Eutelsat Communications has reached an agreement with Sub-Saharan channel network and content distributor, AfricaXP for the use the Ku-band capacity on two of its satellites, positioned at 16° East and 7° East.
The multi-year agreements will enable AfricaXP to utilise Eutelsat’s 7° East capacity to roll out 23 channels on its Direct-To-Home free-to-air TV platform, Premium. Free, over Southern and Eastern Africa, starting from the middle of February.
Eutelsat’s 7C satellite located to 7 degrees East longitude, was announced to have commenced full service late last month. The satellite launched into space in June 2019 was successfully assigned some broadcasters and providers from the 7A satellite due to be relocated. In addition to 7C to hosting services from Turkish pay-TV platform Digiturk, Turkey’s national broadcaster TRT, and Globecast, it will also host services from AfricaXP.
Speaking on the collaboration, Director of the Sub-Saharan Africa region at Eutelsat, Nicolas Baravalle, said the company is pleased to support AfricaXP in rolling out its multi-channel Free-to-Air bouquet across Sub-Saharan Africa. According to him, the partnership buttresses the “strength and desirability of the two orbital hotspots for the Sub-Saharan region, which are becoming increasingly sought after by broadcasters.”
Also, AfricaXP hopes to launch an additional 10-channelled French language bouquet from Eutelsat’s 16° East to expand its market in Francophone countries in Africa.
Elaborating further on the Premium.Free bundle, and its multi-year agreement with Eutelsat, AfricaXP’s CEO, Craig Kelly, said the bundle has been engaging viewers in English-speaking West African countries for the past year by providing a pay-TV quality experience to the public free-of-charge as an unencrypted satellite service. He pointed out that the new Ku-band capacity on Eutelsat’s 7º East and 16° East positions offers them a wide geographic reach in Africa’s key Western, Eastern and Southern markets, where they serve large audiences. He also stated that the partnership has ignited a strong interest from their advertising partners.
In September 2018, AfricaXP commenced the provision of thirteen new locally customised free-to-air channels in Nigeria via its Premium.Free bouquet. The channels are delivered via SES satellites at 28.2 degrees East, and consists of multinational language channels.
The company has and runs over 20 channels outfitted to principal African broadcasters and African diaspora platforms globally.
Ogechi Onuoha is a Cambridge Certified ESOL editor with a background in reporting, international relations, creative writing and adept in industry research and analysis. She is passionate about curating and evaluating the benefits/relevance of space to grassroots development and women’s participation in the space sector.