IBC2009: NHK Grows Intelsat Deal for Global HD News

Intelsat, Ltd., a major provider of fixed satellite services, used the international stage of the IBC in Amsterdam to announce a multi-year extension and expansion of its current contract for the use of transponders for mostly HD transmissions with NHK Global Media Services of Japan.

At the confab which ended Sept. 15, NHK said it would will use the technical infrastructure of G-Media on three Intelsat satellites, as well as program “turnaround” services at three Intelsat teleports (and Intelsat's own video fiber network) to transmit what NHK says is “the first global high-definition news channel,” NHK World TV.

NHK World TV will be a non-proprietary, basic HD-tier English-language channel broadcasting world news, along with Asian lifestyle content. Material will be gleaned from NHK's 30 HD-equipped news bureaus located on nearly every continent. Content distributor will be a firm mostly owned by NHK--Japan International Broadcasting, Inc. Intelsat said at IBC2009 that the largely HD news content will be available in at least 80 countries, including the United States and Canada.

G-Media said it plans to deliver the 24/7 HD content from NHK’s new HD studios in Tokyo. Turnaround services will be in operation at Intelsat’s teleports in Fuchsstadt, Germany; Napa, Calif.; and Ellenwood, Ga.

Following its first-ever HD transmission 20 years ago, Intelsat said it now delivers more than 150 HD channels globally.

Incidentally, IBC officials put the show’s official attendance this year at 45,547 in a shaky economy, which it said was “only 7 percent down” from last year.