The Broadcasting Board of Governors in July awarded a no-bid $171,000 contract to MX1 Ltd. to deliver satellite television signals into Cuba.
As part of the contract, MX1 will provide direct-to-home satellite broadcast coverage into Cuba from a satellite known as Hispasat 30W-5.
The contractor is required to provide signal strength capable of broadcasting to 31-inch satellite dishes on the ground in Cuba.
Records show the contract is worth up to $855,000 and may be extended until June 30, 2023.
In its request for a no-bid contract, the BBG said:
…the existing Hispasat satellite offers coverage servicing target locations in the Republic of Cuba and is among the highest priority targets of OCB broadcasters. Hispasat has been the satellite of choice for the last six years, and is vital importance to the United States Government. All viewers and listeners in the Republic of Cuba have an antenna peaked to this satellite.
Changing to a new satellite would not allow adequate time for OCB to advise the clandestine viewers and listeners in the Republic of cuba of any satellite carrier parameter changes. This would greatly impact the success that OCB has enjoyed over the past six years to get the mission critical message to the people of the Republic of Cuba.”
“OCB’s strategy is to deliver content to as many users as possible and increase DTH (direct-to-home) satellite distribution of video and audio content. These services are considered mission critical to the OCB, and the continued investment will enable OCB to retain its established audience base on Hispasat 30W-5.
In April, the BBG posted a notice saying it was looking for a contractor to meet its requirements. The agency said the only company that replied was MX1, which was using a U.S. address of 157 Kimbles Road, Hawley, Pennsylvania. The contact name was Nissim Yeheskel, listed as a senior sales director at MX1.
The BBG said the winning contractor should give the OCB the ability “to turn encryption on and off from the OCB program origin in Miami at its sole discretion. This signal shall pass through the Contractor’s Hispasat gateway facility and subsequently be uplinked without any intervention or disruption in the broadcast signal.”
MX1, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), is a leading global media services provider. It works with leading media businesses to shape content into the ultimate viewer experience, ensuring it can appear on any device anywhere in the world. MX1 offers a full range of content aggregation, content management, channel playout, online video/VOD and content distribution services via its MX1 360 Unified Media Platform to amplify audience reach on any broadcast, online or VOD platform.
MX1’s website states:
MX1 has 16 offices worldwide and operates global state-of-the-art media centres on three continents, enabling customers to reach a potential audience of billions around the world. As well as managing more than 5 million media assets, every single day it distributes more than 3,200 TV channels, manages the playout of over 500 channels, and delivers over 8,400 hours of online video streaming and more than 560 hours of premium sports and live events.