Direct TV and Dish Network - additional information
In the early 1990s, Prime Star, the first medium-powered direct broadcast satellite (DBS) company was launched to great success in the United States. A few short years later, Prime was quickly pushed off the market by two companies which have remained, to this day, the most important players on the American DBS market. Direct TV’s satellite service, which was launched in June 1994, broadcasts audio and video services in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. Direct TV’s main competitor, Dish Network, was launched in March 1996 and presently provides satellite television, audio programming, satellite internet, and interactive television services.
As of 2015, Direct TV and Dish Network place second and third, respectively, in a ranking of Pay TV providers in the United States. The number one Pay TV company is however not a DBS provider, but Comcast Corporation, the largest broadcasting and cable company in the world by revenue. Nonetheless, the number of Direct TV subscribers has grown from 16.8 million in 2007 to over 20 million in 2014, while the number of Dish customers remained more or less constant at around 14 million. Direct TV’s revenue for the year 2014 was reported to have reached 26 billion U.S. dollars, almost double the amount for 2006. Dish Network’s revenues have also shown growth during the same period: from almost 10 billion U.S. dollars in 2006 to over 14.5 billion in 2014.
Pay TV, also known as subscription television or premium, as opposed to public television, are broadcasting services provided by cable and satellite TV companies, as well as, more recently, through digital and internet television providers. In the United States, despite such services coming at usually high costs, 84 percent of American households received Pay TV in 2013. Due to the rise of Netflix and Hulu, but mostly to the high availability of online streaming services, the Pay TV market is currently struggling. In fact, the entire North American premium TV industry, which in 2014 reported total revenues of almost 102 billion U.S. dollars, is set to decline by some 20 billion in 2018.