Advanced Television

SES continues with new contracts

February 24, 2021

By Chris Forrester

The past few days have seen a slew of press statements from SES regarding contract renewals and fresh deals. The latest pair come ahead of the satellite operator’s results statement on February 25th.

None of the releases are quantified in terms of value, but no doubt questions will be asked by the analysts on the results call with CEO Steve Collar and the other executives.

Perhaps the most important release is that SES has secured “exclusive” carriage contracts with two Ethiopian organisations, AEB (the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters) and EBC (Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation) which are beaming from its 57 deg East orbital NSS-12 slot dubbed (Ethiosat).

In December 2020, the Ethiopian Government announced that all satellite TV channels should be moved to SES’s NSS-12 satellite so that Ethiosat can meet the local TV audiences’ desire for local and international news and entertainment channels while fuelling growth in the Ethiopian media sector.

Since then, the AEB and the EBC have had their members migrate their TV channels and broadcast them from one orbital position rather than have their viewers navigate through a multitude of foreign channels.

That ‘multitude’ includes arch rival Eutelsat, which has also been carrying “exclusive” channels from E

Eutelsat 7A and 7B at 7/8 degrees West, and in particular a deal with ‘Strong Roots’ and its FTA platform.

The second release covers an O3b/mPower maritime contract to supply the “ultimate guest connectivity experience” on a Virgin cruise ship, Scarlet Lady’

SES says that Virgin Voyages’ Lady Ships will boast incredible speeds, unprecedented reliability, and all the bandwidth passengers could possibly need thanks to SES Networks’ satellite-enabled Signature Cruise Solution. Sailors on board the fleet will be able to stream HD movies, game online without lag, and seamlessly keep posting to the social media sites.

“SES Networks offers us unique, reliable capabilities that rival land speed connectivity,” said Andy Schwalb, Chief Marine & Technology Officer at Virgin Voyages. “This service has played a critical role in the success of our inaugural events last year, while also enabling our crew to remain connected and close to their loved ones during this challenging time. We know our Sailors will enjoy this service during their voyage as they document their vacation and share with others.”

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