Intelsat has announced that direct-to-home (DTH) television operator MultiChoice has signed a long-term, multi-transponder agreement for satellite capacity.

The agreement extends and expands MultiChoice’s existing contract on the Intelsat 7 satellite at 68.5-degrees E to the follow-on satellite, Intelsat 20 (IS-20), which is due to be launched in early 2012.
The contract, which spans the 15-year expected life of IS-20, also provides restoration capacity, which will result in a more robust network platform.
MultiChoice and Intelsat collaborated on the design of the South African Ku-band payload for IS-20, which will optimise the signal reception power for MultiChoice’s 2,6-million DStv customers in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique.
“The growth our business is experiencing is fueled by new content combined with the best technology. For almost all of the past two decades, Intelsat has been one of the cornerstones of MultiChoice’s success,” says Nico Meyer, chief financial officer of MultiChoice. “This contract provides us with the transmission services we require to grow our programming platform and expand our subscriber base, and gives us the business continuity we need to provide the highest quality service to our subscribers for years to come.”
Flavien Bachabi, Intelsat’s regional vice-president: Africa, adds: “Intelsat’s 68.5º E orbital location is the leading video neighborhood for Africa, and a high-value orbital location for DTH service providers like MultiChoice that require the ideal coverage, resilience and reliability the Intelsat network provides.
“This agreement demonstrates the partnerships we build with our customers in developing customized solutions that support their long-term business objectives.”
The IS-20 satellite, which will also replace the Intelsat 10 satellite, will provide services to Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and India. The satellite's Ku-band payload is specifically designed to provide enterprise network and DTH services into Asia, Africa and the Middle East.