Avail Media Makes Plans for Delivering Intelsat IPTV Service

Intelsat announced that it has signed a contract with Avail Media, a provider of IPTV-related services, to launch Intelsat IPTV service in North America beginning in the second quarter of 2007. More than 200 video and audio offerings are planned.

The new service will be available to cable systems, telcos and other video service providers via Intelsat's North American Cable Arc system of satellites, which also serves Alaska and Hawaii.

"The contract with Intelsat enables Avail Media to distribute high-quality video and audio services to our clients in a robust fashion," said Jon Romm, Avail Media's executive vice president of sales. "Intelsat's high-quality distribution platform is not only the right service offering today but it also provides us an opportunity to enhance our offering as our business grows."

Intelsat is providing its IPTV Super Headend technology for reception and repackaging in MPEG-4 format of programming from the Intelsat U.S. constellation. The content is then made available on a wholesale basis to integrators, such as Avail Media, which handles rights management, middleware, local integration and customer management. Avail makes the bundled content available to independent cable operators and telco fiber-to-home providers.

As content is delivered in pre-packaged digital format, the service allows cable MSOs to fully digitize their systems and free up bandwidth for other offerings. The business model also allows telcos to offer extensive video content without having to make heavy investments in headend infrastructure.