TRACE adds Turksat distribution

International brand and media group TRACE is celebrating its 10th anniversary by securing carriage deals with leading Turkish operator Turksat for its TRACE Sports and TRACE Urban channels.

As part of the deal, HD channels TRACE Sports and TRACE Urban will both be available to customers with Türksat’s ‘Ust Paket’ premium package. An SD version of TRACE Urban will also be available on channel 162.

Türksat is the second Turkish operator to distribute TRACE Urban after TT NET (Turk Telecom), which first distributed TRACE Urban in 2009. This is the first launch in Turkey for TRACE Sports, adding a new language in which the channel is available, bringing it to a total of 11.

Fatih Şimşek, Director of Cable Services Marketing and Sales for Türksat, said there was high demand for a good music channel from its customers and adding TRACE Urban to its platform successfully filled a void in the music category. “Likewise, TRACE Sports’ new approach to sports celebrity content and its broadcast brilliance has made a huge impact. The collaboration has been very successful and we are keen to continue working together,” he added.

From its beginnings as a niche urban music TV network in Europe, TRACE has transformed into an international brand and media group, active in urban music and sports celebrities; two of the fastest-growing segments in the entertainment industry.

The new deal continues TRACE Sports’ rapid expansion since launching just 18 months ago. It has signed successful carriage deals with a range of leading TV operators, including BSkyB, DStv in South Africa, Al Jazeera in the Middle East, and Megacable in Latin America.

Olivier Laouchez, CEO of TRACE Group, described the global roll-out of TRACE Sports as “nothing short of remarkable” suggesting that in terms of a new channel launch, TRACE Sports must be the fastest acquired new TV channel globally by operators considering the very quick rate in which TRACE Sports landed on platforms in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. “We are also expecting to launch in the US within the next couple of months,” he revealed.

Laurent Dumeau, CEO of TRACE Sports and SVP Distribution for TRACE channels, said that TRACE Sports had made excellent progress in a crowded pay-TV market over the past 18 months. “In sport, new entrants like BT Vision have made significant moves, and it will be interesting to see what strategy they will implement to get a return on these investments in a fragmented digital industry. TRACE Sports’ position is playing a complementary role, this is a way we can monetise rights for these providers more rapidly,” he suggested.

The company also plans to reinforce the relationship with its global audience and increase its multi-screen presence this year with the launch of new services online and on mobile platforms, including:

  • MyTRACE – a personalised, smart TV music service with innovative technology that allows it to be adapted to any type of content and channel. Available on all connected devices [tablet, smart TV, PC and mobile]
  • New TRACE website – personalised multiplatform digital hub with a CRM tool developed using Facebook integration [to launch April 2013]
  • TRACE Mobile – new mobile service which has been developed in partnership with leading mobile operators who want to target the youth segment using the TRACE brand, content and experiential marketing power. To launch in four African countries including South Africa starting Q3 2013
  • TRACE Music and TRACE Sports apps for iPad, iPhone and Android
  • TRACE Urban Music Awards taking place on 14th May in Paris – an exclusive awards ceremony to celebrate the best hip-hop and R&B artists

Laouchez said the company wanted to use its success in the music sector to go further and take its audience towards their favourite ways of expression: sport, mobile phone, social networks, web, radio and, “one day for sure”, movies and video games.

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