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Digital Satellite Pay-TV Global Market Upside

Western Europe and North America continue to lead the digital satellite pay-TV market in subscribers and revenue, but the fastest growth over the next several years will come from other areas, especially Asia, reports In-Stat.

Key satellite market trends include consolidation in established markets, interactivity, high-definition (HD) launches, broadband video delivery and service bundling.

"Most DTH platform launches in 2006 occurred in the less mature markets, including India and Eastern Europe," says Michael Inouye, In-Stat analyst. "As DTH pay-TV platforms in many American and European countries have been in operation for a number of years, their
subscriber growth has slowed. Total net new subscribers are growing each year, but only by single digit percentages."

However, I believe that there could be a wild-card yet to be played within the North American market. If the trials and tribulation of telco IPTV deployments continue, I can anticipate service providers like AT&T and Bell Canada aggressively marketing their satellite pay-TV offerings once again. I'd say the likelyhood is a 50-50 probability at this point in time.

Clearly, industry analysts are beginning to wonder why any telco would invest billions to essentially re-create a legacy linear pay-TV consumer experience, when they can easily -- and more profitably -- continue re-selling their existing satellite pay-TV partner's services.

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

- Total DTH pay-TV subscribers are expected to reach over 117 million in 2010.

- Global DTH-TV revenues will exceed $88 billion by 2010.

- Consolidation occurred in 2006 with service providers like TPS and CanalSatellite and conditional access providers (Irdeto/Cryptoworks).

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