Broadband News

Predictions that satellite TV will lose out to OTT TV

Predictions are always difficult to get right, but an article in the Broadcast Engineering magazine, suggests that by 2021 TV channels in the UK may find that internet delivery utilising Content Delivery Networks (such as Akamai) will be cheaper than renting transponder space on a satellite.

The projection is based around a satellite transponder costing £3 million a year, and a CDN costing 4.4 cents per GB, and with audiences of under 1 million the CDN approach wins currently. As pricing continues to shift towards OTT delivery then even larger audience numbers will be viable. The projections suggest that for BSkyB who is the largest satellite broadcaster in Europe that tipping point will be 2021.

IPTV has been more popular across Europe due to the lower penetration of satellite and cable TV, but OTT (Over The Top) services such as Netflix, Hulu etc which are not tied to a physical operator is threatening even IPTV solutions, due to its flexibility and ability to play on a myriad of connected devices.

The NOW TV service from Sky is perhaps an early sign from the broadcaster that it views the internet as a channel for growth. Also reducing the number of channels on satellite services, might also allow for higher quality transmissions, the compression and bit-rate used on current SD and HD transmissions have plenty of room for improvement.


The acid test here is ultimately the cost to the consumer. At present satellite TV is either free or paid for via Sky. Those currently receiving it free would then have to pay for an upgrade to their bandwidth just to receive the basics. Satellite also reaches the part that phone lines cannot get to.

  • meldrew
  • over 8 years ago

It may reach the parts, but look at the cost of some community satellite systems in blocks of flats?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 8 years ago

meldrew some of us can't upgrade our bandwidth. I actually got a speedtest of 2MBs tonight but normally that is unheard of in this house. I can't get fibre (even fibre to the cabinet) nor mobile broadband (mobile signal's too weak) or anything else except broadband down the telephone line with an exchange that is too far away to get much bandwidth. IPTV would not work here.

  • AspieMum
  • over 8 years ago

Since UHDTV Services are predicted to be airing from around 2020, the Internet might well cope with today's standards, but how much of the population will have unlimited 1Gbit FTTP connections to support multiple TVs crying out for the 8K service?

  • ScubaGirl
  • over 8 years ago

Why do you need 1G FTTP for TV? Current HD needs 10M.

  • Somerset
  • over 8 years ago

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