Eutelsat has announced that it has signed a long-term contract with Italian service provider Telespazio to carry all the channels from public broadcaster RAI until 2020. The lease is for two transponders broadcasting a wide range of television and radio channels produced by RAI on the Hot Bird position.
Currently broadcasting via Hot Bird 8, the RAI channels will transfer to Eutelsat’s new Hot Bird 9 satellite when it begins commercial service at 13 degrees East next month, following its successful launch on December 20, 2008.
The two transponders will broadcast the national channels RAI Uno, Rai Due and Rai Tre, in addition to seven thematic (Rai News 24, Rai Sport piu’, Rai Gulp, Rai Med, Sat 2000, Senato TV, Camera dei Deputati) and four educational channels (Rai Edu 1 and 2, Rai Nettuno Sat Uno, Rai Nettuno Sat Due). The capacity will also serve to transmit RAI’s 11 radio stations.
The capacity is also used to deliver a number of RAI channels to cable headends across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East within the footprint of the satellite.