First contract for Astra 31.5E
July 16, 2008

Betzdorf (Luxembourg), 16 July 2008. SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), today announced that it has signed a long-term agreement with a company representing the independent German cable operators to transmit digital Free-to-Air TV to their networks. KabelDienstLeistungsgesellschaft (KDL), which was set up specifically to provide services to the independent cable operators, has contracted two transponders on SES ASTRAs new orbital position at 31.5 degrees East. KDL is the first customer using transponder capacity at this position. In addition to the contracted capacity, ASTRA Platform Services (APS) will provide technical services to KDL via its play-out centre in Unterfhring, near Munich.

The independent cable operators provide TV-signals from their own head ends to several million German households. The cooperation with SES ASTRA enables KDL to offer them an optimized access to digital TV channels called TOPP (Transponder optimized program packages). The service allows a simple and efficient feed of 22 digital free-to-air TV channels into the networks. TOPP also includes the offer by KDL to distribute digital TV receivers to the connected cable households. TOPP is scheduled for launch on 8th of October at the FRK cable congress in Leipzig, Germany.

Alexander Oudendijk, Chief Commercial Officer of SES ASTRA, said: SES ASTRA has established itself as the prime supplier of signals to cable head-ends in Germany. With this cooperation, we have found a strong partner to drive the necessary digitalisation of the cable networks. We are also very pleased to have closed the first capacity contract for our new orbital position at 31.5 degrees East. This new position will allow us to significantly enlarge and diversify our offer to customers across Europe.

Heinz-Peter Labonte, Managing Director of the Federal German Association of Private and Independent Cable Operators (FRK), said: The FRK initiated and supported TOPP, because it wanted to offer to the private and independent cable operators who have their own head-ends a solution to provide digital free-to-air programs to their customers, independently from the large regional cable operators such as KDG, Unity Media, KBW or TC/PC/Orion. TOPP helps the private and independent cable operators to compete with the bigger operators and secures competition in the German cable market.

Anett Klose, Managing Director of KDL said: SES ASTRA has a proven track record as a signal provider for cable head-ends and as a neutral, technical infrastructure provider. The new partnership and the launch of TOPP allow us to offer an attractive selection of digital channels, defined by us in cooperation with the private and independent cable operators to the cable market. This will significantly push the digitalisation of the cable networks in Germany and will help the private and independent cable companies to compete with bigger operators.

(Source: SES-Astra)