SES Americom Thinks Global

By Ken Kerschbaumer

SES Americom is at NAB with a new unified global team that brings together the SES Americom and New Sky satellite teams in the U.S. and The Hague, The Netherlands, making it easier than ever for sportscasters and networks to deliver content to viewers around the world.

“We now have the breadth and inventory the market needs and are delivering 136 HD channels globally,” says Bryan McGuirk, SVP of Media Services. “And the trend is, networks are delivering all their networks in HD, not just an HD boutique channel.”

MPEG-4 compression is a key driver of the additional HD channels, allowing the SES Americom IP Prime neighborhood to continue making many more HD channels available to cable operators, telcos, and other partners. It also lays down the building blocks for 1080p delivery.

“Broadcasters today are tied to ATSC, but facilities like ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center are 1080p-capable, and it’s a big trend,” says McGuirk. “And, as consumers add 1080p displays and watch 1080p content on Blu-ray players and pay-per-view, they’ll be trained to know that 1080p is better.”

SES Americom customers like Setanta Sports, which delivers European football, rugby, and other events to U.S. viewers, represents a shift in international distribution. As compression technologies make room for more services, the cost of delivering signals drops and allows networks with smaller revenue streams to go global.

“We can now deliver all content effectively on a global level, and niche markets exist everywhere,” says McGuirk. “Here is the U.S., we also deliver a large packet of Korean channels and offer global one-stop shopping for networks.”

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