SES Astra prepares for entry into Italian TV market

By Robert Briel
November 25, 2009 08.12 UK

SES Astra said it has entered into a partnership with the Italian broadcast and network service provider Milano Teleport to offer capacity from its 23.5 degrees East orbital position to Italian broadcasters.

Milano Teleport intends to use the capacity to provide transmission services to local and regional channels, as well as to ethnic channels that want to reach out to their particular target group and extend their coverage beyond terrestrial transmission following the completion of the terrestrial analogue switch-off in 2012.

The partnership with Milano Teleport adds another element to SES Astra’s strategy to position itself as an alternative satellite operator in Italy. It follows cooperation agreements with public broadcaster RAI, housing industry association Anaci and installer training school Eurosatellite. The satellite operator just launched an HD demo channel together with RAI (see Broadband TV News passim). With its orbital position at 23.5 degrees East, SES Astra intends to bring additional capacity and programme choice to the Italian market.

Alexander Oudendijk, chief commercial oOfficer of SES ASTRA, said: “We are very pleased to join a competent and strong partner like Milano Teleport to offer end-to-end solutions to broadcasters in Italy. Together with our partners, we are looking forward to further grow our business and service offering in Italy.”

Pietro Guerrieri, MD of Milano Teleport, said in a statement: ”Taking part in the development of a new satellite platform for DTH broadcasting in Italy is a very exciting commitment for our company. We are delighted to be taking up this challenge in partnership with SES ASTRA which is acknowledged as a key player in the satellite business in Europe.”