Comcast Wholesale expands satellite capacity deal with SES

Michelle Clancy | 14-11-2013

Comcast Wholesale has renewed and expanded key agreements for nearly 650MHz of C-band capacity from satellite capacity provider SES, to deliver a broad range of content management and delivery solutions to media companies across North America.

The capacity enables Comcast to provide cable programmers, multiple system operators and independent cable operators access to linear and on-demand content distribution solutions, including Comcast's Headend in the Sky (HITS) platform.

As part of the multi-year deal, Comcast Wholesale will continue to use 16 transponders aboard SES' AMC-18 satellite and one transponder on the AMC-1 spacecraft, and has contracted one additional transponder. And, the Comcast Media Center on-demand programming distribution will be transitioned from AMC-1 to the new SES-3 satellite in 2014.

"This agreement marks the latest milestone in a long-term, collaborative partnership between Comcast Wholesale and SES that has always strived to meet the evolving needs and demands of the media and entertainment industry," said Ferdinand Kayser, chief commercial officer of SES. "Comcast Wholesale has long been an engine for innovation for the cable industry, with its HITS solution aimed at helping independent operators compete in a fiercely contested market. SES is honoured to renew and expand our alliance with Comcast Wholesale with a constant eye on the future."

SES-1 at 101 degrees West, AMC-1 at 103 degrees West and AMC-18 at 105 degrees West make up SES's expanding cable video distribution neighbourhood at their locations in the centre of the arc over North America. AMC-18 has played an integral role supporting the HITS platform since 2007, when Comcast Wholesale moved its innovative platform from Ku-band to C-band.

"The ever-changing industry landscape requires the new level of expertise and outside-the-box thinking that SES has always brought to the table in support of our solutions," said Leslie Russell, vice president and general manager of HITS. "We have the right satellite distribution partner to deliver our comprehensive services portfolio, ranging from linear to on-demand to network origination services."