Eutelsat also reaffirms its attachment to freedom of information and
non-discrimination of audiovisual content which complies with appropriate regulations

Paris, 15 January 2009

Eutelsat Communications wishes to respond immediately to today’s declaration by the European Parliament concerning the incident in June 2008 which resulted in the suspension of broadcasting of NTD TV over South-East Asia through the W5 satellite, which is the only satellite operated by Eutelsat with coverage of this region.

Following the technical investigation conducted with the satellite’s manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space, Eutelsat confirmed unambiguously the irreversible loss of one of W5’s solar panels. As a consequence of this technical breakdown, all broadcasting services routed via the beam providing coverage of South-East Asia are permanently switched-off. This measure was taken as consumer broadcasting services to small on-ground antennas consume significantly more power than professional services. W5 is now consequently exclusively used for professional services over Europe and the Middle East.

Eutelsat also confirms that as the company has no alternative capacity with coverage of South-East Asia, it is not in a position to propose a solution for consumer broadcasting to this region through its own satellites. This situation applies to all users impacted by the technical incident, including NTD TV.

Immediately after the anomaly occurred, Eutelsat informed its customers concerned by the switch-off of the transponders. For those seeking only a footprint over Asia, Eutelsat identified alternative broadcast solutions through other operators with coverage of this region. A list of operators who could be in a position to replace Eutelsat was therefore sent to RR Sat that provided broadcasting services to NTD TV via W5.

The extent of the incident affecting W5 was explained on 6 August 2008 in person to Mr Wang, the Chairman of NTD TV Canada. Eutelsat also responded to all individual requests from European Parliament members with precise information on the situation. At a meeting in Brussels on 26 August 2008 the company met representatives of the European Commission to explain the purely technical nature of the incident which obliged the company to interrupt consumer broadcasting services through W5, including for NTD TV. Eutelsat also reaffirmed on this occasion that on no account was there any discrimination against NTD TV, which the company continues to broadcast across Europe via its key HOT BIRD™ video neighbourhood. With due regard to Article III of the International Convention establishing the European Telecommunications Satellite Organisation “EUTELSAT”, Eutelsat’s policy is to broadcast all types of television service, refraining from any judgement as to the ideological and political positioning of the channels whilst conforming with all relevant national regulations and international agreements.

About Eutelsat Communications

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 26 satellites that provide coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, Eutelsat is one of the world's three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues. At 30 September 2008, Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting more than 3,180 television channels and 1,100 radio stations. Almost 1,100 channels broadcast via its HOT BIRD™ video neighbourhood at 13 degrees East which serves over 120 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Group’s satellites also serve a wide range of fixed and mobile telecommunications services, TV contribution markets, corporate networks, and broadband markets for Internet Service Providers and for transport, maritime and in-flight markets. Eutelsat's broadband subsidiary, Skylogic, markets and operates services through its teleport in Italy that serves enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ 538 commercial, technical and operational experts from 27 countries.

For further information


Vanessa O’Connor 

Tel: + 33 1 53 98 38 88

Frédérique Gautier 

Tel: + 33 1 53 98 38 88


Gilles Janvier 

Tel: +33 1 53 98 35 30