Uncertain future for Astra Entavio platform

May 3, 2008 – 09:50 BST

SES-Astra will cease to market the Entavio direct to the general public, said CEO Romain Bausch during the financial results press conference earlier this week. Instead, the satellite operator will work more closely with Premiere. “The offer was not attractive enough,” according to CFO Mark Rigolle.

“We have not yet decided in detail what steps we will take,” said Bausch, but we will not see “any dramatic changes” in the channel line-up of the fledgling DTH bouquet. “At the moment there is too much overlap with Premiere Star,” said Rigolle.

The introduction of the Entavio platform met with much resistance on the German market; from the beginning the press was very hostile to the idea and politicians and consumer interest groups banded together to protest the introduction of encryption of channels that so far had been freely available.

SES-Astra now plans to offer Entavio as a business-to-business proposition. One possibility could be to offer the channel bouquet to small and medium sized operators in competition with the Kabelkiosk offer from Eutelsat and the newly planned independent bouquet from the FSK association of smaller operator.