Germany leads Ultra HD awareness in SES’s annual sat survey

SES-12: one of a new generation of DTH/HTS satellites

SES-12: one of a new generation of DTH/HTS satellites

Germany leads major European countries in terms of awareness of ultra HD in Europe, according to satellite operator SES’s annual survey of TV reception in its footprint, with the UK close behind. However, more UK homes claim to have purchased UHD-capable TV sets.

SES’s satellites now reach 312 million homes globally, including 125 million satellite homes and 149 million cable homes, along with 38 million IPTV homes, according to the latest survey. In total, over one billion people view TV thanks to SES, according to the SES Satellite Monitor figures.

The number of channels on SES satellites now stands at 6,529, including 1,885 HD channels. SES broadcasts about 17% of the world’s 37,000 TV channels, including 25% of HD channels, according to the survey.

Europe has 2,389 satellite-delivered TV channels and 537 HD services in total. SES reaches 154 million European homes directly or indirectly, while in DTH reception it reaches 64 million European homes.

In Europe, satellite has a 35% market share, with just over 90 million homes using it as their primary mode of reception. Cable has 27% market share on this basis, while terrestrial also has a 27% share and IPTV has 11%. IPTV is growing fastest, hitting 27 million homes at the end of last year. Satellite has also grown, passing the 90 million mark for the first time last year, while cable viewing has declined.

All digital modes of reception are increasing, with satellite and IPTV now 100% digitised. Terrestrial reception still has 11% analogue homes, while a third of cable homes are still analogue, according to the survey.

Among satellite homes, 56% view free to air services. Some 52% of satellite homes are now HD-equipped.

Within Europe, SES reaches 154 million homes, with 64 million satellite homes, 65 million cable homes and 25 million IPTV homes.

These viewers see SES-delivered channels from five orbital slots. The 19.2 deg. East slot reaches 116 million homes, followed in popularity by 28.2 deg. and 5 deg. East. The 19.2 deg. East position reaches 46 million satellite homes in total. The new eastern European footprint of 31.5 deg. East now reaches one million homes, mostly in Romania and Georgia.

SES’s satellite homes in Europe represent 71% of all European satellite homes, while 95% of all cable homes are indirectly served by SES satellites. Some 91% of IPTV homes receive signals via SES. Of satellite HD homes, SES accounts for 77%, according to its calculations.

SES’s presentation this morning broke down the figures for five European countries: Germany, France, Spain, Ukraine and the UK.

In Germany, satellite accounts for 47% of homes or 18.16 million homes. Cable is second with 44%. Almost all German satellite homes view SES channels at 19.2 deg. East, and some 55% of German satellite homes are equipped to view HD channels. The survey found that 44% of German TV homes had heard about Ultra HD, while 1% had an Ultra HD-capable screen.

In France, IPTV accounts for 40% of TV homes, followed by terrestrial with 29%. Among satellite homes, 87% see channels from 19.2 deg. East. Some 56% of French homes are HD-equipped. Some 34% of French TV homes have heard of Ultra HD, whole 3% claim to own an Ultra HD screen.

In Spain, two thirds of homes are primarily terrestrial, followed by satellite with 2.66 million. Some 86% of Spanish homes see SES channels. Some 44% of satellite homes watch HD content, thanks to Canal+’s HD offering. Canal+ broadcasts its HD channels from 19.2 deg.East, meaning that SES accounts for an exceptionally high proportion of HD homes. Only 26% of homes have heard of Ultra HD, but 3% of homes say they have UHD screens.

In Ukraine, cable is the main mode of reception with a 38% share, followed by terrestrial and satellite. While all 4.33 million satellite homes are digital, only 23% of the 6.25 million cable homes are digital and only 18% of the 5.96 terrestrial homes are digital. Satellite accounts for 63% of the country’s digital base. Almost all satellite homes view channels via SES’s platform.

In the UK, satellite accounts for 44% of homes, followed by terrestrial with 32%. All satellite homes view SES satellites. Over 78% of homes are HD-equipped. Some 39% of UK homes have heard of Ultra HD, while 4% say they own a UHD screen.

SES conducted a more detailed survey in Africa for the first time this year, focusing on Ghana. In Africa as a whole, SES reaches seven million homes from 22 deg. West, 5 deg. East and 28.2 deg. East. SES has seven pay platforms in Africa, but a large part of the market is free to view, meaning it is difficult to know how many homes watch satellite TV in total.

SES chose Ghana to measure its combined free to view and pay reach in more detail for the first time in 2014. It will also look to extend its detailed survey to Nigeria this year. In Ghana, satellite has 1.72 million homes, with a 31% share. Almost all watch SES at 28.2 deg. West – mostly the Multi TV offering but also other free to view channels.

Elsewhere in the world, in the US, SES reaches 84 million homes including 17 million satellite homes via Dish Network and 54 million cable homes alongside 13 million IPTV homes. In Latin America, SES reaches 200,000 satellite homes via Oi’s service, formerly on Hispasat, along with 23 million cable homes. Oi subscribers will progressively be moved to SES-6 this year. In APAC, SES reaches 37 million satellite homes and seven million cable homes.

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