SES Delivers Pair of Setanta Sports HD Channels, Boosts Middle East Capacity

International sports broadcaster Setanta Sports will be broadcasting two sports channels in HD to 13 countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – via SES’s ASTRA 5B satellite at the 31.5 degrees East orbital position.

Exclusive La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, European and World Cup Qualifiers, FA Cup, Capital One Cup, NHL, UFC, Formula 1, French Top 14 Rugby and World Championship Boxing are among the live premium sports content that will be broadcast on the two channels, Setanta Sports and Setanta Sports+.

Setanta Sports and Setanta Sports+ are now available on all key cable, DTH and IPTV platforms within the countries of the region.

“At Setanta Sports, we aim to bring TV viewers closer to the action on the ground through live broadcast of matches and races,” says Dwyer McCaughley, CEO at Setanta Sports Eurasia. “SES’s track record in delivering high-quality satellite television, coupled with ASTRA 5B’s extensive reach, is exactly what we need, and we look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with them.”

The recently-launched ASTRA 5B at 31.5 degrees East strengthens SES’s newest video neighborhood in Europe by extending geographic reach over Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The satellite is ideal for direct-to-home, direct-to-cable and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks.

“Setanta’s ambition is to increase their worldwide viewership and bring exciting content to sports enthusiasts in this part of the world,” says Norbert Hölzle, SVP, Commercial Europe, for SES. “We are pleased that they have chosen to work with SES.”

SES Boosts Presence in Middle East Market to Meet Demand
SES has also announced that it reaffirms its long-term commitment to the region through the opening of its Middle East office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Dubai office comprises an initial core team of highly-skilled employees in the fields of engineering, sales and business development, who in turn are supported on an international level through SES’s offices around the world.

SES began operating in the Middle East in 2001 and, since then, the company has grown its investment on the ground and in space, and has nine satellites serving the region’s ever-increasing demand for connectivity.

In addition to a growing local presence, SES launched the inaugural SES Technical Academy in Dubai in 2014, a platform for knowledge transfer, bringing the latest industry developments from the United States and Europe to customers in the Middle East.

“Across many areas of the Middle East, satellite remains one of the most reliable forms of connectivity – and demand for data connectivity continues to grow. The opening of an office in Dubai reaffirms our long term commitment to the region, enabling us to be closer physically and to respond instantly to our customers’ needs,” says Hussein Oteifa, GM, Middle East at SES. “Additionally, our customers can leverage our global fleet of 54 satellites as well as our extensive product and services portfolio to significantly enhance their presence beyond the region.”

SES Aids Live Germany-to-Africa Interactive Classroom
This week, SES also premiered its Live Interactive Classroom application with partners from the Catholic University Eichstätt – Ingolstadt and The Permanent Centre for Education, Kampala, Uganda.

The session is part of an ongoing eLearning project called KUganda and will feature a demonstration delivering an interactive classroom experience via SES Broadband Services’ satellite broadband solution to Ugandan teachers located at The Permanent Center for Education. During the interactive session, Germany-based Professor Dr. Gaby Gien will deliver a seminar together with students in Eichstätt.

“Part of the challenge is to provide teachers in Africa with computers and resources. Without Internet connectivity, teachers and children are deprived of the use of educational content online. Bridging this digital divide is key,” says Dr. Gien, speaking for the KUganda initiative. “With this demonstration, we aim to show how satellite broadband can help to improve social and educational development by providing access where it wasn’t previously possible.”

“Satellite broadband technology has the potential to be transformative by enabling us at KUganda to plan frequent interactive training sessions and increase the scale and impact of our work while accelerating knowledge transfer and reducing costs and time,” Dr. Gien added.

The Live Interactive Classroom application combines a video signal and presentation slides in a comfortable interface. With state of the art peer-to-peer technology, it enables seamless audio/video communications with multiple students anywhere. It requires no third-party software installation or licenses and runs on standard equipment like PCs, laptops or tablets on both sides, while tutor-controlled live feedback enables classroom-like interaction.

The application demonstrated by KUganda is part of the SES Broadband eEducation Network, a service which offers an end-to-end learning environment for teachers, schools and classrooms, as well as for individual students.

“We are pleased to be able to contribute and be part of the KUganda project, which is the first to benefit from our solution. We hope that the SES Broadband eEducation Network will enable more universities and institutions, publishers of educational content and countries in Africa to deliver education services to remote areas in the future,” says Patrick Biewer, Managing Director of SES Broadband Services.