Shaw Direct expanding capacity in late 2012

Shaw Direct, Canada’s number two direct-to-home (DTH) satellite broadcaster, announced this week that it has entered into agreements with Telesat to acquire capacity on Telesat’s G1 satellite expected to be available in late 2012.

The company says the expanded capacity will increase Shaw Direct’s satellite television services by 30 percent through 16 new national transponders.

In addition to the Shaw Direct capacity, Anik G1 will carry additional payloads to serve other markets.

The move follows a January decision by Industry Canada required Shaw to have the Extended Ku band satellites operational by Jan 1, 2014 or risk losing parts of the 11 GHz frequency band for Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite broadcasting services.

“This marks a milestone for our satellite business,” said Peter Bissonnette, President, Shaw Communications Inc. “The new satellite was made possible pursuant to a December 2009 policy decision from Industry Canada and further strengthens the capabilities of the country’s competitive satellite distribution sector.”

Shaw Direct currently provides DTH services to over 900,000 customers across Canada. The company is second in the market to Bell TV which has about 1.9 million subscribers.

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