Eutelsat ceases broadcasts on disputed 28.5° East frequencies

Eutelsat has ceased broadcasts on transponders on Eutelsat 28A at the 28.5° East position that used frequencies under a disputed German filing.

According to Eutelsat, revenues from the disputed frequencies were expected to amount to €20 million for the remainder of the current fiscal year and approximately €25 million for each of the two following years.

Eutelsat and rival SES, which was granted rights to use German Ku-band orbital frequencies at the 28.5° East position after signing a contract with Media Broadcast, are in ongoing discussions to find a solution regarding the subject matter of the arbitration, the pair said in a joint press release.

Following an arbitration tribunal ruling that the 1999 agreement between SES and Eutelsat over the use of frequencies in the 28.2°/28.5° orbital – which targets the lucrative UK and Ireland market – arc did not bar SES from using the relevant frequency bands if and when Eutelsat no longer holds the regulatory right to operate in those bands under a German filing, and the ruling of a Bonn court that Eutelsat had to cease using the disputed frequencies as of October 4, Eutelsat said it would appeal the preliminary decision. A second phase of arbitration has yet to decide whether SES was entitled to sign an agreement in 2005 with Media Broadcast without breaching its obligations.

Eutelsat said it could adjust its financial outlook when the outcome of the talks is known.