Netherlands-based Dance TV HD started broadcasting yesterday (July 7) on the Astra 23.5 degrees East orbital position. Uplinking is taking place from the Astra Playout services centre in Munich, Germany.
The agreement with SES Astra will allow Dance TV HD to deliver the channel to various HD bouquets throughout Europe. The news was broken first by Broadband TV News last week (see our exclusive report here). For the time being, the channel will be available free-to-air, but might be encrypted at a later stage.
Dance TV HD is a full HD lifestyle channel focusing on the international dance scene. The programming includes international party reports, DJ concerts, festivals and events. The channel has started broadcasting a preview programme yesterday with the full scheduled to go live later this summer. The official launch will take place on August 26th with an event in the Amsterdam Escape club.
Norbert Hölzle, chief commercial officer of SES Astra, said: ”We are delighted that Dance TV HD has chosen Astra for the delivery of its signal and welcome this new customer on board. Dance TV HD provides a unique programme format and is thereby a very attractive extension of our already large HDTV line-up. The agreement with Dance TV HD further strengthens our 23.5 degrees East orbital position as the fastest growing hot-spot for Direct-To-Home and Direct-to-Cable distribution throughout Europe.”
During a launch ceremony in the Astra Benelux offices in Hilversum, The Netherlands, Jeffrey de Veer, CEO of Dance TV HD, told the audience negotiations with various platforms are now under way. “We see great interest from cable and IPTV operators, especially in Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia, the US and other places.” De Veer already announced a first firm deal, with DishNet in Taiwan. “There is also a deal in the works with Alcatel-Lucent, about which I hope to give more details during our launch event.”
Dance TV HD has been recording at festivals in Holland and across Europe and plans to add hours and hours of original programming to the channel. Arno van Boven is responsible for the creative input of the channel. “Even before our official launch we are already receiving a lot of enthusiastic feedback from people all over the world.”