SATELLITE TV SURPASSES 10 MILLION SUBSCRIBER MARK
Marking a major milestone in the continued rapid growth of the satellite TV subscriber base, the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) announced that there are now 10 million home dish owners in the United States. The announcement comes on the heels of 10 months of strong satellite sales, with the Direct-to-Home industry adding more than 1.6 million subscribers thus far in 1998.
The current record number of 10,044,000 satellite TV subscribers reflects the growing popularity of home dish ownership, which continues to attract thousands of new subscribers daily. The breakdown of U.S. satellite homes is as follows: 4,165,000 subscribers to the DIRECTV/U.S. Satellite Broadcasting service; 1,709,000 subscribers to the EchoStar DISH Network; 2,207,000 PRIMESTAR customers; and approximately 1,963,000 large-dish C-Band system owners.
"Reaching 10 million subscribing households is an enormous milestone for the satellite television industry," said SBCA Chairman Stanley E. Hubbard, president and CEO of U.S. Satellite Broadcasting. "U.S. Satellite Broadcasting is proud to be a contributor to the most successful launch of any consumer electronics product in history by providing consumers nationwide the ultimate in premium movie choice, quality and value."
"The fact that viewers in nearly one in 10 television households in the U.S. are now watching some form of satellite television is a testament to the stunning level of consumer acceptance that we have achieved in a short period of time," said Eddy Hartenstein, president of DIRECTV. "We have dramatically and permanently changed the television landscape as consumers continue to embrace this technology and switch away from cable in record numbers."
"It’s really no surprise that our industry has reached this goal so quickly," noted PRIMESTAR Chairman and CEO Carl Vogel. "These 10 million homes are continuous evidence of the satellite industry’s ability to deliver a superior quality product. We’re providing the service and entertainment that today’s consumer demands."
"More than 10 million Americans have made satellite television their provider for more channels and more choices at lower prices," noted Charlie Ergen, CEO and chairman of EchoStar Communications Corp. "We’re competing head on with cable and winning thousands of consumers each day. However, the future of our industry will depend on a united front that’s fighting for a level playing field in regards to programming access and copyright fees."
"With 10 million homes served, it’s evident mainstream consumers have discovered the benefits and entertainment value of satellite TV," noted SBCA President Chuck Hewitt. "Our entire industry can take pride in the united effort that went into achieving this key benchmark."
FAST FACT: The first small satellite dish service launched in 1994. The number of home satellite dish owners in the United States has increased by more than 400 percent in the past four years.
DTH Subscriber Growth
The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association of America (SBCA) is the national trade organization representing all segments of the home satellite industry. It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of entertainment, news, information, and educational programming. The SBCA is composed of DBS service providers, programmers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies.