MBC prepares new HD offer with Atlantic Bird 7 capacity
Pan-Arab broadcaster MBC is to lease an entire transponder on Eutelsat's new Atlantic Bird 7 to expand its platform of satellite channels and facilitate the January launch of new high definition (HD) content.
The announcement, made at Informa's Digital TV Middle East conference in Dubai, encompasses a multi-year contract for capacity on the recently launched satellite located at 7 degrees West. The free to air broadcaster and European satellite operator have a relationship dating back 20 years, since MBC launched one channel for the Middle East and Africa (MENA) in 1991 from its old headquarters in London. The popular Arabic network, now located in Dubai Media City, now provides ten TV channels, as well as online streaming, video on demand and SMS services.
"We are enthusiastic about this additional capacity on the Atlantic Bird 7 satellite that will allow us to further expand in the future and meet the expectations of our loyal viewers across the MENA region," said Sam Barnett, chief operating officer, MBC.
Andrew Wallace, chief commercial officer, Eutelsat added: "With MBC Group's selection of Atlantic Bird 7 as their chosen platform to move into HDTV we are even more excited about the potential of our new satellite to partner broadcasters in the Middle East and North Africa. This is a great start for Atlantic Bird 7 and we look forward to furthering our longstanding presence and strong partnerships across the region and playing our part in the ongoing roll-out of HDTV".
The transfer of 400 TV channels between the soon to be retired Atlantic Bird 4A and its new Eutelsat replacement, Atlantic Bird 7, occurred on 23 October.