SES Astra extends reach in Europe

MUMBAI: SES Astra has increased its reach and grown the number of digital and High Definition TV households on the Astra satellite system.

SES Astra is now broadcasting to 125 million TV homes across Europe and North Africa, three million more than the year before. For the first time, satellite reaches more households than cable in Europe, with 77 million satellite and 71 million cable households. Terrestrial infrastructures reach 86.5 million households; however, not even half of them (48 per cent) are digital.
The digitalisation rate of satellite increased to 92 per cent, with a total of 71 million out of the 77 million satellite households being digital. Cable still shows the lowest digitalisation rate, with one third or 34 percent (24 million) of all 71 million cable households being digital. IPTV is - by definition - 100 per cent digitalised and reaches nine million households across Europe.

In High Definition, Astra counts around six million HD viewing homes and currently broadcasts 114 HD channels. The success of HD is underpinned by the high number of HD screens sold across Europe. 125 million HD Ready TV sets have been sold since the start of HD in 2005. It is expected that by 2013, an estimated 55 million households will be equipped with both an HD Ready TV set and a suitable HD receiver. Satellite is expected to remain the largest distribution platform for HD.

These are the results of the latest SES ASTRA Satellite Monitor, conducted in 29 European and North African countries, and based on almost 70,000 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. 
SES Astra president and CEO Ferdinand Kayser says, "The underlying dynamics of Western European key markets, and the growth in Eastern Europe, impressively demonstrate that we are able to maintain our competitive position and further develop our reach, in technical and commercial terms. Whether in HD, hybrid reception or 3D TV, we are extremely well positioned to play a leading role in future innovations".

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