Birds dish on revenues

Satellite companies' profits eclipse cable

By 2015, global revenues of direct broadcast satellite companies will exceed those of cablers, according to a report from Digital TV Research. The U.K.-based forecaster says that DTH (direct-to-home) — will take in $91 billion in subscription and on-demand revenues that year, up from $76 billion in 2011.

In the U.S., satellite TV is projected to need until 2016 to win the revenue race, with satcasters taking in $37.6 billion and the cable companies $37.3 billion. All figures exclude advertising and equipment rental revenues.

Digital TV Research estimates that, at the end of 2017, there will be 220 million paying DBS households in the 80 countries covered in its report, up from 154 million at the end of last year, and 91 million at year-end 2007.

The report predicts that by 2017, India will have the largest number of paying DTH households, with 50.9 million, followed by the U.S., with 36.5 million. Brazil will realize the largest increase in DTH revenues, adding $3.86 billion between 2011 and 2017. The U.S. will see the second-biggest gain, with $3.1 billion.

Brazil and the U.S. will account for nearly half the industry’s revenue gains during that period.

Of course, not everything is rosy. The report notes that 17 countries will experience DTH revenue declines as greater competition forces down average revenue per user.