The new ASTRA 5B satellite has been successfully launched into orbit to provide more capacity for broadcasts to Eastern Europe and neighbouring countries. ASTRA 5B will be positioned at the 31.5°E orbital position, where ASTRA 1G is currently in use, to provide direct-to-home TV broadcasts and channel feeds to cable and terrestrial TV networks in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
According to a report from Digital TV Research, the number of digital TV homes in Eastern Europe will nearly double between 2012 and 2018 to 121 million, with 13 million digital TV homes added in 2013 alone.
English Club TV, the English-language teaching channel, has launched a high definition version of the channel available to viewers in the Ukraine and CIS and Baltic countries. ECTV is aimed at viewers of all ages who want to learn or improve their English. The channel broadcasts from the ASTRA 4A satellite at 5°E and as part of the MagtiSat platform from ASTRA 1G at 31.5°E.
Visit www.english-club.tv for more information
A new direct-to-home TV service for Turkey has started broadcasting from the ASTRA 1G satellite at 31.5°E. Anadolu Networks is currently broadcasting six TV and eight radio channels free-to-air from the 11.817GHz/V transponder, including the national TRT Turk channel, Black Sea regional channel Kaçkar Karadeniz, and Mersin news channel Kanal 2000, to provide access to the channels in regions of Turkey outside the reach of terrestrial signals.
Georgia’s first domestic direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV service, MagtiSat celebrates its first anniversary this month with an agreement to use a fourth satellite transponder for its broadcasts from ASTRA 31.5°E.
European music channel iConcerts has agreed a deal with Universal Music France to air concerts of artists including Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Oasis, Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, and Bob Marley. This is the first time the channel has collaborated with a music label, having previous partnered artists and concert producers. iConcerts broadcasts in high definition as part of the MagtiSat platform on ASTRA 31.5°E and Satellite BG on ASTRA 23.5°E.
Visit www.iconcerts.com for more information.
By 2017 there will be over 1.3 billion homes worldwide receiving digital TV, according to a survey from Digital TV Research. The survey, which covers 80 countries, says that nearly 650 million digital TV homes will be added between 2011 and 2017, and penetration of digital TV will reach 87% in five years' time. ASTRA satellites currently broadcast digital TV to more than 135 million homes across Europe and beyond from 19.2°E, 28.2°E, 23.5°E, 5°E and 31.5°E.
By: SES ASTRA
ASTRA has signed an agreement with Ukraine's state owned company, Ukrkosmos, to provide capacity on the ASTRA 1G satellite at 31.5°E for broadcasting direct to Ukrainian homes and to cable head ends and terrestrial networks. The Ukrkosmos platform, including the channels UTR, Kultura, KDRTRK, Sport 1, Sport 2, Malyatko TV and Menu TV, can be received via ASTRA with 60cm dishes throughout the country.
Central European Media Enterprises (CME) has also contracted a transponder on ASTRA 1G for distribution of services to cable head ends in Romania and Bulgaria, starting in January 2011. CME provides TV channels including Pro TV, Pro TV International, Acasa, Pro Cinema, Sport.ro and MTV Romania to Romania and bTV, bTV Cinema, bTV Comedy, Pro.bg and Ring.bg in Bulgaria, and is the anchor customer for the 31.5°E slot, ASTRA's new orbital position for Central Europe and the Middle East.
Chief Commercial Officer of SES ASTRA, Norbert Hölzle, said, "The agreement will help us to significantly increase our reach in Romania and Bulgaria and shows that we have succeeded in establishing 31.5° east as a new orbital hotspot for the region”.