MX1 brings Sky Sport News to free-to-air TV in Germany, Austria | Satellite | News | Rapid TV News
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Global media service provider and SES subsidiary MX1 has inked a multi-year contract to support pay-TV giant Sky in taking its first steps into free-to-air (FTA) TV in Germany and Austria.

sky sports mx1 1 Dec 2016For the first time in the two countries, the broadcaster’s sports-related news channel, Sky Sport News, will be available FTA via the SES Astra satellite from 1 December 2016. This means that more than 20 million TV households and customers of cable networks in Germany and Austria are now able to view FTA TV via satellite in standard (SD) and high definition (HD).

MX1 was chosen to deliver the technological services, including uplink, signal encoding and transmission of the SD channel via Astra 19.2° East. Sky Sport News is being transmitted in both HDMPEG-4 and SDMPEG-2, with the broadcaster purchasing additional ASTRA capacity to carry the SD signal. The HDTV signal will be aired via existing capacities. ASTRA also provides signals to cable networks.

“The free reception of Sky Sport News in HD as well as in SD is, considering the current state of German households, a ground-breaking decision as SDMPEG-2 standard TV is still of great importance in Germany,” commented Christoph Mühleib, VP sales and marketing DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) at SES. “By activating both signals, we have the opportunity to reach every household in Germany and Austria which receives their TV signal via satellite.”

Sky vice president broadcast services in Germany, Stefan Kunz, added: “Launching its first free-to-air TV channel is an important step for Sky Germany, which we want to take along with our long-time service provider of satellite distribution, MX1.”