Europe: Video Services, HD Prompt Satellite Revenue Spurt

A recent study by Northern Sky Research shows that video generates about 80 percent of European leased satellite capacity revenues, and NSR analysts say nothing has highlighted the importance of video in Europe in the last two years more than the boom in carriage of HD channels.

NSR said that while growing HD carriage has been a leading trend in Europe, the "fatter" channels requiring more capacity to be leased is of less importance to the industry than "the key role that HD will play in driving TV viewers to either take on a pay TV service or encourage existing subscribers to move up to higher level programming tiers..."

NSR said HD is a discriminator for pay-TV service providers and allows for a clear differentiation between their services and other multichannel options--especially rapidly growing digital terrestrial packages such as Freeview in the United Kingdom and TNT in France. A stronger pay-TV segment will only benefit satellite operators, NSR said, as these service providers lease additional capacity to expand both their HD and SD offerings.