Eutelsat transmitting 63 HD channels

Eutelsat is claiming leadership in the battle for European HD capacity. In its first quarter financials, the Paris-based satellite operator said it was now broadcasting 63 HD channels in the EMEA region. Last month SES Astra said it was now broadcasting 55, though the number rises to 137 when SES Americom and SES New Skies are also included.

In its first quarter Eutelsat Communications grew revenues by 7% year-on-year to €226.7 million. “Eutelsat is confident of meeting its objective of more than €900 million of revenue for fiscal year 2008-2009,” Eutelsat chairman and CEO Giuliano Berretta said in a statement.

Overall East Europe, Russia and North Africa contributed to a 16.4% increase in the number of channels relayed from Eutelsat’s video neighbourhoods in the quarter to September 30, 2008. Data and value added services were up by 7.8%.

Video applications, which represent 74.6% of Eutelsat revenues, increased by 5.4% to €166.7 million. A total of 3,180 channels are broadcast over Eutelsat satellites, an increase of 16.4% over 2007.

Growth was driven in part by the 9°E platform where Eurobird 9 plays host to the recently launched Roots Global platform delivering channels from the Indian Subcontinent into the EMEA region and the new Russian platform Platforma HD.