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BFBS & SES sign multi-year distribution deal

Forces personnel and their families will benefit from a new contract awarded to SES to enable more BFBS services to be distributed worldwide.

Greater numbers of British forces and their families stationed abroad, including Royal Navy ships at sea, will receive a range of popular British TV and radio programming from the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) via SES satellites in a new multi-year agreement announced today by SES.

The increased capacity will enable BFBS to continue to deliver more popular British entertainment and sporting content across the globe, from Canada in the north-west and Falkland Islands in the south, across Europe and Africa and all the way to Brunei in the Far East.

BFBS’s mix of popular news, sport and entertainment programming are already delivered via SES’s NSS-12 and SES-6 satellites, with the new contract building on that foundation, enabling additional services to be offered.

BFBS operates as part of SSVC (Services Sound and Vision Corporation), a not-for-profit charity, under a ten-year contract with the UK Ministry of Defence to supply welfare by radio and TV worldwide.

Ryan Lambert, Chief Technical Officer, BFBS said:
"Bringing the best of British TV and Radio to our armed services around the world has an incredibly positive impact on their morale and welfare, especially when they are separated from loved ones and home life for months on end. It’s great that we can now deliver more content and more channels than ever before to our forces posted around the globe via SES.”

Ferdinand Kayser, CEO of SES Video added:
"Our partnership with SSVC spans many years. This newest agreement extends our ability to improve the lives of British Forces by bringing them more of the creature comforts of home – wherever they are stationed, including ships in the South China Sea and Eastern Pacific. We feel privileged that we can help to improve the health and well-being of service personnel and their families through the unmatched reach and reliability of our global fleet, together with the unbeatable radio and television content available from BFBS.”

Through global satellite distribution, BFBS television and radio stations are available to entitled personnel and families worldwide. These currently include global relays of BBC One and ITV, the BBC World Service, Forces Radio BFBS, Forces TV and selected sport from Sky and BT, alongside the best of the rest on BFBS Extra. The TV service originally started off with a single channel showing recordings from British TV in Germany, with live programming added later via a multi-step microwave link from the UK to terrestrial transmitters. The service became more widely available around the world with the advent of satellite television. BFBS TV services are also available online to authorised users.