Romania’s digital broadcasting landscape shifted into a new gear this month with the launch of Freesat, a new TV platform available from the EUTELSAT 16A satellite operated by Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL).
Freesat is a Direct-to-Home platform of Standard Digital and High Definition channels available for a yearly subscription of only 99 lei (approximately €23) and a one-off investment in a conditional access smartcard. It assembles Romania’s most popular public and private TV channels including TVR 1, TVR 2, Pro TV, AcasaTv, ProCinema, Sport.ro, KanalD, Prima, NationalTV, FavoritTV, TVR HD TVR 3, TVR News, TVR International, Etno TV, Taraf TV and WEST TV. International free-to-air content can also be received from EUTELSAT 16A and Eutelsat’s adjacent HOT BIRD satellites.
The arrival of this accessible, no ties platform will help accelerate the transition to digital for the 3.5 million homes in Romania who are still not reaping the benefits of image quality and choice afforded by digital standards. Freesat also further anchors Eutelsat’s 16° East neighbourhood, already the broadcasting slot of choice for many Romanian national and regional public and private channels, in the country’s broadcasting landscape.
"Our objective is to give Romanians access to digital television choice at a great price with the highest quality and to reach the maximum number of homes using Eutelsat’s established neighbourhood at 16° East,” declared Serban Belenes, General Manager of Freesat. "We believe that Freesat’s proposal of no monthly bill and no commitment is a key asset. With 99 lei, you have your favourite channels for a full year - no worries, no subscription."
Jean-François Leprince-Ringuet, Chief Commercial Officer of Eutelsat, added: "We welcome the launch of this new platform that will propel digital broadcasting forward in Romania and help prepare the ground for analogue switch-off of the national terrestrial broadcasting network. The performance and coverage of EUTELSAT 16A, combined with the community of Romanian channels already on board, make it a natural choice for Freesat. Broadcasters now have a unique platform for reaching into television homes across Romania and we look forward to sharing with Freesat our experience in other markets to make this new venture a success.” Freesat can be ordered from local distributors in Romania.