Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) and MultiChoice Africa, one of Africa’s most prominent media companies, have inked a far-reaching agreement that will ensure the continuing expansion of the DStv pay-TV platform over the coming 15 years. The multi-transponder contract also further anchors Eutelsat’s neighbourhood of high-power satellites at 36° East as the point of reference for broadcasting in sub-Saharan Africa.

To live up to its brand promise of delivering a television experience marked by quality and choice, MultiChoice Africa will take advantage of the entire payload of 15 Ku-band transponders connected to the African service area of the EUTELSAT 36C satellite that will be launched next year.

In advance of the launch, MultiChoice has also booked two transponders on the EUTELSAT 36A broadcast satellite that provides reach of the 38 countries in sub-Saharan Africa served by the DStv platform.

Following the launch of EUTELSAT 36C, MultiChoice Africa will be leasing a total of 36 Eutelsat transponders from 25 today. In addition to securing bandwidth for new Standard Definition and High Definition channels and services, the agreement equips MultiChoice Africa with in-orbit back-up capacity that will increase network continuity.

Nico Meyer, CEO of MultiChoice Africa, said: “We are delighted to make this announcement with Eutelsat who have partnered with us to meet the needs of our growing business in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is exciting to be planning this new expansion with a company that is not only committed to ensuring we are able to provide the best television experience to our subscribers, but a company that, like ourselves, is committed to making a difference in Africa through investing in developmental projects. We look forward to being able to provide new and exciting services to our DStv subscribers in the future.”

Michel de Rosen, Chairman and CEO of Eutelsat, responded: “Our sustained investment over 20 years in high-power broadcast satellites for Africa has anchored Eutelsat as a key infrastructure provider supporting the transition to a digital environment and delivering viewers both diversity and quality. With the agreement announced today, we are extending our longstanding relationship with one of Africa’s most go-ahead media companies over the coming 15 years. It is a privilege to be MultiChoice’s chosen partner in 38 African countries and to demonstrate our broader commitment to Africa via the annual DStv Eutelsat Star Awards that sparks scientific thinking by school children across Sub-Saharan Africa.”