SatLink buys African DTH capacity

Chris Forrester

Jerusalem-based SatLink Communications says it has leased capacity on Astra 4A (otherwise known as Sirius 4) at 5 deg East to beam a new DTH bouquet to sub-Saharan Africa. The end result could be of interest to free-to-air channels or pay-TV.

“Our latest platform for Africa is a long awaited addition and strategically expands our total global content distribution experience. Africa is a fast growing market and SatLink’s geographic location linking Europe, Africa and Asia makes our new platform ideal for broadcasters extending services or tapping into the African market,” stated SatLink’s CEO David Hochner.

SatLink's sub-Saharan business scheme is based upon providing an outlet for international, ethnic, language, sports and other channels seeking to reach African households. SatLink is starting to sell this service for free-to-air or pay-TV approach. “The focus is on channels,” said Ms Yael Sharmos, VP/Marketing & Sales at SatLink.

She added that the bouquet plan is based upon “what we call the 'Hotbird model'. In other words, creation of a neighborhood that will appeal to the African household. Lots of worthy channels on one platform beamed directly into millions of homes.”

SatLink is not working with any pay-TV operator (ala YES, STAR or others). The company is seeking a wide array of channels to bring throughout Africa. “We know that there are two DTH operators - one in South Africa and a second in Nigeria - that are going to be on the same satellite. We have no details and not operating them. We do know that this is going to be a very strong neighborhood, and one that will prove worthwhile for SatLink's African business.”