Advanced Television

Bank: Eutelsat could switch off Russia transponders

March 2, 2022

Eutelsat executives say they have about 6 per cent of group revenues exposed to Russian activity. The bulk of this comes from distribution deals on Russian pay-TV systems operated by Tricolor and NTV+.

A report from analysts at investment bank Exane/BNPP forecasts a scenario – unconfirmed by the company – where the French government requests (or Eutelsat offers) to switch off transponders for Russia on its Eutelsat 36B satellite thereby blacking out dozens of millions of TV sets.

“We believe such a move could improve Eutelsat’s position on the EU-backed constellation project,” says the bank’s note.

The EU constellation is a proposed low Earth orbiting satellite system now being researched and specified by the EU.

“[Eutelsat] management sees the EU-backed government constellation project as an attractive opportunity but believes many uncertainties remain and sees related benefits taking time to materialise. In particular, Eutelsat is working to have OneWeb 2nd-generation satellites meets EU eligibility criteria,” adds the bank.

It also emerged that Eutelsat is not contractually obliged to participate in the funding of OneWeb’s 2nd-generation craft but considers all its options including ownership dilution of its stake in OneWeb, or the opposite which would see it increase its stake.

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