French Digital Terrestrial Free-TV TNTSAT Already Reaches 350,000 HouseholdsMonday, February 25th, 2008
PARIS/BETZDORF (Luxembourg) — SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), and French pay-TV group CANAL+ have announced today that the digital terrestrial free-TV offer TNTSAT has significantly gained reach. Following its successful launch in 2007, and a marketing campaign led by ASTRA France, already 350,000 receivers have been sold to French households. TNTSAT is a service for French TV viewers offering the whole range of terrestrial digital free-TV channels over the ASTRA satellites, and allowing a 100%-coverage of the French territory.
A law passed on 5 March 2007 in France sets out the conditions to ensure that 100% of the French population receives free digital terrestrial television (Télévision Numérique Terrestre, TNT). The law recognizes the role of satellite in achieving this objective. In regions where households cannot receive signals from terrestrial antennas, SES ASTRA and CANAL+ offer their satellite solution TNTSAT. The test phase of TNTSAT started in June 2007. Since autumn 2007 TNTSAT receivers have been available in large quantities. TNTSAT offers access to 18 free-TV channels, to the France O program and 24 regional programs of France 3, all without a subscription. To receive TNTSAT households need a 60cm satellite dish, pointed to ASTRA’s prime orbital position at 19.2 degrees East, and a TNTSAT receiver with a smart card.
“The overwhelming success of TNTSAT is further proof that our satellite system is a very strong infrastructure driving the expansion of digital TV and helping to overcome the digital divide,” says Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA. “Together with our long-standing customer CANAL+, we have created a strong offer that brings real added value to television households. TNTSAT underpins our success in the French market through our enlarged partnership with CANAL+, and will continue to be a significant driver to grow our reach to French TV households.”