StarTimes, Eutelsat Collaborate on Digital Broadcasting

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By Emma Okonji

StarTimes, a major operator of digital TV networks in Africa, and Eutelsat Communications from Paris, have concluded new multi-year agreements that set the stage for accelerated roll-out of digital broadcasting services across Africa.
StarTimes uses satellites to deliver its multi-channel TV platform to over seven million homes in 13 Sub-Saharan African countries and is gearing up to expand into DRC Congo and Zambia in August. The platform transmits over 200 channels, including international channels, regional and country-focused channels as well as StarTimes’ own branded content. Content is offered both on a Free-to-View and pay-TV basis, with exclusive programming including frontline events such as the Bundesliga and the 2016 Copa America.

StarTimes said it has renewed capacity contracts on two Eutelsat satellites as well as agreements for uplinking services provided by a partner teleport operated by STN, in Slovenia. In anticipation of continued expansion of Africa’s TV market, StarTimes has also secured extra capacity and plans to scale up further by the end of the year. This expanded portfolio equips StarTimes to host more services, uplink channels from Europe and Africa and provide the highest levels of service continuity.
StarTimes Group Chairman and President, Pang Xinxing, announcing the collaboration, said: “StarTimes and Eutelsat are long-term strategic partners. We rely on Eutelsat’s advanced satellite communication technology to make our signals available throughout the African continent. Going forward, we will continue to work with Eutelsat to provide the best digital TV service to our African customers.”

Eutelsat CEO, Rodolphe Belmer, commented: “Eutelsat is fully engaged in the transformation of Africa’s broadcasting landscape and is proud to work with the players who are bringing the benefits of digital TV to viewers across the continent. In leveraging diversified satellite resources we can help StarTimes achieve its ambition to reach 30 million homes in 30 African countries by 2018.”
Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications is one of the world’s leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 39 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies. Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location.