Credit: SES

Luxembourg satellite company SES S.A. today announced the results of its annual Satellite Monitor market research, the industry’s premier accounting of satellite’s TV reach.

SES continued to lead the industry by delivering 8,265 channels, with almost 3,000 of them in HD, to a total of 361 million households worldwide.

This year’s Satellite Monitor survey showed continued growth across Europe (an additional two million households) and Africa (also an additional two million households). At SES’s prime orbital neighbourhood of 19.2 degrees East, SES’s satellites now serve 118 million households or over 43% of all European TV homes. The number of TV homes receiving HD content from 19.2 degrees East also continued to increase to 84%, representing an increase of almost 30% over the past five years. 

In Africa, SES has also seen its TV reach increase in the Ethiopian TV market as a result of establishing Ethiopia's first-ever dedicated TV platform, Ethiosat, on NSS-12 at 57 degrees East. The TV penetration in Ethiopia has tripled compared to four years ago and stood at 49% at the end of 2020.

Overall, SES’s reach to TV homes was marginally down in 2020 largely due to a change in reporting methodology implemented by the regulatory authority in India requiring a new definition of active subscribers.

Additionally, the following key trends have been identified in the European market:

- HD and UHD growth – satellite remained the platform of choice for HD, representing nearly 40% of HD TV homes and almost the same as cable and IPTV homes combined. In addition, UHD screens increased by 5% since 2019 and are now present in 20% of European TV homes.

- OTT content is complementary – over-the-top (OTT) TV complements and does not replace linear TV. Over the past five years, OTT TV has grown by 138% whereas traditional linear TV – whether through satellite, cable, IPTV or terrestrial – has largely remained stable.  

Steve Collar, CEO of SES, commented: “An industry bellwether report, this year’s Satellite Monitor survey once again confirms SES’s established leadership position in terms of our global reach combined with our focus on delivering the most immersive viewing experience through HD and UHD content. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven content consumption higher than ever, and in large parts of the world, linear TV remains the primary choice for people to consume news and information. We will continue to innovate to enable our video customers to reach as many audiences as possible via multiple screens".