The figures represent an escalation in enthusiasm for the format – at the end of the fourth quarter there were 19 such channels.
“The development of Ultra HD (UHD) represents an important future growth driver and, as with HDTV, SES is establishing a market-leading position in the distribution of this next generation viewing experience,” the satellite operator said in a statement to accompany its first quarter results.
SES’s High Definition (HD) TV penetration grew from 30.0% to 32.5%, reflecting an increase of 17.6% (YOY) to 2,375 global HDTV channels.
SES has also announced it is increasing its interest in O3b Networks, which provides services to Enterprise, Mobility and Government, to 50.5%, and, in doing so, will take a controlling share in the company. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals which are expected to be completed during H2 2016.
SES will pay $20 million, bringing its aggregate equity investment in O3b to date to $323 million (EUR257 million). On completion, SES will consolidate O3b’s net debt, which is currently $1.2 billion.