Astra expects to grow German HD offer

By Robert Briel
November 11, 2009 09.09 UK

High definition television will be the new driver for SES-Astra, said CEO Ferdinand Kayser to the Handelsblatt newspaper. Following the launch of the HD+ platform on November 1, the satellite operator expects to sign a number of new HD contract with various German broadcasters.
According to the report, Tele35 and Das Vierte are about to sign an agreement to carry HD versions of their channels. Both broadcasters transmit mainly movies and TV series, which are already available in native HD in most cases. Talks are reportedly also under way with MTV Networks and the German sports channel DSF, but these have not been confirmed.
The operator has also ordered four new satellites in order to demand the expected growth in demand for satellite capacity. “Digital television leads to a higher demand for capacity,” said Kayser. “We have a package of four satellites, which we will order.” The investment will be around half a billion euro.