From Sotires Eleftheriou in Paris
The AB group is to launch a new digital satellite platform, called Bis Television, to be available simultaneously from the Hotbird and Atlantic Bird 3 satellites. The platform will consist of all (except for the time being M6 and W9 and i-Television) of the free DTT channels, plus a number of AB group's own channels and the adult channel Dorcel TV. The platform will be launched at the beginning of December. Atlantic Bird is the satellite that carries the traditional channels in analogue and so is used by many people in poor reception areas. The service will be encrypted with Viaccess and compatible with over the counter Viaccess decoders and CAMs.
The price of the “Panorama” package of 24 channels will be E4.90 per month. Two optional add-on packages, one for movies and one for adult content, will be offered for E4.90 a month each, or E13.90 for all three. Atlantic Bird already carries all 24 of the France 3 regional channels and Hot Bird carries a number of free channels, some of which are in French, which will also be receivable on the new platform.
This platform competes with the free satellite platform (containing the DTT channels plus a couple of others) on sale from Canal Plus, but which does not enable upgrading to pay channels.