Satellite TV growth continues to slow: Decima

1/8/2003

Ottawa, - Cable companies are slowly gaining market share in the Canadian digital television market as satellite TV subscriber growth continues to slow, according to research in a new report from Ottawa-based Decima Publishing Inc.

Decima's report notes that satellite TV operator Bell ExpressVu has achieved slower or relatively flat growth over the past three quarters compared to the same period the previous year, while its satellite TV rival Star Choice has added fewer subscribers in each of the last six quarters compared to the same period a year earlier.

"While satellite TV distributors continue to take customers away from cable operators, Decima Publishing's research shows that cable continues to slowly gain ground on satellite's strong lead in the digital TV environment," says Mario Mota, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Decima Publishing.

"Satellite TV operators have achieved slower or flat growth in the past three or more quarters compared to the same period a year earlier - a trend working in cable's favour."

The number of digital TV subscribers in Canada increased by 4% to over 3.2 million in the third quarter of 2002, according to Decima Publishing's "The Digital Domain: Tracking the Growth and Development of the Canadian Digital TV Market". However, digital TV providers added fewer subscribers between May/June and August/September compared to the previous three-month period. There are currently over 3.4 million digital subscribers in the country.

The Canadian broadcast distribution industry is now firmly in transition from analog to digital and the competition is intense, according to the report, which highlights winning marketing strategies. According to Decima Publishing's research, Canada's two satellite TV providers continued to dominate the digital environment at August/September 2002. Together Bell ExpressVu and Star Choice had 61% market share (down from 62% in the second quarter) versus cable's 37% (up from 36% in the previous quarter). Decima Publishing estimates that these percentages were 60% and 38% at the end of 2002, and predicts that they will be 58% and 40% at the end of 2003, and 57% and 41% at the end of 2004.

"The Digital Domain: Tracking the Growth and Development of the Canadian Digital TV Market" is the most in-depth analysis available of the Canadian digital TV distribution market, including exclusive glimpses into the numbers being posted by non-public companies. Released today, Vol. 2, Report 2 of "The Digital Domain" is the second installment in the second volume of this quarterly series of market overview reports. It contains 200+ pages of key digital TV market information, including subscriber statistics, market share data, digital penetration rates of cable operators, and digital TV subscriber forecasts. The report also details the package offerings of each of Canada's digital television providers, and provides concise summaries for each aspect of the competitive landscape.

For more information about "The Digital Domain" and to view a Table of Contents, Table of Figures, and Introduction, visit www.decima.ca/publishing and click on the banner ad at the bottom of the page.

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