Sky re-signs for 24 Astra transponders

Chris Forrester

BSkyB has signed another long-term contract with SES Astra, this time renewing its existing contract covering a massive 24 transponders for a “long” multi-year term. Financial terms were not released. Sky takes a total of 31 Astra transponders.

This Astra and Sky agreement confirms a long-running relationship, which began in 1989 when Sky launched its first analogue multi-channel package on board the Astra 1A satellite.

Alexander Oudendijk, CCO at SES Astra, said: “Sky was our first customer and we are delighted that a relationship which dates back to 1989 will continue to grow and develop for many years to come. The continued trust in Astra allows for the further growth of the UK and Ireland satellite DTH market and an exciting TV-offer on a long-term basis.”

The news coincides with a fresh financial rating for SES from ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. S&P upgraded SES to ‘stable’, BBB long-term rating, and short-term rating of A-2 (from A-3). “We believe that continued solid demand for satellite-based services, including core video services, should enable SES to continue posting adequate operating performance and keep leverage well within the maximum target over the next few years,” said S&P.

SES is also issuing a 5-year bond, guaranteed by SES Global Americas, the proceeds of which will be used for general corporate purposes.