Comcast Media Center (CMC), a business unit of Comcast Cable, has expanded its relationship with SES AMERICOM (News - Alert) by signing a multi-year, multi-transponder contract.
Initially, the CMC will use fifteen of the twenty-one AMC-18 transponders to continue the delivery of HITS Quantum HD channels, expand the HD lineup and for offering the HITS Quantum Classic lineup, which currently includes over 150 linear SD channels and 38 digital audio services.
Eventually, the CMC plans to use 29 C-band transponders in SES AMERICOM's HD-PRIME satellite neighborhood to deliver the current HITS Quantum platform as well as additional services to HITS affiliates.
The move to C-band from Ku-band is expected to enhance service reliability and provide easier access to more programming and advanced service offerings such as HD and VOD.
SES AMERICOM states that with the signing of this deal, it has executed agreements with customers for all AMC-18 capacity, the newest satellite in the AMERICOM fleet.
SES AMERICOM’s HD-PRIME neighborhood is a five-satellite-strong platform for the delivery of HD programming to cable television headends nationwide.
According to company officials, the HITS Quantum SD lineup, which is available on AMC 4, currently includes digital feeds for 68 widely carried “basic and expanded basic” channels. Video-on-demand programming, including the CMC’s “VOD In a Box” service, is available on the AMC-1 satellite.
“This expansion of the CMC’s relationship with SES AMERICOM allows our HITS affiliates to deploy a highly competitive lineup of advanced video services while realizing a substantial savings in cost and bandwidth without sacrificing quality,” Gary Traver, COO at Comcast (News - Alert) Media Center, said in a press statement.
He also added that his company’s new satellite agreement joins several other developments that “represent the largest commitment by the CMC or its predecessors, to HITS in the service’s entire 15-year history.”
Bryan McGuirk, president of media and enterprise division at SES AMERICOM, commented that the Comcast Media Center has ambitious plans to dramatically increase their service offering including the number of HD channels, and their selection of “SES AMERICOM to play a key role in this effort is a tremendous win for us.”
Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
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