The FINANCIAL — SES S.A. announced on December 1 that MX1, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, will assist pay TV provider Sky in taking its first steps into free-to-air TV in Germany and Austria, by introducing Sky Sport News to audiences in these two markets.
On 1 December, the 24-hour high definition (HD) sport news channel “Sky Sport News HD” will be free-to-air via satellite. In addition, Sky has contracted additional SES satellite capacity to also broadcast the channel in standard definition (SD). This provides Sky with access to more than 20 million households in Germany and Austria through ASTRA satellites, according to SES.
Global media services provider MX1 delivers the technical services, including uplink, signal encoding, and the transmission via ASTRA 19.2° East.
“We are pleased to seal the deal with Sky. The free reception of Sky Sport News in HD as well as in SD is – considering the current state of German households – a groundbreaking decision, as SDstandard TV is still of great importance in Germany,” said Christoph Muehleib, Vice President Sales and Marketing SES and responsible for the marketing of MX1 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “By activating both signals, we have the opportunity to reach every household in Germany and Austria which receives their TV signal via satellite.”
Stefan Kunz, Vice President Broadcast Services at Sky Germany, stated “Starting December, Sky Sport News HD, the very first and the only 24-hour sport news channel on German TV, will reach even more viewers via satellite, cable and IPTV. Launching its first free TV channel is an important step for Sky Germany, which we want to achieve with our long time service provider for satellite distribution, MX1.”