ORF Starts HDTV Channel on ASTRAThursday, April 17th, 2008
First public broadcaster with regular HD channel in German speaking countries
BETZDORF (Luxembourg) — SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), today announced the launch of ORF HD on ASTRA. The new channel will start broadcasting first of May and offer the complete program of ORF1 in HD format including the 31 matches of the UEFA EURO 2008™. ORF HD is the first regular high definition channel launched by a public broadcaster in the German speaking countries.
The agreement with Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) allows the use of additional capacity for the HD channel. In cooperation with the ORF service company ORS, it includes the possibility for further HD programs with which this new capacity will ramp up to a full transponder in January 2010. As part of the agreement, SES ASTRA and ORF will also cooperate to promote the new HD offer. The cooperation foresees joint commercial and marketing activities for retailers and will start this month.
States Wolfgang ElsäÃŸer, Managing Director of ASTRA Deutschland: “With a market share of 55 percent in satellite reception, Austria is already the number one in Europe and shows excellent growth rates. Last year, digital satellite reception has increased by nearly 50 percent in Austria. ASTRA today provides 374 digital TV channels to the Austrian market. The launch of ORF HD will further enhance the attractive offer on ASTRA and drive the growth of satellite in this dynamic market.”
After the launch of ORF HD, the combined satellite systems of SES ASTRA and SES SIRIUS will transmit 31 HD channels.