America Channel extends reach in Europe and Middle East via BT

MUMBAI: The America Channel has entered into a long-term distribution and services agreement with BT Americas, a division of British Telecommunications (BT), for delivery of The America Channel via the HOT BIRD and EUROBIRD satellites. This will be received by an estimated 50 million homes in Europe and the Middle East

Under the agreement, BT will provide digital conversion, backhaul, multiplexing, technical support, customer service, encryption, program origination, ad insertion, and uplink services, as well as capacity on the HOT BIRD and EUROBIRD satellites located at the 13 degrees East longitude and 28.2 degrees East longitude orbital slots, respectively.

The America Channel CEO Doron Gorshein said, "There is a global fascination with all things American. We believe The America Channel - a network dedicated to exploring and celebrating our diverse communities, local heroes and ordinary people who accomplish the extraordinary -- will find a substantial international audience. At the same time, we believe that by providing this window into America, the channel can build bridges and help the world to better understand our communities, cultures, and way of life. "

With immediate access to tens of millions of DTH homes, a freely competitive environment, and a product that is unique on the dial, The America Channel believes it is poised to become the next great American global network.

"The magnitude of this transaction creates a new economic paradigm for the channel," added Gorshein. " The international markets are fertile grounds for American entrepreneurs, and we look forward to working with our partners abroad to deliver great programming to their audiences."

BT Americas president Chuck Pol said:, "BT is able to provide The America Channel with a customized worldwide global network solution, effectively and efficiently. Our experience, extensive global reach, highly skilled engineers, and affordable value proposition give The America Channel and other independent American networks the ability to compete in the international marketplace."

Initially, The America Channel's highest European penetration levels will be in Germany, France, Poland, Spain, U.K., as well as portions of Russia. In the Middle East and North Africa, highest penetration levels will be in Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. Most of the initial 50 million homes will receive The America Channel via Direct-To-Home (DTH) unencrypted satellite delivery. Subsequent European cable rollout of the channel is expected to generate subscriber growth in the UK and across the continent.

In addition to 50 million DTH homes, the region also has approximately 70 million cable homes accessible via HOT BIRD, which The America Channel will seek to penetrate. Following this launch, The America Channel anticipates expansion into Asia.

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