SES announces "explosion" in the number of satellite TV channels

Satellite operator SES says the number of channels it carries has "exploded" over the past year. 

SES, which operates a fleet of satellites including the Astra 2 satellites used for Sky and Freesat channel, now carries a total of 7,268 channels around the world, an increase of 11.3%.

The introduction of new High Definition (HD) channels across Europe and North America, as well as the further expansion of SES’s video business across emerging markets has accounted for much of the growth. Nearly 60% of all channels on the SES fleet are now broadcast in the MPEG-4 compression standard (used in the UK for HD channels on satellite).

The number of HDTV channels served by SES's fleet of over 50 satellites grew by 18% to 2,230 channels, representing 31% of the total TV channels on SES satellites. In contrast, the number of HDTV channels carried over satellite for the rest of industry grew by 13% to about 6,400 channels.

The number of total TV channels in Europe served by SES increased by 9% to nearly 2,600 channels, while the total channels in North America was unchanged at about 1,800 channels. The continued penetration of HDTV channels, which require more satellite capacity than Standard Definition (SD) channels, was the principal contributor to growth, as the number of HDTV channels grew by over 25% to nearly 700 channels in Europe and by over 3% to more than 1,200 channels in North America.

For the future, SES is looking at Ultra HD for its next expansion. Sky Deutschland is one of the companies that has signed agreements for more capacity in order to accommodate the bandwidth-hungry TV standard of the future.

Ferdinand Kayser, Chief Commercial Officer of SES said:
“With more TV channels than ever before, this confirms SES’s leading role as a TV broadcasting infrastructure and driver of global digitisation, as well as emphasising the essential role of satellite for video distribution."


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