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January 26, 2010

RAI signs up SES Astra for new channel launch

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by Rapid TV News

Website: Rapid TV News

Italian public broadcaster RAI has had a long relationship with Eutelsat, but that hasn’t stopped it signing with SES Astra for a new channel launch.

SES Astra says it has signed a capacity agreement with RAI to use capacity from 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 Astra’s broadcasting centre in Unterföhring 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.

Alexander Oudendijk, CCO at 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 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.

Story link: RAI signs up SES Astra for new channel launch

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