Satellite operator SES confirms the BBC is among those free-to-air European public broadcasters that has signed a new contract.
The BBC extended its satellite carriage contract with SES during the past year, meaning the UK public broadcaster’s free-to-air signal can continue in SD and HD via Astra 2E and 2G at 28.2-5 degrees East. The BBC hires a total of six transponders from SES. Four are currently used for SD TV and radio, with two transponders deployed for HD TV.
Other free-to-air public broadcasters that have signed new contracts with SES include Germany’s ARD and ZDF on Astra 19.2. The new deal was a result of the broadcasters abandoning plans to turn-off standard definition signals this year.
A further deal was signed with the Dutch/Flemish channel BVN, supported by NPO and VRT. BVN’s deal resulted in the channel leaving Eutelsat Hot Bird in the autumn. During the move, the cost-conscious broadcaster switched to DVB-S2, reducing the bandwidth required to broadcast its channel. Its new slot is received as far away as Dubai via Astra 1M at 19.2E.
Through its partner Globecast, SES also secured ongoing carriage of France 24 on Astra 19.2 and 28 and TV5MONDE, now HD only on Astra 19.2.
The combined total of the multi-year contracts amounts to €66 million. A breakdown by broadcaster was not available.
SES says the new contracts confirm satellite as the most reliable way to broadcast to the widest possible audience.
Steve Collar, CEO at SES commented:
“Delivering TV programmes with reliable information and quality entertainment is important, especially in times of crisis. We are very pleased to help ARD, ZDF, BBC, TV5Monde, France 24 and BVN — some of the biggest names in European broadcasting — reach as many people as possible with their public service offering. Satellite is an invaluable distribution resource today and it will remain so in the future, providing broadcasters with the largest reach, unmatched reliability, bandwidth efficiency and the ability to deliver superior content quality to millions of TV households in Europe.”