MultiChoice, Eutelsat Expand Lease Arrangements

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PARIS — South African satellite-television broadcaster MultiChoice is leasing two more transponders at fleet operator Eutelsat’s 36 degrees east orbital slot, bringing the total to 22 transponders under long-term contract at that position, Paris-based Eutelsat and MultiChoice announced Feb. 25.

MultiChoice will use the new capacity to expand its DStv service offering with new channels, MultiChoice Chief Executive Nico Meyer said in a statement.

Johannesburg-based MultiChoice, whose television broadcasts reach more than 50 nations in Africa and the Indian Ocean region, booked an initial 20 transponders for 15 years at the 36 degrees east slot in January 2010 in one of the year’s largest transponder-lease deals.

Eutelsat operates the Eutelsat 36A and 36B satellites at that orbital slot, which has been one of Eutelsat’s success stories in the past couple of years, both with African and Russian customers. The latter market is being addressed in partnership with fleet operator Russian Satellite Communications Co. of Moscow.