Arianespace announced today that it will launch two satellites for DirecTV and has the option of launching another two satellites for the US-based direct-to-home TV platform.
All four satellites will weigh in at over 6 metric tons and will be a part of a fleet expansion and replenishment programme. The new satellites will strengthen DirecTV’s DTH digital entertainment services across the United States and, if the options are exercised, Latin America by increasing HD channel capacity, adding more 3D channels, and greatly expanding the DirecTV Cinema movies experience.
The satellites will be launched on Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana in 2014. DirecTV-14 is currently being built by Space Systems LORAL of California. The DirecTV-15 satellite is in the final stages of contract award.
“DirecTV is pleased to be back with Arianespace and its high performance and highly reliable Ariane-5 launch vehicle services,” said Romulo Pontual, CTO of DirecTV. “We have the utmost confidence in this system’s design and in the depth of the organization behind this rocket. We have a long standing relationship with Arianespace and we are happy to build upon that foundation of success.”
“It is a matter of great pride that DirecTV has entrusted us with as many as four of their satellites,” said Jean-Yves Le Gall, CEO of Arianespace. “An order of this magnitude confirms Arianespace’s reputation as offering the most reliable launch service and solutions in the marketplace. We are excited to build upon a relationship that goes back nearly two decades, to the dawn of the direct-to-home revolution, when Arianespace launched DBS-1 for DirecTV.”