Satellites

EBU increases capacity on Eutelsat

MUMBAI: Satellite operator Eutelsat and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have announced the signature of a contract for two extra transponders on Eutelsat's Atlantic Bird 3. This will be used to cover the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

The agreement concerns two 36 MHz Ku-band transponders which the EBU will lease from 31 January to 27 February 2006, increasing by over 20 per cent the permanent capacity it already leases from Eutelsat.

At Turin, as at each Olympic Games, the EBU is organising on behalf of its member broadcasters in particular the purchase and management of broadcasting rights, distribution of live coverage of all events on five video streams (24 Mbit/s) ? multilateral channels, production highlights, provision of private connections and associated technical services.

The additional capacity leased by the EBU on Atlantic Bird 3 will enable on-site teams of reporters to link up with their television channels. It will also enable the EBU to simultaneously broadcast 500 hours of sporting events directly to its 74 members from 54 countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Within the framework of these operations, the EBU will build an infrastructure dedicated to the Games which uses a new teleport at the Olympic site. This will provide 18 permanent satellite broadcasting channels, of which 14 will be via Eutelsat.

The new teleport service will come on stream on 31 January 2006, starting with technical testing of each control centre and recording of the participants' preparations in the various sports. The broadcast of the opening ceremony on the evening of 10 February will signal the full utilisation of the satellite capacity leased by the EBU until the end of the Games on 27 February 2006.

The EBU is the largest professional association of national broadcasters in the world. The Union has 74 active Members in 54 countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East and 47 associate members in 26 countries further afield.

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