SES Astra CCO Alexander
Oudendijk says, We are very pleased with this new agreement as it further
strengthens our solid and long-standing relationship with the M7 Group. The agreement
confirms the rapid success and key importance of ASTRA 23.5 degrees East as a
fast-growing HDTV hotspot for the Benelux. It also demonstrates that in markets
dominated by land-based infrastructures, satellite DTH plays a key role for the
development of the HDTV market. With the launch of additional HD channels at 23.5
degrees East, ASTRA becomes the largest HD platform in the Netherlands with a
lineup of over 20 HDTV channels, including all major public and commercial channels.
executive VP Andrei Noppe adds, In 2010, more than 80 per cent of Dutch
TV homes will be equipped with a TV set suitable for HDTV. That fact, combined
with the World Championship Soccer tournament coming soon, should result in a
further take-up of HD over the coming months. This agreement with SES Astra allows
us to meet this demand with an attractive and wide range of HD services. Coupled
with the fast growing free-to-air offer on Astra, we believe that satellite DTH
is the most attractive infrastructure to capture the HDTV needs in the Dutch market.