SES Americom was a major commercial satellite operator of North American geosynchronous satellites based in the United States. The company started as RCA Americom in 1975 before being bought by General Electric in 1986 and then later acquired by SES S.A. in 2001. In September 2009, SES Americom and SES New Skies merged into SES World Skies. RCA American Communications (RCA Americom) was founded in 1975 as an operator of RCA Astro Electronics-built satellites. The companys first satellite; Satcom 1, was launched on December 12, 1975. Satcom 1 was one of the earliest geostationary satellites. Satcom 1 was instrumental in helping early cable TV channels (such as Superstation TBS and CBN) to become initially successful, because these channels distributed their programming to all of the local cable TV headends using the satellite. Additionally, it was the first satellite used by broadcast TV networks in the United States, like ABC, NBC, and CBS, to distribute their programming to all of their local affiliate stations. Satcom 1 was so widely used because it had twice the communications capacity of the competing Westar 1 (24 transponders as opposed to Westar 1’s 12), which resulted in lower transponder usage costs.