Eutelsat Communications and Sky Italia have reached a strategic agreement for the renewal of Sky’s capacity contract at Eutelsat’s HOTBIRD position. The agreement represents the latest step in the long-standing partnership between Sky, the pre-eminent anchor customer on HOTBIRD, and Eutelsat which has supported since 2003 the development of Sky, the market leader in Italy, in broadcasting its premium content to some five million households.
The multi-year contract represents a secured backlog of circa 450 million euros and guarantees broadly stable annual revenues for Eutelsat in the medium term. The contract also includes future extension options representing additional potential revenues.
The HOTBIRD fleet forms one of the largest broadcasting systems over Europe. It will be upgraded with the entry into service of two HOTBIRD new generation satellites, to be launched in 2021, that will replace the current spacecraft at Eutelsat’s premium 13° East broadcasting position. The new satellites will deliver improved performances over the European footprint reinforced by a powerful European super-beam.
Commenting on the agreement, Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat said: “We are delighted that Sky continues to rely on Eutelsat to reach one of its key markets in Europe. This agreement ensures long term service continuity for the millions of households in Italy which depend on satellite to receive television, and highlights the key role of satellite for broadcast distribution in Western Europe, today and in the future, by providing reach beyond the limits of terrestrial networks. It also reflects the unmatched coverage of the 13° East orbital position for Europe, and the general resilience of Eutelsat’s Broadcast revenues.”
Maximo Ibarra, CEO of Sky Italia added: “We are glad to continue working with Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators, that has supported Sky since its inception. This agreement represents the latest step in a long and successful partnership that has lasted for many years.”