More info on German channels encrypting on 19E
SES ASTRA, an SES GLOBAL company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), has signed contracts with the German TV channels of MTV Networks (MTV, VIVA, NICK and Comedy Central) and the German RTL family (RTL, VOX, RTL II, Super RTL, n-tv, RTL Shop and Traumpartner TV) to use its new digital infrastructure. The new service enables TV channels to expand their digital offers. The launch of the new SES ASTRA infrastructure is planned for the first half of next year. The contracts are being examined by the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt).
SES ASTRA`s new access system offers satellite households a basis for the reception of an even broader range of current and future digital features. This range includes additional digital programs and program packages, interactive TV, electronic program guides and personal video recorders and also the more than 200 digital TV programs and around 200 digital radio programs currently available over ASTRA. TV households will be able to use the new digital offer if they have a satellite dish and a suitable satellite receiver with an appropriate smart card which will be distributed by a new SES ASTRA subsidiary. This subsidiary intends to charge households a low monthly flat rate of up to 3.50 Euros for the use of the technology.
The launch of the new SES ASTRA infrastructure will offer TV operators the possibility for tailor-made digital programs, program packages and services like Pay-per-View or Near-Video-on-Demand over satellite. Furthermore, it will allow broadcasters to protect their digital programs with an encoded signal against unauthorized use. In order to allow for a smooth transition after the launch of the infrastructure, the digital signals of certain programs will be broadcast by SES ASTRA in parallel in an encrypted and unencrypted form. TV programs which are transmitted over satellite but do not sign up for the new system will remain unaffected and continue to be received by all ASTRA satellite households.
“The SES ASTRA service offers new possibilities and added value to TV viewers and allows broadcasters to further develop their business models”, said Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA. “The contracts with MTV Networks and the RTL family therefore represent an important milestone in the development of digital satellite TV. Our service is neutral and open to all program operators who want to use it. We are proud that MTV Networks and the RTL family rely on our long-standing experience in the distribution and expansion of their digital offers and will continue to deliver the highest level of service and technical excellence to all our customers.”