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D-T-H Satellite Households Pass 10M Mark During May

With both DSS and EchoStar setting new sign-up records in May, the month saw the number of direct-to-home satellite TV households past the 10 million mark, and significantly close to the 12 million the industry originally felt was the market saturation level.

EchoStar continued its recent role as the growth leader in May, adding 117,000 to its Dish Network, which was more than double the 57,000 added in the same month last year. EchoStar has now added more than 100,000 new subs for eight consecutive months, establishing a sign-up record. At the end of May the total Dish subscriber count stood at 2.49 million.

DirecTv said it added 110,000 net new DSS subscribers on its own in May, up 57% from last year, putting its own roster of subs at 5.16 million. Both totals exclude the 145,000 USSB-only subscribers it added in May when it completed the acquisition of that DSS programming service, and the 2.36 million subscribers to the Primestar service it also controls.

That would give DirecTv some 7.66 million satellite homes. And while some of the Primestar households may have defected to the Dish Network, the migration – whatever its extent – has only just begun, and the number of satellite homes at the end of May stood at an indicated 10.1 million.