Orby TV Announces Partnership with Globecast

Start-up satellite TV company sheds more light on its business model
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Heading into NAB New York this week, startup satellite TV provider Orby TV has shed more light on its business model, revealing Globecast as a broadcast solutions vendor.

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Globecast is handling Orby TV’s full broadcast operations from its media center in Culver City, California, using its fiber and satellite network. Globecast is managing channel aggregation for Orby TV, providing it co-location services, handling technical operations and the uplinking of the channels to the high-powered Ku-band capacity on Eutelsat’s Eutelsat 117 West A satellite at 117° West.

The announcement follows Orby TV’s unveiling of Eutelsat as its satellite partner last month at the IBC Show in Amsterdam.

Related: Orby TV Hitches Ride with Eutelsat to Launch New Satellite TV Service

Orby TV, which launched over the spring and offers 44 basic cable channels (no ESPN) and delivers all the local broadcast networks by provided OTA antenna, is basing its business model on keeping a low price point, which starts at $40 a month.

“Pay TV has gotten way too expensive,” Orby TV CEO Michael Thornton said, adding that the average price for cable or satellite TV has reached $107 a month.

Not having to launch satellites itself, or manage uplinks and downlinks, or manufacture set-tops—the company has contracted with electronics maker Kaon for those—helps keep costs in check.

“Third-party services have made [satellite TV] very economical and efficient,” Thornton said. Since Orby TV launched six months ago, Thornton said that has been leasing space and services from Globecast. “They’re our downlink and uplink provider,” he said.

Meanwhile, delivering broadcast channels over the air keeps Orby TV out of those dreaded broadcast retransmission blackouts.

Thornton, a veteran of the satellite TV business having previously worked for DirecTV, would not disclose a subscriber number six months into his business, but said, “things are progressing nicely.

“It’s a slow build, entering a market where there are lots of choices,” he added. 

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