The future continues to look bright for pay television operators who can provide HD service to residential subscribers.That’s due to the continued strong demand for the crystal clear picture and sound delivered in the high-definition format.
A new study from SNL Kagan predicts that 71 million households will subscribe to HD services by 2012 representing 65.7 percent of households.That’s more than a three-fold increase over the 18.8 percent penetration rate for 2007.According to the study, about one-third of television household already have HD televisions, meaning almost 15% of the market is immediately in play as far as hooking up with an HD provider.
So what does this mean for the main television players?The old saying “Content is King” is certainly applicable here.HD content is what consumers want, and they won’t settle for just a little, they want as much as possible.That is backed up by the fact that 74 HD networks have launched since 2003 according to SNL Kagan’s report.
While many channels are not true HD, being simulcasts of their SD cousins, more content is being produces with HD specifically in mind.Viewers are becoming increasingly aware of what is available in HD, and that is what they are looking for in a pay television provider.
The leaders in HD distribution will continue to be the satellite providers, DIRECTV in the lead and DISH Network scrambling to keep hold on second place.Their ability to launch HD channels on a national scale gives them a virtually insurmountable advantage over cable TV operators Comcast and Time Warner.Cable operators will have to push their advantage in the video-on-demand arena, especially HD on-demand offerings in order to remain competitive with satellite television.