December 5 launch for ORF 2 HD
December 3, 2009

Luxembourg, 3 December 2009 – SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announced today that the Austrian public broadcaster ORF will start broadcasting its second HD channel on ASTRA. The launch of ORF2 HD on SES ASTRA’s 19.2 degrees East orbital position is scheduled for December 5, and follows the successful roll-out of ORF1 HD in June 2008. ORF will continue to broadcast both ORF1 and ORF2 also in standard definition.

The launch of ORF2 HD marks another milestone in SES ASTRA’s strategy to become the most important HD platform for Europe’s leading broadcasters. In 2009, the satellite operator succeeded in almost doubling the number of HD channels and now offers close to 100 HD channels via its satellite system.

To receive the HD offer from ORF, TV viewers need an HD ready screen as well as an HD set-top box with a suitable smartcard provided by ORF. Based on figures provided by market research company GfK, about 2.2 million HD ready TV sets are expected to be sold in Austria by the end of 2009, meaning that around two thirds of the Austrian TV homes will be equipped with HD ready screens.

Alexander Oudendijk, Chief Commercial Officer of SES ASTRA, said: "We are very pleased that ORF continues its pioneering role in HDTV and has now launched its second HD channel. The fact that the number of HD channels on ASTRA has almost doubled within one year shows that HDTV is gaining momentum in Europe. We are very confident that this positive development will continue in 2010, and are looking forward to launching additional HD channels on our satellites.”

Michael Wagenhofer, Managing Director of ORS, a subsidiary of ORF, said: "With the extension of the ORF HD programme, TV viewers will benefit from the highest technical quality. By broadcasting top-class events in HD, we demonstrate the advantages of HDTV – impressive images and crystal-clear sound – to a wide audience. By providing its technical know-how to national and international radio and TV-broadcasters, the ORS plays an important role for the distribution of HDTV signals to TV viewers.”

Reception details:
Satellite: ASTRA 1
Position: 19.2° East
Transponder: 7
Downlink Frequency: 11303
Symbol rate: 22000
FEC: 2/3
Polarisation: horizontal

(Source: SES ASTRA )