Do you think that once internet/data become more accessible it will lead to Satellite televisions demise?
The Satellite TV is cornered by two dynamics:
- consumer expectations and the shift to more on-demand (UHD) content, than linear. Simply look at the new generation shift to smart devices.
- the new 5G access technology is being assessed on mmWave high bands including those for Satellite TV downlink, specially in areas in Europe and Middle East. US Networks are already operating on the same bands used for sat in other countries.
For sure 5G and FTTH development will play a disruptive role in satellite television. OTT players, leveraging on every internet access medium, are undermining the satellite business. It is not a case that in Nov 2018 At&T decided not to launch any more satellites for DirectTV they acquired 4 years before and that now they are in talks to merge with Dish for a further market consolidation
Satellite TV segment is mainly dependent on market dynamics and is for sure country related . However, I see this sol included in a portfolio a telecom operator can offer to its subs (on top for example of web TV , IPTV , mobile data/voice, fixed data/voice…). For your info, a telecom operator i worked for has successfully acquired a satellite TV company and is leveraging on the latter to increase his sales of mobile plans to households. This entry market strategy is called wireless homes. This tends to show that satellite TV segment could be one important pillar in Telcos strategy and may not necessary be cannibalized by other technos….
Satellite television is likely going to struggle given the convinience provided by streaming services such as Showmax, Netflix, Viu and SABC Online TV. Most of the content provided by MultiChoice is irrelevant to the consumer. Hence, most subsribers have been downgrading their subscriptions. However, Satellite television services will not be completely eliminated from the market, unless the prices of connectivity/data decline significantly to such a level that everyone can freely stream these services. Regarless, in the short-to-medium term, operators such as MultiChoice will continue to feel the financial pinch from streaming services such as Netflix. Already Econet Media has hit a brickwall because of the intense competition in the market.
Amazon just announced the deployment of Satellites for global broadband availability. With broadband comes the opportunity for streaming video and OTT TV. So don’t count out satellite deployments yet. Wide swathes of regions in Africa, Asia, Europe continue to use DTH TV, with a set top box for family viewing! The caveat being that renting transponder spaces for DTH TV may eventually fade away in favor of other technological innovations such as 5G/OTT TV/ Terrestrial HD TV and Satellite for broadband….tho’ on satellite broadband, surely the bandwidth and cost for return path ( uploads will be challenging, both technically as well as commercially).
I believe the strongest challenge satellite providers have is that what they brand as “premium” content has been democratized by the internet. It’s is now possible to access content when you want it, where you want it and how you want it. However, this is mostly achievable in locations where reliable broadband service is available. The rural areas still struggle with internet connectivity, so they’re still a viable market for satellite providers. One inevitability is that democratization of content will keep forcing satellite providers to reinvent business models to remain attractive and competitive.
A major disruption that is expected to rock the satellite/payTV market is virtual reality (VR) headsets. These headsets, apart from the value proposition of on-demand content also offer unique experiences that satellite/ payTV providers can’t replicate. The ability to view content in different virtual environments, watch movies virtually with friends across different geographies, virtually watching live sports events as if the viewer were present at the venue etc. When the VR ecosystem becomes mature and devices become more affordable, these experiences will be challenging to replicate and the satellite providers may potentially lose the next generation of customers that are tech-savvy.
As it is, most satellite providers are merely middlemen between content providers and viewers so the internet is gradually cutting them out of the value chain. Hence their market share is expected to keep shrinking unless they start to invest heavily in proprietary content that will drive partnerships with OTT providers to keep them relevant in the ecosystem
As we move towards great 4K/HDR content, DTH distribution will be critical. OTT is not an efficient mechanism for such delivery even with the use of MABR. I see that DTH and OTT will be complementary
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