Premiere to expand HDTV package

Jörn Krieger

German pay-TV operator Premiere wants to extend its high definition (HDTV) package on Astra (19.2° East). One-and-a-half additional transponders have been rented for this purpose, satellite operator SES Astra announced in Luxemburg.

Premiere’s HDTV offer, launched in December 2005, currently comprises movie and sports channel Premiere HD and documentary channel Discovery HD. “This new capacity agreement will give a strong boost to the development of HD in Germany while allowing us to significantly enlarge the HD offering in that country,” said Alexander Oudendijk, chief commercial officer of SES Astra. “The increasing demand for HD receivers in Germany shows that more and more viewers are attracted by this fascinating new way to watch TV.”

Last year 219,000 HDTV receivers were sold in Germany, 80% of which were satellite receivers. In total, 530,000 HDTV boxes have been sold since the introduction of the new technology. SES Astra currently carries almost 70 HDTV channels on its satellite fleet.

When asked which new channels Premiere will take onboard its platform, spokesman Michael Jachan declined to comment. He confirmed, however, that the expansion of the HDTV offer would take place this year. “We will reveal details closer to the time,” he said.