SES has won a contract from Italian public broadcaster RAI to carry 4 of its HD channels on an Astra satellite from the SES ‘hot spot’ at 19. 2 degrees East. The deal is somewhat unexpected given that the channels are already available from arch-rival Eutelsat as part of its TivùSat ‘free-to-view platform.
SES CCO Ferdinand Kayser said more than 150 out of 850 TV channels are in high-def from 19.2 degrees East, and these Italian channels “[Recognised] SES’ role as a driver of HD growth in Europe. RAI trusts SES to provide capacity to enable its HD expansion in Italy. We are looking forward to working closely with this prominent customer and becoming a driver of HD growth in Italy as well.”
The channels will be ‘soft encrypted’ for viewing in Italy.
RAI signed a similar package with Eutelsat back in November which saw RAI’s portfolio of HD channels added to the TivùSat service, which has a claimed 1.7 million home access.