However, according to Euroconsult’s newly published report FSS Operators: Benchmark & Performance Review, a more positive outlook for the FSS industry is foreseen after 2017 as players are expected to have progressively adapted their strategy to a changing landscape.
Indeed, the overall market direction is towards greater satellite cost-effectiveness through larger payloads, lower launch costs and other cost-optimization options offered by recent innovations.
Dimitri Buchs, senior consultant at Euroconsult and editor of the report, said: “At the half-year mark of 2016, FSS revenues were falling by 4% year-over-year with 2/3 of operators reporting lower revenues and global FSS operators particularly impacted.
“Intelsat, SES and Eutelsat are all forecasting a decrease in revenues in FY2016 in their financial guidance”.
Based on Euroconsult’s industry benchmark, the average FSS operator in 2015 had $276 million in revenue; 170 transponders leased of which 58% were used for video applications; 221 regular transponders and 12 Gbps of HTS capacity available for lease; 883 TV channels including 190 HD channels and four DTH pay-TV platforms broadcast over satellite; six satellites in orbit with an average fleet age of seven years; one satellite with an HTS payload; and two satellites under construction.
Other key findings of the report include:
In 2015, the FSS industry counted 42 revenue-generating FSS operators; up to 15 new operators should enter the market by the early 2020s, most of them backed by governments
21 operators had revenue of more than $100 million, representing 93% of all FSS operator revenues
45% of FSS operators increased the number or regular transponders leased throughout 2015
12 operators had fill rates of 80% or more, seven of which had fill rates of 90% or more
Nearly 40,000 TV channels and more than 150 DTH pay-TV platforms were broadcast by satellite
11 operators distributed Ultra HD channels in 2015. Three additional operators have begun to distribute Ultra HD content in 2016, including Telesat.