Rai and Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) have sealed an agreement enabling Italyís public service broadcaster to deliver its new portfolio of HD channels across Italy via the TivýSat satellite platform that already reaches into 1.7 million television homes.

Rai will broadcast its three flagship channels in HD - Rai 1, Rai 2, Rai 3 - via TivýSat that transmits through Eutelsatís HOT BIRD satellites, Italyís leading video neighbourhood. This latest agreement between Rai and Eutelsat marks a new phase of collaboration in satellite broadcasting that has stretched over almost 30 years, spanning analogue, digital and now HD. For Rai, it confirms its commitment to enhancing the technical quality of its programming and strengthening the role of the public service in Italyís digital landscape.

Italian satellite TV homes will automatically receive Raiís new HD channels on a free-to-air basis through HD compatible set-top boxes receiving TivýSat. Launched in 2009, TivýSat is a free-to-view digital satellite platform that offers a wide range of Italian and international channels.

Renato Farina, CEO of Eutelsat Italia, declared: ďThis new step underscores Eutelsatís longstanding commitment to playing our part in the digitisation of broadcasting in Italy and to constantly enhancing the viewing experience. The launch of this initial test phase of Raiís new HD content at our HOT BIRD neighbourhood ensures immediate 100% coverage of Italian territory and underscores the increasing penetration of HD content across our broadcasting satellites.Ē