German transmitter network operator Media Broadcast considers launching a satellite version of its DTT platform Freenet TV on Astra (19.2° East) to extend its reach to DTH households.
This was confirmed to Broadband TV News by three people familiar with the situation.
The move would offer Media Broadcast the commercial opportunity to market its subscription TV package nationwide including households not covered by the terrestrial signals and to enter Germany’s community of 17.6 million DTH households, representing 46% of the total TV households, with its Freenet TV brand.
On satellite, Freenet TV would compete with German HDTV platform HD+ operated by Astra parent company SES. Freenet TV currently offers 19 commercial channels in Full HD quality while HD+ provides 23 commercial channels in HD resolution, in both cases including the two large broadcast groups RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 and smaller players. Both packages cost €5.75 per month, if a monthly subscription is chosen.
Media Broadcast plays down any DTH ambitions. “There are no concrete plans in this direction,” a spokesman told Broadband TV News.
There have been models in which DTH satellite distribution complements the national DTT platform in other countries for many years, for example in the UK (Freesat), France (Fransat) and Italy (Tivùsat).
Austrian transmitter network operator ORS recently announced a similar move by launching its DVB-T2 platform simpliTV on Astra for Austrian satellite households this summer.