OTE signs deal on satellite television

Greece’s largest telecoms group OTE said yesterday it has signed an agreement with the Greek state enabling it to broadcast subscriber satellite television services. Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos signed the agreement last week with Hellas Sat, a member of the OTE group, the company said. With this license, OTE acquires the right to offer subscriber satellite television, only the second to be offered in the Greek market in 10 years, according to OTE. Meanwhile, the phone company is scheduled to unveil its second-quarter figures on Thursday. According to a Reuters poll of analysts, OTE is seen as posting a 70 percent year-on-year drop in second-quarter profit on lower revenues from its fixed-line business and a one-off charge. An average forecast of five analysts predicted net profits of 47.3 million euros in the second quarter, down from 159.3 million a year earlier. OTE, 30 percent-owned by Deutsche Telekom, has said it will incur a one-off charge of up to 150 million euros in the second quarter to pay for the early retirement of about 600 workers by the end of the year. Sales are seen down 4.4 percent year-on-year to 1.52 billion euros. Lower consumer spending in the Balkans due to the global economic downturn and sharper competition weighed on OTE’s fixed-line and mobile operations, according to analysts.