02.06.2005 08:00 AM
HD subscribers to hit 94 million by 2015

Kagan's new study about HDTV uses current market share figures as well as data from exclusive sources.

The number of consumers buying high-definition television sets is rising at a much faster pace than the number of consumers subscribing to HD programs via their cable or satellite systems. However, according to new study, the proliferation of HD sets is setting the stage for a programming boom that will approach 94 million subscribers and surpass an 88 percent penetration in the next 10 years.

The number of satellite and cable subscribers who own at least one HDTV set, have an HD set-top box and are watching HD programming via an HD tier package or otherwise will rise from 1.4 million in 2003 to nearly 94 million by 2015, according to a new study by Kagan Research, the Monterey, CA-based media business analyst firm.

Kagan separates satellite subscribers from cable subscribers in its 10-year projections for the number of HD households - defined as a household with one HD set. The new data uses current market share figures as well as data from exclusive sources.

The research firm notes there is a sizable gap between the number of HD sets purchased and the number of recipients of satellite and cable service electing to become HD subscribers.

At the end of 2004, Kagan estimated 12.4 million in cumulative HD sets sold since 1998 (10.4 million in single set purchases). With only 3.7 million current HD subscribers between satellite and cable, there is a gap of 6.7 million. Confusion among consumers (i.e. they don’t realize that they also need an HD STB to view HD programming, etc.), cable operators do not yet offer HD programming, or high digital-tier subscription costs may reasons why there is a gap.

For more information, visit www.kagan.com/pub/hdtv.

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