Global media service provider MX1 has signed a multi-year contract to support pay-TV broadcaster Sky in taking its first steps into free-to-air TV in Germany and Austria.
On December 1, 2016, the broadcaster’s 24-hour sports news channel Sky Sport News HD will drop its encryption and become available free-to-air on Astra (19.2° East).
MX1, a subsidiary of Astra satellite operator SES, was chosen to deliver the technological services to make this happen, including uplink, signal encoding and transmission of the SD channel via Astra.
Sky Sport News is being transmitted in both HD/MPEG-4 and SD/MPEG-2, with the broadcaster purchasing additional Astra capacity to carry the SD signal. The HD signal will be aired via existing capacities. Astra also provides signals to a range of cable networks, increasing reach even further.
“We are very pleased to seal the deal with Sky. The free reception of Sky Sport News in HD as well as in SD is, considering the current state of German households, a groundbreaking decision as SD/MPEG-2 standard TV is still of great importance in Germany,” said Christoph Mühleib, vice president sales and marketing at SES for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “By activating both signals, we have the opportunity to reach every household in Germany and Austria receiving their TV signal via satellite.”