Bulsatcom Strikes Deal with SSL to Launch Own Communications Sattelite
US-based Space Systems/Loral (SSL) has announced it was selected to provide a communications satellite for Bulsatcom, the largest pay-TV services provider in Bulgaria.
The satellite will provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) television service and fixed satellite services in the Balkans and other European regions for Bulgaria Sat, the Palo Alto, California-based manufacturer of commercial satellites said in a press release.
The new satellite will be Bulgaria Sat’s first dedicated TV broadcasting spacecraft.
According to data from capital.bg, Bulsatcom has a share of over 30% of the pay-TV market in the country.
SSL also said it assisted Bulgaria Sat in obtaining all of the financing for the satellite, including export credit financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
According to data from the Ex-Im website, the official export credit agency of the United States has authorized USD 151 M in project financing for the manufacturing, delivery and launch of the satellite, BulgariaSat-1.
“It has been a pleasure to help Bulgaria Sat reach this milestone of ordering its first satellite, which will help expand connectivity in the region, bringing the latest in up-to-date information and entertainment,” SSL President John Celli said.
Space Systems/Loral will manufacture the television broadcasting spacecraft in Palo Alto, and a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the satellite in 2016.
“We selected SSL to manufacture our first satellite early on, based on its history of success and reliability,” Maxim Zayakov, chief executive officer of Bulgaria Sat, said in the press release.
Bulsatcom plans to offer the bigger part of the new satellite’s DTH service capacity to other wholesale satellite TV operators in the Balkans.
Bulsatcom currently uses Greek satellite Hellas Sat 2 to transmit its digital TV signal but the satellite's projected lifespan is about to end in 2017-2018.
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