[SatNews] SES S.A. (NYSE Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) has announced that BBC Global News Ltd. has signed a long-term agreement to broadcast its international news channel free-to-air in HD on ASTRA at 19.2 degrees East.
The channel, an HD version of BBC World News in English, will be broadcast starting on April 1st on a multiplex operated and uplinked by SES from its headquarters in Betzdorf, Luxembourg. SES reports that over 47 million, some 52% of European satellite homes, are now watching television in HD, more than half of which are served by the satellites at the 19.2 degrees East orbital position. In 2014, SES broadcast over 1,800 HD channels globally, and more than 500 in Europe.
Ferdinand Kayser, Chief Commercial Officer of SES, said, “The momentum for HD has been rapidly increasing as more people appreciate the level of detail that HD delivers. HD means clearer, crisper pictures that are more vivid in color—they can be as much as five times more detailed than standard definition."
“We know from our viewers that they value HD services. BBC World News originates in pure HD, so it’s fantastic to be able to bring this service to our European heartland,” said Colin Lawrence, Director of Distribution for BBC Global News Ltd. “Following the investments we made in our content and presentation on BBC World News, last year we saw an audience increase in daily reach. HD is undoubtedly becoming the default viewing preference, and this new partnership enables delivery of our world class service to European audiences.”