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DIGITAL TRANSITION IN FRANCE DRIVING GROWTH OF EUTELSAT’S FRANSAT SATELLITE PLATFORM OF DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TV CHANNELS

PR/08/11

Paris, 27 January 2011
As France enters its second year of transition into a fully digital broadcasting environment, with complete analogue switch-off set for 30 November, Eutelsat’s FRANSAT subsidiary reports that over 800,000 set-top-boxes have been shipped to receive Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) channels by satellite via the FRANSAT platform. A further 200,000 FRANSAT connections have been installed in community buildings (hotels, retirement homes, hospitals, clinics …). Users selecting satellite reception of France’s DTT channels are mainly located beyond range of the national Digital Terrestrial TV network, in areas where terrestrial reception is made more difficult by the landscape or by interference in frontier areas.

Continued take-up of FRANSAT expected in 2011
This milestone has been reached as analogue switch-off has been completed in 10 regions in metropolitan France. A further 14 regions, accounting for two thirds of French TV viewers, will transition in 2011. This second wave includes mountainous regions in the south of France (Auvergne, Alpine regions, Provence, Corsica, Rhone valley, Midi-Pyrenees) where a satellite solution will be needed to provide complementary coverage, ensuring that no home is excluded from access to Digital Terrestrial Television.

Yves Blanc, Chairman of FRANSAT remarked on the performance: “We are extremely gratified by the response to FRANSAT during our first year of active contribution to France’s move into a digital broadcasting environment. FRANSAT is clearly meeting a need to complement France’s terrestrial network so that all homes can benefit from digital. We are committed to further evolving the platform, with the addition of regional and thematic channels.”

Simplicity and efficiency driving take-up of FRANSAT
The rapid sales of boxes to receive FRANSAT underscore the intrinsic value of satellites for providing national broadcast coverage, with no need to build out additional terrestrial infrastructure, and for delivering optimal signal quality. For homes in metropolitan France beyond range of terrestrial reception, the viewer only needs to make a one-off investment in a FRANSAT-labelled set-top-box and a dish pointed to the ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 satellite at 5° West for access on a subscription-free basis to all free national DTT channels, including HD channels. Eutelsat’s 5° West location has been used for more than 20 years by France’s six historic analogue channels for reaching homes in regions with inexistent or poor terrestrial reception. This installed base of analogue-equipped homes can upgrade to digital with no need to change their outdoor unit.

For collective housing and community dwellings, FRANSAT provides a solution called “FRANSAT PRO”. Located at the headend of a distribution network, FRANSAT PRO converts and redistributes TV signals in the standard DTT format to individual residential connections. Users receive the channels by plugging a terrestrial DTT adapter or a TV set with a built-in DTT tuner into their connection.

Enriched content offering, an additional asset of FRANSAT
The FRANSAT model is also based on offering viewers the opportunity to access 11 local and thematic free-to-air channels, which have been progressively added to the basic package of national DTT channels and all 24 regional channels of the France 3 network.
With a range of 20 decoders carrying the FRANSAT label and community products, commercialised by a network of 6,000 dealers, FRANSAT is well-equipped to deliver a simple complement to the terrestrial network in metropolitan France and to contribute to making Digital Terrestrial Television a universal service accessible to all.

About FRANSAT
FRANSAT is a simple and fast solution for receiving in metropolitan France on a subscription-free basis the 19 DTT channels, four HD channels, 24 regional channels of the France 3 network and other local and thematic channels. FRANSAT principally serves homes located beyond range of DTT reception and homes already equipped for DTH reception of France’s six analogue channels broadcast by Eutelsat’s ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 satellite. FRANSAT is a 100% subsidiary of Eutelsat SA with a mission to operate and provide digital television services in France from Eutelsat satellites.
For more information on FRANSAT:
www.fransat.fr

About Eutelsat Communications
Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 27 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 2010, Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting more than 3,700 television channels to a measured audience of 204 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 access to high speed internet services through teleports in France and Italy that serve enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ 660 commercial, technical and operational experts from 28 countries.
www.eutelsat.com

For further information        
Press        
Vanessa O’Connor     Tel. : + 33 1 53 98 37 91    voconnor@eutelsat.fr

Frédérique Gautier     Tel. : + 33 1 53 98 37 91     fgautier@eutelsat.fr

Investors        
Lisa Finas     Tel. : +33 1 53 98 35 30    investors@eutelsat-communications.com