Sky Deutschland has contracted three additional transponders on Astra’s orbital position 19.2 degrees East in order to boost the number of HD channels it offers during the next few months. The first of the three transponders will be brought into use in mid-2010. The other two transponders will follow in mid-2011 and mid-2012. Including the newly contracted capacity, Sky Deutschland will use a total of 10 Astra transponders. Sky Deutschland today broadcasts seven HD channels in the German-speaking market.
Alexander Oudendijk, chief commercial officer of SES Astra, said in a statement: “The agreement proves that the roll-out of HD in Germany is gaining further momentum and that SES Astra continues to play an important role as a partner for broadcasters. With nearly 90 HD channels on our satellite fleet across Europe, Astra today represents the most important distribution platform for HD content from leading broadcasters. Our innovative activities in HD, and the recent transponder contracts with Sky Deutschland, will help to further drive digitalization and show that our strategy to convert analogue into digital capacity through HD is bearing fruit.”
Hans-Jürgen Croissant, senior VP Communications of Sky Deutschland, said: “With currently seven HD channels, Sky already has the most comprehensive HD service in the German-speaking market. With this commitment to lease three additional transponders, Sky Deutschland underlines its intention to continue to expand its HD service, not only with the most compelling live sport and the latest movie releases, but also with an expanding range of HD channels, starting with an additional four channels in mid-2010.”