[SatNews] SES S.A. (NYSE Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) announced the transmission of a record number of TV channels on board its satellite fleet as of 31 December 2015. SES’s TV channel count grew by 11.3 percent to 7,268 channels during 2015, compared with an overall growth of 2 percent for the rest of the industry. The superior development was driven by the continued introduction of new High Definition (HD) channels across Europe and North America, as well as the further expansion of SES’s Video business across emerging markets. Nearly 60 percent of all channels on the SES fleet are now broadcast in the MPEG-4 compression standard.
The penetration of HD channels across all markets continues to be an important driver of growth for SES.
The number of HDTV channels served by SES's fleet of over 50 satellites grew by 18 percent to 2,230 channels, representing 31 percent of the total TV channels on SES satellites.
The number of total TV channels in Europe served by SES increased by 9 percent to nearly 2,600 channels, while the total channels in North America was unchanged at about 1,800 channels. The continued penetration of HDTV channels, which require more satellite capacity than Standard Definition (SD) channels, was the principal contributor to growth, as the number of HDTV channels grew by over 25 percent to nearly 700 channels in Europe and by over 3 percent to more than 1,200 channels in North America.
The growth is particularly pronounced in the emerging markets, where the company is expanding its presence in global Video, as a key element of SES’s strategy. SES now carries close to 2,900 TV channels across a range markets, such as Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (40 percent of the total of channels).
“With more TV channels than ever before, this confirms SES’s leading role as a TV broadcasting infrastructure and driver of global digitisation, as well as emphasising the essential role of satellite for video distribution,” said Ferdinand Kayser, Chief Commercial Officer of SES.
“SES is exceptionally well placed to leverage major growth opportunities, especially in new and emerging markets. Our current launch programme is a dynamic engine for this future growth, delivering a 21 percent increase in capacity in the emerging markets by the end of 2017. In particular, the launches of SES-9 and SES-10 will drive growth by delivering a total of 80 additional transponders in Asia and Latin America, with important pre-fill rates underwritten by customer agreements. With more and more channels being broadcast in HD quality, and broadcasters entering the era of Ultra HD, 2016 and beyond will see continued growth and accelerated development for SES’s video segment."