With the infrastructure now set, SES Americom lined up the first batch of programmers for its turnkey IP PRIME IPTV service, set to debut later this year.
The satellite provider announced carriage deals with 30 programmers including Starz Entertainment Group, A&E Television Networks, Hallmark Channels and Lifetime Entertainment Services, totaling some 120 channels for the fledgling TV service.
The channels will include Starz’s suite of movie channels, Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women, Crown Media’s two Hallmark channels, the C-SPAN channels, Eternal Word Television Network, The Tennis Channel, Bloomberg Television, Gospel Music Channel and Wealth TV.
IP PRIME offers telco providers a complete satellite-delivered IPTV service, including set-top boxes, transport network, channel management and encoding. It will be based in SES Americom’s distribution center in Vernon Valley, N.J.
BellSouth and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative are now testing IP PRIME. By the time the service is ready for commercial rollout late this year, SES Americom plans to have a lineup of some 200 program channels.
“For nearly 30 years, SES Americom has delivered the coverage and reliability the world’s best programmers and content providers have come to trust and depend on to reach growing audiences with insatiable appetites for quality news and entertainment,” SES Americom president of media solutions Bryan McGuirk said.
“IP-PRIME opens the door for programmers in search of new markets and viewers ready to receive the true triple play of video, voice and broadband over a single line to the home,” he added.
“Commercial-free movies are timeless in their appeal, as they have long been a favorite of consumers across all viewing platforms,” Starz Entertainment vice president Tom Gove said. “We are pleased to make the full complement of the Starz and Encore channels available through SES Americom.”