SES expands Asian DTH capacity

Europe-headquartered satellite operator SES is expanding capacity deals with two Asian direct to home (DTH) service providers, as demand for DTH in the region escalates.
Philippines-based MediaScape signed a multi-year, multi-transponder deal for additional capacity on the SES-7 satellite for its branded Cignal Digital TV DTH service.
"We have seen tremendous growth in subscriber numbers and demand for quality HD content," said Annie Naval, MediaScape's COO and MD. "We reached the 500,000 subscriber mark on June 12, and we expect to reach 600,000 by the end of this year."
Meanwhile, Thai satellite TV provider IPMTV broadened its partnership with SES, renewing a multi-year capacity deal on NSS-6 and buying additional capacity on the upcoming SES-8 satellite.
The expanded capacity enables IPMTV to double its reach to four million households in Thailand by the end of the year, as well as carry more local content, said IPMTV chief executive Manop Tokarnka.
SES-8 is expected to be launched in Q3 2013. SES SVP Deepak Mathur says SES-8's capacity has already been over 80% pre-filled.
Meanwhile, SES is already preparing its next Asian satellite, SES-9, for a scheduled launch in 2015, replacing the NSS-11.
Mathur said that SES is expecting massive growth for DTH capacity demand in Asia due to the young population, accelerating GDP growth, greater proliferation of HD channels, and the impending arrival of ultra HD and the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) video compression standard.