The DTH satellite capacity market is unlikely to be able support a third hotspot over the MENA region, according to Noorsat CEO, Omar Shoter.
There are presently two positions populated by Arabsat and Nilesat hardware at 25.5 degrees East and 7 degrees West positions
“No other player can easily get into the DTH TV market,” said Shoter. “It takes between 40-60 million homes to be pointed at your new satellite, in order to be profitable.”
Noorsat operates as a virtual satellite operator with leased capacity from Eutelsat co-located with both Nilesat and Arabsat hardware. Shoter points out that this means Noorsat capacity is available at both the 25.5 degrees East and 7 degrees West positions.
Newcomers to the satellite market Smartsat and, YahLive parent company, Yahsat have both declared their intentions to pursue broadcast clients on yet to launch hardware at new orbital positions.
“They can compete in the corporate and governmental services but in the DTH market it will be very difficult to persuade people to point their dishes at a new orbital location. We don’t consider ourselves threatened by those new entrants though we wish them every success.”
Shoter also down-played the potential consequences of the recent Orbit-Showtime merger. Noorsat is a member of the Orbit Group of Companies and counted the Orbit pay TV service among its clients. Shoter moved to put this in perspective, pointing out that Noorsat broadcasts 170 channels and Orbit is only one of their customers.