Astra claims TV channel leadership
08.28 Europe/London, February 3, 2012 By Robert Briel

SES has announced that it is confirming its global satellite leadership in TV channel carriage and HD transmission. By year-end 2011, SES broadcast over 5,200 TV channels, including over 1,200 HD channels.

HD is a fast growing market for SES: in the second half of 2011 alone, SES added more than 100 HD channels.

While North America and Europe contribute the majority of the channels broadcast on SES satellites, an increasing portion of the channel growth is coming from emerging markets such as Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa.

SES now carries 44 DTH platforms, more than any other satellite operator in the world. In addition to over 5,200 TV channels, close to 1,000 radio channels are broadcast via the global satellite fleet of SES.

Ferdinand Kayser, CCO of SES, said in a statement: “These numbers are unrivalled in the industry and demonstrate the advantages of satellite for the distribution of high quality content to large audiences. In line with our fleet investment programme, we see continued channel growth coming from Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa. The addition of new HD channels continues to accelerate globally and will remain another growth driver for our company.”

The press release from SES claiming TV channel leadership marks an interesting ‘war of numbers’. Last month, Eutelsat said it had broken the 4,000-channel barrier. The figures between SES and Eutelsat cannot be compared, as Eutelsat satellites are only positioned between 36 degrees East and 7 degrees West, while SES’s fleet of satellites are worldwide.