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Al Jazeera seals Eutelsat capacity contract

A new deal for transponder capacity on the Eutelsat 7 West A satellite will allow Al Jazeera Network to extend its coverage across North West Africa to Morocco and Nigeria, reports.

Nine channels are already being broadcast via the satellite, located at 7 degrees West, allowing viewers to access the Qatar-based television network’s array of Arabic and English news, documentary, children’s TV, and sports channels.

Previously known as Atlantic Bird 7, the re-named Eutelsat 7 West A has been operational since October 2011.

Its wide beam covers over 30 million homes in the Middle East and Africa, while the North West Africa footprint provides broadcasters such as Al Jazeera “the opportunity to further consolidated their reach,” according to the Paris-based satellite operator.

A total of 822 Arab and international TV channels are known carried by Eutelsat in the Middle East and North Africa, equating to a 35 percent growth in 2011. In addition to Al Jazeera, Eutelsat 7 West A also hosts leading regional broadcasters such as MBC, OSN and Rotana Cinema.