SES To Benefit From Ofcom Initiative
[11-21-07 – Satellite Today] Communications regulator Ofcom outlined plans Nov. 21 for a significant upgrade of digial terrestrial television (DTT) services in the United Kingdom that offers potentially good news for SES Astra, according to a media analysts
The plans calls for creating capacity that will allow high-definition (HD) channels on DTT as early as 2009. Ofcom believes that the upgrade could be complete in time for digital switchover in the Granada region, which is due to take place in late 2009 or early 2010. The new services would then be available as switchover is rolled out across the rest of the United Kingdom with four HD services being available by 2012.
“Once the main terrestrial channels have moved to HD, the public is likely to become increasingly used to the upgraded standard (as happened with the shift from black-and-white to color),” Sarah Simon, a media equity analyst at Morgan Stanley, said in a research note. “The more the public demands HD, the more the number of channels that are likely to offer an HD version. This should stimulate clear demand for satellite capacity at (28.2° East), SES’ U.K. orbital position. … SES is well positioned to benefit from this additional demand. We note that all additional revenues would be incremental to the bottom line — this is a clear driver of upside for SES.”