Cable & Wireless Optus today signed a major deal to carry digital TV signals via satellite for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The deal is expected to be worth more than $175 million over its 10 year term.
Chris Hancock, Managing Director Data & Business Services said the agreement would see Optus manage the distribution by satellite of the national broadcaster's digital TV transmission.
"This deal confirms Optus as a leader in satellite services in Australia. Our satellite will allow the ABC to reach regional, rural and remote areas across Australia as their digital TV program is rolled out," he said.
The service will allow regional and rural viewers, who make up around half the Australia population, to receive the new ABC digital television programs with the same quality broadcast as city viewers.
The Optus satellite services will commence on 1 July 2001 and will follow the regional rollout in line with the Federal Government's digital TV implementation schedule.
"Satellite is an effective technology to serve these regional and rural areas. We are pleased to continue a relationship with the ABC that has spanned some 15 years, through the delivery of their digital TV programming," Mr Hancock said.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cable & Wireless Optus will carry the ABC's digital transmission via satellite to a potential 240 sites across Australia.
In addition, Optus has subcontracted ntl Australia, to install and operate downlinks at the sites.
Tom Bennie, Managing Director of ntl Australia said the established partnerships would ensure smooth and coordinated delivery of ABC digital TV services across the nation.
"ntl is already working with the ABC to deliver their terrestrial digital TV and Optus has been working with the ABC for more than 15 years. It makes sense for us to work with Optus in ensuring high quality and reliable service for the ABC and their viewers."
This is the second ABC deal announced by Cable & Wireless Optus in recent months.
For more information:
Cable & Wireless Optus
Phone: 02 9342 5045