Eutelsat reaches 100 HD channels milestone

November 2, 2009

Eutelsat has broken through the barrier of 100 High-Definition TV channels broadcasting through its video satellites, the operator announced. The 100th channel to take to the skies was Sky Sport 1HD, the flagship channel of the latest HD package from the SKY Italia pay-TV platform.

Since the start of transmissions of Belgian based Euro 1080 on Eutelsat’s satellites in 2005 HDTV has taken great strides, with channels increasing tenfold since mid-2006 and more than doubling since June 2008. A total of 42% of the 243 HD satellite channel streams in Europe and the Middle East are broadcast through a Eutelsat satellite, according to the operator.

Eutelsat’s video neighbourhoods today account for 40% of HD channels broadcast by the Group’s satellites. Emerging Eutelsat video positions with headroom for growth are following close behind, notably Eurobid 9A, which already hosts two all-HD platforms, and video positions serving broadcast markets in Russia, Turkey and central Europe.

The accelerating pace of HDTV launches across Europe and the Middle East reflects the increasing penetration in consumer homes of HD-Ready displays. The consumer appetite for HD is underscored by Eutelsat’s own analysis, conducted in 37 countries across the same regions by vaious market research firms (GfK, TNS, CSA), and which shows that over 10 million households intend to move into an HD environment over the next year.

Eutelsat’s Commercial Director Olivier Milliès-Lacroix said in a statement: “We believe that the consumer expectation for a first-class HD experience and the suitability of our satellites for distributing HD content both Direct-to-Home and to cable, IP and DTT networks are guarantees of a long-term market for Eutelsat and the satellite industry.”