The Satellite Industry Association reported that the commercial satellite industry generated $91 billion in revenue in 2003, an increase of 5.7 percent over 2002 industry revenues. This included $55.9 billion in satellite services, $22.1 billion in ground-equipment manufacturing, $9.8 billion in satellite manufacturing and $3.2 billion in launches. The United States represents 45 percent of global satellite revenues.
The satellite-services sector has more than tripled in size from 1996 to 2003. In the last several years, satellite industry revenues were driven primarily by direct-to-home (DTH) services, which accounted for $44.7 billion, roughly 49 percent of the entire industry’s revenues. Transponder leasing reversed a two-year decline and posted a seven percent revenue gain in 2003, primarily due to increased government spending.
Despite falling prices and profit margins, several trends indicate growth for the satellite industry over the next few years.