SES ASTRA announced today the first official figures on viewers and customers of its new TV service HD+. As of March 31, 2011, 769,000 households in Germany received the HD+ offer via satellite. HD+ is a technical platform from SES ASTRA for encrypted broadcasting and reception of commercial free TV programmes in HD quality. At the moment, the HD+ offering includes eight free TV channels in HD: RTL HD, SAT.1 HD, ProSieben HD, VOX HD, kabel eins HD, RTL2 HD, SPORT1 HD and sixx HD. For HD+, no fixed contract or subscription obligation apply. Following a one year trial period free of charge, customers pay a fixed technical service fee of EUR 50 per year. This translates into a payment of EUR 4.16 per month.

Two-thirds of all customers continue to pay for the HD+ offering following the expiration of the free trial period. Of the 172,000 viewers who had purchased an HD+ device with an HD+ card between November 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010 and used the HD+ service free of charge for a twelve month period, 66 percent renewed their HD+ service. As a result, the number of paying HD+ users was 114,000 at the end of March. An additional 655,000 customers are currently using the service within the free trial period. The total number of active HD+ households thus amounted to 769,000 at the reporting date March 31, 2011.

Wilfried Urner, CEO of HD PLUS, says: "In a country where the question of whether people are willing to pay for television has been discussed for more than 20 years, the first figures of HD+ are certainly remarkable. A conversion rate of 66 percent is clearly above the expectations, and the active renewal of the HD+ service by so many people after one year is an outstanding result. Broadcasters, manufactures and distributors have reasons to be more than satisfied. The first official figures of HD+ prove that HD+ meets a need in the German TV market."