Canal+ has chosen the Astra satellite system to distribute its premium channel and pay-TV packages following the merger with former rival TPS. Although around two thirds of the combined entity’s subscribers had their satellite dishes pointed towards the Astra satellite at 19 degrees East it had been thought that Gallic pride might favour Paris-based Eutelsat.
Confirming its extended contract, SES said it would be carrying the complete line-up from the new Canal+ including additional transponders that would be used for high definition channels. The agreement also includes the possibility of further transponders as and when Canal requires them.
In a statement, Canal said TPS subscribers would have their dishes repointed at the broadcaster’s expense. The transfer will take place in the second half of 2007.
Canal will continue to use the Hot Bird neighbourhood for the distribution of its Polish DTH service Cyfra+.
*We’ve had several comments from readers in the Middle East saying that Canal’s decision to choose Astra is a bad one. We should point out that the majority of channels in both the Canal+ (CanalSat) and TPS packages are in any case encrypted and restricted to reception in France.