SES ASTRA, announced today that it increased its technical reach from the orbital position 23.5 degrees East in the Benelux markets by more than 200,000 households to a total of 740,000. This represents an impressive growth of almost 40 percent. SES ASTRA serves the Benelux market with two orbital positions, 19.2 degrees East and 23.5 degrees East, which can be received at the same time and with the same dish with dual reception devices. In total, ASTRA reaches more than one million households from these two positions in the Benelux markets.
According to the new SES ASTRA Satellite Monitor 2010, the reach from 23.5 degrees East in Belgium increased to 240,000 homes. In the Netherlands, ASTRA 23.5 households increased to 480,000, almost 80 percent of all Dutch ASTRA satellite homes. In Luxembourg, last year's start of RTL Luxembourg on ASTRA 23.5 East was a key driver for the addition of 20,000 new households at that orbital position during 2010. The rapid growth of the ASTRA 23.5 degrees East household reach in the Netherlands and Belgium was fuelled by the launch in 2010 of additional HD channels via M7 Group owned providers CanalDigitaal and TV VLAANDEREN. In October 2010, Belgium telecom provider Mobistar successfully launched a hybrid satellite/DSL bouquet, including various channels available via the ASTRA Satellite System.
The ASTRA Satellite Monitor also confirmed SES ASTRA's leading HDTV position by showing that over 30 percent of Dutch speaking ASTRA satellite homes are equipped with HDTV reception equipment. Compared to other infrastructures, satellite has by far the largest percentage of HDTV viewers.
Norbert Hölzle, Chief Commercial Officer of SES ASTRA, ,said: "The outcome of the Satellite Monitor confirms that in only four years' time ASTRA 23.5 East has firmly established itself as a leading satellite position for the Benelux region, both for digital and HD television. It also reconfirms that in regions dominated by land-based infrastructures, there is ample room for a solid satellite reception market."