Betzdorf (Luxembourg), 8 May 2008. – SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), has signed an agreement for an additional transponder on its new prime orbital position – 23.5 degrees East – for the Czech Pay-TV platform CS Link. The new capacity is to be used by CS Link to broadcast an enhanced programme package. CS Link is the largest pay-TV platform in the Czech Republic with 400,000 customers, and transmits in total 25 TV and 11 radio programmes. With the new agreement, CS Link will use three transponders on the ASTRA Satellite system. SES ASTRA is successfully developing its 23.5 degrees East orbital position into a new location for Direct-to-Home (DTH). Two ASTRA satellites, ASTRA 3A and ASTRA 1E, occupy this position and currently serve Central Europe, the Benelux countries and German cable networks, as well as offering the high-speed broadband service ASTRA2Connect. Benelux, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have generated strong demand on 23.5 degrees East in 2007, increasing the reach of these satellites to 700,000 DTH households and another 1.7 million households receiving their signal through cable head-ends in these regions.
“Our 23.5 degrees East orbital position has already become a top slot for Benelux and Central European broadcasters, and we intend to develop this new hot spot in other markets as well,” says Alexander Oudendijk, Chief Commercial Officer of SES ASTRA.
“By using a simple technical device, the Duo LNB, satellite households can significantly increase their choice of international free-to-air channels, and receive signals from two ASTRA positions, 19.2 degrees East and 23.5 degrees East. The agreement with CS Link represents a further strengthening of ASTRA’s position in the Central and Eastern European markets.”
“We chose the ASTRA satellite system because of its attractive neighborhood of renowned broadcasters, and its excellent market reach in the Czech Republic and other European countries,” said Leos Pohl, Chairman of the Czech Digital Group, which operates CS Link. “With this new capacity we are able to further enhance the attractiveness of the CS Link platform. We recognise SES ASTRA’s long-standing experience in providing technical excellence, which will guarantee us a high quality service with broad audience reach.”