What’s the future of satellite TV for RVs?

This past summer, RV sales rose to record heights. The RV seems like the perfect antidote to 2020: it restores the freedom to travel and takes away the fear we all have of strange beds and strange restaurants. Why not get away from it all in safety and style? A lot of people made the choice this year and as those RVs enter into their first winter, when they’ll get less use, it’s time to think about upgrades.

The most popular RV upgrade

Historically, the most popular RV upgrade, if you can afford it, has been satellite TV. Satellite TV gives you something to enjoy while you’re settled in for the night. It’s more reliable in more places than streaming and with the right setup, you can even use satellite TV while the RV’s moving.

If you bought a used RV, it might even have one of those satellite dishes installed already. Satellite TV was introduced in the mid-2000s and it’s been a big selling point for a lot of RVs since then.

It’s not surprising, really… RVing has never really been about “getting away from it all.” It’s been about taking the comforts of home with you. We’ve all gotten… perhaps a bit too comfortable at home this year. That doesn’t mean we want to give it all up, though.

What’s ahead in the future?

In the last two years or so, satellite TV’s become a bit of a punching bag for people who think that all pay-TV is a rapidly dying medium. Cable companies took it on the chin in the early-to-mid 2010s and it wasn’t until much later that we started to see some subscriber losses from satellite. Satellite continued to grow throughout most of the 2010s, stealing customers from cable as it always has.

What happened between then and now? The big shift is that AT&T and DISH stopped going after the “lower-end customer.” This is the customer who accepts a lot of free equipment, signs up for the lowest package, and leaves after two years when the promotional price expires. This kind of customer costs a lot to get and doesn’t really contribute to the bottom line.

Once AT&T and DISH stopped focusing on raw subscriber numbers and started focusing on profit, they stopped looking for that kind of customer. They focused on customers who saw the value in premium channels and sports. That kind of customer is loyal and profitable, but there aren’t as many of them. Naturally subscriber numbers dropped.

Will satellite TV survive?

Of course it will. Both DISH and AT&T have satellite fleets that can last another decade or more. AT&T just finished a complete overhaul of its fleet and can probably go another 15 years without a launch if they want.

For all the doom and gloom talk, we tend to ignore the fact that about 30 million subscribers use satellite TV. That’s a pretty big chunk of the country and they’re not going anywhere.

There’s still probably some room for satellite TV to shrink, but make no mistake. It’s there for you today, tomorrow, and in the future.

That includes satellite TV for RVs. The companies that make satellite TV equipment for RVs are not going anywhere. They have a long history in this country and worldwide. When you put satellite TV on your RV, you’re futureproofing it. Simple as that.

Get the entertainment experience you crave

When you’re ready to make the jump to satellite TV in your RV, call the experts. They can help you figure out what equipment you have, if you already have something. They can also recommend the right choice for the future. It all starts with a call to 888-233-7563. If it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below and we’ll get right back to you.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.