It is universally recognised that viewing and listening habits are changing as consumers move away from linear TV and radio, instead choosing to stream video and audio content on demand, from multiple devices. Satellite operators are adapting to these changing markets by developing business models that position them as Internet Service Providers, alongside offering TV broadcast services. Satellite has traditionally been the backbone of broadcasting so it’s role in the new world where streaming via IP is the norm, is clearly going to change. However, it is very clear that satellite still has an important role to play in this changing broadcast landscape. In this blog, we’ll look at 3 key reasons why satellite remains important for broadcast.
1. Broadcast market still substantial
Despite the increased uptake of streamed on demand services around the globe, the market for traditional broadcast is still significant, as can be seen with terrestrial digital networks and direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV. Satellite as a method of distribution remains attractive to broadcasters because of its reach and ubiquity. It enables broadcasters to deliver a service anywhere, regardless of rurality, or level of development a country has in terms of economy or infrastructure.
There are also global political reasons why broadcasting still has an important role to play when it comes to information distribution. There are many countries around the world that for political or religious reasons, wish to retain unidirectional distribution of information in and around their country.
2. Cost effective technical solution
While it is true other methods are appearing that can be extremely cost-effective for delivering video content to viewers, satellite remains the answer for scale. When it comes to distributing broadcast content to hundreds of millions of viewers with one transmitter, satellite continues to be the only truly cost-effective technical solution.
While there is still a market for linear television TV, geostationary satellite broadcast will continue to deliver content to DTH services, CATV providers and non-stationary points such as cruise ships and airplanes.
3. Infrastructure in place to enhance IP and SVoD market
As the broadcast industry has adopted cloud-based working, and at the same time adapted to meet consumer needs for streamed content, it has become increasingly clear that IP cannot always fulfil the needs of broadcasters and media companies. During the media production process, content may need to be transported around the world and IP infrastructure is often not in place to do this effectively, or sometimes at all.
Satellite has got the reach and ubiquity needed through its well-established global infrastructure to add value to and support IP networks where needed. It can make services seamless and interconnected and in doing so can truly enhance IP infrastructure, benefitting satellite operators, broadcasters, content producers and media companies alike. Satellite and IP do not need to be mutually exclusive.
As internet streaming has grown in popularity in recent years, some operators and analysts may have predicted that the days of satellite broadcast were over but that simply is not the case. There continues to be a significant market in terrestrial digital networks and DTH services around the globe and that is going to continue until IP infrastructure is more accessible in all areas, which is a big ask when you considering issues of rurality and development.
Not only does satellite remain the most cost-effective technical solution for broadcast to the masses, it also has the infrastructure in place to enhance and support the industry when it comes to IP transport. Put all this together, and it becomes clear that satellite is, and will continue to be, important to broadcasting as we move forward in this brave new world.
The original version of this article was published in satig.space