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DirecTV 7S Will Expand Local Channel Availability

By | May 4, 2004

      El Segundo, Calif.-based DirecTV launched a new spot beam satellite this morning that will deliver local channels to its customers in more than 60 markets.

      The DirecTV 7S, a Space Systems/Loral-built 1300 model spacecraft and the second spot-beam satellite in the DirecTV fleet, was launched from the ocean-based platform aboard a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket at 5:42 a.m. PDT (8:52 a.m. EDT) from an equatorial launch site at 154 degrees west longitude. The satellite will enable DirecTV to expand its local channel programming to an additional 42 markets and to transmit local channels in 19 existing local-into-local markets to free up capacity on other DirecTV satellites to deliver more local channels and new services.

      DirecTV plans to offer local channels in a minimum of 130 markets – roughly 92 percent of U.S. TV households — by year’s end.

      Mitchell Stern, president and CEO of DirecTV, said, “There is no understating the importance of the role DirecTV 7S plays in our plans to turn up the heat on cable in more local channel markets, and our ability to continue to roll out other new services for our customers.”

      For in-depth coverage of this story, see the May 10 issue of Satellite News. For more information about subscribing to PBI Media’s satellite newsletters, check out our Web site at

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