Hot Bird is the name of a family of satellites operated by Eutelsat, located at 13°E over the Equator (orbital position) and with a transmitting footprint over Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Both digital and analogue radio and television channels are transmitted by the HOT BIRD constellation, both free-to-air and encrypted. In addition there are a few interactive and IP services. The satellites currently at 13° East are numbered 6, 8 & 9. HOT BIRD 10 was launched in February 2009. It will support Eutelsat's expansion at 7° West, a key video neighbourhood for the Middle East, until its final deployment at 13° East after the redeployment of HOT BIRD 6.
The 13° East slot predates the launch of HOT BIRD 1 in 1995, with Eutelsat 1F1 having been located there as early as 1983, and Eutelsat 2F1 having also served time at the location.
HOT BIRD 3 was intended to be moved to 10°E to become Eurobird 10. During the drift from 13°E to 10°E, the satellite suffered loss of power from one solar array. It was nevertheless successfully moved to 10°E, but could only operate at a reduced capacity. Since then, it is operating at 4°E under the name EUROBIRD 4.
HOT BIRD 5 was re-located to 25.5°E and renamed Eurobird 2. Six transponders are leased to Arabsat under the name Badr 3, after having been called Arabsat 2D.
Hot Bird 7 was lost in December 2002 during the Ariane 5 ECA launch. Its replacement, Hot Bird 7A (a Spacebus 3000B3) was successfully launched on 11 March 2006. With the entry into service of HOT BIRD 9 it is being redeployed to 9° East, where it will increase capacity to 38 Ku band transponders.
Hot Bird 1, a Spacebus 2000, has reached end-of-life.
Up to 1000 TV and radio channels are available Free-To-Air.