The new brand is centered on the consistent use of the SES name and logo throughout the markets in which SES operates worldwide. The introduction of the new corporate identity supports SES’s efforts to create a homogeneous global presence and a single interface for customers.
SES has created a new unitary structure with single brand – SES – and a five-man management team headed by CEO Romain Bausch and former SES Astra chief Ferdinand Kayser, who is now chief commercial officer. Speaking at the IBC show in Amsterdam, Bausch said the company had “used the reorganisation to strengthen our team in emerging markets”, which would provide most of the foreseeable growth opportunities for satellite in the years ahead.
Bausch unveiled a new investment programme of 10 new satellites to launch between now and 2014, which he described as “our largest commercial fleet investment programme ever”. He said launches this year would increase SES’s available capacity by 23%, with 85% of that increase covering emerging markets.
Bausch said SES was currently delivering 5,905 TV and radio channels globally, including 2,405 in Europe, 1,746 in North America, 335 in the Asia Pacific region, 895 in India and Latin America and 524 in Latin America and the Caribbean. HD channels on the platform currently number 1,071. However, this includes 727 local-into-local HD channels on the DISH pay TV platform via multiple spot-beams over the US. In Europe, SES carries 216 HD channels (expected to grow to 230 by the end of the year) and reaches 135 million homes. Its DTH platform customer base in Europe amounts to 28 platforms (out of 43 globally), and Europe still accounts for 56% of the company’s revenues. However, Bausch said that expected compound annual growth rates over the 2010-19 period would be higher in emerging markets including Asia, Africa and Latin America (5-6% compared with about 2.9% in western Europe, 1.1% in North America and 3.5% globally).
SES’s most recent customer to be announced is MagtiCom, which is launching the first pay TV service for Georgia and has acquired several transponders at the 31.5 degrees East orbital position. The DTH service will be broadcast in DVB-S2 and will use MPEG-4 encoding. MagtiCom, headed by former Comstar deputy general director David Lee, will launch its service on January 1, delivering a range of SD and HD services.
Kayser, speaking at the same press event at IBC, said that SES’s HD Plus platform in Germany, which offers a range of digital HD channels to German viewers for an annual access fee, was achieving a conversion rate of “above 50%” after viewers had received it at no charge for one year. Deutsche Telekom is offering HD Plus as part of its hybrid Entertain satellite/IPTV offering, while Sky Deutschland is offering it to its HD subscribers.