MX1, the Global media service provider, has signed a multi-year contract to support pay-tv broadcaster Sky in taking its first steps into free-to-air TV in Germany and Austria. Starting from 1 December 2016 – and for the first time – the broadcaster’s sports-related news channel, Sky Sport News, will be available free-to-air via the Astra satellite.
MX1 was chosen to deliver the technological services to make this happen, 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 HD signal will be aired via existing capacities. ASTRA also provides signals to a range of cable networks, increasing reach even further.
Christoph Mühleib, Vice President Sales and Marketing DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) at SES, said: “We are very pleased to seal the deal with Sky. The free reception of Sky Sport News in HD as well as in SD is, considering the current state of German households, a groundbreaking decision as SDMPEG-2 standard TV is still of great importance in Germany. By activating both signals, we have the opportunity to reach every household in Germany and Austria which receives their TV signal via satellite.”
Stefan Kunz, Vice President Broadcast Services at Sky Germany, said: “Starting in December, Sky Sport News HD, the very first and only 24-hour sports-related news channel on German TV will reach even more viewers via satellite, cable and IPTV. Launching its first free-to-air TV channel is an important step for Sky Germany, which we want to take along with our longtime service provider of satellite distribution, MX1.”