Commenting on SES’ financial results Karim Michel Sabbagh, president and CEO, said “SES recently signed Europe’s first commercial Ultra HD channel. This was followed by the agreement with Sky Deutschland for additional capacity for UHD broadcasts. This was also complemented by further client agreements for three UHD channels to be launched by the end of this year.”
“Our technical reach grew by a further 7% to 312 million TV households, a quarter of the global total […] our HD TV channels grew by a further 13.9%.”
SES’s Video business in Europe has continued to develop, with further increases in technical reach (from 151 million to 154 million TV households) and additional growth in HD TV channels. During the period, SES secured a long-term contract to broadcast BBC World News in HD. The free-to-air international news channel is being broadcast from the 19.2 degrees East orbital position.
In February, SES established a third UHD demonstration channel broadcast via Astra 2E at 28.2 degrees East. The channel, for marketing UHD in the UK and Ireland, simulcasts Europe’s first demonstration UHD channel at 19.2 degrees East, which was introduced in Summer 2014. SES now broadcasts UHD demonstration channels across Europe using three orbital positions (19.2 degrees East, 28.2 degrees East and 5 degrees East). The 19.2 degrees East orbital position was also used for a test broadcast of the Champions League final produced by UEFA in UHD on 6 June 2015.
In May 2015, SES secured a multi-year contract to broadcast Europe’s first commercial free-to-air UHD channel. German shopping channel, pearl.tv, will be produced and broadcast in native UHD from September 2015.
In April, SES, along with various major television and broadcast partners, created a full end-to-end UHD transmission and delivered three days of UHD broadcasts to a cable system in the US. The demonstration, which included a mix of pre-recorded and live content, was the first ever live and linear UHD broadcast to a cable system. Following this success, SES launched a first demonstration UHD channel for North America. The channel is broadcast over SES-3 at 103 degrees West and will allow cable TV operators to prepare and test their networks for UHD trials.