This was previously only possible for the regional window targeting viewers in Cologne. For this purpose, the regional affiliate of public broadcaster ARD serving federal state North Rhine-Westphalia has leased the previously unused Astra transponder 21 (11.523 GHz H, SR 22.000, FEC 2/3) from the satellite operator SES. The financial details of the multi-year contract were not disclosed.
On the newly rented capacity, the 11 editions of regional window WDR Lokalzeit will be broadcast in parallel each evening from 19:30 to 20:00 CET in HD quality. Viewers without HD reception can continue to receive the WDR programmes in SD resolution via Astra.
“Delivering reliable and high-quality free-to-air regional TV news and entertainment content is of upmost importance to WDR. Through our satellites at 19.2° East and their ability to reach millions of households, we are able to fulfil the need of WDR and will continue to work together on future developments,” said Christoph Mühleib, managing director of Astra Deutschland.