Astrium To Build Ku-band Satellite for DirecTV Latin America

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PARIS — Astrium Satellites, bolstering its relationship with U.S. satellite-television broadcaster DirecTV, on Oct. 24 said it would build a Ku-band satellite to be launched in early 2016 and operated over Brazil by DirecTV Latin America’s Sky Brasil division.

Astrium is also building the DirecTV 15 satellite, to be launched in late 2014; and the Intelsat IS-32 satellite, to be launched in 2016 and used for Brazilian television by DirecTV Latin America at 43 degrees west. 

IS-32 and its Sky Brasil-1 payload will carry 81 Ku- and Ka-band transponders.

Los Angeles-based DirecTV in the past has used satellites owned and operated by Washington- and Luxembourg-based Intelsat for its Brazilian subsidiary because Intelsat has access to radio spectrum at the relevant orbital slots.

Astrium said that its latest order from DirecTV Latin America is a satellite that will carry as many as 60 Ku-band transponders and as many as 20 spot beams for regional television coverage. The satellite is expected to weigh about 6,300 kilograms at launch and provide 16 kilowatts of power to its payload at the end of its 15-year service life.

Sky Brasil’s recent growth projections were revised downward earlier this year when DirecTV discovered that its Brazilian affiliate was miscounting subscribers by leaving certain unpaid accounts on the books and counted as active.

The company said it would reduce its count by about 200,000 of paid subscribers to Sky Brasil, meaning the service had some 5 million subscribers as of June 30.

For the three months ending June 30, Sky Brasil reported revenue of $942 million and an operating profit of $262 million.

 

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