In 2001, Eutelsat broke the 1,000 television channel barrier

Eutelsat, one of the world's leading satellite operators claims to have finished 2001 by clocking up over 1,000 television channels on its satellites.

In 1983 channels like Sky Channel were the first clients to sign up for its capacity. Today Eutelsat is used by broadcasters such as BBC, Canal +, TPS, RAI, Eurosport, Bloomberg and CNN.

Eutelsat's recent penetration survey revealed that of the 122 million TV homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East equipped for cable and satellite reception, 98 million are watching programmes delivered by its Hot Bird and EuroBird satellites.

Out of over 1,000 TV channels delivered through Eutelsat's capacity on 21 satellites, over 970 are digital. Atlantic Bird 2 a new satellite was launched in October. So Eutelsat is delivering specially pre-packaged broadcast digital television programming for cable networks.

Next year the company will launch new broadcasting satellites Hot Bird 6 and 7. This will improve the in-orbit sparing capability at 13 degrees East and expand the capacity dedicated to coverage of Africa and available for the opening of new markets. In addition to its Ku-band missions, Hot Bird 6 will also enable new services through its enhanced Skyplex capability and its Ka-band transponder capacity.

Eutelsat CEO Giuliano Berretta said: "Satellites and digital technology have fundamentally changed the media landscape by opening up possibilities for thematic, regional and interactive programming, thereby dramatically enhancing consumer choice. New levels of compression, combined with our upcoming new television satellites will open a new chapter in broadcasting that will further empower consumers."

Eutelsat S.A. is one of the world's leading providers of satellite communications solutions. With a fleet of 18 satellites and additional capacity on three other satellites Eutelsat provides coverage across four continents, encompassing Europe, the Middle East, Africa, south-west Asia and North and South America. Six satellites are under construction with launches planned over the next two years. Eutelsat's satellite infrastructure gives it the flexibility to combine TV and radio services, rapid Internet access, multimedia entertainment, corporate network solutions and IP and non-IP business applications.

From its strategic Hot Bird orbital position and other orbital positions, Eutelsat transmits 1,019 television and 550 radio stations to 98 million households via cable or direct-to-home with 41 per cent of capacity dedicated to IP and non-IP network applications.

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