Full-Time Uplinking for Cable Channels

The list of cable channels keeps growing and they all need to find a way to get it to the top 100 cable systems. Since 1976, the best way to get your cable channel distributed is by satellite — it is the technology that made HBO and CNN what they are today.

First step is to secure a lease on a C-band satellite that cable systems are already "looking at" (have a downlink antenna assigned to it). CED Magazine’s series of wall charts include the annual "Orbital Arc Chart" (link launches PDF), which shows you a snapshot of all the cable channels and which satellites they’re on. Want more detail? Check Lyngsat for each satellite’s ladder chart.

Getting space segment in a high-value "cable neighborhood" is not cheap. For a start-up, viable alternatives to going it alone include origination and uplink centers such as Comcast Media Center (CMC) in Colorado and Crawford Communications in Georgia. 

CMC uplinks the entire HITS ("headend in the sky") platform, which carries a ton of channels.

Broadcast Newsroom just ran a piece on Crawford setting a record for new channel uplinks: 14 new channels so far this year. overall, they uplink 135 full time cable channels. I like their new video tour: