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Telesat Sees Cord-Cutting, SpaceX Driving Big Revenue Decline This Year

Telesat expects a "significant" revenue decline this year in its geostationary orbit business owing to cord-cutting and increased SpaceX competition, CEO Dan Goldberg said as the company announced Q4 2023 results Thursday. However, in a call with analysts, Goldberg said…

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the company doesn't expect a similar decline in future fiscal years. He said Telesat anticipates video-related declines this year due to cord-cutting continuing to erode its direct-to-home service. Telesat also is seeing notable declines in its maritime connectivity business with customers increasingly seeking low earth orbit (LEO) service and many of them migrating to SpaceX's Starlink, he added. "If anything, the transition to LEO is happening a little faster than even we expected," Goldberg said, which validates Telesat's investment in its Lightspeed LEO constellation. The company said it posted revenue of roughly $520 million for 2023, and expects 2024 revenue of $402 million to $417 million. Goldberg said Telesat is hiring aggressively as it develops Lightspeed. The company ended 2023 with nearly 500 employees, with 35% of them working on Lightspeed, he said. Head count at 2024's end will near 740 with about half working on Lightspeed. The first Lightspeeds are to launch in June 2026, and offer full global coverage and service by the end of 2027, he said.