Leading satellite operator Eutelsat Communications has announced that the number of channels broadcast through its craft has passed 4,000 at the end of 2011.
This new landmark has been achieved with the launch of Arabic movie channel Rotana Cinema at Eutelsat's 7° West video neighbourhood and over the last five years, Eutelsat’s video neighbourhoods have attracted 2000 additional channels.
The clear impetus for Eutelsat is at positions serving TV markets in the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Central Europe with 60% of clients pay-TV channels, available through over 40 platforms serving markets in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa. These have been expanded with the launches in 2011 of ATLANTIC BIRD 7 (7° West) to serve viewers in North Africa and the Middle East, and W3C (16° East) for viewers in Central Europe and French-speaking Indian Ocean islands. Channel expansion in Russia and Africa is said to have seen a significant boost with the arrival of Eutelsat's high-capacity W7 satellite which more than doubled resources at 36° East.
Eutelsat transition to digital is also driving the emergence of HD with HDTV progressing to all TV markets served by Eutelsat's satellites and currently accounts for 7% of all channels.