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Eutelsat signs deal with Kyrgyz pubcaster

Kyrgyz public broadcaster RPO RMTR announced a multi- year agreement with Eutelsat to provide a nationwide free-to-air (FTA) digital TV service ahead of the country’s analogue switch-off this June. 

Broadband TV News reports RPO RMTR is using the high-power service area of the Eutelsat 70B satellite to broadcast a free-to-air platform of national channels to DTT towers and direct to homes beyond terrestrial reception.

One in five of the 1.2 million TV homes in the Kyrgyz Republic is already equipped with a dish, with the country’s highly mountainous terrain making satellite particularly efficient for achieving 100% penetration of digital TV.

The RPO RMTR platform, comprising four TV and three radio channels, went live in November and was launched commercially this month. 

The offer is expected to ramp up rapidly in 2015 to 16 TV and eight radio channels, with further services planned for the future.

Commenting on the development, Ainura Temirbekov, the vice minister of culture, information and tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic, said: “We are excited about the fruitful cooperation between RPO RMTR and Eutelsat for the successful implementation of digital satellite TV. This project for the broadcasting of the Kyrgyz Republic’s public channels via Eutelsat 70B satellite allows us to cover the entire territory of the country. The population of the Kyrgyz Republic is now able to receive all public TV and radio channels anywhere in our country.”

Bakit Sharshembiev, CEO of RPO RMTR, added: “Access to Eutelsat 70B’s premium coverage over the Kyrgyz Republic transforms us into a nationwide provider of digital broadcast services. By having a hybrid satellite – DTT network, we will achieve full digital coverage in time for analogue switch off in June this year.”

Michel Azibert, chief commercial & development officer of Eutelsat, concluded: “We are delighted to leverage our experience of analogue switch-off to help the Kyrgyz Republic organise a smooth transition to digital, and that RPO RMTR’s preference goes to our Eutelsat 70B satellite. This is a significant opportunity for Central Asia as Eutelsat’s 70 degrees East position can take its place as a broadcasting point of reference in the region, with premium reach of the Kyrgyz Republic as well as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.”