6/09/2004 5:06 AM Eastern

Satellite provider SES Americom Inc. has signed a deal with Rainbow DBS for the leasing of 16 transponders over the next 10 years to add additional channel capacity for Rainbow's Voom HDTV direct-broadcast satellite service.

The deal kicks off Oct. 1, with Rainbow DBS leasing Ku-band transponders on SES' AMC-6 satellite. Voom networks will be carried on that satellite, as well as on its own Rainbow 1 bird.

The companies are working to create a single-dish solution, since subscribers will be getting programming from two different birds.

The transponders will be able to handle the MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Expert Group) compression scheme Voom plans to implement over the next few years.

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