Modern Times Group (MTG) is to launch the first Ultra HD channel in the Nordic market. Viasat Ultra HD will be a premium sports offering that will launch in time for the autumn sports season, according to the group.
MTG has teamed up with satellite operator SES and electronics giant Samsung to launch the channel, which will be broadcast via satellite in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
SES will broadcast the channel via the SES-5 satellite at 5° East
Viasat will also be launching a new Ultra HD set-top box from Samsung, as well as a conditional access module enabling customers with an Ultra HD TV to see the channel. The channel will initially be available to all Viasat satellite customers with sports channels in their package.
Viasat Ultra HD will feature selected live sport events from the UEFA Champions League and other MTG sports rights specially produced in Ultra HD.
“It’s great that real Ultra HD content now is being produced and that sport is leading the way. The picture quality is amazing and brings a wonderful experience of being so close to the action. We are really excited to be the first out in the Nordics, and look forward to building on this successful partnership with Samsung and SES to bring even more Ultra HD content to our customers over time,” said Bartek Gudowski, chief technology officer of MTG Broadcasting.
The launch on the SES platform takes the number of UHD channels carried by the satellite operator to 24, including test channels and regional versions of channels. According to SES, this represents 46% of all UHD channels broadcast worldwide.
“Viasat has been relying on SES services to broadcast its approximately 230 channels for more than 20 years,” said Ferdinand Kayser, chief commercial Officer at SES. “As sports have always been predicted to be a key driver for Ultra HD, we are very pleased to take this important step together with Viasat to drive the next generation viewing experience forward. With more and more Ultra HD channels expected in the future, satellite will remain the optimal infrastructure to deliver this new and substantially improved viewing experience.”