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$1.3B in DBS Revenue Projected by 2010

A new global survey by Northern Sky Research (NSR) concludes that in almost all regions of the world, HD is expected to make a "near-term appearance and begin to have an impact on overall satellite capacity demand, as a result." As expected, North America leads the way with HD channels available by all major broadcasters and a growing list of cable channels. The survey also concludes "despite the recent hiccups experienced through the demise of Voom, the North American HD industry is unquestionably here to stay."

The NSR forecast, "High Definition Television over Satellite: A Regional Assessment of Demand for Satellite-Delivered HD Channels," analyzes key market and technological trends for HD channel growth (and capacity demand) over the next five years. From a global total of $47.6 million in revenues directly attributed to commercial satellite capacity leased purely for HD broadcasting in 2004--to a projected $323.8 million by 2010--the report forecasts nearly seven-fold growth in satellite lease revenues.

The report also states that the timing of HD could not be better. "With increasing pressures from governments to migrate analog channels to less bandwidth-intensive digital starting from 2005/6 onwards, operators have been looking at HD to soak up excess capacity."

HD in North America and Japan has emerged from being a niche service to a more widely accepted standard, the survey finds, and Western Europe (where HD was virtually ignored until recently) not too far behind, with its first HD channel going up in 2004 and most major national broadcasters announcing plans to launch HD in the near future.