BOSTON, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Spurred by the addition of local channels and new services like high-speed Internet access and interactive TV, the Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) audience in the United States will grow to 25 million subscribers over the next five years, according to a new Report from The Yankee Group. ( Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000609/YANKEELOGO ) According to the Report, titled "Direct Broadcast Satellite: Growth in New Directions," historically DBS has been strongest in rural areas without access to cable television and among early adopters seeking more movies, sports, and improved picture and sound quality. But with recent legislation permitting satellite delivery of local stations, DBS now competes more effectively with cable in urban and suburban markets. In addition, new services such as high-speed Internet access, satellite receivers equipped with digital video recorders (DVRs), and Interactive TV will have a significant impact on the industry's future growth. "The DBS market is evolving as it adds new services," notes Michael Goodman, senior analyst for The Yankee Group's Media & Entertainment Strategies Planning Service. "As DBS providers roll out local station packages in more markets and begin to offer high-speed Internet access and interactive TV applications, DBS will expand its appeal to a wider range of consumers." Year DBS Subscribers (millions) 2000 14.5 2001 17.3 2002 19.9 2003 21.9 2004 23.6 2005 25.0 The Report draws upon data gathered in surveys conducted with DBS and cable subscribers by The Yankee Group in conjunction with the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association (SBCA.) Some key findings from these surveys include: -- Access to Local Stations Is Affecting Cable: Among new DBS subscribers -- households that acquired service during the first three months of this year -- 70% say they have access to cable television, and 17% of those with access subscribe to cable. But among those new DBS subscribers who receive a local station package from their satellite provider, only 8% still maintain a cable subscription. -- Hardware Prices Are Down, but Subscription Fees Remain Steady: According to new subscribers, the median cost of a DBS system (including installation) has declined 100% over the last two years, falling from $300 in 1998 to $150 this year. But the median subscription fee paid for DBS service has held steady at $40 per month over the same period. -- DBS Subscribers Are Interested in Satellite Receivers with DVR Capabilities. Nearly a quarter (23%) of all DBS subscribers said that they were very or somewhat interested in owning a satellite receiver with DVR capabilities. DVRs, which give viewers greater control over what they watch and when they watch, were especially appealing to DBS's best customers, multiple premium subscribers. Among DBS households that subscribe to multiple premium services, 32% said that they are very or somewhat interested in owning a satellite receiver with DVR capabilities. -- DBS Customer Satisfaction Remains High: 79% of DBS subscribers would recommend their system to a friend, and 38% new DBS subscribers consider friends and family to be the most influential source of information when deciding to purchase a DBS system. The Report also identifies several other factors that will sustain subscriber growth in the years to come. Among them: -- DBS is Negating a Key Advantage That Cable Operators Have Held for Years: access to local stations. This in turn is causing cable penetration among DBS households to decline in markets where DBS providers offer local station packages. -- DBS Will Enjoy New Opportunities in Suburban and Urban Markets. Local- to-local service allows DBS providers to even the playing field in urban and suburban markets in terms of local channel availability. This is particularly important as cable operators aggressively introduce digital cable into these markets to counter DBS. -- DBS Will Quickly Emerge as a Major Player in High Speed Internet Access. Though behind both cable modem service and DSL, high-speed Internet access delivered via DBS will be launched on a nationwide basis, allowing DBS providers to match HSI offers in some markets and beat the competition in others. In addition, data services will bring new incremental revenue streams to satellite providers in a maturing market. About Media & Entertainment Strategies The Yankee Group is an internationally recognized leader in technology research and strategic consulting. The company's Media & Entertainment Strategies practice examines the tradeoffs that businesses and consumers must make as traditional forms of media are joined by new products, services, and applications. The Yankee Group continues to distinguish itself by providing personalized one-to-one analysis and planning assistance to its customers. About The Yankee Group The Yankee Group (www.yankeegroup.com) is an internationally recognized leader in technology research and strategic consulting, whose broad-reaching analysis encompasses all areas essential to e-business success: the Internet, electronic commerce, communications, wireless/mobile, computing, and enterprise applications. The Yankee Group specializes in assisting companies with their e-business, enterprise networking, and Internet technology and electronic market initiatives while maintaining synergy with their overall business strategies. Headquartered in Boston, the company's research and sales staff is located throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific. With over 30 different planning services, complete consulting capabilities, and a full calendar of technology-focused conferences and seminars held around the globe, The Yankee Group is truly a "one-stop shop" for strategic analysis and advice on the information technology industry as a whole. The Yankee Group continues to distinguish itself by providing comprehensive research, electronic content delivery, and personalized one-to- one analysis and planning assistance to its customers. For additional information regarding The Yankee Group and the services it offers, please visit the company's web site at www.yankeegroup.com.
SOURCE Yankee Group