Dual in the sky

Sogecable's Digital Plus to beam on two birds

GIJON, SPAIN — Spanish pay TV operator Sogecable has pacted with Astra and Hispasat for both to continue transmitting Sogecable’s new Digital Plus pay TV platform.

Commiting to a dual transmission, Sogecable has neatly sidestepped a dilemma of large economic and strategic proportions. Telco giant Telefonica is the biggest shareholder in Sogecable with a 22% stake. It also holds 13% Spain’s Hispasat, which supplied the signal to satcaster Via Digital. Via merged with Sogecable’s Astra-transmitted Canal Satelite Digital this July. But CSD had rwice as many subs as Via.

Now new Digital Plus clients can choose which hotbird they use; existing clients will not have to realign dishes at their or Sogecable’s expense.

A UBS Warburg report has estimated the cost of reorientating dishes at $90 per sub.

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