SES ASTRA has announced that it has signed a capacity agreement with Rai. The Italian public broadcaster will use capacity on SES ASTRA’s 19.2 degrees East orbital position to broadcast its new international channel Yes Italia to a European audience.
The agreement follows successful test broadcasts in 2009 and also includes the delivery of uplink services from SES ASTRA’s broadcasting centre in Unterfohring near Munich.
Yes Italia is Rai’s new theme-based channel designed to promote Italy’s historical, artistic and cultural heritage to an audience across Europe. The channel is managed by Rai’s subsidiary NewCo Rai and is broadcast in Italian with English and Spanish subtitles on a 24/7 basis.
By broadcasting Yes Italia via SES ASTRA’s prime orbital position 19.2 degrees East, Rai will be able to reach a maximum of Direct-to-home and Direct-to-cable households in Europe.
Alexander Oudendijk, Chief Commercial Officer of SES ASTRA, said: “We are very pleased to have signed this agreement with Rai, which marks an important milestone in our strategy to position ourselves as a partner for Italian broadcasters. Following our recent agreement with Milano Teleport, this is now the second commercial agreement we have signed in the Italian market within a relatively short period of time. We are very confident that this positive development will continue, and we look forward to signing additional agreements soon.”
The agreement with Rai to broadcast Yes Italia via SES ASTRA’s 19.2 degrees East orbital position is part of a larger strategic partnership which was founded to jointly test and develop innovative broadcasting services and interactive applications.
In the framework of this agreement, SES ASTRA has already launched an ASTRA HD demo channel in cooperation with Rai on its 23.5 degrees East orbital position. Other cooperation agreements in the Italian market were signed with the housing industry association Anaci and the installer training school Eurosatellite.