New Satellite will Begin Unprecedented Expansion of DIRECTV HD Programming that will Provide Customers with an Industry-Leading Lineup of Up to 100 National HD Channels
The DIRECTV 10 satellite soared into space yesterday, beginning the first leg of its mission to dramatically expand HD programming for millions of DIRECTV customers nationwide and establish DIRECTV as the industry’s HD pace-setter.
The Boeing-built 702 model satellite lifted off at 6:16 p.m. PDT, Friday, July 6, from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) Russian-built Proton Breeze M launch vehicle. After nine hours and eight minutes in flight, the rocket left the spacecraft in a geosynchronous transfer orbit with a high point of 22,300 miles (36,000 km) above the equator. Controllers at the ground station in Hartebeesthoek, South Africa have made contact with the satellite and confirmed that all systems are functioning properly.
After the spacecraft is maneuvered into a circular orbit at 103 degrees West longitude and tests are completed, it is expected to begin operations in early September, delivering the first of up to 100 national HD channels by year-end. The DIRECTV 10 satellite’s powerful transponder payload includes spot beam capacity that will enable DIRECTV to expand its local HD channel services to up to 75 markets this year.
“With the successful launch of our DIRECTV 10 satellite, we are, to borrow a phrase, boldly going where no TV service has gone before – a new world of up to 100 HD channels and a viewing experience unmatched in the multichannel video marketplace,” said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Development and Strategy, DIRECTV, Inc. “We congratulate the Boeing and ILS teams on a flawless launch as we begin the next countdown to September when the first of our new HD channels will be available to our customers.”
DIRECTV has agreements in place to rollout multiple HD channels from top content providers such as Disney, Discovery Communications, A&E Television Networks, HBO, Fox, Turner, NBC Universal, Showtime Networks, Starz and Scripps Networks, among others.
An additional satellite, DIRECTV 11, will be launched early next year to support further HD expansion in 2008. Between the two satellites, DIRECTV will be capable of delivering more than 1,500 local HD channels and 150 national HD channels, in addition to new advanced programming services for customers.
DIRECTV 10 is the third DIRECTV satellite launched on an ILS Proton vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the oldest space launch facility in the world.
DIRECTV, Inc., the nation’s leading satellite television service provider, presents the finest television experience available to more than 16 million customers in the United States, through exclusive content, industry-leading customer satisfaction (which has surpassed cable for seven years running) and superior technologies. Each day, DIRECTV subscribers enjoy access to over 250 channels of 100% digital picture and sound, exclusive programming and the most comprehensive collection of sports programming available anywhere, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET and MLB EXTRA INNINGS. DIRECTV (NYSE:DTV) also leads the digital television technology revolution with exclusives such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET SuperFan, US Open Interactive and YES Network Interactive and will soon have the capacity to offer over 150 channels in HD. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit www.directv.com.