SES S.A. Europe's premier direct-to-home (DTH) satellite operator, has secured a further long-term contract with Channel 4 in the UK to provide additional capacity on its recently launched ASTRA 1N spacecraft. Channel 4 already has three transponders under contract at SES's 28.2˚East orbital slot.
The new capacity on ASTRA 1N will be used to transmit Channel 4's main high-definition (HD) service together with further HD services over the coming years.
SES will bring into service three new satellites at 28.2˚East from 2012 to 2014, ASTRA 2F, 2E and 2G, providing additional capacity and greater back-up, together with more power and operational flexibility, for its customers in the UK and Ireland.
Channel 4 was founded in 1982 as a public service broadcaster and regularly reaches more than 35 million viewers each week. Its HD service will be delivered to Sky and Freesat households, representing over 12 million UK homes.
Kevin Burrows, Channel 4's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Broadcast and Distribution said, "HDTV is an essential part of our channel line-up going forward and this new capacity will enable us to provide our viewers with Channel 4's portfolio of HD services. We have a long-running and very successful relationship with SES that is based on the company's understanding of our business, its excellent level of reliability and its technical expertise. For us, SES was a natural choice when it came to expanding our broadcast capacity."
Ferdinand Kayser, Chief Commercial Officer at SES, said, "We have worked closely with Channel 4 for the past seven years and are delighted that Channel 4 has renewed their confidence in SES. Our new agreement is further proof of the strong demand for new HD services in the UK market."