last year. When excluding channels broadcast on proprietary systems of the TV companies DirecTV and Dish Network in the U.S., the fastest growing markets last year were Latin America, Central Europe, Russia, Central and Southern Asia (mostly India), with growth rates ranging from 9% to 17%. The number of high definition TV channels worldwide more than doubled in 2009 to 1,913 HD channels (excluding local networks in the US). While 70% of HD channels broadcast are currently concentrated in the North American market, strong increases were reported in almost all markets.

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