Eutelsat said the “milestone” figure reflects strong channel growth in fast growing markets, continued deployment of pay TV platforms and a diversified offer of free-to-air channels.
The company singled out “notable” channel growth in the Middle East and Africa and said that one in three of the channels on its satellites now targets these fast-growing regions. Half of the 1,136 satellite channels broadcast in Sub-Saharan Africa today are transmitted by Eutelsat, it claimed.
The satellite operator also said that it now offers more than 2,200 free-to-air channels and plans to introduce new features this year to give channels higher visibility and offer viewers more information on free content.
“Through continued investment in advanced broadcasting infrastructure, Eutelsat will continue to develop its offer in mature video markets and accelerate partnerships in fast-growing regions, notably Latin America,” it said, highlighting the two new satellites that are due to cover this region – Eutelsat 117 West B and Eutelsat 65 West A.
The news came as Eutelsat announced its fiscal half year results for the six months ended December 31, in which revenues and EBITDA each grew 7% year-on-year to €774.4 million and €600.3 million respectively.
“Eutelsat’s first half results were in line with expectations. In the Second half, the ramp up of recently launched satellites for fast growing markets, notably Eutelsat 8 West B for the Middle East and North Africa region, Eutelsat 115 West B for the Americas and Eutelsat 36C for Russia and Sub-Saharan Africa, should enable us to achieve our full year objectives,” said Eutelsat CEO Michel de Rosen.
Eutelsat said that video applications revenues in the first half were up 1.5% at constant currency to €468.9 million, reflecting the entry into service of Eutelsat 8 West B at the beginning of the second quarter, bringing incremental capacity to the MENA region.
Growth was also driven by positive trends at Fransat, Eutelsat’s French DTH platform; at 7° East across Turkey and East Africa; and 16° East, covering the Central Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa orbital positions.
“In the fast-evolving world of video content distribution we are continually focused on supporting broadcasters to enhance their relationship with viewers and expand their reach,” said Michel Azibert, commercial and development director at Eutelsat.
“The milestone of 6,000 channels sets a new record for Eutelsat and reflects our resolve to be the satellite company of choice for the broadcasting community.”
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