[Via Satellite 01-13-2016] SES announced the transmission of a record number of TV channels on board its satellite fleet as of Dec.31, 2015. SES reports its TV channel count grew by 11.3 percent to 7,268 channels during 2015, compared with an overall growth of 2 percent for the rest of the industry. The company attributes this development to the continued introduction of new High Definition (HD) channels across Europe and North America, as well as the further expansion of SES’ video business across emerging markets. Nearly 60 percent of all channels on the SES fleet are now broadcast in the MPEG-4 compression standard.
The number of HDTV channels served by SES’ fleet of over 50 satellites grew by 18 percent to 2,230 channels, representing 31 percent of the total TV channels on SES satellites. In contrast, the number of HDTV channels carried over satellite for the rest of industry grew by 13 percent to about 6,400 channels, according to the company.
The number of total TV channels in Europe SES serves increased by 9 percent to nearly 2,600 channels, while the total channels in North America was unchanged at about 1,800 channels. The continued penetration of HDTV channels, which require more satellite capacity than Standard Definition (SD) channels, was the principal contributor to growth, as the number of HDTV channels grew by over 25 percent to nearly 700 channels in Europe and by more than 3 percent to more than 1,200 channels in North America.
The company reported the growth of its global channel count has been particularly pronounced in the emerging markets. SES now carries close to 2,900 TV channels across Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (40 percent of the total of channels). This compares to just over 2,300 channels at the end of 2014 representing a growth of 25 percent in only one year. It also includes a doubling in HDTV channels to more than 300.
These trends have been a consistent driver in the development of SES’ channel count, which has grown by a compound annual rate of more than 9 percent per annum in the last three years. Over the same period, the number of HDTV channels broadcast over the SES fleet has increased by a compound rate of nearly 15 percent each year.