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Discovery HD launches in Europe

23 November 2006

Intelsat has announced that Discovery Communications will use its new PAS-12 satellite to beam Discovery HD to Europe. According to the company, the signing of Discovery as an anchor tenant on PAS-12 marks the start of a whole new distribution alternative to channels looking to deliver HD across Europe, writes Andy Stout.

Using capacity on PAS-12, Discovery will provide distribution of Discovery HD, which will originate at its European headquarters in London, to Europe. GlobeCast Europe will uplink the content at its Brookman’s Park teleport in the UK. The signing of the new agreement with Intelsat marks the significant expansion of an already successful relationship, as Intelsat currently provides distribution capacity for Discovery to reach its nearly 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers worldwide.

“High definition in Europe is fast growing and as the leader in HD programming, Discovery will continue to play a large role in the development and distribution of content and services utilising this technology,” said John Honeycutt, executive vice president, media, technology and operations, Discovery Communications. “We have long relied on Intelsat’s global system to support the implementation of our global distribution strategy.”

“A programmer of the calibre of Discovery Communications committing to anchor our new HD neighbourhood speaks volumes about the confidence it has in our company and in our system,” said Kurt Riegelman, Intelsat senior VP, American sales. “Intelsat has played a significant role in the distribution of HD programming worldwide and is exceedingly dedicated to furthering the advancement of HD in Europe. We believe that Discovery’s desire to distribute HD across the continent signifies a healthy and growing demand which we’re committed to facilitating.”

Intelsat currently operates the leading HD neighbourhood in the US on its Galaxy 13 satellite. The establishment of a new HD satellite for Europe is the company’s first step at expanding full-time HD distribution to other areas of the world.

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