SES Americom To Shut Down IPTV Service

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Satellite operator SES Americom will pull the plug on IP-Prime by July 31, 2009, disclosing that the IPTV service reaches fewer than 10,000 telco subscribers in North America.

SES Americom had signed delivery agreements with 70 small telecom operators in North America for IP-Prime, of which 37 have launched commercially.

The Princeton, N.J.-based company said it was terminating the service because of the slow adoption of IPTV by small and medium size telecom operators. Rob Bednarek, president and CEO of SES Americom/New Skies, said in a statement that “with a subscriber base of less than 10,000 at the end of November and after more than two years of service, the consumer uptake is insufficient to justify continuing operations.”

The service, which debuted in 2005, provides more than 300 video channels and 100 music channels.

Luxembourg-based SES, the parent company of SES Americom, said it does not expect the termination of IP-Prime to materially affect its financial guidance for 2008 and 2009. SES spokesman Yves Feltes said there may be layoffs associated with the service’s shutdown but that it was too early to tell how many.

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