SES Astra: HDTV up by 30%

SESAstra has added 13 new HDTV channels within the past 90 days, andincrease of 30% and taking their overall total to 55. SES overalltransmits 137 HDTV channels via one or other of their satellitesincluding DTVup 30%SESAmericom.

"With55 HD channels broadcast from its main orbital positions," Astrasays it represents the most important HDTV platform in Europe,"including HD channels from Europe's leading pay-TV bouquets suchas Sky for the UK; CanalSat for France; Premiere for Germany;Digital+ for Spain; Viasat for Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland;Canal Digitaal for the Netherlands; TV Vlaanderen for Belgium; andSKYLink for the Czech and Slovak Republics."

Astraalso features HD channels from Europe's biggest public broadcasterssuch as the BBC for the UK, ARTE for Germany, ORF for Austria and TVPfor Poland.

AlexanderOudendijk, CCO at SES Astra, said: "The rapid growth in the numberof HD channels clearly shows that HDTV is taking off in Europe. Withthe new channels we further improve the impressive HD channel line-upand build a very attractive HD neighbourhood on our main orbitalpositions. The growing number of leading broadcasters choosing ASTRAproves that we have become the primary platform for premium HDcontent in Europe."

Astra'soverall total is likely to grow even more over the Christmas and NewYear holiday season.

Meanwhile,SES has committed to buying three satellite launches from Arianespaceunder its multi-launch agreement with Ariane signed in June 2007.Astra 3B will be one of these launches, but the two other craft areyet to be identified.