More than 47 million American households will be paying for some type of high-definition TV service by the end of 2008, according to a new Pike & Fischer forecast.
That total represents an increase of 17 million homes compared to the end of 2007, according to the new P&F report, "HDTV Service: Market Forecast for Multichannel Video Providers." The Silver Spring, Md.-based market research house also predicts that by the end of 2012, up to 103 million households will be paying their multichannel video provider for some form of HD service or rental equipment.
Although the broadcast networks now air their programs in HD for free, cable operators, satellite TV providers and telephone companies are striving to make money off the public's appetite for high-definition video by offering HD premium channels, leasing HD-ready equipment, and selling on-demand movies and TV shows in HD format, the report says.
The strong demand for high-definition video will generate up to $2.6 billion in annual revenue for the multichannel video providers by the end of 2012, according to the forecast.
The recent decline in consumer spending could slow the adoption of these HD services, cautions Scott Sleek, Director of Pike & Fischer's Broadband Advisory Services and principal author of the report. But the nation's economic slump could have the opposite effect, he adds.
"People may decide they'll save more by investing in home entertainment," he says. "That way they can microwave some popcorn and order an HD movie on demand instead of spending $50 or more to go out for dinner and movie."