Measat Expects Sales to Reach $100M in 3 Years

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Satellite fleet operator Measat of Malaysia expects to reach $100 million in annual revenue within three years, compared to nearly $60 million in 2008, as it expands from its home base westward and takes advantage of a key relationship with India, Measat Chief Operating Officer Paul Brown-Kenyon said.

Measat has been able to take advantage of India’s fast-growing direct-to-home television market, which is generally off-limits to foreigners, by reaching an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Measat has contracted with Antrix, ISRO’s commercial arm, which has leased eight transponders on the Measat-3 satellite, with an option to lease additional capacity. India’s direct-to-home satellite market is one of the fastest-growing in the world, going from 8 million subscribers in 2007 to more than 20 million as of June. At least six different satellite-television platforms are competing for viewers.

The Measat-3a spacecraft, after a year’s delay due mainly to an August 2008 incident that damaged the satellite, was launched in June and will back up Measat-3 at 91.6 degrees east.

Malaysia’s Astro satellite-television broadcaster remains Measat’s biggest customer, having leased 12 transponders on Measat-3 and six on Measat-3a to be used as backup.

Measat is also developing a new slot at 46 degrees east with its Africasat 1 satellite, the former Measat-1.

Industry officials for months have expected Measat, which has regulatory rights to 17 orbital slots covering Asia, to announce a joint venture with Azerbaijan to develop an orbital slot for Azersat. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., is viewed as being the best placed to win the Azersat construction work, but no firm contract has been announced. Brown-Kenyon declined to comment on the Azersat situation.