How Long Until Satellite TV Is Obsolete?

Only one of Dish’s satellites is likely to be useful for another five and a half years, implying that only one of the company’s satellites will still be operational in another five and a half years.

Will satellite television be phased off in the future?

Even though these services offer many positive aspects, there are still some aspects that need to be improved, and they cannot begin to compare to today’s other possibilities, which can be far more appealing to users.

As previously said, a user has hundreds of channels to pick from, but this is not necessarily a good thing. Going through all of the programs to find one that you like takes a long time, and we just want to find the proper film or show to watch; we don’t want to waste time going through channels and not having time for the necessary pleasure.

This type of service is not accessible from anyplace, thus you won’t be able to take the platform with you if you travel. You are restricted to a single area, and if you travel frequently, you will not be able to receive your money’s worth.

Note that the dishes and the entire gear are not very reliable, and the signal may be poor if the weather is terrible. The dishes will deteriorate over time, and you will either need to maintain them on a regular basis or replace them every few years.

When compared to other services, the channel quality will be inferior, and you may see pixeling and poor service. This is not the service for you if you want something that is top-notch and will always deliver crystal clear reception.

Final thoughts

As you can see, satellite television has both positive and negative aspects. However, this is true of everything else in the world, and no matter what type of service you seek, there will always be advantages and disadvantages.

Finally, analysts predict that this service will not be phased out very soon, owing to the fact that satellite TV may be obtained even in the most remote regions. It is a simple and cost-effective solution for anyone, and it may be paired with other services to ensure client pleasure. Even though it has some drawbacks, the majority of the challenges can be overcome with ease, and the specialists who provide these services are always accessible to help.

We’re still a long way from giving up satellite TV, and we can still watch hundreds of channels that make our lives easier and better. There are channels that would interest everyone, whether you live in a home with young children or individuals who are older. This is the most versatile sort of service, and it continues to be popular among millions of consumers.

Is there a future for satellite television?

3. The Merger of DIRECTV and Dish Network Is Unavoidable

A merger between DIRECTV and Dish is unavoidable, according to Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen. When this happens, the remaining firm (presumably Dish) will have more subscribers and fewer competitors. It will be able to streamline resources, save money, and put more pressure on programmers to lower carriage needs as a result of this. If DIRECTV and Dish were to merge today, the resulting firm would have roughly 25 million paying customers. Programmers would be hesitant to allow their channels to be blacked out on a service with such a large audience.

This is why I believe that if Dish and DIRECTV united, there would be less carriage conflicts than there are currently on Dish. Ergen and his team would have more bargaining power and would be less inclined to utilize blackouts as a negotiating tactic.

In the end, AT&T appears to want to get out of the satellite TV business. But it’s more because the corporation wants to go in a different path, not because it believes the dish is doomed, at least for the time being. Satellite TV can and will likely continue to operate for several more years if the appropriate conditions exist.

Is satellite TV on the verge of a comeback?

Furthermore, no one appears to be concerned. Years ago, cable companies abandoned up on video growth. Consumers simply want to stream right now, and if the elderly who cling to their expensive cable TV subscriptions, such as myself, begin to wise up or die off, there will be no one left to pay for so-called conventional TV.

Supino reinforced his position on DirecTV in an email message, calling it a “uniquely awful narrative,” and Bernstein believing that “the NFL’s inclusion of the broadcast associated streaming channels in the league’s new TV contract is a portent of faster change.” As a result of the shift in rights to streaming, there will soon be no need to watch TV in a planned, broadcast manner. In this context, we believe that broadcast networks and general interest cable channels, which frequently benefit from real estate in the legacy TV bundle that allows them to monetize marginal programming and sub-scale channels, should take a bigger risk with the amount of programming they invest in their streaming ventures.”

I’ve already written a lot on AT&T’s distribution strategy, so I won’t go over it again. However, according to the Supino analysis, roughly 1 million to 1.5 million of the 2.7 million HBO Max additions in Q1 were presumably those who were obtaining the service via AT&T Mobility and/or Fiber bundles. To put it another way, they get HBO Max for free.

However, it is becoming clear that the industry is going toward an app-based future without the need for a traditional pay TV subscription. Except for the rate at which it is happening, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Major League Baseball chief operations and strategy officer Chris Marinak stated earlier this month at a Fierce Video conference that he was urging teams and regional sports networks to move forward with their ambitions to go direct-to-consumer. Many people have already begun to do so. Bally Sports Networks, previously Fox Sports RSNs, has announced that a DTC option will be available next year. The YES Network, which is partially owned by Sinclair and Amazon and broadcasts the New York Yankees, released an authenticated app this season, but it could easily support a DTC offering if the organization decides to do so.

Also see: Sports and OTT: Could Streaming Squeeze the Last Glimpse of Scheduled TV

The concept is that RSNs will eventually offer a combination of linear and DTC distributions. However, after a while, the paradigm is expected to shift totally to DTC, which would be the ultimate nail in Pay TV’s coffin. Sports, particularly exclusive sports, have served as the binding agent in the pay TV bundle. Without it, and with apps like ESPN Plus and Fox Sports Go already available, there are fewer reasons to keep a traditional pay TV subscription.

In the first quarter, DirecTV lost 620,000 members, bringing the total number of subscribers lost to 7.1 million since Q4 2018. DirecTV, formerly the country’s largest pay television provider with 20 million subscribers, currently has around 13 million. The rate of those losses has accelerated in the last year, to over 2.5 million each year, implying that, yes, Supino is correct, there will be no customers left by 2026. Dish Network, which has roughly 8.8 million satellite TV subscribers, loses about 1.5 million each year, so it will be without subscribers in about the same time frame, five years.

Now, I’m not convinced that pay television will go away in five or ten years, but it will certainly look different. It’s unlikely that all of those subscribers will just stop watching television; instead, they will find another means to do so. Neither DirecTV nor Dish are strictly satellite providers. AT&T has an IP video service (AT&T TV), as well as a streaming service (AT&T TV Now, formerly DirecTV Now, but it is no longer accepting new subscribers). Sling TV, a Dish OTT service, has roughly 2.5 million subscribers.

Cord cutting is also affecting the rest of the sector. Over the last decade, cable operators’ video dominance has eroded significantly. And it made me wonder how much longer cable has left.

While the cable industry’s narrative has shifted drastically in recent years toward internet, the fact remains that cable is losing video users at a rapid pace as well. According to MoffettNathanson, cable companies have lost 4 million customers in the last two years as their combined market share has dropped from 51 million in 2018 to 47 million in 2020. By 2045, the sector will have lost 2 million cable subscribers each year, and there will be no video customers.

“The usual clich in tech is that things change less in five years and more in ten,” Moffett wrote in an email.

“I believe that will be the rule in this case.

Will the linear video industry still exist in five years?


Will one in ten still exist?

“I’m not convinced.”

Waiting for pay TV subscribers to vanish completely isn’t a good way to measure the sector, according to Moffett.

“I don’t think projecting present patterns to zero is the proper way to think about it,” Moffett added.

“That may be how the demand side works a steady drop in the number of older ‘traditionalists’ may translate to a similarly gradual decline in demand for linear television but that will not be how the supply side works.”

Both broadcast and cable networks are “strip-mining” their channels for content for their streaming services, according to Moffett. Take a look at the most recent National Football League television rights contract for proof.

“There will come a moment of no return when the entire linear ecosystem unravels,” Moffett said, “and it will be supply rather than demand that unravels it.” “It’ll take longer than five years, but it could be less than ten.”

As a result, networks will destroy cable, not distributors. That appears to be the case. Any video distribution service is only as good as its programming when it comes down to it. Satellite used to boast that it had better visuals and programming than cable, and they were correct. Then, when it introduced out-of-market NFL bundles called Sunday Ticket, it surpassed cable sports offerings and saw a surge in user growth. Some analysts believe that, with DirecTV’s subscriber base steadily dwindling, Sunday Ticket could be sold to another distributor, such as Comcast or its streaming service Peacock.

With every coder having or developing an app, a future in which all programming is received through some form of direct-to-consumer contact is not that far-fetched. In fact, it’s possible that distributors might prefer it that way.

Because, while handling various subscriptions to Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Paramount Plus, and Discovery Plus is currently feasible for the ordinary customer, it could quickly become a nightmare if every channel goes DTC.

While providing broadband, cable providers may act as “app aggregators,” grouping different programming apps based on genres, costs, or something else. This would appear to alleviate a couple of concerns. The mechanics and bolts of distribution, such as billing and customer service, might be left to the segment that considers such operations as core components of their respective wheelhouses, allowing content firms to focus on what they do best: generating programming.

Cable providers might package apps for users in packages similar to how C-band satellite TV was once sold, with the fees collected going to the respective programmers (with a small fee on top). Almost every analyst I’ve talked to in the last few years believes the industry is headed in this direction. When I suggested the similar idea to a long-time cable guy about a year ago, he had one condition: “It won’t be a little out there.”

Is satellite television still in use?

In a discussion with analysts on Nov. 29, AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan declared, “We’ve launched our last satellite.”

With that declaration, the AT&T CEO virtually announced the end of the satellite-TV era. AT&T owns DirecTV, the largest satellite television provider in the United Statesand the second largest TV provider overall, after Comcast.

According to business records, DirecTV will continue to offer satellite television service, with over 20 million satellite video subscribers as of September. But, according to Donovan, the company would instead focus on expanding its online video business. It features a new set-top box that allows users to get the same TV service as satellite by installing an internet-connected box themselves. In the first half of 2019, it anticipates that box to account for a larger portion of its new premium-TV service installations. Through its DirecTV Now and WatchTV streaming services, which work with many smart TVs and streaming media players like Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, it also sells cheaper TV bundles with fewer channels.

Why do so many people still use satellite television?

It’s no secret that pay-TV services such as cable and direct satellite broadcasting are in for a long, chilly winter unless something extraordinary occurs. The internet’s ability to make streaming possible is one of the main reasons why people are willing to give up their televisions. The rivalry has increased as more prominent suppliers offer high-quality connections and customer service. A CenturyLink customer, for example, can contact CenturyLink customer support at any time of day with a tech-related question. Of course, with such ease, the changeover was all about it.

Despite declining subscriber numbers, the satellite television industry’s revenue is steadily rising. The satellite television industry not only generates tens of billions of dollars every year, but it also continues to grow at a constant rate.

It’s fascinating to see how popular satellite TV is today, and how quickly it’s growing. If you’re interested why people still use satellite TV, as we were, keep reading for some very convincing reasons.

When it comes to the burgeoning competition between cable, satellite, and internet streaming services, there’s one thing that the newcomers don’t seem to have figured out yet: live large-event streaming. Cord-cutters just don’t have any access to live events. Of course, they can use the internet, but in many cases, live broadcasting might consume a lot of bandwidth. Whatever you think of satellite TV’s weather-dependent nature, you won’t have to worry about buffering or having to turn off your other gadgets just to watch your favorite shows.

Sports are, indeed, live events. Live sports, on the other hand, require their own space due to the significant revenue they generate each year. Live sports have long been the ‘holy grail’ of the cable-satellite industry. There has been much discussion over whether or not internet streaming companies will offer live sports streaming in the future. Sports lovers are well aware that there is only one place where they can see everything. Following the game’s live tweets or searching for a shady streaming site that may or may not be virus-infected isn’t going to cut it.

The fact that, for the vast majority of programming, pay-TV is the first stop for new episodes is what the industry now has going for it. Fans can’t access network TV programs for a full 24 hours after a new episode airs on Hulu, which is amazing. While Netflix boasts a massive library of movies and TV episodes, many of the most popular titles are rotated in and out of the queue on a regular basis. Furthermore, when it comes to displaying recent or highly acclaimed films, Netflix is no better than cable or satellite TV, which can take two years or more.

You may view episodes of your current favorite seasons right away, but you would have to wait years on streaming platforms.

Although all pay-TV providers anticipate a drop in subscribers. So, what’s the story behind the year-over-year revenue growth? This is because pay-TV providers have a higher average revenue per user (ARPU). To put it another way, traditional cable and satellite TV subscribers are becoming more valuable. Unfortunately for the pay television industry, progressively increasing monthly fees will do little to retain current subscribers, let alone attract new ones. It is a simple economic law that when the price of a service is increased, demand decreases.

As a result, we hope that these price hikes may be kept under control, preventing pay television from becoming obsolete.

Pay television, last but not least, is not extinct owing to tradition. Consider the pay-TV industry as a giant train that has been rising in size and speed for the past 60 years or more. Satellite television has been engrained in the American mind for longer than most of us have lived, and it will take a long time for it to be phased out completely. Our grandparents and parents almost likely had pay television, and we always hoped that we would get one as well when we were younger.

As we’ve established throughout, satellite television isn’t going away anytime soon; nevertheless, as newer generations are schooled to seek out programs in other ways, it will become a relic of the past.

Is DISH TV on the verge of going out of business?

The bad news, however, does not end there. Sling TV, Dish’s promising over-the-top streaming service, is suddenly losing subscribers as well. Dish revealed a 94,000 Sling subscriber loss in the fourth quarter, which must be painful, but appears to be a self-inflicted damage. For whatever reason, Dish increased the rates of two of its most popular Sling packages by a whopping 20%. Such losses were unavoidable, given the fierce competition in the streaming services these days from Netflix, Hulu, and cable-like services like YouTube TV.

Dish appears to be pinning its hopes on breaking into the cellphone sector, at least for the time beingbut good luck with that given how fierce the competition is. Dish may possibly be for sale, according to some experts. Dish appears to be preparing to lose even more money, with a fast dwindling subscriber base and efforts into new offerings that pit Dish against established brands like AT&T and Verizon. At this point, I don’t understand why anyone would want to acquire Dish. It’d be the equivalent of setting money on fire.

Is DirecTV phasing out satellite?

DIRECTV Satellite remains the country’s leading pay-TV provider. True, they aren’t as popular as they once were, but we’re talking about over 10% of American households with DIRECTV Satellite. That’s a large group. They aren’t all going to be streamed right away.

DIRECTV is also the top provider of television services to corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions. This type of consumer frequently can’t receive fast internet, or internet that isn’t fast enough. Their sole alternative is DIRECTV Satellite, and it is also the greatest option.

It’s worth noting that DIRECTV’s whole satellite fleet has been refurbished in the last five years. A satellite’s original service life was estimated to be around a decade, but DIRECTV has managed to keep its fleet operational for considerably longer. Satellites do eventually run out of fuel and become unusable, but it’s a safe bet that today’s DIRECTV satellites will continue to work hard well into the 2020s, if not beyond.

Is DirecTV on its way out?

In the first quarter of 2021, AT&T lost 620,000 subscribers from its video division, which is primarily made up of DirecTV, compared to 897,000 the year before. AT&T won’t even hold 100% of DirecTV for much longer, as it agreed earlier this year to spin it off to a new firm in which it will own a minority stake. Surprisingly, the same corporation recently revealed plans to spin off TimeWarner’s holdings into a new business with Discovery.

Dish Network, the second major satellite company, isn’t faring much better. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the firm lost around 230,000 pay-TV subscribers in the first quarter, with Dish losing 130,000 subscribers and Sling TV losing another 100,000.

Doug Dawson of CGC Consulting, writing for Circle ID this week, presented another take on the decrease of satellite ID.

What is the expected lifespan of DirecTV satellites?

Many of Dish Network’s and DirecTV’s satellites are nearing the end of their useful lives, and neither firm appears to be developing new satellites quickly enough to replace them.

This was the conclusion of a MoffettNathanson analyst note released this week, as originally reported by trade website Fierce Video.

Satellite systems, such as those used by Dish Network and DirecTV, normally have a 15-year life expectancy, and while certain systems can be utilized beyond that, most satellite broadcasters have replacements built and ready to go before that time period expires.

Dish Network, on the other hand, has nine orbiting satellites, nine of which are soon approaching the end of their expected life spans, according to analyst Craig Moffett. DirecTV, which just separated from AT&T to become a stand-alone corporation, is in a similar scenario.

Both Dish Network and DirecTV have been preparing for a post-satellite world for some time: each company has its own streaming television product (Dish Network’s Sling TV; DirecTV’s AT&T TV, which will soon be re-branded as DirecTV Stream), which offers the same live channels as satellite but doesn’t require customers to install hardware or make long-term commitments.

However, those items are only useful if users have access to high-speed Internet. According to a report released two years ago by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), over 21 million American households still lack access to broadband Internet connections. Some researchers believe the number of families without access to the internet is significantly larger than the government claims.

A major infrastructure package passed by the United States Senate showed some hope in reducing the gap by allocating billions of dollars to firms like Comcast and AT&T for rural broadband expansion. However, in the past, major firms have been slow to invest in rural areas.

Satellite television remains a lifeline for rural households in the lack of reliable broadband access not just for pleasure and sports, but also for local news, national news, and weather. It’s a point that both Dish Network and DirecTV are fully aware of: When AT&T chose to move its pay TV marketing efforts away from DirecTV and toward AT&T TV in the suburbs two years ago, it continued to promote DirecTV in rural areas. Dish Network is still promoting its service in rural areas.

Both businesses appear to believe a merger is inevitable when it comes to the future of their satellite products, with Dish Network co-founder and chairman Charlie Ergen stating as much last year (a point he re-iterated on a recent conference call with investors).

A merger would alleviate certain operational issues, giving the merged firms more negotiating power when it comes to programming deals like DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket or just about anything on Dish Network, and it would also boost the company’s streaming operations.

However, a merger is unlikely to fix the problem of Dish Network and DirecTV’s old satellite fleet: DirecTV and Dish Network’s satellites were designed years ago to support their respective platforms, not with cross-compatibility in mind. Dish Network and DirecTV set-top boxes are designed to receive distinct signals, and satellite dish antennas installed in homes and businesses are meant to receive either Dish Network or DirecTV signals not both.

A similar situation occurred more than a decade ago in the satellite radio industry, when the newly founded SiriusXM Satellite Radio elected to use XM’s technology and satellites to enable next-generation technology and hardware radios. However, the firm did not want to abandon the millions of subscribers who still have Sirius gear in their homes and automobiles, so it continues to support both the XM and Sirius platforms, despite the fact that they employ distinct audio encoding standards and hardware.

SiriusXM, like Dish Network and DirecTV, has put a significant amount of money into the future of streaming. It bought music streaming service Pandora a few years ago and streaming service Stitcher last year, bolstering its streaming software and next-generation Internet-connected hardware radios.

However, unlike Dish Network and DirecTV, SiriusXM continues to construct and deploy satellites to support its datacasting services – in addition to radio, the company’s satellite platform also provides live weather, traffic, marine, and aviation information.

Dish Network and DirecTV, according to Moffett, do not appear to be investing in the same way. Instead, it appears that the corporations are letting the satellite infrastructure to deteriorate over time, potentially leaving millions of rural customers without access to television.

“We are witnessing satellite television’s long, slow demise,” Moffett stated. “Obviously, the terminal value of a satellite TV platform with no satellites or customers is zero.”