EUTELSAT, one of the leading providers of satellite communications solutions, and SITCOM, a content production and distribution company, today announced that they have signed a strategic agreement to develop SITCOM’s international business activities and its portfolio of broadband multimedia services. EUTELSAT will also enter into the capital of SITCOM S.p.A. and into SITCOM Multimedia S.p.A..
The two players have agreed to pool their resources in content production and technology in order to extend the distribution networks of the SITCOM channels and products, to expand the range of language versions of SITCOM’s five television channels and to develop new editorial products. They will also jointly develop and commercialise satellite delivery of Internet video portals for broadband Internet users through EUTELSAT’s OPEN SKY multimedia platform.
Created in 1997 as an independent content provider for the digital television market in Italy, SITCOM today produces five thematic television channels: Marcopolo (travel and adventure), INN (news), Nuvolari (motoring), Alice (lifestyle and cooking) and Leonardo (style). The company produces multi-language content in Italy and has built international distribution in Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, Poland and Luxembourg.
EUTELSAT brings to the partnership its considerable satellite infrastructure that opens opportunities for network expansion in Europe, as well as Africa, Asia and the Americas. With its OPEN SKY multimedia entertainment platform EUTELSAT is also confirming its commitment to developing solutions for satellite access of rich multimedia content.
Commenting on the announcement, EUTELSAT Director General Giuliano Berretta said: “EUTELSAT continues to pursue its ambition to play a proactive role in shaping the market for a new generation of satellite-delivered products and services. This partnership will give us hands-on involvement in the international development of SITCOM’s channels and products and as such matches our strategy to diversify into new avenues of activity.“
SITCOM President and Chief Executive Officer Valter La Tona added: “For SITCOM, this industrial and strategic partnership underscores the important role that our company intends to assume in the market for content production in Italy and at an international level. EUTELSAT will make a significant contribution to the development of our ambitions and I am convinced they are the ideal partner for the future growth of the SITCOM Group.”
As one of the world’s leading satellite operators, Paris-based EUTELSAT enables TV and radio broadcasters, Internet service providers, telecommunications companies and corporations to transmit and receive content throughout Europe and Africa, large parts of Asia and the Americas. EUTELSAT was the first operator in Europe to deliver Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) consumer television and today broadcasts 900 channels to over 84 million satellite and cable homes, making it one of the largest TV offers to one of the largest audiences in the world. Fifty-six per cent of EUTELSAT satellite capacity is used for television broadcasting and just over 40 per cent for services that include high-speed Internet access and Internet backbone connections. EUTELSAT turnover for 2000 was €686 million, representing a 46 per cent increase over 1999. The Organisation will be restructured on July 2 this year to adopt the status of a private company headquartered in France called Eutelsat SA. For more information visit: http://www.eutelsat.com.
For further information contact:
Gail Sheridan or Kelly Grant at Key Communications
Tel: 020 7580 0222
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