New French Pay-TV platform launches on Eutelsat
Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Eutelsat Communications today announced the upcoming launch by AB Groupe of a new pay-TV platform called BIS, which will be broadcast from its two key video neighbourhoods for satellite television in France. From 10 December, the new platform will be available to satellite homes from Eutelsat’s Hot Bird™ neighbourhood at 13 degrees East and from its Atlantic Bird™ 3 satellite at 5 degrees West.

The basic package proposed by BIS and called Panorama, will offer up to 25 channels, including a majority of France’s longstanding national channels and Digital Terrestrial Television channels. As a complement to the basic offer, additional options include access to five film channels.

In order to optimise the availability of BIS to satellite homes across France, AB Groupe will broadcast its new platform simultaneously from the two most established Eutelsat video neighbourhoods serving the French market over the last two decades:

Subscribers to BIS will acquire a pack from regular high-street retailers, comprising a decoder equipped with Viaccess encryption and a smartcard. Homes already equipped with Viaccess decoders will be able to receive BIS with the addition of the BIS smartcard. A number of manufacturers are introducing decoders into the market with a “Via Eutelsat” label which guarantees availability of features developed by Eutelsat that include automatic channel numbering, automatic software updates and parental lock.

Commenting on the launch of BIS, Olivier Millies-Lacroix, Eutelsat Commercial Director said: “Over 42% of homes in France are already equipped to receive digital channels, demonstrating substantial viewer appetite for the quality and choice digital can supply. We welcome the launch of BIS, which offers homes in France a compelling range of leading national and thematic channels. The availability of BIS from our two flagship satellite positions serving France is an important step towards building a fully digital broadcasting environment for all homes.”

(Source: Eutelsat)