SES enables Chinese StarTimes to expand TV reach in Africa

Distribution

SES announced today that StarTimes Communication Network Technology, a Chinese system integrator, technology provider and network operator, has signed a 10-year contract on SES-5 at 5 degrees East to expand its media footprint in Africa and deliver direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services across the continent.

StarTimes, which is the fastest-growing digital TV operator Africa and has over 2.6 million digital terrestrial television (DTT) subscribers, also acquired SES’ 20% shareholding in South African pay-TV operator Top TV.

The contract will see StarTimes utilise four transponders as of October 2013 and a fifth transponder from February 2014 to grow their DTH subscribers in Africa. The Chinese broadcaster will continue to broadcast TopTV on SES-5 by using three of the newly-contracted SES transponders that were formerly leased by ODM. The other two out of the five SES transponders contracted by StarTimes will be used to complement their DTT offering in remote and non-urban areas and grow their pay-TV business.