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New visAvision package of TV channels provides cable operators with turnkey foreign-language programming


Paris, November 6, 2001
Eutelsat has undertaken a new initiative to offer cable operators a turnkey digital package of foreign-language television channels called visAvision. The service will be launched first in Germany, Europe’s largest cable market, and delivered through Eutelsat’s newly launched ATLANTIC BIRD™ 2 satellite. It will subsequently be rolled out to other cable markets in Europe.

Eutelsat has developed the visAvision concept in order to respond to increasing demand from cable operators and housing associations for turnkey TV packages suitable for a foreign viewer audience. The company is hosting the service on ATLANTIC BIRD™ 2 (positioned at 8 degrees West) that provides strong coverage of Europe’s densely populated cable regions (Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland) and that can also deliver programming into Europe direct from the Americas and the Middle East. There is also substantial scope for expansion at 8 degrees West where Eutelsat commercialises Ku-band capacity on the colocated Telecom 2D satellite and has commitments for future capacity.

“With visAvision we want to further strengthen our relationships with cable operators who constitute a long-standing and substantial part of our market. We estimate a market of two million foreign-language households in Germany alone,“ said Volker Steiner, Eutelsat’s Commercial Director. “This turnkey solution for delivering digital channels to cable operators could also be expanded to embrace German-language homes”.

VisAvision will be launched in Germany with 16 channels bundled in four packages. For the Turkish-speaking community a package consisting of four channels will be fed into the network. Two Russian channels (NTV International and Nashe Kino) will initially be available for Russian-speaking households. Italians will have access to the three RAI channels and Spaniards to TVEI. A
further package will shortly be launched with two Serbian, one Croatian, one Romanian and two Polish channels. Eutelsat will continue to expand visAvision in the coming year in order to cater for additional foreign communities.

Eutelsat has secured a number of exclusive contracts with foreign programme providers for visAvision and undertaken management of copyright and media law matters in Germany. The technical partner for feeding the channels into the cable networks is Xtend Broadcast that is digitising, encoding and bundling the
content and broadcasting to ATLANTIC BIRD™ 2. Signals are optimised for minimal cost conversion at cable headends. Consumers procure their set-top-box from their local cable operator.


About Eutelsat

Eutelsat S.A. is one of the world's leading providers of satellite communications solutions for business and private needs. The company provides television and radio broadcasting, Internet access and multimedia entertainment, IP business solutions, corporate network solutions and professional communications applications in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South-West Asia and North and South America. From its HOT BIRD™ and other orbital positions Eutelsat broadcasts 996 TV channels and 550 radio channels to 85 million satellite and cable homes. Eutelsat operates a system of 18 satellites, uses capacity on three additional satellites and has a total of six satellites in construction. Company turnover for 2000 was €686 million. Headquartered in Paris; Eutelsat's workforce comprises 380 people from 23 countries.

For further information please contact:

Kelly Grant or Magdalen Bush,
Key Communications
Tel: 020 7580 0222
Email: kelly.grant@keycommunications.co.uk
magdalen.bush@keycommunications.co.uk


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