Inside Satellite TV’s Annual Awards

From time to time our editorial staff has wished to recognise a major achievement in our industry. We talk amongst ourselves about some major accomplishments during the year, and this is the result: The year’s Top 5 most notable activities recognised. They might not be the Oscars or the Emmys, but they are no less deserved.

1: SES: rebranding and restructuring
This year SES achieved the near-impossible in bringing together a widely dispersed ‘federal’ operating structure into a new management system, focusing on sales and marketing, and celebrated with a new all-embracing update to its ‘SES’ logo. Some critics expressed the view that while nobody could grumble about the restructuring, some outsiders thought that ‘Astra’ might have been a better global name. However, it is what it is and we say ‘full marks’ for getting the task executed well.

2: Eutelsat: rebranding and restructuring
Eutelsat’s task was a little simpler, but no less necessary. Out will go the never-ending re-naming of this or that ‘bird’ and recognising that the only thing that matters to customers, users and viewers is the orbital slot and broadcasting neighbourhood associated with that slot. More full marks for this enterprising operator. However, we keenly await news on capacity sales on Ka-Sat.

3: Intelsat: Zombie-sat rescue
This time last year the whole of the industry looked on in amazement as Intelsat rescued its errant ‘Zombie-sat’, aka Galaxy-15. This was engineering brilliance of the highest order, where lessons were learnt and yet the application of the combined knowledge of builders Orbital Sciences, Intelsat themselves, and with co-operation from the rest of the industry, a successful outcome was achieved. Huge full marks to all concerned.

4: Telenor: adding another God
Your editor well-remembers the very first ‘Thor’ satellite being launched for Telenor of Norway. Indeed, this plucky operator deserves high marks for a number of valid achievements, not least of which proving that there’s a solid, growing business to be achieved at 1 degree West and that Telenor Satellite Broadcasting could stay in the ownership of telco Telenor and take itself off the sales forecourt. The latest ‘God’ to be added to Telenor’s fleet is the upcoming Thor 7, due for launch in late 2013. Great stuff Telenor!

5: Sky Deutschland: Germans will buy TV
Our 5th Award goes to a satellite broadcaster: Sky Deutschland. We could have similarly recognised BSkyB for its considerable achievement in keeping itself more or less aloof from the whole News Corp/hacking debacle. But our award goes to News Corp’s German broadcasting arm in recognition of what it has achieved in 2011. Under CEO Brian Sullivan, the broadcaster has proved it is not bound by the ‘German disease’ which seemed to indicate that consumers would NOT buy into pay-TV. As we go to press, Sky Deutschland is signing up its key 3 millionth subscriber and moving into positive territory. Well done Sky Germany!

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