The Luxembourg-based M7 Group has signed a contract for additional capacity at Astra’s 19.2 degrees East orbital position for its Belgian viewers.
The newly contracted capacity on 19.2 degrees East will be used for the DTH distribution of French-speaking channels for the Belgian market, including the RTBF channels La Une and La Deux, as well as the RTL Group owned channels RTL TVi, RTL Club and Plug RTL.
The channels will be included in the TéléSat offering, the M7 Group owned satellite television brand for Wallonia. From January 2012 onwards, the M7 Group plans to expand its TéléSat offering at 19.2 degrees East by the addition of the RTBF channel La Trois.
Until now, the RTBF and RTL Group channels were broadcast on the Eutelsat Hot Bird position at 13 degrees East. From now on, the channels will be simulcast on the two satellites.
M7 Group provides DTH services to more than three million homes in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia using the brand names CanalDigitaal, TV Vlaanderen, TéléSat, AustriaSat, Skylink and CS Link. To serve the various European markets, M7 Group currently utilises four transponders at Astra 19.2 degrees East and eight transponders at Astra 23.5 degrees East.
Ferdinand Kayser, COO of SES, said in a statement: “The agreement with M7 Group represents a further milestone in our longstanding partnership. Thanks to the new agreement, we will also gain a strong foothold in the important French-speaking DTH market in Belgium. We are proud to now also carry the RTBF and Walloon RTL channels on board our satellites. Following its recent expansion activities in the Benelux and the Central and Eastern European markets, M7 Group is now one of our largest customers. We look very much forward to a continued fruitful cooperation.”
Hans Troelstra, COO of M7 Group, added: “We are very happy with this new capacity agreement for Belgium. The excellent channel neighbourhood and the high quality distribution via 19.2 degrees East are of key importance for serving the French-speaking DTH market in Belgium. Moreover, the agreement allows us to further expand our line-up in the near future. SES has proved to be a very valuable and professional partner for our expansion into existing and new markets. We also look forward to a successful continuation.”