The German public broadcaster ARD has signed agreements with Eutelsat and SES Astra to bring its main channel Das Erste to German soldiers serving in Afghanistan.
Consequently, Das Erste is available with immediate effect on the SES World Skies NSS-12 satellite, positioned at 57 degrees East.
Wolfgang Elsaesser, managing director, Astra Germany, said in a statement: “We are particularly pleased that in the interests of German soldiers we could offer such a quick and easy solution for the delivery of the TV signal in Afghanistan. Thanks to our worldwide fleet of 44 satellites, we were able to react flexibly to the particular situation.”
Meanwhile, Eutelsat has also started to broadcast the Das Erste signal from its Hot Bird position, according to the German media news site Digital Fernsehen. According to Thomas Fuchs, speaking on behalf of Eutelsat, this is a “cost free ad-hoc situation”, where no money is involved. The Eutelsat Hot Bird signal also reaches into Afghanistan with the added advantage that also the second German public broadcaster, ZDF, broadcasts from that orbital position.