CABSAT 2014: Arqiva inks exclusive Middle East satellite distribution deal
Editor | 13-03-2014

Marking what it calls a ‘significant’ step in its international expansion, Arqiva has won a deal to deliver satellite services for Al Jazeera in the Middle East.

The communications infrastructure and media services provider will support Qatar’s first satellite company Es’hailSat to distribute Al Jazeera Media Network channels across the Middle East, transmitting via two of the Es’hailSat transponders available.

Es’hailSat is the first satellite company wholly owned by the State of Qatar, providing independent, critical capacity for Qatar’s TV broadcasters. Its first transponder for Al Jazeera was launched in December 2013, with a second added in Q2 of 2014.

Arqiva says that it will provide high powered and resilient teleport services from its UK sites to transmit content from Al Jazeera for satellite distribution across the Middle East. “It’s a strategically important market for Arqiva and we will be looking to deepen our presence there over the next 18 months,” commented Barrie Woolston, commercial director of satellite & media at Arqiva. “This cooperation with Es’hailSat reinforces our commitment to the region.”

Ali Al Kuwari, chief executive officer at Es’hailSat, added: “Our first broadcast of Al Jazeera’s premium channels across the Middle East and North Africa marked the entry into service of Es’hail 1 and a major milestone for Es’hailSat. Our cooperation with Arqiva … strengthens our ability to provide broadcasting independence, quality service and wide geographical coverage for video, enterprise and government communications.”