TNTSat finds Astra popularity

French free-to-air digital broadcasting operator TNTSat says it has sold 2.65 million satellite receivers for its SES Astra transmissions. Some 800,000 units were sold during 2010. The system, which retransmits TNT’s digital broadcasts onto satellite, went live in March 2007.

“The continued strong growth of TNTSat is driven by digitalisation and the analogue switch-off in more and more French regions,” says Ferdinand Kayser, President/CEO at SES Astra. “With 14 French regions shifting to purely digital reception in 2011, we expect the growth of TNTSat to continue with strong momentum.”

With TNTSat, viewers are able to receive the full French digital terrestrial offer: the 19 French free-to-air channels, the 24 regional channels of France 3, as well as four HDTV channels.

TNTSat has a ‘rival’ in the shape of Fransat, operated by Eutelsat, and which supplies the exact same bundle of channels but with reception from Eutelsat’s Atlantic Bird 3 craft at 5 degrees West. A few days ago it claimed a similar number of receivers sold, and forecast increasing growth this year as more of the French regions switch off their existing analogue signals.

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