HD to Generate $1.3B in Satellite Revenues by 2010

Northern Sky Research (NSR) forecasts HD broadcasting revenues to grow from a global total of $47.6 million "directly attributed to commercial satellite capacity leased purely for HD broadcasting" in 2004, to a rather hefty $323.8 million by 2010. The market research firm concludes that the growth outlook is good news for satellite operators currently coping with stalled leasing prices due to excess capacity.

The report finds that in almost all global regions, HD is expected to make a near-term appearance and, therefore, begin to have an impact on overall satellite capacity demand. North America clearly leads the way with several HD channels currently made available by all major broadcasters, as well as cable-only channels.

In predicting significant growth in satellite lease revenues for HD in the next several years, the survey examined five global regions. Its findings clearly show that North America and Japan have led the way in ensuring HD has finally emerged from being a niche service to a more widely accepted standard (more so in Japan). Yet NSR also sees the growth of HD as an "eventual replacement" for both analog and digital SD--an outlook which appears to assume that all digital TV some day will be HD, an arguable assertion, to say the least.