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Intelsat wins new contracts

LUXEMBOURG: Intelsat SA, one of the world's leading providers of fixed satellite services, recently announced a series of new contracts with media customers using the company's leading video neighbourhoods.
The agreements aim to provide each programmer with the ability to deliver content to national, regional and transcontinental audiences through a number of Intelsat's premium video neighbourhoods.

"Fully integrated with our IntelsatONE MPLS-based terrestrial network, including MCPC platforms, our neighbourhoods are efficient distribution platforms with maximum cable and direct-to-home (DTH) system penetration," says Kurt Riegelman, the company's SVP of Global Sales.

The 26 media satellites that comprise Intelsat's exclusive video neighbourhoods distribute nearly 300 global HD channels and host more than 30 DTH platforms in approximately 200 countries.

New contracts in Europe

Viacom's MTV Networks has signed a multi-year contract for Intelsat Managed Video Services that includes Intelsat capacity at 1º West, terrestrial connectivity via the IntelsatONE SM network and uplink service via Intelsat's Fuchsstadt teleport. MTV Networks will use the managed services to consolidate channel programming into one platform over Central and Eastern Europe.

Also expanding its existing portfolio at Intelsat 1º West is Eastern Space Systems Romania, which recently signed two new multi-year contracts for capacity that will enable video distribution to cable headends and DTH platforms in Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Hungary, Macedonia and other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries.

Intelsat's 1º West, one of Europe's fastest growing video distribution platforms, serves nearly five million DTH households and more than 10 million cable homes throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordic region.

Telefónica Servicios Audiovisuales (TSA), the broadcast unit of Spain's Telefonica S.A., has signed an agreement for capacity on the Intelsat 905 satellite (IS-905), located at 335.5º E. The IS-905 transmits some of the most high-demand, Spanish-language programming from leading broadcasters to thousands of cable headends throughout Europe.

Under the terms of the multi-year contract, Chello Multicanal, the leading independent producer of thematic television channels in Spain and Portugal, will use the IS-905 capacity to distribute the Hollywood, Odisea, Cocina, Decasa, Historia, Bio and Sol Musica channels to its affiliates.

Finally, GlobeCast recently added new capacity under a long-term agreement on the prized Intelsat 903 European video neighbourhood at 325.5º E.

New agreements in Africa

In January, leading African DTH provider MultiChoice signed a multi-year, multi-transponder contract to renew a capacity commitment on the Intelsat 10 satellite (IS-10) through the transition to the Intelsat 20 satellite (IS-20). The company also expanded its capacity commitment supporting digital terrestrial television (DTT) on the Intelsat 904 satellite (IS-904). MultiChoice is using the capacity on both satellites to transmit programming to more than six million subscribers across Africa.

Also in Africa, Viewsat expanded its commitment for capacity at 68.5º E., adding to its presence on the popular African distribution neighbourhood. Viewsat distributes free-to-air programming that reaches all Sub-Saharan countries. It carries religious and general entertainment programming that currently includes Press TV, KICC TV, and Supreme Master TV. Intelsat's IS-20 not only offers access to Viewsat's industry-leading African video neighbourhoods, but also provides Viewsat with access to the right audiences beyond Africa as it expands its offerings, regions served and subscribers.

New commitments in the Americas

Recently, Intelsat announced that Global Village Telecom Ltda. (GVT), a subsidiary of Vivendi, selected Intelsat to provide its satellite platform for its high-definition DTH service. GVT expects to launch later this year.

In addition, Brazil's PBI S.A. signed a multi-year contract for distribution of its new Box Brazil multi-platform, multimedia programming using capacity on the Intelsat 805 satellite (IS-805), an in-demand neighbourhood with penetration of the region's cable headends and DTH providers. In May, Box Brazil will begin broadcasting via TV, Web and mobile portals, and will include channels for movies, music and tourism information. IS-805 is scheduled to be replaced by Intelsat 27 (IS-27) in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Finally, leading content-delivery companies GlobeCast WorldTV and Pittsburgh International Telecommunications recently renewed their contracts for Ku-band capacity on Intelsat's coveted Galaxy 19 North American video neighbourhood. Both companies will use the capacity to deliver specialty content from around the world to their DTH platforms in North America.

Asia programmers join neighbourhoods and go global with IntelsatONE

Recently, GlobeCast signed a 10-year contract with Intelsat to facilitate the distribution of digital terrestrial television to the French overseas territories in the Pacific on Intelsat 18 (IS-18).

In addition, Sun TV Network Ltd. (Sun TV) signed a multi-year, multi-transponder contract for C-band capacity on the recently launched Intelsat 17 satellite (IS-17) at the 66º E orbital location. The agreement marks the second major programmer to join the line-up at Intelsat's newly expanded video neighbourhood in the Indian Ocean region.

Sun TV, India's leading regional media group, will use the new satellite capacity to expand its programming distribution to viewers across India and beyond. Sun TV will migrate its current 20 channels to IS-17 and use additional bandwidth to support its expansion plans.

In January, China Radio International renewed its contract with Intelsat for three additional years. China Radio has 43 audio channels for global distribution on Intelsat 8 serving the Asia Pacific region and Australia; Intelsat 9 serving North and South America; Intelsat 10 serving Europe and Africa; and one channel on Intelsat 14, which serves West Africa. Intelsat's Napa, California, and Ellenwood, Georgia, teleports provide the turnaround services.

Finally, earlier this week, Essel Shyam Communications signed a contract with Intelsat for a full transponder on IS-17 (36 MHz) for a new MCPC platform using the latest DVB-S2 technology. Essel Shyam is the leading broadcast services operator in India. Its key clients include Star India, Reliance Broadcast, Disney Channel, and UTV Networks. It currently uplinks more than 200 channels for its customers.

"Intelsat's video neighbourhoods provide an efficient platform for media companies striving to generate maximum subscriber and advertising revenues by optimising viewer reach, whether to national, pan-regional or global audiences," added Riegelman.