SES CEO Romain Bausch has said he considers the announcement by ProSiebenSat.1 that it was to suspend HD simulcasts to be only temporary. “It’s not a decision against HD as they announced they will be back with HD offerings no later than 2010, so we don’t see a negative impact on the German market in the development of HD, and in particular not an impact in the German market on the transition from analogue to digital.”
Bausch was answering a question posed by Broadband TV News in the satellite operator’s conference call held in connection with its 2007 financials (see separate story). He explained that Germany was still predominantly an analogue market and the transition would continue without any delay. He said this transition should not be confused with the move to HD broadcasts, pointing to the launch of HD services from the German public broadcasters including Arte early in 2009, and commercial broadcasters including RTL, but also ProSiebenSat.1 later that year. “From now onwards it will be another 12 to 18 months before the German market has a strong HD component. Germany is different because you still have a high analogue component.”
At the end of 2007, SES was broadcasting a total of 28 HD channels to European households.