Speaking exclusively to Broadband TV News at IBC, he said the first involved talking with all satellite operators to find a replacement for Amos-2 at 4 degrees West, hopefully by the end of the year. Although there were only a few options for Amos-2, which offers coverage of CEE and the Middle East, it should know in a couple of weeks which satellite it is targeting.
The second track is ordering a replacement for Amos-6, though it is unlikely to be operational for 24-30 months.
Keret said that Spacecom had lost none of its existing customers following the Amos-6 failure. However, it had lost the Facebook Express WiF contract with Eutelsat and was working on finding a permanent solution for a planned pan-European DTH platform operated by Encompass.
Commenting specifically on Spacecom’s activities in the CEE region, Keret said that the company expected to see more organic growth with existing broadcasters it works with in Hungary and Ukraine. This would include the switch from SD to HD channels.
On the other hand, the market in the region is already quite congested and consolidation, rather than new platform launches, is likely.
Looking to the next 2-3 years, Keret said Spacecom would definitely recover from its losses, which include Amos-5 (in 2015) as well as Amos-6. Its plans include placing an additional satellite at 17 degrees East, which service the African market, still very much in a growing phase.