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HDTV Rollout Will Create Limited Near-Term Opportunities

By | June 11, 2003

      CHICAGO – Satellite operators looking to capitalize on the rollout of high-definition TV (HDTV) must wait to receive a big payoff from carrying the bandwidth-intensive signals. HDTV content providers are estimating that it could five years before consumers other than “earlier adopters” have HDTV sets capable of receiving the signals.

      “We don’t see ourselves making money [on HDTV content] for the next few years,” said Mark Cuban, president and chairman of HDNet. In the short term, HDNet’s return on investment will be “very negative,” Cuban told attendees at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association show held here this week.

      However, many programmers will feel compelled to carry HDTV programming to remain competitive, said Greg Willis, senior vice president of global sales operations and marketing at PanAmSat [Nasdaq: SPOT]. That would mean a growing business opportunity for satellite operators, he added.

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