Turner Renews SES Satellite Contract

Turner Broadcasting System signed capacity renewal agreements with global satellite operator SES for nearly seven transponders on four satellites to distribute news and entertainment programs throughout North America and Europe.

Overall, Turner relies on more than 10 transponders on SES satellites for global coverage.

"SES has the satellites, personnel and expertise that Turner Broadcasting System needs in order to reach audiences around the world," Turner vice president of international distribution technology John Ball said. "Our long-term distribution partnership with SES is an important component of our global content delivery strategy."

As part of the multiyear, multisatellite deal, the programmer is using five transponders of Ku-band capacity aboard SES' AMC-3 satellite. Four transponders are used for CNN satellite news gathering across the U.S. and Canada and one is used for distribution of CNN Newsource to more than 800 domestic affiliates.

In addition, Turner is delivering breaking news from North America via CNN Newsource to European affiliates using 9 MHz of Ku-band capacity on SES' NSS-7 satellite and transmits networks including CNN International, TNT, Boomerang and Cartoon Network to direct-to-home viewers in the U.K. and Germany withover Ku-band capacity on two of SES' ASTRA satellites..

While the transponder space in North America is forecast to be flat to modest growth, U.S. customers -- like Turner -- increasingly are provisioning capacity in other regions of the world, SES senior vice president of global sales Scott Sprague said.

Also this week, SES outlined a plan to launch eight new satellites by 2014, which will increase capacity across its footprint worldwide 23% from the end of 2010 to 2014, according chief commercial officer to Ferdinand Kayser.

SES sees big growth ahead for HD delivery in the U.S.: The company expects more than 800 new HD feeds to be launched over the next eight years, including national networks and regional sports networks, up from 818 currently.