Europe: Intelsat to Transmit Olympics in HD for EBU

Intelsat a global commercial satellite provider, said it has just inked a deal with the European Broadcasting Union for use of several of the satellite firm’s transponders for HD carriage of the 2008 summer Olympics from Beijing to Europe.

Intelsat’s first Olympics carriage agreement was signed 40 years ago, and it’s had a part in all carrying all Olympics games since then. The EBU said it plans to use C- and Ku-band “cross-strap capacity” on Intelsat’s 706 satellite (at 50.2 degrees East) to distribute the all HD event to its members. The EBU, which includes many major European broadcasters, plans to provide an array of network services from Beijing, including broadband video carriage for computer viewers.

Intelsat is headquartered in Pembroke, Bermuda; the EBU is based in Brussels.

Intelsat said it will be on-site in Beijing to provide services “to both the rights-holding and non-rights holding broadcasters” seeking data and other coverage. U.S. rights to the games belong to the various networks of NBC Universal.