SES enables StarTimes to expand coverage in Africa


Global satellite operator SES has announced today that StarTimes Communication
Network Technology, China’s most influential system integrator, technology provider
and network operator, has signed a 10-year contract on SES-5 at 5 degrees East to
expand its media footprint in Africa and deliver direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services
across the continent.

StarTimes, which is the fastest-growing digital TV operator Africa and has over 2.6
million digital terrestrial television (DTT) subscribers, also acquired SES’ 20%
shareholding in South African pay-TV operator Top TV.

The contract will see StarTimes utilise four transponders as of October 2013 and a fifth
transponder from February 2014 to grow its DTH subscribers in Africa. StarTimes will
continue to broadcast TopTV on SES-5 by using three of the newly-contracted SES
transponders that were formerly leased by ODM, owner of TopTV. The other two out of
the five SES transponders contracted by StarTimes will be used to complement its DTT
offering in remote and non-urban areas and grow their pay-TV business.

Says StarTimes group chairman and president Pang Xinxing: “The recent success of
StarTimes’s strategic investment in ODM will allow us to reach new audiences in South
Africa. The partnership with SES enables StarTimes to have a DTH platform in addition
to the existing DTT and mobile TV (CMMB) platforms in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition,
the high-powered SES-5 at the prime orbital location of 5 degrees East is ideal in
overcoming the challenges of terrestrial coverage to reach large audiences. This will allow
us to extend our broadcast reach across the continent and ensure excellent service and
picture quality for our viewers.’

Ferdinand Kayser, chief commercial officer of SES adds: “We are honoured that
StarTimes has chosen to work with us to complement their DTT business across Africa
and to deliver more exciting content to Africa’s dynamic markets. The new partnership
with StarTimes will illustrate how the combination of DTH and DTT is a key enabler in
Africa’s migration to digital TV and also help set pace in the continent’s digital migration


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