31/08/03

No update Sunday




30/08/03

NO update back on Monday




29/08/03

About the Footprint published yesterday, fear not those on NZ's West Island here's one for you guys

Some more interesting stuff from the NZ Digital TV announcement

DIGITAL SATELLITE PLATFORMS

8 While TVNZ content is now available free-to-air via satellite to any user who purchases a suitable set top box (STB), other free-to-air terrestrial services such as TV3, TV4 and Prime are encrypted by Sky and are only able to be decoded by STBs supplied by Sky. As Sky does not sell its STBs to the public, satellite consumers face ongoing monthly charges to receive programmes that are freeto- air when transmitted using a terrestrial transmission system and are vulnerable to price increases determined by Sky.

9 Officials see some benefits to the public if all terrestrial free-to-air services were available unencrypted on the satellite. Availability of additional "free-to-air satellite" services might encourage consumers in poor reception areas or where fewer terrestrial services are available to purchase free-to-air STBs as an alternative to subscribing to the Sky service. Increased demand for free-to-air STBs might in turn result in their ready availability at reasonable cost. Sky mightalso move to un-bundle the capital cost of its STB from ongoing subscription programming charges. Broadcasters could be encouraged to provide enhanced digital content for the satellite platform, rather than simply simulcasting terrestrial services. The availability of free-to air satellite services could also reduce the perception that Sky controls the satellite TV market.

10 The arrangements between Sky and the terrestrial broadcasters are contained in commercial agreements between private companies, and government would need to have compelling justification for imposing conditions on these arrangements. Terrestrial free-to-air broadcasters such as CanWest and Prime currently elect to fund distribution of their terrestrial services through advertising revenues. Equally, these broadcasters have decided that their services will be encrypted when distributed via satellite. Government intervention could be justified if evidence came to light of a breach of the Commerce Act by Sky, or if there were grounds on which to impose price controls pursuant to Part IV of that Act. Officials understand that Sky offers broadcasters a significant cost benefit if the broadcaster's services will be encrypted when distributed using Sky's satellite capacity, but are not aware of any recent complaints about Sky's practices in this respect.

The last piece is rather interesting they seem aware of the issues, is it time for a multiple complaints to be made ? any lawyers out there?


From my Emails & ICQ


From Tariq

Setmax fta on Insat 3a

Setmax curently fta on zee package.
last night axn was also fta on 4065 vertical


From the Dish


Optus A3 164E 12340 V "Win TV West" has left .

Palapa C2 113E 4000 H "Swara" has left , replaced by a test card.
Palapa C2 113E 4160 H The test card has left .

Insat 3A 93.5E 3985 V The "MTV mosaic" is back on , Fta, PIDs 171/172.

Yamal 102 90E 3564 R "Milicejskaya Volna and Hit FM" have left .

Insat 2E 83E 3525 V "SS Music" has started , Fta PIDs 321/322.
Insat 2E 83E 3849 V AIR Rainbow FM, AIR Gangtok, AIR Guahati and AIR Shimla have started on, 6.10, 6.65, 7.13 and 7.62 MHz.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3545 V "SS Music" has started , Fta, PIDs 288/289.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3545 V New PIDs for Star News on : 258/259.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 4151 V "Vissa" has started regular transmissions, Fta, PIDs 515/680.

PAS 7 68.5E 3514 V "Adventist TV Network" has New SR and PIDs for on : 4444 and 4160/2120-4126.
PAS 10 68.5E 3920 V new FEC for Jain TV : 2/3.
PAS 10 68.5E 3864 H The ARY Digital promo and ARY Digital Mideast are now Fta.

Intelsat 906 64E 3938 L "Alpha ETC Punjabi" is now Fta, new PIDs: 111/121.



NEWS


Sky offer set for good reception


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/

Independent Newspapers' takeover offer for Sky TV looks destined to succeed, meaning another listed company is likely to go off-air soon.

INL, the former publisher turned cashed-up 66 per cent Sky shareholder, yesterday revealed a cash-plus-shares takeover offer for the rest of the pay-TV network.

With Sky's only other major shareholder, Telecom, supporting the deal, and enough sweetening to make it attractive to smaller investors, INL seems likely to reach the 90 per cent stake it needs to compulsorily acquire the balance.

Once that happens, Sky - one of the stock exchange's 10 biggest companies by market capitalisation - will disappear and INL will pick up the Sky name.

INL chairman Ken Cowley said the board believed the takeover offer as proposed was the best way forward for INL and its shareholders.

Telecom holds 12 per cent of Sky and stands to receive about $150 million in cash plus its share of the distribution of INL's remaining capital.

Combining its present 9.2 per cent INL holding and the new shares it will receive under the takeover deal, Telecom will end up with about a 10 per cent stake in the new-look company, a level chief executive Theresa Gattung said would "ensure we continue to have a meaningful investment in the pay-TV industry in New Zealand, which we regard as strategically important for our future".

Cowley said the INL board had decided on the deal yesterday but formal notice of the offer would not be made until a prospectus had been registered and was available to Sky shareholders.

That formal notice was expected to be made in mid-September and the offer should be sent to Sky shareholders in early October. They have 30 days to accept it.

While the deal is unconditional, with INL and Telecom's combined stake at 78.2 per cent and no other shareholder holding more than 5 per cent, INL is not likely to strike resistance in reaching 90 per cent.

Macquarie Equities' NZ investment director, Arthur Lim, described the offer as an attractive "self-correcting deal" because it included INL shares as well as cash.

"One would anticipate that some of the Sky TV shareholders, if they wanted to maintain their shareholding in Sky, would use the cash proceeds [of the deal] and buy INL shares."

INL's cash reserves were bolstered yesterday by the announced sale of its last publishing asset, Victoria's Geelong Advertiser newspaper and magazine group, to News Limited for $64 million. The Rupert Murdoch-controlled News owns 45 per cent of INL.

Once the Sky takeover is complete, INL will have about $375 million in capital - or 80c a share - to return to shareholders.

INL yesterday reported a profit for the year to June 30 of $388.48 million, which included $292.4 million from the sale of its publishing assets to John Fairfax Holdings in April.

It will pay a final dividend of 5c a share.

The offer

* INL is offering Sky TV shareholders $3.35 cash per share plus three INL shares for every 10 Sky shares.

* At yesterday's closing market prices, the deal is worth $610 million $440 million in cash plus $170 million worth of INL shares - or about $4.64 a Sky share.

* INL and Sky would be amalgamated into one company, which would retain the Sky name.

* All surplus capital in INL, expected to be about $375 million, or 80c a share, would be returned to shareholders by the end of next February.


INL targets NZ pay-TV


From http://theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,7099341%255E462,00.html

CASHED up from selling its Kiwi newspapers to John Fairfax Holdings, Independent Newspapers Ltd wants to take complete control of New Zealand's pay-TV market.

INL, which is 49 per cent owned by News Limited, publisher of The Australian, already owns 66 per cent of Sky Television and yesterday announced a $NZ613 million ($552 million) bid for the rest.

The move is part of a global push by Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Limited parent company The News Corporation Ltd, to dominate pay-TV.

Mr Murdoch is awaiting watchdog approval of a $US6.6 billion ($10.2 billion) deal to take control of US satellite TV company DirecTV.

INL sold off its 11 New Zealand newspapers, including Wellington's Dominion Post, the Christchurch Press and Sunday Star-Times, to Fairfax in June for $NZ1.18 billion.

It announced a record consolidated net profit after tax of $NZ77.3 million yesterday.

INL also revealed it would sell its one remaining newspaper, Australia's Geelong Advertiser in Victoria, to News Limited for $NZ64 million.

"The result is a product of having the right competitive strategy, sustained strong management performance and excellent trading conditions," chairman Ken Cowley said.

As well as the annual profit, INL made $NZ292.4 million profit on the newspaper sales, including a redundancy bill of $NZ1.6 million caused when 130 INL staff took payouts rather than switch employers.

The rest of the redundancy bill, believed to be about $NZ6.5 million, was met by Fairfax.

Telecom NZ, which owns 12 per cent of Sky, has accepted INL's offer of $NZ3.25 cash for each Sky share.

"As both an INL and Sky shareholder, we believe the offer is fair," Telecom chief executive Theresa Gattung said.

Every Sky shareholder who takes the bid will also get three INL shares for every 10 Sky shares.

The offer will be formally made in mid-September, and INL will concentrate solely on running Sky.

The two companies will be merged under the Sky name.


Juicier


From xtra.co.nz

Juice TV is trying to head off the 3 October launch of CanWest's revamped
TV4 music channel, C4. Juice TV, formerly available only on Sky's digital
satellite service, is going free-to-air in the Auckland market on UHF
channel 57, estimating 86% of Auckland homes will be able to receive it.


Mercury goes national


From xtra.co.nz

Southland's TV minnow, Mercury TV, is making its play for the big time. It
will launch a "national" channel on 1 September via a channel on Sky's
satellite digital service rented for a rumoured annual fee of $1.2million.
It will carry a selection of local Southland shows and some distance
learning programming from the Southern Institute of Technology.}


Connexion by Boeing signs new satellite provider


From http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2003/08/25/daily26.html

Connexion by Boeing, a Seattle-based business unit of Chicago-based Boeing Co., has signed an agreement with Tokyo-based Space Communications Corp. for satellite coverage for Boeing's in-flight broadband information services.

Connexion by Boeing will lease transponder capacity on the company's Superbird-C satellite for service coverage on Asia-to-Europe airline routes.

It is the second such contract signed by Connexion by Boeing this week. Earlier, Connexion signed a contract with satellite operator Eutelsat.

Connexion by Boeing's service offers a permanent two-way connection between an antenna installed on the plane and the Superbird-C satellite. Airline passengers will be able to send and receive e-mails and access their corporate intranets and the Internet.

Connexion by Boeing will begin the installation of its service onboard commercial airliners in early 2004.


INSAT Search and Rescue system helps save 28 lives


From http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/10291310.htm

Bangalore, Aug. 29. (UNI): The Satellite Aided Search and Rescue transponder on board Indian Space Research Organisation's INSAT-3A has helped save lives of 28 crew members of Chinese cargo vessel M V YUJIYA which sank in the Bay of Bengal on August 11.

The transponder picked up the distress signals from the cargo vessel and beamed it to the ISRO Indian Mission Control Centre here which in turn alerted the Indian Coast Guard and all the 28 members of the ship were rescued, ISRO said in a release here today.

INSAT 3A was launched on April 10, 2003 and its payload included the Search and Rescue transponder that kept a constant vigil over the Indian Ocean region for detecting distress signals from beacons carried by maritime, aviation and land users.

The satellite then transmit the distress signals to the local user terminals located by ISRO at Bangalore and Lucknow. The alert signals were then passed on to the Search and Rescue coordination centres in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi along with local information for mounting rescue operations.


War over Zee's HITS platform takes a new twist


From http://moneycontrol.com/news/highlights/newsdetail.php?filename=news28082003155434.htm

The war between Zee and broadcasters over joining Zee's HITS platform has taken a new twist. The MRTPC has asked broadcasters to provide signals to Siticable.

The war between Zee Network and broadcasters like Star, Sony and ESPN-Star Sports over joining Zee's ambitious headend in the sky, HITS, programme has taken a new twist. The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission, MRTPC, has asked the channels to provide signals to Siticable, reports CNBC-TV18.

"Since there is no regulation in India and the Indian government has no teeth we approached the MRTP to give a verdict," Zee head distribution Jawahar Goel said. However, Star, Sony and other channels can move to the courts over the issue.

Zee's distribution subsidiary Siticable is marketing HITS under the brand name Galaxzee. The programme ran into trouble after Star and ESPN-Star Sports refused to join the distribution platform.

The prime concern of most broadcasters over the HITS platform is related to security aspects. They fear that if their signals end up being beamed in places where they were not allowed to, they would be in the dock for piracy.

Most broadcasters are apprehensive of the fact that they will not have any control over where the CAS-encrypted signals are downlinked. Since, a footprint of a satellite covers a huge geographical area, the signals can be downloaded in certain areas without the knowledge of the broadcaster.

The HITS programme involves the setting up of a back office company that downloads all channels in a single location. These channels are then encrypted and beamed up to a satellite.

The satellite then acts as the headend - the location of CAS - and the subscriber management system, which keeps track of the billings and other related information.

The signals are then received by cable operators who have to 'trans-modulate' them and then distribute it among their subscribers. The subscribers can then receive the channels through a digital set-top box.




28/08/03

The NZ Govt released more info about the future development of digital television in New Zealand. I had a quick skim through it and noted these 2 interesting parts.

"Some parts of industry have recently made representations to MED about a possible “New Zealand” satellite. If a New Zealand satellite were widely
supported by industry, the proponents would need to seek venture capital funding to progress the overall project. Such a satellite could provide some
competition in satellite services, but the extent of demand and price elasticity in the overall market is not yet clear. A spectrum reservation process has been
initiated with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), but will take a number of years."

"The MED understands that the Optus B1 satellite is due to be replaced in the near future. MED also understands that negotiations are continuing between
Sky and various satellite services providers on whether Sky will move to a replacement Optus satellite or to a different satellite. Any replacement broadcasting satellite used by Sky is likely to downlink in the 12 GHz bands, but could well operate from a different orbital location. One possibility may be a
“New Zealand satellite” which is currently being investigated by commercial interests."

Very interesting! I wonder if the footprint would look like this? Hmm wait a minute where did this come from???

A Couple of links to the info below

http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ViewDocument.cfm?DocumentID=17684
http://www.med.govt.nz/pbt/broadcas/digitaltv/index.html


From my Emails & ICQ


From ANON

It looks like the Telkomvision pay tv service on Telkom 1 (108E) may go bankrupt shortly


From the Dish


No Lyngsat as yet


NEWS


INL bids for remaining third of Sky TV


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/

Rupert Murdoch's Independent Newspapers Ltd has launched a takeover offer for the remaining third of pay-TV operator Sky Network Television.

INL has offered $3.35 in cash plus three INL shares for every 10 Sky shares, to buy the 34 per cent of Sky it does not already own.

Based on INL's closing share price of $4.27, INL considered the offer worth $4.63 per Sky share ($3.35 in cash plus $1.28 worth of INL shares).

The offer values Sky TV at $1.8 billion. It will pay $600 million for the shares it is seeking to acquire.

Shares in Sky closed yesterday at $4.52.

Twelve-per cent shareholder Telecom has agreed to accept the offer. Telecom also owns 10 per cent of INL

INL recently sold its New Zealand newspaper assets to Australian publisher John Fairfax Holdings for $1.2 billion, and had around $754 million net proceeds.

INL said it would return its surplus cash to shareholders.

INL chairman Ken Cowley said the offer would be made formally in mid-September, and was unconditional.

The offer will be made under the Takeovers Code, and the New Zealand Exchange (NZX) has conditionally waived the requirement for any shareholder approval of the offer.

Once the conditions to the NZX waivers are satisfied, the INL 2003 annual report is available and the prospectus has been finalised and approved, INL would be in a position to give formal notice of the takeover offer to Sky and the NZX, Mr Cowley said.

If successful, INL and Sky would be amalgamated into one company under the Sky name.

Assuming the offer is successful, for each INL share the return of capital is expected to be approximately 80 cents, based on a capital return of $375 million. This would correspond to 24 cents per Sky share based on the terms of the offer.

INL expected to return about $375 million in surplus capital to shareholders by the end of February 2004.

INL also said today it had sold its Australian publishing business, the Geelong Advertiser, to Mr Murdoch's News Ltd for $64 million.

The Geelong Advertiser publishes three newspapers in Victoria and a number of local magazines. INL had earlier rejected a $62 million offer from Fairfax at the time of the sale of its New Zealand publishing business.

INL today reported a full year profit to June 30 of $388.48 million, up from $37.82 million the previous year.

The pre-sale, net profit after tax of $77.3 million was a record. The previous highest net tax paid profit was $50.4 million in 1997.

INL will pay a fully imputed final dividend of 5 cents a share, on top of the 4.5 cents a share interim dividend in March.

"The result is a product of having the right competitive strategy, sustained strong management performance and excellent trading conditions," Mr Cowley said.


Way forward on NZ digital television outlined


From http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ViewDocument.cfm?DocumentID=17684

The government is to invite industry to establish a group to plan for the roll-out of digital television in New Zealand, Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey and Associate Minister of Communications David Cunliffe said today.

It is inevitable that New Zealand broadcasters will migrate from the current analogue television to digital television in the future because of technological change and the age of existing equipment – although there is a need for a viable business plan to enable the rollout of free-to-air digital television.

Steve Maharey said decisions taken by the government ensure New Zealand broadcasters will be able to learn from digital television developments in other countries and will ensure that they are able to migrate to the new technology in the most cost-effective way to the benefit of consumers.

“Digital television is able to provide viewers with more programmes, interactivity and better picture quality than traditional analogue broadcasting – but no broadcaster has yet developed a business plan to roll-out free-to-air digital television in this country.

“Without a broad industry consensus, digital terrestrial television is unlikely to go anywhere very quickly. The government is enlisting the industry to work together to develop such a business case. A viable business model is an essential part of any investment in a platform to roll-out digital television.

“Planning for digital television was put on hold at the end of the 1990s, a decision now widely acknowledged within the industry to have been the right one. It’s now a good time to be working on this issue because we are able to take account of overseas experience, such as the development of the United Kingdom's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform,” Steve Maharey said.

David Cunliffe said the government has decided on how digital television spectrum should be allocated and wants to work with broadcasters on the most effective way of developing a digital television platform.

“Digital television can be provided in a number of ways, including satellite and terrestrial or land-based transmission.

“To help industry plan for digital terrestrial television, we have agreed in principle to an allocation plan for the necessary broadcasting spectrum.

"Actual allocation of spectrum will occur following further consideration of demand and industry developments. We will also make some changes to management of the spectrum used for satellite television to increase the available capacity.

"We will continue to make spectrum available for testing of digital terrestrial services, and we will also allow holders of existing licences the ability to swap those licences for digital ones at no extra cost. This puts conversion to digital within reach of some existing broadcasters,” David Cunliffe said.

Steve Maharey said public broadcasters such as TVNZ will be invited to plan for the provision of digital content. In addition, interested parties will be contacted over the next few months and invited to establish a digital television group.

Terrestrial analogue coverage will continue for the foreseeable future. TVNZ terrestrial transmission to remote areas, previously a NZ On Air responsibility, will now be maintained through a direct subsidy to TVNZ.


Ready or not, here comes digital TV


From http://www.nbr.co.nz/home/column_article.asp?id=6888&cid=1&cname=Media

Free-to-air digital television has been put on a front burner by the government after languishing for years completely off the coil.

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey and Associate Minister of Communications David Cunliffe said today that they are calling on the television industry to establish a group to plan for the roll-out of digital television in New Zealand.

Mr Maharey said that the group could help the government make decisions about the most cost-effective way to handle the change, but suggested that the migration would happen in any event.

He said government had put the issue of digital television on hold while the technology shaped up, but that there was now enough history in the service to warrant moving ahead.

The duo said in a joint statement that migration to digital from analogue was "inevitable" because of both advances in technology and the age of existing equipment.

They said the primary stumbling block to the transition was the need for a viable business plan to enable the rollout of free-to-air digital television.

The industry advisory group, they said, could be expected to provide that element.

The pair said the government would make use of the deep levels of experience that had developed around the world over the last ten years as other governments rolled out digital television.

In the UK, for example, the government has operated a free-to-air digital television service, Freeview, that has achieved a 44 per cent penetration after years of struggle. The primary obstacle to takeup was the cost of set-top adaptors, which have only recently fallen to a price level affordable by most consumers.

Here, Sky TV provides a pay digital signal that it says is consumed by nearly 75 per cent of its subscriber base.

Digital television signals can be broadcast by satellite, as is Sky's, or terrestrially, by both cable and special repeaters. When it comes through the air, it uses government licenced spectrum, something that has slowed its takeup in many countries where regulations and costs have constituted too much of a barrier for investors.

Here, the government is talking about allowing broadcasters free access to the spectrum.

David Cunliffe said the government has decided on how digital television spectrum should be allocated and wants to work with broadcasters on the most effective way of developing a digital television platform.

"Digital television can be provided in a number of ways, including satellite and terrestrial or land-based transmission.

"To help industry plan for digital terrestrial television, we have agreed in principle to an allocation plan for the necessary broadcasting spectrum.

"Actual allocation of spectrum will occur following further consideration of demand and industry developments. We will also make some changes to management of the spectrum used for satellite television to increase the available capacity.

"We will continue to make spectrum available for testing of digital terrestrial services, and we will also allow holders of existing licences the ability to swap those licences for digital ones at no extra cost. This puts conversion to digital within reach of some existing broadcasters," David Cunliffe said.

"Digital television is able to provide viewers with more programmes, interactivity and better picture quality than traditional analogue broadcasting — but no broadcaster has yet developed a business plan to roll-out free-to-air digital television in this country," Mr Maharey said.

"Without a broad industry consensus, digital terrestrial television is unlikely to go anywhere very quickly. The government is enlisting the industry to work together to develop such a business case. A viable business model is an essential part of any investment in a platform to roll-out digital television.

"Planning for digital television was put on hold at the end of the 1990s, a decision now widely acknowledged within the industry to have been the right one. It's now a good time to be working on this issue because we are able to take account of overseas experience, such as the development of the United Kingdom's free-to-air digital terrestrial platform," he said.

Steve Maharey said public broadcasters such as TVNZ will be invited to plan for the provision of digital content. In addition, interested parties will be contacted over the next few months and invited to establish a digital television group.

Terrestrial analogue coverage will continue for the foreseeable future. TVNZ terrestrial transmission to remote areas, previously a NZ On Air responsibility, will now be maintained through a direct subsidy to TVNZ.

Some links

http://www.nbr.co.nz/Images/Terrestrial%20spectrum%20allocation.pdf
http://www.nbr.co.nz/Images/Satellite%20spectrum%20management.pdf
http://www.nbr.co.nz/Images/Standards%20and%20platforms.pdf


SA company wins Australian contract


From http://www.itweb.co.za/sections/business/2003/0308271206.asp?O=FPT

[Johannesburg, 27 August 2003] - UEC Technologies, a Durban-based subsidiary of the Altech group, has won a three-year contract, valued at R302 million for the first year, from its Australian pay TV customer, Foxtel.

Altech CEO, Craig Venter, says UEC was able to secure the three-year contract with Foxtel to supply it with satellite and cable set-top boxes (STBs) following announcements by the company regarding its intention to start digitising its cable network by early next year.

“The first of these products will start shipping form our Mount Edgecomb plant later this year, while UEC has already received fixed orders for the period up to the end of next year,” he says. “In addition to this contract, and as a prime supplier of satellite STBs to Foxtel for the past year years, UEC has also secured a long-term services agreement for the upgrading and maintenance of the entire installed base of Foxtel's STBs.”

The new products being supplied to Foxtel differ from previous models supplied because they incorporate UEC's latest technology required for interactivity and return path communication.

The company has established a service centre in Sydney, as Venter states the service agreement was of great importance to UEC.

“This flow of recurring revenue is significant, especially considering global economic conditions,” he says.


Malaysia MEASAT Unit Gets $250M Syndicated Loan Facility


From http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/030827/15/3dps7.html

KUALA LUMPUR (Dow Jones)--Malaysian satellite company MEASAT Global Bhd. (D.MSG) said Wednesday wholly-owned unit, Binariang Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd., has obtained a $250 million syndicated loan facility from a group of financial institutions.

The loan facility will be used to repurchase and redeem Binariang's outstanding $250 million Islamic debt and finance the cost of the MEASAT-3 satellite, MEASAT said in an exchange filing.

The facility was lead arranged by Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd. It comprises a seven-year term loan facility of up to $130 million and a 12-month standby loan facility of up to $120 million, MEASAT said, without going into other details.


Korean STB company Opentech to tap Indian market


From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/aug/aug209.htm

MUMBAI: Opentech Inc, a Korean company, that produces high end digital satellite broadcast receivers of DVB-S and MPEG-2 standards, is planning to set up a liaison centre in India.

A senior delegation comprising of Sujun Ha (Opentech Dubai office branch manager) and EW Devdas (marketing manager) are visiting India this week and meeting several multi system operators (MSOs) and consumer durable companies.

The company which has a turnover of $70 million started in 1996 (the digital STB foray happened in February 2001) and is operating through its ISO certified factory located in Ansan, Korea. The visiting delegation members claim that they have received several enquiries for embedded digital set top boxes (STBs). The company plans to tie up with Indian MSOs, cable operators as well as dealers of consumer durables.

The products include FTA (Free To Air) model ODS 2000F and CI(Common Interface) model ODS 2000CI. While speaking to indiantelevision.com, Opentech's Sujun Ha says: "We produce high quality digital satellite broadcast receivers of DVB-S and MPEG-2 standards, which are the current standard of digital satellite broadcasts in Europe. In addition, we attempt to build sales channels and overseas exports with our own brands, Opentel and OEM brand through our bases in Dubai and Frankfurt."

"Besides developing FTA and CI type satellite receivers, we are in the process of developing various products such as a positioner built-in model, CAS built-in model, interactive multimedia built-in model, digital cable and a terrestrial receiver," Ha adds. The company has a licence agreement with CAS companies such as Nagravision, Viaccess, Iredeto. Conax and will soon obtain the same from NDS Systems.

Opentech's marketing manager EW Devdas says that the company has received enquiries from Indian consumer electronics durable companies such as Onida, Videocon and BPL. "As integration, digitalisation and interaction of broadcast and telecommunications tend to be accelerated, the Digital set-top box is expected to face substantial growth to become a platform for household multimedia appliances. Hence, Opentech tends to lead the new digital era as the major market player worldwide in total information appliance through continuous investment on Research & Development and global marketing," says Devdas.

The company plans to tap the opportunities provided by DTH (direct to home) in India. "Besides developing FTA and CI type satellite receivers, we are in the process of developing various products such as a Positioner built-in model, CAS built-in model, interactive multimedia built-in model, digital cable and a terrestrial receiver," Devdas adds.

Opentech officials expects worldwide sales to touch the 10-billion mark and claim that Korea is the No 1 STB player in the world.


(Craigs comment, anyone heard of this brand before? or used one?)


Paul Allen looking to sell TechTV


From http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=149190

NEW YORK: Paul Allen, the entrepreneur and co-founder of software maker Microsoft is looking to sell his technology-related cable channel TechTV, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation.

TechTV, owned by Allen's investment firm Vulcan Ventures is worth between $250 million and $300 million, said the paper, citing sources. A TechTV representative was not immediately available to comment to Reuters.

Cable channel operator Viacom, and Sony, co-owner of the Game Show Network have been approached to buy TechTV, the Journal said. Spokespeople for Viacom and Sony declined to comment to the paper, and were not immediately available to speak with Reuters.

The newspaper said a spokeswoman for TechTV declined to comment on the possibility of the channel being sold outright, and said a spokesman for Vulcan also declined to comment.




27/08/03

Satfacts section updated


From my Emails & ICQ


Nothing to report


From the Dish


AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3960 H "CNN Radio" is still Fta.

AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3905 H "Reuters World News Service" is encrypted again.

NSS 6 95E All channels have left the SatLink mux on 12729 V, except NTD TV and Fashion Tv.

Insat 3A 93.5E New PIDs for Lashkara on 3894 V: 4194/4195.New PIDs for Gurjari on 3899 V: 318/256.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3424 H Occasional feeds on , SID 1100, PIDs 1110/1120.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3686 H "Indiavision" has started, Fta, SR 3333, FEC 3/4, PIDs 1160/1120.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3966 H "Occasional TVT Channel 11" feeds on , SR 2732, FEC 3/4.


NEWS


TARBS World TV Launches Tapesh and ITN


From Press Release

TARBS World TV announced that Persian Broadcasting Company’s Tapesh Television Network and Iran Television Network (ITN) are now broadcasting on its platform, providing Australia’s Iranian community with the excellent mix of entertainment and information programming that has endeared the two channels to Iranian audiences throughout North America.

Tapesh TV is the leading Farsi language channel in the USA, broadcasting 24 hours of the latest news and commentaries, popular movies, music and sport, including educational and cultural programs, catering not only to Iranians but also to their neighbours in the Middle East. Tapesh TV also reaches Iran and the rest of the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and Asia.

ITN offers 24 hours of quality movies, music, variety and other top-rate entertainment shows, as well as news and interviews. Through its programming, ITN aims to unify Iranians worldwide by providing a balanced mix of entertainment and information in their language and helping them re-establish ties with their culture.

TARBS World TV CEO Regina Boulos said, “TARBS World TV is excited to bring two of the most sought-after Persian channels, Tapesh TV and ITN, to Australia. Their launch is our direct response to many requests from our Iranian subscribers for channels that will not only inform but also entertain them. Tapesh TV is a by-word among Persian viewers in the USA, while ITN is also well-known for offering great entertainment. With Tapesh TV and ITN now available in Australia exclusively on TARBS World TV, Iranian-Australians can now also enjoy and appreciate their excellent programming”.

Tapesh TV replaced IRIB 3 Jame Jam, a channel originating from Iran, while ITN replaced NiTV, the first Iranian channel from the USA launched by TARBS World TV in 2001.

In addition to the premiere of the two most popular Iranian channels, TARBS World TV revealed further improvements, with the upcoming launch of Movie Network, an optional add-on package of three exciting movie channels.

“Tapesh TV and ITN are just the start of bigger and better things happening to TARBS World TV’s Iranian package. We are pleased to announce that from September, our Iranian subscribers, including subscribers of our other language services, can experience Movie Network, a premium package offering the biggest Hollywood blockbusters on three fantastic channels. For our subscribers, these new and upcoming additions mean more information, more entertainment and greater enjoyment of their TARBS World TV service all in line with our continuing commitment to providing the best possible television service for the Iranian community ”, Boulos added.

To receive TARBS World TV’s Iranian package featuring Tapesh TV and ITN, plus six (6) popular English channels and over 50 premium channels from around the world, subscribe to TARBS World TV today on 1300 13 30 25.


(Craigs comment, Interesting does anyone know which movie channels Tarb's will be offering?)


News Corp looks to sell SkyPerfecTV stake


From http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1059479326520

News Corporation is looking to sell its stake in SkyPerfecTV, Japan's only satellite broadcasting company, in a move that would deal a blow to its ambitions in one of the world's largest broadcasting markets.

Rupert Murdoch's group is believed to have asked SkyPerfecTV's other shareholders whether they were interested in buying its 8.1 per cent stake in the broadcaster, which was formed through the merger of three satellite companies. News Corp's holding is valued at Y2.36bn ($20m) at Tuesday's closing price of Y130,000.

"We have been approached by News Corp about their stake," Sony said on Tuesday. Sony is among the leading three shareholders in SkyPerfect, along with Fuji TV and Itochu, each of which owns a 12.6 per cent stake.

"We are aware that News Corp has wanted to sell its stake for a while," Itochu said, adding that no decision had been made, while Fujitsu said: "We cannot comment since nothing has been decided yet."

A sale of its stake in SkyPerfecTV would signal a re-evaluation of News Corp's strategy in Japan, a market where it has not had much success.

Kota Nakako, media analyst at JP Morgan Chase in Tokyo, said it probably meant News Corp was "reviewing their platform business in Japan". News Corp had not been able to participate in strategic planning at SkyPerfecTV, which was effectively controlled by the three large Japanese shareholders, he said.

Mr Murdoch has not had an easy time in Japan, where a nationalistic reaction to his 1996 investment in Asahi Broadcasting, one of five national broadcasters, forced him to sell out just three months later.

Although News Corp was, together with Softbank, one of the original founders of JSkyB, a forerunner of SkyPerfecTV, its influence waned after Sony and Fuji TV became major shareholders.

SkyPerfecTV's chairman comes from Sony, its president from Fuji TV and its vice-president from Itochu. News Corp has an outside director on the board. Until last year, it was one of four large shareholders, with an equal stake with the others, but when Hughes Electronics sold its stake in SkyPerfecTV last year, News Corp did not increase its holding and fell behind Sony, Fuji TV and Itochu, which did boost their stakes.

Mr Nakako did not believe News Corp had given up on the Japanese broadcasting market which, with a value of Y2,000bn, is an important market but Japan's 20 per cent cap on foreign investment in broadcasters was a deterrent.

SkyPerfecTV, which has made losses for the past seven years and is only forecast to turn profitable for the first time this year, is expected to see stable rather than high growth.


Data Access plans IPO next year $50-m global network expansion on anvil


From http://www.hinduonnet.com/bline/stories/2003082701870700.htm

INTERNATIONAL long distance operator Data Access India Ltd is planning a $ 50-million expansion plan for its network in five countries and is considering an IPO to fund half the cost involved. The remaining will be generated from internal accruals of the company, according to Mr. Siddhartha Ray, Chairman and Managing Director, Data Access.

"The IPO to be offered in the second quarter of 2004 would be in the region of $ 25 million. We expect that 2004 will be the year when we would be enter the Indian bourses to mop up funds for our expansion plans," he said.

Noting that the company had registered 80 per cent of its revenues this year through the Indian market, he said this was likely to change as its overseas expansion would go online. It was expected that the overseas market would ultimately contribute nearly 60 per cent by September 2004. It already had licences for the US, the UK, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong even as it was pursuing expansion in West Asia, Latin America and Africa as potential markets, he said.

Earlier, he announced a multi-million dollar agreement with Intelsat to support its International Private Leased Circuits (IPLC) operations. Under this agreement, Data Access will utilise satellite capacity from Intelsat worth 100 Mbps for a multi-year period. The deal marks Data Access' enhancement of the lucrative IPLC business between India and Europe.

"This marks the beginning of a long-term relationship between the two companies. This will significantly boost Data Access' current capacity of 1024 Mbps on C & KU band to 1200 Mbps." He said.

Data Access will utilise capacity on multiple Intelsat transponders on the 704 satellite located at 66° E in geostationary orbit. Connectivity would be established from Data Access' Network Operating Centre (NOC) in Delhi to Intelsat's teleport in Fuchsstadt, Germany, via satellite, he said.

Mr Ray pointed out that traffic would be routed from Germany on fibre backhaul to Intelsat's London Point of Presence (PoP) to connect with Data Access' London PoP.

The market potential of switched IPLC business in this sector was getting stronger with current volumes reaching 18 million minutes per year and estimated to go up to 90 million minutes per year by 2006-end, he said.


Humax enters H.K. set-top box market


From http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/SITE/data/html_dir/2003/08/27/200308270010.asp

Humax, a set-top box maker in Korea, said yesterday it has agreed to provide its flagship satellite and cable TV set-top boxes to Galaxy, a Hong Kong-based paid broadcasting service provider, in a deal valued at $3.15 million.

Humax said the contract extends through the end of August of 2004, with the first shipment scheduled next month.

The set-top boxes to be exported to Hong Kong are ND-2000C and ND-2000S models, Humax said.

"The contract paves the way for not only Hong Kong but also mainland China," the company said. Humax recently announced it would use its set-top-box manufacturing know-how to enter the digital liquid crystal display TV market in order to find new revenue in the export arena.




26/08/03

Live chat 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd time onwards in the chatroom tonight.

Still not much news around.

Sky has responded to the TVNZ RWC channel ,

"FREE RUGBY"

For all the rugby fans out there, and we know there's a few of you, SKY has a special offer. The Rugby Channel will be available to all SKY Digital subscribers EVERY WEEKEND, from 6 am Friday to 6am Monday during the Rugby World Cup when the Rugby Channel will be showing classic All Black's encounters with their traditional foes.


Rumours


An older Astra sat has been sold and it will be moved to our region?? hmm anyone have any ideas or gossip about this??


From my Emails & ICQ


From Jason

B1 12358 V 6666 3/4 "Australian idol" feed seen

Jason


From the Dish


PAS 8 166E 3718 V "Pinoy Central TV" is now encrypted.
PAS 8 166E 3880 V "Knowledge Channel" is Fta.New APID for DZMM - Radyo Patrol: 1222.
PAS 8 166E 3900 H "MGM" has started, PowerVu, SID 8, PIDs 519/720.
PAS 8 166E 3940 H The test card has left .
PAS 8 166E 4020 H "I-Net Radio" has started, PowerVu, SID 17, APID 1830.

AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3960 H "CNN Radio" is encrypted again.

AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3905 H "Reuters World News Service" is Fta.

NSS 6 95E 12729 V The "Israel History Channel promo" has left .
NSS 6 95E 11543 V New PIDs for Free-XTV on : 3524/3644.


NEWS


Indian Channels Not To Be Allowed


From http://www.paknews.com/flash.php?id=15&date1=2003-08-25

LAHORE, Pakistan: Aug 25 (PNS) - Federal Information Secretary Syed Anwar Mahmood on Sunday said that government was committed to Providing healthy entertainment facilities and reiterated that cable operators would not be allowed to screen Indian channels.

He told newsmen at a luncheon meeting here at a hotel on Sunday. With a view to providing healthy entertainment to the families, he said, the government has decided to launch another satellite-based channel of Pakistan television, "PTV Home," shortly.

The Secretary Information warned that suitable action, including cancellation of licenses, would be taken against cable operators violating rules and regulations.

He said it would be unwise to link country's survival with screening of Indian channels and appreciated that certain cable operators are doing good business in Pakistan by not showing Indian channels.

He said members of the Indian Parliamentary delegation, who recently visited Pakistan also asked the Pakistani government to allow screening of Indian channels in Pakistan. Anwar Mahmood said the issue of re-opening the Indian Channels could be discussed with cable operators at an "appropriate time".

The Secretary also responded questions pertaining to national affairs and the media policy of the government.


(Craigs comment, most likely to be on Asiasat 3)




25/08/03

Looks like it was a good weekend for G.P satellite viewers, at least it was found in English!

Some reports on the weekend that WIN TV on Aurora was down due to rough weather. Just been watching on the TV news and it looked a little windy!


From my Emails & ICQ


From Bill Richards

Pas 2 4037 H Sr 6620, FEC 2/3 Vpid 1160 Apid 1120 SID1 "Womens Boxing" Feed FTA

Pas 2 4027 H Sr 6620, FEC 2/3 Vpid 4160 Apid 4120 SID401 "Nascar TNT Car Racing" Feed FTA

2235 UTC

Pas 2 4023 V Sr 13328, FEC 3/4 Vpid 3160 Apid 3120 SID 301 "Golf Feed" FTA NAPSA3

Regards
Bill


From Zapara W.A

Insat 2E DD Metro 3961 V showing Formula 1 live and in English, 5.5mhz audio


From Chris Pickstock

Palapa C2, 3935 H, Sr 5632, F1 GP, in English


From Steve Hume

For those in the north of Australia, take a look at,

ST1 3632V Sr: 26667 Fec 3/4

Getting a partial load on the north east coast.

NEWS 24x7
Steve Hume
Townsville, QLD


From the Dish


PAS 2 169E 4023 V "Occasional feeds" on , SR 13330, FEC 3/4.

PAS 8 166E 4121 VNew PIDs for Iglesia ni Cristo TV on : 257/258.

Optus C1 156E 12398 H All channels have left the Austar/Foxtel mux on , replaced by a test card on VPID 512, Fta.
Optus C1 156E 12558 H "Country Music Channel has replaced The Soundtrack Channel Pacific" on., PIDs 513/641. The test card has left this mux.
Optus C1 156E 12607 V All channels have left the Austar/Foxtel mux .TVSN has started on PIDs 308/256, Fta, new SR: 27800.( those lucky people in Hawaii should be able to watch TVSN now!)

NSS 6 95E 12688 VNew PIDs for Free-XTV on : 3524/3644.

Insat 3A 93.5E 3985 V The MTV mosaic has left .

Intelsat 906 64E 3891 L "TVT (Tanzania)" has started , Fta, SR 4445, FEC 1/2, PIDs 4194/4195, SW zone beam.

Intelsat 902 62E 4180 L "Sky News and AtTheRaces" have started, Fta SIDs 1 and 5,PIDs 512/650 and 516/690.



NEWS


NO news!




24/08/03

Sunday no update




23/08/03

Good to see the media bringing up the issue again of Tv3/4/Prime/TAB being encrypted. Pretty obvious why when you read this.

"With the Cabinet close to an announcement about how digital television will become available nationwide, installers of free-to-air decoders and satellite dishes have accused Sky TV of trying to monopolise the satellite market. Sky chief executive John Fellet says that is not the case. The broadcasters could chose whether to be encrypted or not, although if they were not they would have to pay their share of satellite costs."

Gee lets see be on Sky Encrypted, or you can be there FTA ( at the flick of a switch) if you hand over perhaps $1 million or more for some unnecessary B.S fee. This is how Sky controls their platform and keeps the other Free-to air networks encrypted.

"Fellet predicted if too many free-to-air decoders were sold, TVNZ would be forced to encrypt its signal because it would lose some of the regional advertising that earned it $20 million a year."

This is more B.S from Mr Fellet , with his Sky platform dominating the NZ market he would clearly prefer NO alternative signals be available free to air such as the TVNZ fta mux.

Perhaps some of you may like to email him your comments, jfellet@skytv.co.nz



From my Emails & ICQ


From Various

CNBC Mux Pas 8 was FTA for a while.


From the Dish


Telkom 1 108E 3580 H All channels in the TelkomVision mux are encrypted again.

Insat 3A 93.5E 3816 V Occasional DD feeds on , SR 3800, FEC 3/4.

Insat 2E 83E 3454 V "Sky Bangla" has started, Fta, SR 13020, FEC 3/4, PIDs 257/258.

PAS 10 68.5E 3864 H "ARY Digital Mideast" has started on , Irdeto, PIDs 516/690.
PAS 10 68.5E 4034 V Both All India Radio have left .

NSS 703 57E 3750 R "Sun TV" has left (PAL).
NSS 703 57E 3980 R "Suryan FM" is now encrypted.


NEWS


HK AsiaSat/Earnings: Chairman Expects Challenging 2H


From http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/030821/15/3dju9.html

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Ltd. (SAT) said Thursday net profit for its first half ended June fell 14% to HK$240.1 million from HK$279.8 million a year earlier.

Asiasat said earlier the utilization rate for its satellites had been falling since last year following the launch of a new satellite, as a sluggish economy slowed demand for additional capacity.

Revenue during the six months dropped 5% to HK$455.6 million from HK$478.8 million.

Despite the weaker earnings, the satellite operator still proposes to raise its interim dividend to 8 HK cents from 6 HK cents per share.

The overall utilization rate of AsiaSat 2 and AsiaSat 3, the company's two most important operating satellites, fell to 61% by the end of June, from 64% at end-2002.

"In Asia, there remains considerable oversupply (in transponder capacity)," company Chairman Mi Zengxin said in a press release. "The effect of SARS on the region's business environment is challenging for regional television operators."

However, AsiaSat said the decline in net profit during the period was mainly due to an increase in Hong Kong's profit tax rate to 17.5% from 16%. The company's tax bill jumped 56% on year to HK$53.3 million from HK$34.2 million.

AsiaSat's first-half pretax earnings fell just 7% to HK$293.4 million.

The company said the outlook for the second half of 2003, when AsiaSat 4, the new pan-Asian satellite launched in April, will be incorporated in its accounts, isn't promising.

Analysts expect the new satellite to result in higher depreciation charges and to weigh further on AsiaSat's overall utilization rate.

Mi said he expects a challenging second half.

"For the rest of 2003, we don't expect the Asian satellite market will improve until the general economies of the region start to grow once again," Mi said.

Mi said even if such a recovery were to materialize sooner than expected, AsiaSats revenue growth would likely be offset by the depreciation and insurance fees associated with AsiaSat 4 in 2003.


The world beams in


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3519525&thesection=news&thesubsection=general

Dutch, Chinese, Turkish and Arabic television channels are being beamed into New Zealand homes, encouraging sales of free-to-air decoders and satellite dishes.

Satellite is presently the only method of broadcasting digital television here. But TVNZ is the only New Zealand broadcaster that allows its satellite broadcasts to go out free.

Sky TV has deals with all the other free-to-air broadcasters so only those with Sky decoders can watch their satellite broadcasts.

With the Cabinet close to an announcement about how digital television will become available nationwide, installers of free-to-air decoders and satellite dishes have accused Sky TV of trying to monopolise the satellite market.

Sky chief executive John Fellet says that is not the case. The broadcasters could chose whether to be encrypted or not, although if they were not they would have to pay their share of satellite costs.

Fellet predicted if too many free-to-air decoders were sold, TVNZ would be forced to encrypt its signal because it would lose some of the regional advertising that earned it $20 million a year.

All the free-to-air channels are relayed through the Optus B1 satellite and, apart from TVNZ, on to Sky decoders.

TVNZ has three channels going through Optus B1, TV1, TV2 and the "promo" channel which it plans to devote to the Rugby World Cup tournament in October and November.

People who sell and install free-to-air decoders and satellite dishes have been warned to prepare for increased demand for their products, particularly from pubs and clubs wanting the RWC channel.

Cable television operator Bob Cooper, of Mangonui, who publishes the monthly Sat Facts magazine, described TVNZ's move as innovative.

"Is there a pub, tavern, sports bar any place in New Zealand that will not want this coverage?"

Mr Cooper said decoder importers had stocked up in expectation of increased demand.

An estimated 6000 free-to-air decoders are in use, many owned by immigrants keen to watch programmes in their language and get news from home.

Peter Escher of Auckland company SatLink said he had installed satellite dishes throughout New Zealand, many for immigrants.

Mr Escher said he could sell and install a basic dish and decoder for $400 in the Auckland region. Larger dishes and remote locations cost more than $1000.

"You line up Optus B1 for TVNZ and Sky, then by moving the dish 4 degrees to the left you can pick up C1 with Dutch, Turkish and Arabic TV."

TV3 and TV4, Prime and the Racing Board (Trackside) have all agreed to allow Sky to broadcast their channels in encrypted form.

Prime management refused to discuss the reasons .

TV3 and TV4 operations and engineering director John Allen said one of the reasons was the company's strategy to advance the cause of digital "terrestial" television.

Richard Ellerington, broadcast operations manager of the Racing Board's Trackside TV, said when Trackside agreed to put its channel on Sky's digital satellite broadcast it had not occurred to the board to seek to have it unencrypted.

"The arrangement was that they would effectively carry us at no cost and provide us with the opportunity of nationwide coverage," Mr Ellerington said.

"It was not financially viable for us to expand the UHF network any further than what we already had."

He said Sky now regarded Trackside as part of its "sports bouquet" along with Sky Sport 1, 2, ESPN and Rugby Channel.

"From Sky's perspective they'd probably say Trackside to some degree complements our sports channels and adds value to subscriptions, so why would we want to accede to TAB's demands."

Under the arrangement Sky uses Trackside's UHF channel, which is free-to-air, to broadcast Discovery in encrypted form when Trackside goes off air.


Time lag for digital


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3519528&thesection=news&thesubsection=general

It's the next big breakthrough in broadcasting: digital television. Crystal-clear pictures beamed into your home, hi-fidelity stereo sound, widescreen pictures and, best of all, a remote you can vote with.

That's right. When the bloke with the squeaky voice on Big Brother gets up your nose, push a button and help to send him packing. If you want to see another camera angle on the sports replay, you can do that, too.

Interactive television shows, where the audience can give instant feedback, are part of the success of digital television in Britain.

Broadcasters here are watching intently as television - regarded by some as old hat in the internet age - gets a new lease of life.

Appliance retailers are also licking their lips in anticipation of a bunch of high-tech, high-spec and, best of all, high-priced equipment running out the door.

But wait, haven't we got most of that stuff already? Some of us have spent megabucks on state-of-the-art, widescreen, 100hertz, flat-tube, flicker-free, slim-line plasma goggle boxes. And isn't that dish on the roof the Sky people put up giving us digital pictures already?

Well, no.

The broadcast might be digital and the picture nice and clear (except when the rain's heavy), but virtually none of the televisions sold in New Zealand are capable of displaying a digital picture.

In any case, the Sky digital decoder not only decodes the picture, it converts it from digital to analogue so your television can show it.

Does that matter? Not really, according to TV3's operations and engineering director, John Allen.

"The fact is, the quality of the picture of a 100hertz analogue TV off free-to-air is excellent," Allen says.

And that is part of the problem for those eager to see New Zealand make the conversion.

Sound and picture quality on the latest sets is already so good that many people would struggle to notice the difference.

Marty Behrens, TVNZ business development manager, says there has to be a considerable and demonstrable consumer benefit to make people go out and spend several hundred dollars on a set-top box, let alone several thousand on a digital television.

"In the UK, people are actively getting digital set-top boxes and the reason they are is because they have a substantial free-to-air viewing. Pay TV can't drive 100 per cent penetration of set-top boxes. It has to be free-to-air television that drives the conversion.

"A lot of this debate is trapped in the narrowness of seeing digital as pay - that it's okay to have digital only being in a pay market.

"My argument is digital television is something that eventually 100 per cent of New Zealanders are going to get. The question is, how do we get there."

Sky TV may never get 100 per cent penetration in New Zealand homes, but it aims to go close. It has close to four out of 10 homes as customers and it aims to make that seven in the next decade.

That will give it a significant edge because it will already have a box on top of most television sets.

Free-to-air decoders, capable of picking up TVNZ's un-encoded satellite broadcasts, are available but only an estimated 6000 are in use.

Sky chief executive John Fellet says the quality of television receivers in people's homes was sometimes getting ahead of the quality of the broadcast product, such as sports fixtures bought from overseas. Fellet says the more sales there are of high-value analogue sets, the longer it may take to get digital televisions into the market.

At present there were so few that Sky had not even considered bringing in a digital decoder.

One clear advantage of digital is that it will enable free-to-air broadcasters to transmit widescreen pictures, as Sky does on its Movie Max and Rugby channels.

But the road to a digital future is not smooth. Northland cable television operator Bob Cooper is disappointed that the ideal of adopting a universal standard of digital television called MPEG - which would have been good for manufacturers and therefore consumers - has been shattered. Various countries, apparently fearful of their citizens' using satellite dishes to watch foreign broadcasts, have chosen variants of MPEG, Cooper says.

New Zealand appears to be moving towards something close to the European standard, which is different from the United States and Japan. Australia's is different again.

This means that television manufacturers will have to make different sets for each country, Cooper says. "It is so contrary to common sense."

Both major free-to-air broadcasters are satisfied that trailing the international field in digital TV is not a bad thing.

Allen: "We've seen problems in England with On Digital, the ITV company, completely falling over and going bankrupt.

"Australian broadcasters are currently required to 'triple-cast' in high definition TV, standard definition digital and analogue all at the same time. That's very expensive."

Perhaps surprisingly, the rival broadcasters do their best to speak with one voice on the issue, recognising that none of them alone can lead the change. They, with Sky and Prime, are represented by the Television Broadcasters Council digital advisory committee.

There it has been accepted that digital terrestrial television is likely to be the preferred method of free-to-air broadcasting to between 60 and 80 per cent of the population, and the rest will be mopped up either by satellite or a cable system.

Terrestrial means transmission over Ultra High Frequency in the same way TV1, 2, 3 and 4 are beamed out in Very High Frequency. Sky broadcasts in UHF (as well as satellite), as does Prime and Trackside.

Fellet says phone companies Telecom and Clear as well as power companies had plans to offer their lines as platforms for digital broadcasting.

"Our read is there's going to be several options for people to take their television. We want to be on every platform."

Fellet thinks it is inevitable people will end up with more than one set-top box, but Allen believes that is not necessary if Sky is prepared to share.

Behrens: "It's going to take an industry-wide effort, co-operation between all the players as well as Government to figure out how to migrate our analogue infrastructure to digital.

"We're going to have to figure it out together rather than seeing it as a short-term battle between short-term commercial interests."

The Government's role is firstly to decide how to allocate the rights to existing broadcasters over the airwaves and how much to set aside for new broadcasters such as Maori Television.

It also has to decide whether it needs to set technical standards or leave that to the industry.

The Cabinet is expected to address those matters within a few weeks, but then there is likely to be a further hiatus while the broadcasters continue to work out the most cost-effective way of making the conversion.

And until then, consumers itching to get their hands on the new technology will have to wait - or satisfy themselves with what's already available.


T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 34/2003 24 August 2003 -

A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International

Editor: Branislav Pekic

Edited www.apsattv.com Edition

A S I A


BANGLADESH

ETV WINS COURT VICTORY

A private television station which was ordered off the air last year, won a small victory on August 20 when a high court directed authorities to consider its application for a fresh broadcasting license. Ekushey Television, or ETV, Bangladesh's first private free-to-air television, was closed down on August 29, 2002, after the Supreme Court declared its broadcasting license invalid. ETV, with more than 40 million viewers, had been airing news and popular entertainment programs since 2000. The network applied for a new license in May this year. But the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, an autonomous authority for issuing network licenses, rejected the application. ETV then petitioned the Bangladesh High Court. The high court on August 20 gave the commission 30 days to consider ETV's revised application for a fresh license and allocation of frequency for satellite transmission.

CHINA - HONG KONG

BROADCAST AUTHORITY APPROVES CETV STAKE SALE

The Broadcasting Authority said it has approved tom.com Ltd.'s acquisition of 64.07% of China Entertainment Television Broadcast from AOL Time-Warner. The purchase by the Hong Kong publishing and outdoor-advertising firm was announced last month. Tom.com financed the US$6.8 million purchase by issuing 21 million new tom.com shares at HK$2.535 each. The Broadcasting Authority said at the weekend it was satisfied that the ownership transfer wouldn't affect CETV's compliance with regulations under the Broadcasting Ordinance.

INDIA

STAR AND ESPN WON’T USE ZEE HITS PLATFORM

Zee’s ambitious Headend in the Sky (HITS) programme seems to have run into trouble with Star and ESPN-Star Sports refusing to join the distribution platform. Sony is also yet to decide on a tie-up with Zee for the Rs 400-crore HITS platform. Zee’s distribution subsidiary Siti Cable, which is marketing HITS under the Galaxzee brand name, has been talking to the other broadcasters on this project for some time now. However, it was clear at the last meeting of the implementation committee meeting for the conditional access system (CAS) held on July 14 that there were still wide differences on this issue. The HITS programme involves the setting up of a back office company that downloads all channels in a single location. These channels are then encrypted and beamed up to a satellite. The satellite then acts as the headend i.e., the location of the CAS and the subscriber management system that keeps track of the billings and other related information. The signals are then received by cable operators who have to ‘trans-modulate’ them and then distribute it among their subscribers. The subscribers can then receive the channels through a digital set-top box. Zee is at present using the HITS platform to beam its own channels, besides channels like Ten Sports and Nickelodeon, in south Delhi and certain areas in Kolkata.

CNBC REDUCES TV18 STAKE

Singapore-based CNBC Asia Pacific is set to reduce its equity in its Indian joint venture CNBC-TV18 to 10%. This development follows the company's announcement in May when it reduced its equity to 26% from 46% to comply with Indian government guidelines for foreign-owned news channels. That led to the venture's Delhi-based partner TV18 India acquiring 49% equity. TV18's stake has now gone up to 90% which is "cash neutral" for the company. The new equity structure has been set up for TV18's newly established unlisted channel broadcast subsidiary, iNEWS.com, in which CNBC AP will hold 10% equity. The current operations of the CNBC-TV18 business news channel will go to iNEWS.com.

ISRAEL

NDS DELIVERS INTERACTIVE “MILLIONAIRE”

NDS, a News Corporation company and a leading provider of technology solutions for digital pay-TV, enables delivery of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' to multi-platforms across multiple middleware within Israel. The application, delivered by EMTV, providers of interactive direct marketing services, uses NDS's Value@TV interactive infrastructure and Production Suite. Interactive solutions crafted using the NDS Value@TV technology will work across multiple digital platforms irrespective of the underlying middleware. The 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' show has been deployed in Israel on cable and satellite platforms that use NDS Core and OpenTV middleware.

JAPAN

FUJI TV FOREIGN OWNERSHIP CLOSE TO LIMIT

Fuji Television Network Inc. said on August 18 its foreign ownership has neared the 20 per cent legal limit, and stood at 18.44 per cent. The Japanese law concerning broadcasting businesses sets the limit, and when foreign ownership with voting rights exceeds the ceiling, a broadcaster's licence will be revoked. To avoid such a situation, the law allows broadcasters to bar new foreign investors from becoming stockholders when foreign ownership exceeds the limit. Broadcasters are required to publicize the level of foreign ownership when it surpasses 15 per cent as a way of notifying foreign investors who might be interested in investing.

NEW ZEALAND

SKY TV MAKES FIRST PROFITS

Better programming terms and a stronger New Zealand dollar have helped pay-TV leader Sky Television to post its first profit since launching a digital satellite service five years ago. Sky TV said on August 20 it posted net profit after tax of NZ$671,000 for the year ending in June, compared with a year-earlier loss of NZ$30.2 million. Total revenue was NZ$391.3 million, up 13.6% over the year-earlier period, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization increased 39.4% to NZ$150.8 million. During the year, Sky's subscriber base hit a new high of 542,891 subscribers, a rise of 39,642 over the previous year. Churn, a measure of subscribers who disconnect their service, "remained low," Sky said. Gross churn fell from 19.9% to 17.6% and net churn, calculated by removing subscribers who reconnect, fell from 11.7% to 10.8%.

THAILAND

SUBSCRIBERS DOWN AT UBC

Pay-TV operator United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) reported a net profit of €1.59 million for the first half of 2003 - a massive 520 per cent increase in operating income from the same period in 2002. The figures also showed that net profit for the April to June quarter were €1.43 million - which was also an improvement on the same period 12 months earlier. However, subscriber numbers fell by nearly 17,000 from March 31 of this year to finish at 420,643 at the end of June, although UBC said that it was earning more revenue per subscriber following a price rise earlier on this year.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

CNBC ARABIYA LAUNCHES IN DUBAI

Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, formally inaugurated CNBC Arabiya at its new studio complex in Dubai Media City. CNBC Arabiya - owned by Pakistani businessman, Zafar Siddiqi, launched its regional broadcasting in late July, and is the world's first 24-hour Arab business and economic news channel. At the inauguration Sheikh Mohammed said: The arrival of CNBC Arabiya heralds a new stage in the development of the satellite industry and brings the two worlds - of Arab media and business - together according to the highest level of excellence.




22/08/03

Sorry no update nothing to report!




21/08/03

Seems to be a lot in the news lately about SKY NZ, their shares are still over valued. I notice today they dropped another 12 cents. You would think they would of gone up after announcing an on paper "profit". A few interesting things in the reports, there will be 3 new channels by the end of the year. One I assume to be Southland/Mercury TV. I would hope the other 2 are REAL channels, not PPV or advert channels. The other interesting bit they mention Optus B1 "life" has been extended to Dec 2006 so they had extended the contract with Optus until Dec 2006.

Sorry about the lack of Australia news items.

After a few emails with Southland/Mercury tv its looking like they won't be FTA at all on Optus B1 (Sky NZ)

First I got this email

Hi Craig
Yes as far as I'm aware we are on Optus B1 , free to air.
Have a nice day.

Sheree Mortimer

Then After I explained FREE TO AIR meaning non encrypted I got this back.

Hi Craig

We are free to all Sky subscribers who purchase the minimum package. When I say "Free" I mean, no extra charge on top of their monthly account like Sky movie channels etc.

Hope this is cleared up


From my Emails & ICQ


From Simon

2 new ch on nss6
just did a scan on nss6 12729 27500 2 new chanels load

1. ARM1
2.sic internacional

simon


From Steve Hume

Bali TV is up and alive.

Palapa C2

3926H SR4208 VPid:33 APid:36 PCR:33

NEWS 24x7
Steve Hume


From the Dish


Apstar 1A 134E 3800 H The CCTV mux has left .

AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3706 H Radio Singapore International has started , Fta, APID 1122.

(Feric Lie)

NSS 6 95E 12729 V "SIC Internacional" has started, Fta, SID 40, PIDs 1026/1027.


NEWS


Southland TV Launches Nationwide


From http://xtramsn.co.nz/news/0,,3762-2603504,00.html

Southland's regional TV station is relaunching to a national audience.

Mercury TV will become Southland TV when it begins broadcasting on Sky Digital's Channel 90 from September 1.

The channel has been in operation in the South Island for seven years, broadcasting to around 75,000 viewers.

That figure is now more like a million, the number of people estimated to be capable of watching the satellite broadcasts.

Southland TV will be a 24-hour channel, and promises to provide a diverse array of programming embracing a wide spectrum of the Southland community including farming, lifestyle, tourism and sport.

Education will also be a key component in the schedule as part of a joint venture with the Southern Institute of Technology into a distance learning programming.

Other regional stations from around the country have also been offered the opportunity to broadcast on Southland TV to increase their viewership and marketing prospects.


(Craigs comment, you can email them at mtv@mtv.co.nz )


Sky TV back in the black and talking about dividends


From http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2633742a13,00.html

What once looked like a blue-sky investment was distinctly in the pink yesterday, as Sky Television said an announcement on dividends could soon follow its first profit since 1999.

Sky TV announced yesterday that it had moved back into the black with a $671,000 net profit after tax for the year to June, compared with a $30.2 million loss the previous year.

Dividend prospects aside, analysts applauded the strength of the company's results, which were slightly better than expectations.

The company is also forecasting a full-year profit of up to $35 million for the coming year.

Chief executive John Fellet said Sky TV was a "shareholder-driven company" and was thinking about the most effective way to return cash.

"Over the next year the company will make an announcement – but that's all I can say at the moment."

Analysts were divided over the significance of such an announcement.

"They should definitely be paying a dividend in 2005 and there's an outside chance they could do it in the second half of 2004," UBS New Zealand analyst David Lane said.

Another analyst said he did not believe investors should expect a dividend so soon after the company had become profitable, till it had strengthened shareholder funds.

Mr Fellet said the company was forecasting an after-tax profit of between $28 million and $35 million in the present year.

Analysts were forecasting net profit after tax of between $29 million and $47 million, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and the amortisation of goodwill of between $175 million and $199 million.

The company was forecasting ebitda of between $175 million and $180 million, and capital spending of $65 million to $70 million. That was also at the low end of analysts' forecasts, which ranged between $70 million and $106 million.

Mr Lane said the company's guidance was slightly lower than market expectations. "But I'm very comfortable with the reasons for that: it is to do with their currency hedging assumption."

The company said its transactions went through at an average rate of US44.8 cents in the 2003 financial year but it was 97 per cent hedged at US50 cents for the next year.

In the year under review, Sky TV improved its position without the full benefit of the appreciation of the New Zealand dollar. That was due to its hedging policy, by negotiating better programming arrangements and driving average revenue per unit on its satellite operations 4.9 per cent higher.

Total revenue rose by nearly 14 per cent, to $391.3 million, and ebitda was up nearly 40 per cent to $150.8 million. Advertising revenue rose almost 19 per cent and Mr Fellet said there was room for it to grow further as the company planned to launch three new channels this year.

Subscriber numbers grew nearly 8 per cent to reach a new high of 542,891 and subscriber revenue rose nearly 16 per cent. Net churn – a measure of subscribers who disconnect – continued to decline, falling seven percentage points to 10.8 per cent.

Sky shares fell 1c to close at $4.62.


Sky chalks up second profit in 13 years


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/

While Sky Television announced it had inched into the black yesterday, investors are yet to learn how much of the company's long-awaited profits will be returned to them in the form of dividend cheques.

The question is academic at the moment - the $671,000 profit for the just-reported June year equated to earnings of just 0.17c a share.

But it will become pertinent in 12 months when Sky predicts it will announce an annual profit of between $28 million and $35 million.

Chief executive John Fellett said yesterday that Sky - 66 per cent owned by INL and 12 per cent by Telecom - was a "shareholder driven" company.

It had a strong shareholder representation on its board, which would develop a dividend policy over the coming year, he said.

Sky's past year's profit was only the company's second since it began operating in 1990.

The first profit of $4.5 million was in the 1998-99 year, before Sky launched its digital satellite network.

A heavy investment in increasing its digital subscriber base saw the company chalk up cumulative losses of $99.5 million in the three years between mid-1999 and mid-2002. Since it began in 1990 it has had cumulative losses of $237 million.

That spend has enabled it to get a strong monopoly grip on the national pay television market.

By June this year the company had more than 542,000 customers, 421,000 of them on the more lucrative digital platform.

Subscriber numbers had risen 40,000, or almost 8 per cent, over the year and by June 39.1 per cent of households within reach of the company's service were subscribers.

Fellett said yesterday that penetration figure had risen to 39.5 per cent and he believed it could rise to 70 per cent in 10 years. In the US market penetration was at about 80 per cent.

This year's profit was achieved on total revenue of $391.3 million, up 13.6 per cent on the previous year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) increased by 39.4 per cent to $150.8 million.

The company, which buys most of its programmes in US dollars, has a comprehensive hedging policy so has not benefited from the recent strengthening of the New Zealand dollar.

But Fellett said Sky had been able to negotiate better programming arrangements with movie distributors and had increased average revenue from its satellite customers by 4.9 per cent.

Subscriber revenue grew 15.9 per cent to $338.2 million, and a more buoyant advertising market resulted in an 18.8 per cent increase in advertising revenue to $19.6 million.

Fellett said the company expected its ebitda for the current year to be between $175 million and $180 million and net profit to come in between $28 million and $35 million.

Sky will launch a new sport news service, Sport 365, on September 1, and Fellett said that by the end of the year it would launch three more channels.

He would not give details but said the channels would provide content not now offered by free-to-air providers.

Majority shareholder INL is yet to reveal what it will do with the $1.2 billion it received from the sale of its New Zealand newspaper publishing operations to Australia's John Fairfax Holdings.

One possibility is an off-market bid for the Sky stake it does not own, although there has been speculation that an independent valuation of Sky, which has not been made public, values the business at well below the current market price.


New-look C4 gets ready to roll


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz

Before settling on music, CanWest considered turning loss-making TV4 into a shopping network or a "retro" channel showing shows from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

But the broadcaster opted to go with a youth music format because of the low start-up costs involved and the flexibility to change tack if the concept does not work.

Yesterday, CanWest unveiled the name and logo for the revamped channel. It will be called C4 and will begin pumping out music aimed at 15- to 29-year-olds on October 3.

CanWest has managed to steer sister network TV3 into profitability over the past year, but 4's losses have worsened.

Last month, it reported an operating loss of $5.2 million for the nine months to May, compared with a $4.7 million loss for the same period a year earlier.

TV3/TV4 managing director Rick Friesen said C4 would cost $5 million to $6 million a year compared with the $7 million to $8 million in annual programming costs being incurred by TV4.

Friesen said shopping networks were extremely profitable in many markets, but the high start-up costs were a drawback.

A "retro" format had been attractive because the programmes were cheap to buy, but it involved a long-term buy-up of programming, which could prove expensive if the concept did not work.

Music offered low operational costs without the long-term commitments if the format did not take off.

Because music channels typically attract a 1 to 2 per cent audience share, CanWest was not worried that the channel would eat into TV3's viewership.

Friesen said C4 would be profitable if it achieved a 2 per cent rating, although start-up costs would eat up profit in the first year.

Free-to-air TV music formats have come and gone in the past. TVNZ bought out Max TV's frequency in December 1997 to remove Auckland competition for MTV, then later dumped MTV.

Friesen said the high programming costs associated with MTV had been part of that channel's problem.

C4's production costs would be much lower.




20/08/03

Nothing to say up here today


From my Emails & ICQ


From John Martin

Hi,

Thank you for our inclusion in your links page under Channel Subscriptions

Just to mention that we now also are distributors for Scientific Atlanta
PowerVu receivers for Australia and New Zealand, which may be relevant under
hardware.

Relevant link for that part of our site is

http://www.tvoceania.com/english/equipment.htm

With thanks and best wishes,
John Martin,

Television Oceania,
Level 2, 645 Harris Street, Ultimo, NSW 2007 Australia
Telephone: +61 2 9281 4481
Facsimile: +61 2 9212 4464
Email: jmartin@tvoceania.com
Website: www.tvoceania.com


From Telsat

Subject: NEW Ku Dual LNBF Holder

Hi All,

We are pleased to advise of a new product to the domestic Satellite TV market.
A Kiwi developed Dual KU LNBF holder, receive both Optus B1 and C1 together on a
single 80cm offset antenna. More details at:

www.telsat.com/lnbfdual.htm

Cheers


From MR Humax 19/08/03

B1, 12367 V Sr 6667 3/4 "variety club bash cross"
B1, 12397 H Sr 7200 3/4 "HSV SNG trailer, at queenscliff? looks like the scenary channel"


From Satellite Info

PAS 8 feeds

3940H 27690 7/8

Adhoc 16 - Tennis
Adhoc 20 - Gymnastics


From the Dish


NSS 5 177W 3745 R "Pacific IP" has started, SR 44995, FEC 3/4, West hemi beam. (Craigs comment, the Symbol rate from hell by the look of it!)

Optus C1 156E Disney Channel Australia has moved from 12398 H to 12558 H, enc.,PIDs 523/651. Sky News Australia has left 12558 H.

AsiaSat 4 122E 12174 V "RAI International 4" has left .( I don't think it was there to begin with!)

Palapa C2 113E 4160 H "TVE Internacional Asia-Africa" has left , replaced by a Satelindo test card.

Cakrawarta 1 107.7E TBN has replaced CNN Financial Network on 2625 H, Videoguard, PIDs 519/647.

NSS 6 95E New SR and FEC for the SatLink mux on 12688 V: 26087 and 3/4.
NSS 6 95E 12729 V "It's only an Israel History Channel promo" , Fta, PIDs 1281/1282.
NSS 6 95E 12729 V "TGRT, TelePace, Public TV Armenia and ATV (Turkey) have replaced Nile TV
International, MBC Europe and ESC 1", Fta, PIDs 769/770, 785/786, 818/817, and 833/835.
NSS 6 95E 12729 V "ESC 2, Thai TV Global Network, TV Moda, the mosaic and MBC Europe have left 12729 V, are NOT encrypted.

Insat 3A 93.5E 3960 V New PIDs for DD Sahayadri : 257/258.

Yamal 102 90E 3719 LNew VPID for Rambler TeleSet (+2h) on : 308.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3695 H "Sky Racing 1-2" are Fta.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3671 H "Fashion TV" has started , Fta, PIDs 4129/4130.TCT World and Daystar TV have left this mux.

Insat 3C 74E DD Kerala has left 3901 V (PAL).


NEWS


Sky TV reports first profit


From http://onebusiness.nzoom.com/onebusiness_detail/0,1245,214598-3-166,00.html

Pay television operator Sky TV made the first profit in its 13 year history, thanks partly to the high New Zealand dollar.

The pay TV provider made a net profit of $700,000, compared with a loss of $30 million a year ago.

Total revenues of $391.3 million, were up by 13.6% over the previous year.

Sky TV chief executive John Fellet said even without the benefit of the appreciation of the dollar, Sky has continued to improve its position by negotiating better programming arrangements with movie distributors.

Subscriber revenue grew by 15.9%, advertising revenue rose by 18.8% to $19.6 million and commercial revenues grew 13.8% to $22.3 million.

Total operating expenses, excluding unrealised foreign exchange, increased by a modest 4.2% with programming costs as a percentage of revenue falling from 48.3% to 43%.

Sky's subscriber base reached a new high of 542,891, a gain of 39,642 subscribers over the previous year. This breaks down to 421,473 digital subscribers (77.6%), 119,321 UHF subscribers (22%) and 2,097 other commercial subscribers.

Churn, the way subscribers who disconnect their service are measured, remained low. Gross churn fell from 19.9% to 17.6% and net churn, calculated by removing subscribers who reconnect, fell from 11.7% to 10.8%.

On the programming front, a new sport news service, Sport 365, will launch on September 1 this year, with several other channels scheduled to launch later in 2003.

Sky shares, two-thirds owned by the Rupert Murdoch controlled Independent Newspapers (INL), last traded up a cent at $4.64, against a 14-month high of $4.75 recorded last week and a year low of $3.11.


(Craigs comment, they should enjoy it while they can, while they have no competition to worry about. No surprise they got this info out rather quick after yesterdays news item that Sky's shares had been "overvalued". The Sport 365 mentioned is not a new channel just a new half hour show.)


Sky TV finally moves back into profit


From http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2633557a13,00.html

Sky Network TV, controlled by Rupert Murdoch's Independent Newspapers Ltd, has finally reported a profit - the first time since it launched its digital network five years ago.

The company posted a June year net profit of $671,000 compared with a $30.2 million loss a year ago.

Still, no dividend was posted.

Total revenues rose 13.6 per cent to $391.3 million.

The number of subscribers reached 542,891 at June 30, a gain of 39,642 over the previous year. This breaks down into 421,473 digital subscribers (77.6 percent), 119,321 UHF subscribers (22.0 per cent) and 2097 other commercial subscribers.

Churn, the way subscribers who disconnect their service, fell from 19.9 per cent to 17.6 per cent and net churn, calculated by removing subscribers who reconnect, fell from 11.7 percent to 10.8 per cent.

Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) increased by 39.4 per cent to $150.8 million.

The increased earnings, signalled in a May guidance notice was achieved by continuing improvements across several areas of the business, chief executive John Fellet said.

"Even without the full benefit of the recent appreciation of the New Zealand dollar, Sky has continued to improve its position by negotiating better programming arrangements with movie distributors."

A rise in the New Zealand dollar, particularly against the US dollar, lowers Sky's cost of buying programmes.

"These improved arrangements, together with a 4.9 per cent increase in satellite Arpu (average revenue per unit) have contributed to the improved result, Mr Fellet said.

Subscriber revenue grew by 15.9 per cent, advertising revenue rose by 18.8 per cent to $19.6 million and commercial revenues grew 13.8 per cent to $22.3 million.

Total operating expenses, excluding unrealised foreign exchange, increased by 4.2 per cent with programming costs as a percentage of revenue falling from 48.3 percent to 43 per cent.

Sky told analysts it expected the current year result to be at the lower end of market forecasts.

There is strong speculation Independent Newspapers, which owns two thirds of Sky, will engineer a merger with Sky that would entail new shares issued to existing shareholders of both companies.

Since selling its New Zealand publishing business to John Fairfax Holdings at the end of June for $1.2 billion, INL has been mulling its future.

INL, which is 45 per cent owned by Mr Murdoch's News Corp, requested the independent valuation by Bancorp which reportedly valued the company at between $4 and $4.30 a share.

INL has a cash kitty of $754 million. Its only asset other than Sky and its cash is the Geelong Advertiser, estimated to be worth $60 million.

Telecom Corp owns 12 percent of Sky.

Sky shares were initially down today but were up 1 cent to $4.64 shortly after the result announcement.


INTERVIEW: NZ Sky TV Subscriber Growth To Lift Earnings


From http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/030820/15/3dixe.html

AUCKLAND (Dow Jones)--New Zealand's Sky Network Television Ltd. (A.SNT) expects its digital satellite service to sustain the current rate of subscriber growth and help boost earnings this financial year, the company's chief executive said Wednesday.

"The strength in subscriber growth is still there and I don't see any reason for it to slow down in a big way," John Fellet told Dow Jones Newswires.

Fellet expects subscriber numbers to continue growing at the current annual rate of 38,000 to 43,000. Subscriber numbers in July and August have so far exceeded that of the same period last year, he said.

Earlier Wednesday, Sky, New Zealand's monopoly pay TV operator, reported a net profit of NZ$671,000 for the year ended June 30, surpassing analysts median expectations of a loss of NZ$800,000 and much better than last year's NZ$30 million loss. It was the first full-year profit since 1998 when Sky launched its digital satellite network.

The number of subscribers grew 7.9% to 542,900, led by its digital services, whose subscriber base rose 20% to 340,300.

"The (digital) service is ever so popular as it was from the time we launched it...I think now that we've come up with a good result, we can expect further improvement from here on," Fellet said.

Sky hopes to build on its services by adding new channels, and possibly new products and services such as video-on-demand services in partnership with Telecom Corp. (NZT). Both Sky and Telecom recently signed two five-year deals for the resale and retransmission of Sky's pay TV services to Telecom customers.

"We think its a great opportunity for us and at the end of the day it's technology-driven, so Telecom has to let us know when they feel comfortable about laying the technology."

Talks are underway with Telecom, but Sky doesn't expect anything substantial to materialize in the short term. Telecom previously said it is exploring a deal with Sky on content and interactive services delivered to televisions via its broadband network.

Fellet said the number of subscribers to its UHF services will continue to decline, but doesn't expect that market to disappear altogether.

"It's a good business for us, we love using assets that have been fully depreciated to generate revenue for us."

Fellet said that the churn rate, a measure of subscribers who disconnect their service, continued to fall and there may be room for a further drop. In the last financial year, gross churn fell from 19.9% to 17.6% and net churn, calculated by removing subscribers who reconnect, fell from 11.7% to 10.8%.

"I've been wrong about the churn rate for the past three years thinking that's as low as it can get and it keeps fooling me, so there could be more room for it to drop," he said.




19/08/03

Livechat tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd time onwards in the chatroom.

A few changes in the mux on NSS6 at 95E.


From my Emails & ICQ


From Zapara

NSS 6 95deg E
12729V Sr 27500 Fec7/8 update

8 chs load currently FTA MPEG
"NTD TV" Vpid 257 Apid 258 PCR 257 SID 10 PMT 256
"FASHION TV" Vpid 513 Apid 514 PCR 533 SID 20 PMT 512
"TGRT" Vpid 769 Apid 770 PCR 769 SID 30 PMT 768
"TELEPACE" Vpid 785 Apid 786 PCR 785 SID 31 PMT 784
"VIDEO Italia" Vpid 801 Apid 802 TXT 803 PCR 801 SID 32 PMT 800
"RADIO MAKEDONIA"Vpid 818 Apid 817 PCR 818 SID 33 PMT 816
"ATV" Vpid 833 Apid 835 TXT 836 PCR 833 SID 34 PMT 834
"ISRALAEL HISTORY CH" Vpid 1281 Apid 1282 PCR 128 SID 50 PMT 1280


(Craigs comment, it looks like all the Tarb's stuff that was previously on Pas 10 or Thaicom 3. Except for Israel History channel which I am told is not for Tarb's)


From Bill Richards

Optus C1 Screenshots

Dai Ai TV, TBN, TRT Int and Optus Aurora Tuning Channel


From John Harrison 18/08/03

Pas 8

3880 V Sr 28700 Fec 5/6 Knowledge Channel currently fta


From Ranime 18/08/03

Optus B1 12358 V 6666 3/4 "Australian Idol Feed" seen


From the Dish


No lyngsat in yet


NEWS


Sky TV shares dive after valuation report


From http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2631485a13,00.html

Shares in Sky TV Network fell 12 cents to $4.62 today after a report in the Sunday Star-Times suggested the company was worth less than the current share price valuation.

The Sunday paper said an off-market bid for the one third of Sky that Independent Newspapers Ltd does not already own was less likely now after an independent valuation by Bancorp valued Sky at $4-$4.30 per share.

The valuation has not been published but may have been leaked to the Star-Times. In response to a query, the Stock Exchange said it was checking to see if the market sensitive information had been improperly released.

INL shares rose 12 cents to $4.32 and Telecom, which owns 10 per cent of INL and 12 per cent of Sky, rose 6c to 512 today.

Some brokers have valued Sky north of $5/share.

Since INL sold its New Zealand publishing business to John Fairfax Holdings at the end of June, INL has been mulling its future. It requested the independent valuation by Bancorp.

Instead of making a bid for Sky below the current price, the two companies could be merged with new shares issued to existing shareholders. That would effectively delist INL, whose only other asset is the Geelong Advertiser, worth an estimated $60 million.

INL has a cash kitty of $754 million.

Three years ago Bancorp valued Sky for INL at between $3.58 and $4.14 per share. Since then the New Zealand dollar has risen steeply, lowering Sky's cost of buying programmes. As well, TelstraSaturn, now TelstraClear, has dropped out of the television market. However, also since then the dot.com bubble has burst, severely denting the share price of companies such as Sky.


Indian satellite hitch dogs Ariane launch


From http://www.spacedaily.com/2003/030818144517.0ay5xutp.html

The upcoming launch of a European Ariane rocket with three satellites onboard has been delayed for the second time because of a last-minute hitch with its Indian payload, the launch operators Arianespace said Monday.

The launch had initially been scheduled for August 28 but was ordered postponed last week until September 3 to let engineers make final checks on INSAT-3E, a satellite to be launched for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

An official at Arianespace said ISRO had now requested additional time to carry out these checks.

"A new launch date will be provided later," Arianespace said in a statement.

The Ariane 5 rocket will also carry a Eutelsat telecommunications satellite, e-BIRD, and a lunar probe, SMART-1, for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Arianespace markets ESA's Ariane rocket, which is launched from a base in Kourou, French Guiana.


Suspect components delay Insat 3E launch


From http://www.hinduonnet.com/bline/stories/2003081902090400.htm

A BATCH containing `faulty' units of critical imported components used in Insat-3E has forced ISRO to postpone its launch barely 18 days from D-day.

The communications satellite has been in the French Guianese spaceport since July 16, undergoing tests and awaiting launch on September 4 (according to IST) by the European service provider Arianespace. It now stands delayed by at least 3-4 weeks until the components are re-tested and Arianespace decides a new date, the national space agency said without giving details.

The suspect components, solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs), are the heart of a satellite transponder. As Business Line learns, were sourced from Japanese major Mitsubishi Electric Corporation at least two years ago, as is customary for satellite assembly.

The vendor alerted ISRO last week. Now, some of the readily available SSPA replacements will be sent to Kourou and others will be brought back to the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad for thermal coating and assembly. Mitsubishi, a global major in the component, is said to be sending a team of engineers to Ahmedabad in the next couple of weeks for detailed testing and re-engineering.

In all, 36 SSPAs were used on 3E's transponders and some of them would be replaced and some repaired, an official source said.

ISRO's official statement said the satellite "is now delayed because of the need to retest a few components of the communication payload. The retests have become necessary in view of a quality alert received from the manufacturer of these components. INSAT-3E will be ready in three to four weeks."

Both the failed SSPAs are said to be of the same batch and design of which 200 units are said to have been supplied to various agencies. ISRO alone has sourced over a hundred SSPAs for its various Insats. A pre-launch satellite undergoes several thermal cycles and apparently nothing was found amiss.

The satellite is meant for a life of 12 years. The ISRO spokesman, Mr S. Krishnamurthy, said such scares and delays are not new to the satellite industry. Only in April this year, the previous launch, Insat 3A, went through a day's delay on the launch-pad as the signal from the transmitter was not adequate, he recalled. "We now know the problem. If the satellite had failed in orbit later, it would have been very difficult to trace the real culprit," he said.

Satellites like 3E that weigh 2700 kg cost around Rs 200 crore, often Rs 100 crore lower than a procured launch.

3E has two co-passengers - SMART-1 of European Space Agency and e-Bird of EUTELSAT.


Ahimsaa will launch on 2 October, ATN tells NSE


From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/aug/aug133.htm

MUMBAI: ATN International is poised to launch its new channel Ahimsaa on 2 October, 2003. This was conveyed to the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in official announcement by the company today.

The announcement stated that ATN's board of directors (BOD) reviewed the preparations of the launch in a meeting today.

Presently, the application for uplinking Ahimsaa from India is pending for approval with the information and broadcasting ministry, according to the announcement.

The 24-hour predominantly Hindi global satellite television channel was originally reported to kick-off on 30 January, it's content comprising social, environmental and women empowerment issues. Its official announcement was made at the 'Converging World 2002' held in Bangalore between 3 and 5 December, 2002.

Later on, indiantelevision.com had reported that Ahimsaa will commence from 15 August 2003. ATN had stated to NSE that the channel will be uplinked from India on a global platform tentatively from 15 August and would cover more than 50 countries of the world. However, the company is still waiting for I&B's consent.

Ahimsaa is promoted by Kolkata-based Santosh Kumar Jain, who besides being a partner in Aastha Television and CMM Music has also launched ATN World and ATN Bangla in West Bengal. It is being backed by The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, headquartered in Mount Abu, India.

The channel will telecast talks on Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and other religions. For women, there would be special shows like the gourmet special Aah Kya Swad , Ghar Beethe on self-employment opportunities and Haq on legal issues.


Thai UBC: profit increase


From http://www.advanced-television.com/pages/pagesb/newsdaily.html

Thailand's largest pay TV operation, United Broadcasting Corporartion (UBC) has reported a net profit of E1.59 million for the first half of 2003 - a massive 520 per cent increase in operating income from the same period in 2002.

The figures also showed that net profit for the April to June quarter were E1.43 million - which was also an improvement on the same period 12 months earlier.

However, susbcriber numbers fell by nearly 17,000 from March 31 of this year to finish at 420,643 at the end of June, although UBC said that it was earning more revenue per subscriber following a price rise earlier on this year. UBC deputy chief financial officer Vasili Sgourdos said he was pleased with the results, but warned that the second half of the year was generally when the platform experienced cost increases and that he wanted to boost subscriber numbers to remain on the path of achieving quarterly profits.

UBC CEO Sompan Charumilinda used the announcement of the latest financial figures to reiterate the need for a new regulatory environment that recognised the realities of building a pay TV platform in Thailand. UBC has been lobbying for five years to be allowed to carry advertising and it is also supporting the idea of a single regulatory body for the industry, rather than being regulated by a series of overlapping bodies.

"It will become increasingly difficult to continue to develop the market unless regulations are adequately updated to reflect the economic realities of building a pay TV platform in Thailand and ensuring that laws are enforced consistently on all operators particularly those relating to copyright protection and advertising," he said.




18/08/03

A few NZ news items today, on the TV3 news last night Mercury/Southland tv was mentioned as coming to Sky TV. I did get a fax about this several months ago. There isn't any indication as yet as to if they will be a true "FTA" signal on Sky. I have not been able to find a website or email address for them either. Perhaps someone down South may have better luck?


From my Emails & ICQ


From Steve Hume

Pinoy Central TV has left the building!
PAS 8 166E Pinoy Central TV on 3718 V

Pinoy Central TV is either gone or encrypted.

NEWS 24x7


From the Dish


JCSAT 3 128E 4050 V Both Da Ai TV and the test cards have left .

Palapa C2 113E 10970 V The Satelindo mux has left .
Palapa C2 113E 4160 H "TVE Internacional Asia-Africa" has started, Fta, SR 5632,FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256.
Palapa C2 113E 3604 H "Smart FM has replaced Kantor Berita Radio" on , Fta, APID 1213.

Cakrawarta 1 107.7E Updates in Indovision, Videoguard:
Fashion TV has replaced Metro TV on 2625 H, PIDs 515/643.
Da Ai TV has replaced ANTV on 2625 H, PIDs 512/640.
Celestial Movies has replaced Fashion TV on 2655 H, PIDs 512/640.

AsiaSat 3 105.5E 4115 V "Indus Plus has replaced Indus News", Fta, SR 3331, FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256.

PAS 10 68.5E 3864 H The ARY Digital promo is now encrypted.


NEWS


Foxtel turns up heat


From http://finance.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,6987451%255E462,00.html

DEBATE on the retransmission of free-to-air TV channels on the new digital Foxtel system has escalated, with Foxtel applying to the competition regulator for clearance under its third-line forcing provisions.

Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams said Foxtel made the application last week due to the concerns of networks Seven and Ten who have yet to agree to be shown on Foxtel Digital when it launches next year.

Third-line forcing is the potentially anti-competitive situation where one service is offered only if the user agrees another condition.

Companies seeking to third-line force can gain clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission if they can prove it is in the public's benefit.

Seven and Ten argue Foxtel is third-line forcing by demanding they buy satellite capacity from Optus before being retransmitted on Foxtel's satellite service, and instead want Foxtel to pay the estimated $5 million annual cost.

But Mr Williams said: "That is like buying a toaster and saying it's third-line forcing to also buy electricity."

He argued the issue instead centred on Foxtel's desire to tie retransmission of the channels on its satellite service with retransmission on cable so its packages were identical.

SBS and the Nine Network have already agreed to be on Foxtel Digital after buying satellite space from Optus.

But for the satellite retransmission to occur, Foxtel told the ACCC that Seven and Ten must buy the satellite space as it was "unreasonable and inconsistent with international practice for it (Foxtel) to be required to acquire and pay for the satellite capacity".

But Foxtel is offering them free access to its electronic program guide, free cable capacity, free access to its conditional access system and its cable and satellite set-top boxes, it said.

In contrast, British broadcaster ITV pays pay-TV group BSkyB pound stg. 17 million ($41.2 million) a year to use its conditional access system.

As for the public benefit in having the same cable and satellite pay-TV packages, Foxtel said they included boosting uptake of free-to-air digital TV, helping TV viewers who now have poor TV reception and eliminating the price difference between Foxtel's cable and satellite systems.

Foxtel's notification to the ACCC was lodged on Tuesday and if the commission does not intervene within 14 days, the the notification succeeds.

Mr Williams said that if the ACCC objected, "there are a number of remedies available to Foxtel in that instance, but I'm not willing to talk about that". He said Seven and Ten were not compelled to retransmit their channels.

In its submission, Foxtel said the networks must decide the issue by August 31 if they want to be included in the Foxtel Digital launch in March.

And it said there was the chance Optus could sell the satellite space to others if Seven and Ten don't agree.


INL tipped to merge with Sky


From http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2629984a13,00.html

An off-market bid by INL for all the shares it does not own in sharemarket darling Sky TV is less likely in the wake of an independent valuation of the pay television operator.

That valuation is currently under wraps, but indications are it puts Sky TV's shares at between $4-$4.30, a long way behind the current market price of $4.73.

It is also a long way behind some broker valuations on Sky of more than $5.

In those circumstances INL, which owns 66 per cent of Sky, is not expected to spend money buying more shares in a company it already effectively controls, and at a price inflated by market activity.

Instead, Sky TV and INL are more likely to merge in a new pay TV company, with new shares issued to existing shareholders in the two former companies, say analysts.

This would effectively remove a major company from the market at a time when the New Zealand Exchange is desperate to encourage new sharemarket listings.

Investors who have been snapping up Sky TV shares in the belief INL would use money from the sale of its publishing interests to Australian publisher John Fairfax Holdings to buy out Sky TV at a premium may be disappointed. But it raises the likelihood that INL shareholders will get a healthy cash payout.

INL called for an independent valuation of Sky TV after it closed its doors on its publishing businesses, selling them to Fairfax for $1.18 billion in July, a deal that saw the Sunday Star-Times and other major titles move to the Australian-based publisher's stable.

The sale focused INL's attention squarely on the pay TV operator. Besides its Sky TV holding, INL had a cash kitty of $754 million from the sale, which could grow to $820m if it sells the Geelong Advertiser in Australia.

INL chairman Ken Cowley told shareholders last month the board was reviewing options with regard to the future of Sky TV, but he was playing his cards close to his chest. INL does not want to pay too high a price to capture Sky, and commissioned Bancorp to value the pay TV operator.

That valuation is now with the board but under wraps.

Three years ago, Bancorp valued Sky TV for INL at between $3.58-$4.14 a share, but several factors have lifted that valuation. The New Zealand dollar has appreciated from US42c three years ago to US58c to the huge benefit of Sky TV, whose major costs are programming which is paid for in US dollars.

A one cent rise in the Kiwi dollar can add $2.5m to Sky TV's bottom line.

The other big change in Sky TV's favour has been a change in the competitive landscape.

First, TelstraSaturn signalled it wasn't going to compete with Sky TV, and then its reincarnation TelstraClear signed a deal to take Sky content. That left Sky TV as the only significant pay television operator in the country.

Analysts are also discounting any impact on Sky TV of TVNZ's testing of free-to-air digital decoders in around 6000 homes. But even those factors will not boost the Bancorp valuation to current market levels, dissuading INL to seek control of Sky TV by buying more shares. The more likely scenario is for INL and Sky TV to merge under a scheme of arrangement, analysts now believe.

In such a company, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp would have a 30 per cent stake, Telecom 18.1 per cent, Todd 9.7 per cent and minority interests 42.2 per cent.


What's The Ball Game?


From http://xtramsn.co.nz/business/0,,5189-2582432,00.html

TVNZ's decision to run a free-to-air Rugby World Cup satellite channel, to broadcast exactly the same live matches screening on TV1 as well as lots of replays, has observers asking: "What is the point?"

The network claims it will add value for advertisers, with all ads repeating in the replays. But with just 6,000 free-to-air satellite set-top boxes in the country (by TVNZ's estimate), advertising agencies struggle to see the added value. If anything, they see dilution.

The move has awoken the conspiracy theorists, some suggesting TVNZ is using the Rugby World Cup to try to build a free-to-air satellite television viewer base, as a precursor to adding some sort of satellite-delivered third channel to its stable.

Closest to the truth may be the theory that during its fumbling foray into digital television back in 2001, TVNZ locked itself into a long-term deal for a stack of expensive satellite transponder capacity and has no idea what to do with it.

The official line from TVNZ's spin doctors is "we are just testing capability".

TVNZ watcher National MP Murray McCully describes the proposed cup rugby channel as even less popular than the Maori television channel.

"Having missed out at every attempt on the digital front, they are now seizing fourth prize."

The state broadcaster paid $US10 million in 1996 for exclusive rights to the 1999 and 2003 Rugby World Cup events and failed to come to any deal with Sky TV to run some lesser games and replays on its pay-TV operation. Then, last year TVNZ wiped more than $5 million off its books when New Zealand lost hosting rights to this year's event, dishing up a hard-luck story claiming the loss of New Zealand hosted games meant losing income it would have received as a host broadcaster.


NZ Poised To Take Digital Leap


From http://xtramsn.co.nz/business/0,,5232-2582711,00.html

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey is on the brink of allowing digital television services throughout New Zealand.

Issues troubling introduction of the new technology have been canvassed in a report discussed by the Cabinet and the go-ahead is expected soon.

The report, prepared by the Ministry of Economic Development with input from television broadcasters, examined digital spectrum allocation to broadcasters, technical standards and continuing government funding for the present analogue transmission into uneconomic areas (mainly small isolated communities).

It's believed the report finalised some options, paving the way for broadcasters to go digital.

But the transition to digital television is already well under way.

Consumers have been investing heavily in digital DVD players and digital television sets.

And Broadcast Communications Ltd (BCL), which moves most television signals around New Zealand for broadcasters, has almost completed converting its television distribution network backbone to digital.

While signals are still broadcast in analogue at transmission sites, it would be a fairly simple step for BCL to add digital transmitters to these sites.

Broadcasting insiders now quietly argue the time is ripe for the government to play catch-up and allocate spectrum for terrestrial digital transmission and let the broadcasting companies get on with it.

Former Broadcasting Minister Maurice Williamson was on the brink of allocating spectrum for terrestrial digital television leading into the 1999 election.

With the change of government, the project appeared to be put aside as the new Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs focused on other issues such as the TVNZ charter.

That caused frustration among senior broadcasting staffers who had worked hard through the 1990s to resolve digital television issues.

Consumer Pressure

The strong consumer uptake of digital technologies is now creating pressure for a terrestrial digital service carrying the national free-to-air channels: TV1, TV2, TV3, TV4, Prime and, presumably, the looming Maori channel.

However, many consumers are confused about digital TV.

True digital TV is available from DVD players plugged into digital TV sets.

And true digital TV can be watched via Sky Television's satellite digital service if connected to a digital TV set.

The terrestrial signals from the free-to-air channels remain analogue (delivering distinctly inferior picture quality stunningly apparent to viewers who switch from a DVD movie to a terrestrial-transmitted, free-to-air analogue channel).

Consumers who have bought a digital TV set and think they are ready for terrestrial digital broadcasts will be in for a shock when they discover they must also buy a set-top box to get digital TV signals into their brand new digital TV sets.

These set-top boxes will range in price from around $300 for a basic signal receiver, to more than $1,000 for set-top boxes with a full suite of interactive features.

In Europe, Integrated Digital Television (IDTV sets) with built-in digital receivers are now hitting the stores. When New Zealand's broadcasters eventually announce a start date, domestic retail chains can be expected to stock IDTV sets, as well as set-top boxes, almost immediately.

The path towards achieving digital TV in New Zealand been long, but relatively well managed by the country's broadcasters.

A non-partisan industry group has met regularly since 1990 working on digital television engineering standards and developing an engineering code of practice.

The pressure for decisions mounted in the mid-90s when Sky TV announced its intention to launch its satellite digital TV service.

A choice had to made between the two available digital systems developed overseas: the American system, Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC), and the European system, Digital Video Broadcast (DVB).

The committee decided the DVB was the best platform for New Zealand for all three potential delivery methods - DVB-S (satellite delivery) DVB-T (terrestrial delivery) and DVB-C (cable delivery).

In 1998, Standards New Zealand was advised of the DVB preference, as was Williamson, who wanted to know whether the decision needed to be mandated.

This was considered unnecessary, as the industry had agreed unanimously on the DVB format. At that point, New Zealand became the first country outside Europe to adopt DVB.

A key factor in the choice was reception mobility. DVB-T terrestrial transmission, unlike the American ATSC, can be received by moving receivers, enabling digital TV reception on buses, trains and boats, for example.

The committee felt mobile television reception could take on a significant role in civil and military defence.

Today, Sky TV broadcasts its digital service in the DVB-S format. However, DVB-S from satellite requires a fixed satellite dish and unlike DVB-T is not suited to mobile reception.

Terrestrial digital broadcast spectrum is available nationally with ample capacity to carry all free-to-air channels.

Each UHF frequency expected to be used for the service can carry four standard DVB-T channels, or one high definition (HDTV) channel. There are no indications yet that any of the free-to-air broadcasters will adopt the HDTV format.

Allocating Spectrum

The industry argues that as incumbent broadcasters, they should be allocated digital spectrum at no charge, pointing out they must meet the additional cost of broadcasting in two formats (analogue and digital) for many years, until the transition to digital is complete. They would then pay the government spectrum fees for a single spectrum, as they do today.

Current licences for analogue spectrum all run through to 2015, suggesting this would be a logical target date for the transition to digital to be completed.

Then, the spectrum currently used for analogue could be released for other applications such as mobile phones.

Broadcasters argue they do not need to cover the whole country immediately and suggest DVB-T can be rolled out in much the same way as television was first rolled out in the early days, starting in the big cities and steadily moving out into the countryside.

One issue facing the government will be whether to allocate surplus digital spectrum.

The narrow band-width requirements of digital TV means there would be plenty of channel frequency capacity available for the establishment of many more national channels.

Existing television broadcasters don't want the extra capacity dished out willy-nilly (unless, of course, it's to them).

The government might put additional national channel capacity out to tender or allocate some for establishing narrow niche-market television channels of national benefit, such as an education broadcasting to schools and universities and people studying at home.

The need for some sort of trial of terrestrial digital television technology appears to be fading.

DVB-T has now been extensively tested and is widely in use in Europe.

And during the America's Cup, TVNZ used DVB-T transmission technologies to provide live digital race telecasts to boats and ferries out on the water.

During the months preceding the event, a group of broadcasting interests secretly planned a digital television trial channel in Auckland but the success of the America's Cup operation is believed to have influenced a decision to scrap it.

The America's Cup transmitter is still up and running, sending the TV1 signal in DVB-T format over most of Auckland. But as set-top boxes are not readily available, few homes are believed to be receiving it.

TVNZ has also been testing a free-to-air satellite channel transmitting from the same satellite as Sky TV and receivable through Sky TV dishes, but not through Sky decoders. Viewers would need to invest in a separate set-top box ($400-$600).

Now, it's up to Maharey to make his move and allocate spectrum. Broadcasters say it should then be up to them and market forces to get the establishment
of a national DVB-T transmission system under way.


(Craigs comment, "However, many consumers are confused about digital TV.True digital TV is available from DVD players plugged into digital TV sets.And true digital TV can be watched via Sky Television's satellite digital service if connected to a digital TV set." Ahahaha the many consumers should also include the idiot who wrote that nonsense. As for digital tv's you won't find any in NZ what he might of been referring to is widescreen models.)


Care TV to debut in September


From http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=135001

MUMBAI: Tanu Healthcare, a listed company that specialises in the trading of pharmaceutical products and analytical laboratory services, is launching a health and beauty care satellite channel called Care TV.

Uplinked via VSNL’s Mumbai gateway, the channel will be on a Thaicom transponder and will begin test broadcasting from September 3. The niche channel will focus on health-related areas ranging from fitness and beauty concerns to specialist medical as well as ayurvedic and other alternative cures.

“The size of the different branches of the health industry is around Rs 45,000 crore. The current slots in the news and entertainment cannot do justice to a number of health-related products and services vying for the attention of TV viewers, Ajay Gupta, MD of Care TV told ET. The promoters of Tanu Healthcare — GK Aggarwal and OP Aggarwal — have invested Rs 5 crore and will be raising Rs 10 crore more through a IPO later this year. The revenue model will be advertising-driven with both direct advertising as well as specific shows built around products and services, Mr Gupta said.

Care TV will launch as a free-to-air channel using six hours of original programming initially repeated through the day, and will use a hybrid ’Hinglish’ language to gain maximum viewer penetration in the shortest possible time.

Programming slots will be fixed based on the age group and target audience, and the channel intends to give substantial airtime to Unicef and government-run programmes as well as sex-related issues.

The channel will be guided by a panel of 30 senior doctors and will use an interactive style where phone-ins will allow viewers to link with anchors even as they are watching the shows.

Tanu Healthcare, launched in 1994, generated a turnover of Rs 35 crore in the first quarter this fiscal and recorded a net profit of Rs 1.3 crore in Q1.


Star, ESPN won’t use Zee HITS platform


From http://www.business-standard.com/today/story.asp?Menu=2&story=20948

Zee’s ambitious Headend in the Sky (HITS) programme seems to have run into trouble with Star and ESPN-Star Sports refusing to join the distribution platform. Sony is also yet to decide on a tie-up with Zee for the Rs 400-crore HITS platform.

Zee’s distribution subsidiary Siti Cable, which is marketing HITS under the Galaxzee brand name, has been talking to the other broadcasters on this project for some time now.

However, it was clear at the last meeting of the implementation committee meeting for the conditional access system (CAS) held on July 14 that there were still wide differences on this issue.

When Zee’s Jawahar Goel announced that the broadcaster was offering the popular pay channels, including Star Plus, for Rs 128, his claim was refuted by Star CEO Peter Mukherjea, who said his company had not entered into any agreement with Siti Cable to provide its signals on the HITS platform.

“The issue of broadcast rights is very important to us. If our signals end up being beamed in places where we are not allowed to, then we will be in the dock for piracy,” Mukerjea said.

A spokesman for ESPN-Star Sports also confirmed that it would not provide its signals to Zee’s HITS platform. Sony, on the other hand, is yet to take a decision.

“We are right now in negotiations with Zee. If we strike the right deal we will go ahead with it,” Sony CEO Kunal Dasgupta told Business Standard.

When asked what Zee’s strategy would be if the other broadcasters refused to join its HITS programme, Jawahar Goel said, “We are talking to them. They will join the platform in due course.”

The prime concern of most broadcasters over the HITS platform is related to security aspects.

The HITS programme involves the setting up of a back office company that downloads all channels in a single location.

These channels are then encrypted and beamed up to a satellite. The satellite then acts as the headend i.e., the location of the CAS and the subscriber management system that keeps track of the billings and other related information.

The signals are then received by cable operators who have to ‘trans-modulate’ them and then distribute it among their subscribers. The subscribers can then receive the channels through a digital set-top box.

Most broadcasters are apprehensive of the fact that they will not have any control over where the CAS-encrypted signals are downlinked.

Since, a footprint of a satellite covers a huge geographical area, the signals can be downloaded in certain areas without the knowledge of the broadcaster.

The refusal of Star and ESPN-Star to send their signals for Zee’s HITS system may mean that houses covered by Siti Cable in the CAS-notified areas may not receive these channels from September 1.

“If Star does not send its signals to us, cable homes covered by Siti Cable will not receive its channels,” Siti Cable head Rajiv Khattar said.

According to Khattar, Zee is at present using the HITS platform to beam its own channels, besides channels like Ten Sports and Nickelodeon, in south Delhi and certain areas in Kolkata.


T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 33/2003 17 August 2003 -

A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International

Editor: Branislav Pekic

Edited Apsattv.com Edition

A S I A


AXN TOP OF THE PACK

Sony Pictures Television International's AXN channel has ranked in at number one among cable channels in several key Asian markets. According to results by Nielsen Media Research, AXN was the most watched international ad-supported cable channel in Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines for the first six months of 2003, based on average weekly reach. The success of the channel, whose core viewers, according to its Viewer Lifestyle Study, are affluent, tech-savvy professionals and students, has been credited to the premiere of new action-adventure series, such as CSI, CSI: Miami, Alias, 24 and Boomtown. AXN's Viewer Lifestyle Study 2003 was conducted in seven major Asian cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei.

CHINA - HONG KONG

HK CITY TELECOM LAUNCHES PAY-TV SERVICE

City Telecom (Hong Kong) said August 14 it has launched a pay-television service in Hong Kong, delivering 11 channels, but with the capacity for 200. In the initial stages, the service will be aimed at Hong Kong's New Territories area, starting with the Kwai Tsing district, the telecom operator said. The company said it will invest, at the most, HK$15 million on the service in its first year of operation. The basic package, priced at HK$98 a month, is cheaper than that of the city's dominant cable operator, i-Cable Communications Ltd., which charges HK$ 298 a month for its service. Two smaller operators - Yes TV and TV Plus - are also operating in the market, and there are many more to come. Those slated to start offering their services before the year is out are fixed-line giant PCCW Ltd. and media firm Television Broadcasts's Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting.

NEW DIGITAL TV AND PPV SERVICES IN SEPTEMBER

Chinese television stations are scheduled to launch a batch of new channels in September, featuring digital broadcasting and pay-per-view service. This will mark the start of China's ambitious digitization plan. According to a recent scheme formulated by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), China will soon promulgate its own high resolution digital TV standards, sign up one million cable digital TV subscribers and kick off 10 commercial broadcasting channels nationwide by the end of this year. The plan is for China to stop sending analogue signals by 2015, and the State Administration also plans to transmit high-definition digital programs of the Beijing Olympics to the world in 2008. China, with a population of 1.3 billion, boasts 370 million TV sets and 1.2 billion TV viewers, the largest number in the world. But the present cable network in major cities is only capable of transmitting 40 to 50 channels simultaneously at most, leaving no room for further development, while digital TV provides a better solution by allowing for 400 to 500 channels, said Wang Xiaojie, a senior official with SARFT.

FALUN GONG JAMMING CONDEMNED

China on August 15 condemned the Falun Gong cult for hijacking again the satellite signals of government-run Sino Satellite, which violated the basic principles of relevant civilian communications. The TV satellite, belonging to the Sino-Satellite Communications Co, was taken over by illegal TV signals transmitted by Falun Gong cult followers twice, on August 12 and 13. The illegal signals hindered the Chinese audience from watching routine programmes of China Central Television, China Education TV Station and 10 provincial TV stations. This week's hijackings were not the first time Falun Gong cult activists had broadcast illegal TV signals to cut into transmission using Sino Satellite. The satellite was taken over on September 21 last year, during the Middle Autumn Festival when people should have been enjoying entertainment programmes on TV with their families. Their attacks in late June last year also disrupted people in many remote villages in China from being able to watch the World Cup finals.

INDIA

NEW PLAYERS TO LAUNCH DTH SERVICES

Three years after the Indian Government legalised the beaming of television programmes via satellite, directly to viewers' homes, without the help of a cable operator, the option has finally become reality. As of this week there are two possibly three players geared to exploit the DTH market. One of them a member of the Zee TV group has promised to launch the service by September 1, if some procedural hurdles are cleared. One satellite TV player who has always promised to bring DTH services to India is the Star TV group, but it is currently trying to sort out with the Government, issues linked to how much Indian equity it has put into the company it has started for the purpose, Space TV. The other private sector player to leap into the DTH sector is the Zee TV group which also owns the SitiCable cable network. The group has said it is all set to offer DTH services having lined up four transponders (to deliver 48 channels) and booked others to offer about 144 channels in all. Its service is expected to cost Rs. 150 a month for starters, with the dish and the decoder/smart card box costing around Rs. 3,000. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry cleared the DTH plans of Doordarshan. DD has asked the Indian Space Research Organisation to provide the required transponder on one of its INSAT satellite platforms. The attraction for the Government channels is that the `footprint' of the satellite based DTH transmission will reach most parts of the subcontinent at one go including neighbouring nations.

HUMAX WINS CAS DEAL

Korea’s digital set-top box manufacturer Humax said on August 13 it has won an additional $6 million order to export the satellite broadcasting converters to India. The South Korean firm was awarded a $6 million order in May to sell its products to Heathway Cable & Datacom, an Indian firm which holds about 80 channels for three million viewers in nine major Indian cities. The Indian company is owned 30 per cent by Hong Kong's Star TV. Humax's products are equipped with a conditional access system (CAS) developed by NDS.

STAR OPEN TO 51% STAKE FOR PARTNER

Star India has indicated to the government that it is open to restructuring the equity of Media Content and Communication Services (MCCS), the company that has applied for a licence to uplink the Star News channel, so that an Indian shareholder becomes a dominant partner with 51 per cent stake. According to a source close to the development, this will be done to prevent the government rejecting MCCS’s application for uplinking. Star India set up MCCS in June to meet regulations that stipulate a 74 per cent Indian shareholding in a news channel uplinking from India. The present Indian shareholders of MCCS are advertising professional Suhel Seth, with a 30 per cent stake, Merrill Lynch Vice-Chairman Hemendra Kothari (25 per cent), Hindustan Times Editor Vir Sanghvi (5 per cent), lawyer Raian Karanjiwala (4 per cent), television personality Maya Alagh (5 per cent) and actor Jeetendra Kapoor (5 per cent). Star has also indicated to the government that it should give the company enough time to comply with rules if there are any changes.

LITTLE DEMAND FOR SET-TOP BOXES

Cable TV subscribers are fighting shy of buying set-top boxes, which is necessary for viewing pay channels after the conditional access system (CAS) is implemented from September 1 in the four metros. With a little over 15 days left for the CAS rollout, the inadequate deployment of set-top boxes would mean that the government would not be able to deliver on its promise of a smooth CAS rollout. While multi-service operator (MSO) Siti Cable said it had sold 4,000 set-top boxes all over the country, INCable, another MSO, said it was yet to launch its set-top boxes in the market. It is clear that the number of set-top boxes deployed till now was woefully short of the 2 million that was being projected for covering a majority of the cable and satellite TV homes in the CAS-notified areas of New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and the whole of Chennai.

PAKISTAN

INDIAN TV CHANNELS BAN HITS CABLE OPERATORS

Despite the present good relations between Pakistan and India, Islamabad has imposed fresh curbs on Indian TV channels causing much problems for local cable operators. According to the Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (COAP), the official regulatory body Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has banned the showing of Indian channels throughout the country despite its recent promises to remove curbs on them. The fresh directive by PEMRA has come a surprise to COAP as the official body had earlier agreed to the pleas of COAP to allow them to show Indian entertainment channels, while continuing the ban on Indian news channels.


A F R I C A


PAN-AFRICAN TV ARRIVES VIA SATELLITE

Africans have long had access to foreign TV or local programs, but not to TV from their neighbours. In the early 1990s, the South African partnership of M-Net and MultiChoice began the first home-grown satellite broadcasts to reach all of English-speaking Africa. With its path eased by falling state barriers to private broadcasters, the partnership now operates in 50 African and adjacent island countries, and has spawned at least two rivals, TV Africa and a new network launched by the venerable South African Broadcasting Corporation. The networks say their audience is growing 10 percent a year and has an increasing thirst for African stars and themes. M-Net and its rivals have been screening more and more African-made shows. But only 4 percent of Africa’s 900 million people own televisions, although many more have access to TV in private homes, and very few can pay for a satellite dish (which starts at $200) or a monthly subscription. So the networks also rely on ad revenue and broadcast free to an audience they say is greatly increased by those who watch a communal TV. SABC launched Africa-2-Africa in 1998 as the first satellite network produced “for Africa, about Africa or by Africa.” Five-year-old TV Africa reaches as many as 100 million viewers in 20 countries with its “proudly African” prime-time slots featuring African movies and shows. M-Net is the largest of the new networks, with 1.3 million pay-TV subscribers.

KENYA

NEW LAW COULD HURT TV STATIONS

Beginning January, 20 per cent of the content broadcast on Kenyan television and 30 per cent on radio will have to be locally produced. Information minister Rafael Tuju told reporters the new rules were aimed at creating jobs for Kenyans as well as protecting the culture of the East African nation. In addition to the state-run Kenya Broadcasting Corp., whose television and radio operations are the only ones with a nationwide reach, there are five private television and more than a dozen private radio stations operating out of the capital, Nairobi. All the TV stations, including KBC, rely heavily on a cocktail of foreign programming, ranging from U.S., Australian and Latin American soap operas to sit-coms and series from the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. It was not immediately clear how the requirement would affect Kenyan-licensed broadcasters who transmit foreign satellite programming terrestrially. Program directors at the leading private TV stations have frequently said the abundance of foreign programming is due to their limited budgets; African broadcasters tend to pay relatively little for the rights to mainline U.S. series that have already recouped costs in major foreign markets in Europe and Asia. Currently, most TV and radio stations run 24 hours a day except for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation which closes down at midnight. The chairman of the Media Owners Association, Wilfred Kiboro, said the move to dedicate a percentage of broadcasting time to local content could force many TV stations to only operate for a few hours or close down altogether.

SOUTH AFRICA

NEW TEEN CHANNEL LAUNCHED

South African satellite broadcaster MNet has launched new teen channel GO! to beef up its younger-skewing kids bouquet of KTV and Kworld. On air between 18.00 and 22.00, GO! broadcasts a mix of drama, comedy, music and animation, usually with a strong US accent. US imports in the GO! line-up include Evolution, Gilmore Girls, Clone High and Jackass. Head of KTV, Kworld and GO!,




17/08/03

Sunday no update




16/08/03

Big rugby match tonight Live on Star Sports? My pick the All Blacks by 12

New Satfacts issue is out , "RWC Channel, Optus C1 reception reports, scanning searching receivers, Impactv Status, Co-Ship Fiasco, B3 @ 152E, 2.4GHZ video linking, new state of the art tuner hardware," just a few of the items mentioned.



From my Emails & ICQ


From Chris Pickstock

3.20 SA Time

B1, 12420V, sr 6110, Vpid 519, Apid 647

V8's from Oran Park on now.

Chris


From Bill Richards

MAC TV Optus C1


From the Dish


No Lyngsat report as yet


NEWS


Sky offers Maori TV one of its channels


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3518405&thesection=news&thesubsection=general

Sky Television has offered the Maori Television Service one of its channels in a new deal designed to eliminate potentially major interference problems for hundreds of thousands of viewers.

The deal was put before the Government last week, but it has yet to reach a decision.

Aside from resolving the interference problems - which could see viewers tuning in to watch Coronation Street getting MTS instead - it is believed the deal could result in significant cost-savings for MTS.

It would be able to use the transmission facilities Sky already has in place, saving it from importing and setting up new transmitters.

The plan would also enable MTS to simply flick a switch when it is ready to go on air, saving it and the Government from potentially embarrassing delays.

Sky and MTS confirmed yesterday that a new proposal had been put to the Government but said details were confidential.

State-owned Broadcast Communications Ltd (BCL) refused to comment, saying negotiations were "delicate". But it is believed BCL would consider it a major blow if the Government backed the proposal.

The Government said in January that MTS would be on-air by the end of the year, using a combination of BCL's UHF transmission platform and Sky's digital service.

But while negotiations have been on-going, those plans have not been properly advanced, creating mounting speculation that MTS's start-up date would once again be delayed.

MTS has also been dogged with problems securing the $12 million-$13 million loan it needed to pay for building its studios and buying the equipment needed to kit them out.

A bank loan was finally arranged several weeks ago and MTS chief executive Derek Fox said this week that he was now preparing to sign a range of contracts.

The interference problems have delayed the transmission plans.

It was revealed late last year that Sky had been "squatting" on the four frequencies reserved for Maori television since 1989.

But Sky warned the Government then that hundreds of thousands of other households with PlayStations and televisions tuned in through VCRs could also suffer interference problems if MTS went to air on those frequencies.

Sky has said it would move off the frequencies and retune its customers' decoders if necessary, but argued that this would not solve the other interference problems.

Householders might respond negatively if they were forced to pay the cost of retuning their televisions to get MTS on air, the Government was warned.

Sky spokesman Tony O'Brien said yesterday that Sky, BCL, MTS and the Ministry of Economic Development had spent months going through the regions, working out how to juggle the use of a much wider range of frequencies to tackle the interference problems.

They were making progress, but the proposal put to MTS, now before the Government, "would eliminate the interference completely", he said.

Part of the reason the Government favoured MTS working with BCL instead of CanWest - which MTS originally wanted to do a deal with - was that it was keen to keep MTS within the "public broadcasting family".

Sources said yesterday that the Government now had to balance this preference against the cost-savings and the eradication of the interference problems the new deal offered.


U.S. Intelsat sets up Asian base in Singapore-paper


From http://www.forbes.com/business/energy/newswire/2003/08/15/rtr1059533.html

SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - U.S. satellite operator Intelsat Ltd has set up its Asian headquarters in Singapore and plans a listing on Wall Street in the second quarter of next year, its chief executive told The Business Times.

"Singapore is a very good place to be to serve all of Asia," Conny Kullman told the paper in an interview published on Saturday.

The city state is facing intense competition from China and India for investments and a slowing economy has raised much debate about local jobs going to foreign workers.

Intelsat, which provides satellite services to telephone, media and government customers and has annual revenues of US$1 billion, employs 850 people worldwide.

Kullman, who was in Singapore this week, said the Asia-Pacific region was important to Intelsat and contributes 18 percent to global annual revenue. Its operations for Asia used to be run from Washington D.C.

The satellite operator was set up by the U.S. government in the 1960s and was supported by scores of other countries. It was privatised in July 2001 and its largest shareholder is Lockheed Martin Corp (nyse: LMT - news - people).

Kullman said the company planned an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in the second quarter of 2004.

"The key driver is business. There's also a legislative push from the U.S. government that requires us to go for an IPO before end-2004," he said.

Intelsat is required by law to begin publicly trading its stocks in order to dilute its existing shareholders' stakes, but it has put off a listing due to poor market conditions.


TV station hijacked by Falun Gong


From http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/Weekly2003/08.12.2003/China3.htm

Falun Gong followers have commandeered the country's major television satellite station twice this week, the central government said yesterday.

Sino Satellite, known commonly as SinoSat, was "taken over by illegal TV signals" transmitted by Falun Gong at 9.05pm on Tuesday and at 8.23pm on Wednesday, the Ministry of Information Industry said.

It added that the action prevented audiences from watching programmes on China Central Television, China Education Television and 10 provincial stations.

Although Xinhua did not provide details of the material aired during the disruptions, Falun Gong - in hacking activities that began early last year - typically replaces regular fare with messages about its movement and the abuses it claims it endures.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan condemned the sabotage.

"This attack is a new crime committed by the Falun Gong cult, who violated the basic principles of civil-use communication, interfered with normal broadcasting and infringed on public interests," he said.

Representatives of the Falun Gong in the United States acknowledge the group's hacking activities and say it is the only way they can circulate their message on the mainland.

"[Falun Gong] practitioners in China have discovered a non-violent means - one that harms neither people nor equipment - to break through the information blockade and let the people see programmes that openly show the human rights violations happening in their own country," a Falun Gong spokesman said in a release that was posted on the group's website.

Dozens of Falun Gong practitioners have been jailed for hacking into television networks.




15/08/03

Not much going on today


From my Emails & ICQ


From Superfly

Indus News has changed to Indus Plus on Asiasat 3.

4115V 3331SR 3/4 FEC.


From Henry Titchen

Hi,

I tried Channel News Asia last night (14/8/03). I have a 1.8m solid. I'm in NSW, Australia.

There was a PAL and an NTSC channel. I couldn't get any audio for the vision however.
I played with settings and got a radio station instead, it sounded like Singapore International...although an Indonesian address was mentioned.

Later in the evening vision was gone...they must be testing this transponder.

Best Regards From,
Henry.


From Satellite Info

NSS6
New Channels

ESC 1 Vpid 833 Apid 835
ESC 2 Vpid 849 Apid 850
Thai TV 5 Vpid 865 Apid 866
TV Moda Vpid 881 Apid 882
Promo Vpid 897 Apid 898
MBC Europe Vpid 913 Apid 914



From Moose

NSS 6

promo has 36 pic in pic screens
educ 1 - 7
univ 1,2
horus
neteris
mostalkiller
bcw
psc
disney
stoon
set
art
art
art
art blank
n drama blank
art
art
tanweer
mtvi
adsc
e
sc
tv5
andcilus
ch5
future
dbus


(Craigs comment, these appear to be mostly Arabic perhaps for Tarb's?)


From the Dish


Optus B3 152E Aurora Tuning Info (clear), Optus Business TV 3, CentreLink and Sky Racing have started on 12407 V, Irdeto 1, SR 30000, FEC 2/3, SIDs 3301-3307,PIDs 53/54, 34/33, 37/36 and 41/38.

Palapa C2 113E 4080 H "FeMale Radio has replaced Delta FM 99.5" , Fta, APID 660.

AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3980 V "Viva Cinema" has left .

NSS 6 95E 12729 V ESC 1, ESC 2, Thai TV Global Network, TV Moda, a promo and MBC Europe have started on , Fta, PIDs 833/835, 849/850, 865/866, 881/882,897/898 and 913/914.

ST 1 88E 12642 H TTV, CTV, CTS, FTV Entertainment and PTS have left .
ST 1 88E 3582 H 16 radio channels have started, enc., SIDs 23-38, APIDs 46-79.
ST 1 88E 3582 H "TVBS" has started, enc., PIDs 38/39, time sharing with TVBS Golden.


NEWS


Foxtel and SBS Reach Digital Carriage Agreement -- FOXTEL


From Press Release

FOXTEL and SBS reach digital carriage agreement
14 August 2003

FOXTEL and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) today announced
that they have reached an agreement for the carriage of SBS's
digital television services on the planned new FOXTEL digital
platform in 2004.

The retransmission agreement will lead to the inclusion of the
primary digital SBS television service, and the digital World News
Channel, in the planned digital FOXTEL cable and satellite service.

As part of the arrangements to allow FOXTEL to retransmit SBS
services, SBS has-secured satellite capacity from Optus.

FOXTEL's Chief Executive, Mr Kim Williams, said: "SBS provides a
unique and important national public broadcasting service to
Australia and FOXTEL looks forward to helping to expand the reach
of SBS in a way that will make watching SBS and FOXTEL channels
seamless and convenient for viewers.

"SBS and its managing director, Nigel Milan, have worked openly
and constructively with FOXTEL to achieve this very positive
outcome for viewers."

SBS Managing Director, Mr Nigel Milan, said: "As a national public
broadcaster it is important that SBS's distinctive and quality
programs and services are available to as many Australians as
possible. To do this, we need to be accessible on all delivery
platforms. This agreement with FOXTEL makes it possible to do that."

"The retransmission agreement with FOXTEL will complement our
extensive analogue and digital terrestrial distribution networks
and the existing retransmission arrangements we have with other
subscription television providers Austar, Optus and TransACT."

FOXTEL is seeking to include all the open broadcasters in its
digital service and has made similar cable and satellite
retransmission offers to the ABC, the Seven Network and the Ten
Network. FOXTEL already has a digital cable and satellite
retransmission agreement with the Nine Network, and a cable-only
agreement with the ABC.

Mr Williams said: "As with SBS and the Nine Network, FOXTEL is not
seeking to recover any of its very considerable digital costs from
the open broadcasters. They need only acquire satellite capacity
from a satellite provider."

FOXTEL will retransmit the SBS primary services, which consists of
an Eastern seaboard feed and a Western Australian feed which
contains the same content as the Eastern seaboard but is broadcast
two hours later to take into account time differences. FOXTEL will
also retransmit the SBS World News Channel. SBS is committed to
working with the satellite provider to ensure that over time FOXTEL
satellite viewers have access to as much of SBS's digital
terrestrial service as possible.

FOXTEL will retransmit the SBS standard definition digital service
on both cable and satellite together with enhancements and
Interactive applications which are also available to SBS digital
terrestrial viewers, within defined bandwidth and technical
parameters.

Further information:

SBS
Keith Dalton
Corporate Communications Manager
SBS Corporation
Keith.Dalton@sbs.com.au
(02) 9430 3899

FOXTEL
Mark Furness
Director Corporate Affairs
FOXTEL
furnessm@foxtel.com.au
(02) 9200 1733




14/08/03

Sorry no update today




13/08/03

Thanks to all those that emailed saying BBC World is still there on Pas 2.


From my Emails & ICQ


From Bill Richards

NSS6 95E screenshots

Fashion tv, Israel History Channel and MBC Europe

Nile TV International, Video Italia


From the Dish


PAS 2 169E 3744 V BBC World is still here

PAS 8 166E It's still Pinoy Central TV on 3718 V, clear, PIDs 4096/4097.

AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3706 H "Channel NewsAsia" has started, Fta, SR 6000, FEC 3/4,PIDs 1160/1120 and 1260/1220.


NEWS


INSAT-3E launch postponed


From http://www.hinduonnet.com/stories/2003081304101100.htm

The launch of Indian Space Research Organisation's latest satellite, the INSAT - 3E, has been put off by about a week.

According to the European Space Agency, Arianespace, which will place in orbit the satellite, in one of its rockets from the French Guyanese spaceport, Kourou, the launch will be on September 3.

INSAT - 3E, along with two other payloads, SMART-1 and BIRD, were slated to be placed in orbit on August 28.

The delay follows a request for "additional verification" time from one of the customers of Arianespace.




12/08/03

Livechat tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd onwards in the chatroom


From my Email & ICQ


From Spencer

On Toroidal B3

12336V
12344V
12407V
12595V

60-80% Byron Bay

Spencer


From Jsat

Optus B3

12407 in at 90% with my 3.7m mesh kti with split feed, using a new ID
digital CI-24..a whopping 100% for 12344v and 12595v at 87%...

lower south west of WA..
regards jsat


From Steve Hume

Tennis Masters Feeds - PAS-2

PAS-2 3958 V 6620 3/4


NEWS 24x7
Steve Hume


From the Dish


PAS 2 169E 3744 V "BBC World" and the test cards have left .(Another one goes, still fta pas8 though)

BSAT 2C 110E BSAT 2C has arrived at 110 East.

Yamal 102 90E 3489 L "SGU TV" is back on , Fta, PIDs 33/34.


NEWS


MEASAT to focus on South Asia with MEASAT-3


From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/aug/aug80.htm

KUALA LUMPUR: Binariang Satellite Systems (BSS), the owner and operator of the MEASAT satellite network, is looking to provide satellite services to the South Asian market with the launch of MEASAT-3.

In March 2003, BSS entered into a contract with Boeing Satellite Systems for the procurement of the MEASAT-3 satellite. MEASAT-3, a Boeing 601 HP satellite, will join the existing MEASAT-1 and MEASAT-2 spacecraft in the MEASAT system.

Scheduled for launch in a couple of years time, MEASAT-3 will be co-located with MEASAT-1 at 91.5 degrees East longitude, and will employ 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders. Each will provide 36 MHz of bandwidth over a 15-ear service life.

Its high powered C-band global beam covers more than 100 countries, which extends from Japan all the way through to Africa. Its Ku-band payload has been designed to provide high-powered spot beams, which offer flexible service options for the development of data services and DTH applications in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.

An official release informs that MEASAT pioneered the development of Direct-To-Home (DTH) satellite services to 0.6M antenna in South East Asia with the launch of the MEASAT-1 and MEASAT-2 satellites in 1996. These satellites were specifically designed to cut through the region's difficult heavy tropical rainfall climate.

MEASAT-1, located in the orbital slot of 91.5° East Longitude, employs 12 C-band transponders, covering East and South East Asia, and 5 Ku-band transponders that offers flexible switching coverage over India, Malaysia and Philippines.

MEASAT-2, located in the orbital slot of 148° East Longitude, has up to six C-band transponders, with footprints that extend from East Australia to South, North East and South East Asia and seven high-powered spot beam Ku-band transponders focusing on Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Eastern Australia.

The company's VP (sales and marketing) Paul Brown-Kenyon was quoted in the release as saying, "The launch of MEASAT-3 ensures MEASAT can continue to serve the growing requirement of our existing customers while providing additional capacity for fully integrated video, data and VSAT services.

"Our new satellite significantly enhances our fleet, providing a high-powered Ku-band beam focused exclusively over South Asia with an EIRP up to 53 dBW. With MEASAT-3 co-located with MEASAT-1 (and the MEASAT-1 replacement to be launched no later than Q4 2007) we will also be in a position to offer our customers natural redundancy with their traffic carried across two satellites".

MEASAT claims to be a leading supplier of satellite services to Asian DTH operators and hosts one of the strongest neighbourhoods of South East Asia broadcasters and telecommunications providers.


Middle East Television seeks investors/ UAE


From http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=25989

DUBAI - Middle East Television (MET), the first Indian satellite channel to beam from the Dubai Media City, is seeking investors as part of a capital infusion drive aimed at boosting its regional distribution network.

John Thomas, managing director of MET, said the channel, which has initiated a drive to enhance the quality of its service and programme content through direct uplinking from India, would require some Dh6 million in fresh funds from individual or corporate investors through private placement. Already, some Dh15 million has been invested to keep the popular 24-hour free-to-air digital channel - one among a plethora of Malayalam television channels - stay afloat since its launch in November last year.

Thomas said MET's holding company, the Dubai-based Alan Media, would sell 40 per cent of its shareholding to raise the additional capital requirement. "We are negotiating with several corporate groups, and hope to announce a new partnership structure very soon," he said.

The channel, primarily targeting the strong Malayalee community in India and overseas, has footprints across 185 countries across the globe, except the US and Canada. Launched in November, 2002, MET joined the bandwagon of some Malayalam satellite channels - Asianet, Kairali TV, Surya TV, IndiaVision, Jeevan TV, Doordarshan Malayalam - already in the race for a piece of the Rs1,850 million advertisement market from India and overseas. Another two more players - Amrita Vision and Malabar Vision - are soon expected to join the pack.

Thomas said a full-fledged channel now would need a minimum four years to break even given the increased level of competition. Conceived primarily to cater to the Malayalee community around the world, MET has introduced a multi-language programme platform to reach a wider viewership.

It has a regular slot for Tamil language programmes and is planning to launch programmes in other South Indian languages.

Telecast through Panamsat (PAS-10), MET, which has uplinking facility from the Media City, enjoys a vast footprint covering some 185 countries across the globe except the US and Canada. It is the only Malayalam channel with a footprint covering Africa.


Thai Shin Satellite: 2H Rev At Least On Par With 1H


From http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/030811/15/3data.html

BANGKOK (Dow Jones)--Thailand's Shin Satellite PCL (H.SST) said Monday it will likely get more than $30 million in an insurance claim in the third quarter following a temporary failure on transponders of its Thaicom 3 satellite.

The company's Chief Financial Officer Tanadit Charoenchan told reporters the company is expected to sign the insurance claim contract soon after its legal department completes the review of all the papers.

"It will be a good news for our company...We expect to get the money in the third quarter. I can't say the exact figure until we sign the contract, but it is likely to be more than $30 million," said Tanadit.

The insurance payment relates to the Thaicom 3 anomaly early this year when its transponders were knocked out of service due to a power supply problem.

However, Tanadit said he isn't sure whether the company can book the insurance claim as an extraordinary gain, which will directly boost its bottom-line in the quarter.

"The money is quite huge and it's not from our normal operation. So, it's up to our auditor whether we can book it as extra gain in the quarter," he said.

Tanadit said Shin Satellite's revenue in the second half will likely be on par or higher compared with the first half unless its biggest customer outside Thailand, India's Department of Space, decides not to renew its transponder leasing contract.

"The revenue in the second half shouldn't be lower than the first half given growing revenue from our Internet business and mobile phone businesses in Laos and Cambodia," he said

The company's total revenue in the first half was 2.87 billion baht ($1=THB41.88), up 19% from a year earlier.

The India government leases seven C-band transponders on Shin Satellite's Thaicom-3. The current three-month contract will expire at end-September.

Originally, the contract was supposed to be renewed every six months, but the Indian government this year shortened the lease period to three months after the launch of its own satellite.

"If India decides not to renew the contract, our revenue will fall. But, it's not difficult to find new customers as demand (for transponders) in India is very strong," he said.

The India government hasn't informed the company yet whether it will renew the contract, he added.


SSA targets region for iPSTAR service


From http://www.nationmultimedia.com/page.news.php3?clid=6&theme=A&usrsess=1&id=18914

Shin Satellite Plc (SSA) has adopted a new regional approach to breathe added life into its planned iPSTAR high-speed Internet satellite service.

SSA's chief financial officer Tanadit Charoenchan yesterday said the company was working in tandem with its partners to aggressively source regional customers.

The company has also begun investing heavily to establish required infrastructure in its target markets and has deployed its existing Thaicom satellites to begin providing the service before the new iPSTAR satellite is launched.

The iPSTAR satellite will be launched early next year.

It has already invested 69 million Australian dollars (Bt1.88 billion) on the gateway in Sydney to launch the service. The company currently has five "gateways" in Burma, India, Thailand and Australia.

To this point SSA has focussed on pre-selling high-speed Internet access, but Tanmadit said the pre-sell concept had not worked for SSA.

"This model is not lucrative as we've had to offer big discounts as incentives to the re-sellers of iPSTAR capacity, and that has resulted in reduced margins," Tanadit said.

The pre-selling model will, however, be retained in some markets.

One of the drawbacks with pre-selling is that while it enables a lot of deals to be signed, there are no guarantees that potential customers will indeed use the service once it is operational.

One of the deals signed during the last two years is with China Railway Communication (Asia Pacific) Co, which, on paper, will pre-sell 20 per cent of iPSTAR's capacity in China.

But the SSA is waiting with bated breath as the Chinese government decides which companies will win licences to offer the iPSTAR service in China.

China Railway Communication may not be one of those companies.

An analyst at a foreign brokerage house also highlighted another potential licensing snag.

"The license may not be issued soon, or at least not until [the operators of] iPSTAR and China's AsiaSat 4 satellite can solve the problem of their adjacent orbital slots, which raises concerns about signal jams," the analyst said.

iPSTAR will orbit at 120 degrees east and AsiaSat 4 at 122 degrees east.

Initially operators of iPSTAR considered China to be its major potential market - but focus has now changed to Australia, India, Thailand and Indochina.

SSA has good reason to reconsider its marketing options - iPSTAR has always intended to replace the declining revenues being drawn from its ageing Thaicom satellites.

The company's major customer, India's Department of Space (DoS), did not renew contracts to lease three of Thaicom's satellite transponders when the contracts expired in May.

"DoS is still leasing another seven transponders, but it is uncertain whether it will continue doing so after the deals expire next month," the analyst said.

But SSA has already signed on new customers to lease two of the three transponders the DoS dumped.

In this year's second quarter, SSA's Thaicom transponder business registered revenue of Bt818 million, a decrease of Bt55 million compared with the first quarter.

The company put the reduced income down to a strong baht and the end of the DoS leasing deal.

Its second-quarter profit dropped to Bt260 million from Bt353 million in the first.

But the company's total revenues increased by Bt106 million, to Bt1.54 billion, thanks to the sale of its telephone and Internet businesses in Laos and Cambodia.

The SSA is also anticipating a US$30 million (Bt1.25 billion) windfall in the third quarter, when an insurance claim involving a temporary transponder failure on its Thaicom 3 satellite is finalised.

SSA is owned by Shin Corp, a conglomerate founded by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.




11/08/03

B3 now active at 152E, I am loading 12595V sr 30000 Fec 2/3 here in NZ. One service listed but no video or audio active. Signal fine on 76cm

Another B3 signal reported 12334 V Sr 30000 Fec 3/4 ? I can't see anything in NZ on this one its maybe on a National beam


From my Emails & ICQ


From Bruce Barnett (Lower South Island, NZ)

Hi Craig, I am looking for a second hand dish mesh c band 2 to 2.5 meters above new or second hand in good condition can you please post this message on the website.

With thanks Bruce Barnett Wanaka. Ph 03 443 7961.


From Satelliteinfo

Israel History Channel has started on Nss6
12729V 27500 7/8 Vpid 1281 Apid 1282

B3 @ 152E 12595V Coming in Strong on a 1.8 Metre Solid in Brisbane


From Johnjajjo (NZ)

I'm geting a good signal for B3 12597 V 30000 here in Auckland nz with 75cm


From Jsat 10/08/03

Did anyone catch dr dish on Thiacom 3 today...not a bad show...starts at 3pm WA time on 3672H 13333 3/4...its on every day at this time until the 15th...

jsat..
manjimup WA


From Zapara

NSS 6 95E

11592 H Sr 26034 Fec 2/3 "Satlink test card" Vpid 1062 Apid 1063 MPEG Fta
Signal leval 3C 00 on a Nokia and 2.7mt solid with KU feed located in Perth. West Aust


From VK4NKL 10/08/03

I701 LBF 10975 Boq is currently FTA


From the Dish


Asiasat 2 100.5E 3966 H Sr 6030 fec ? "Sports feed?"

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "Star Vijay" has started, Fta, PIDs 517/700.

Apstar 2R 76.5E I-Cable has left 4033 H, moved to 3845 H.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 4120 H "Occasional feeds" on , SR 3910, FEC 1/2.

PAS 10 68.5E 3913 V New PIDs for YTN: 49/52.



NEWS


Boeing EDD Awarded Amplifier Contract For JCSAT-9


From Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

Date Released: Sunday, August 10, 2003

Boeing [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems to provide amplifiers and power conditioners for the JCSAT-9 satellite being built for JSAT Corporation of Japan.

The agreement calls for Boeing Electron Dynamic Devices, Inc. (EDD), located in Torrance, Calif., to provide S-Band Linearized Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers (LTWTA) and C-Band Electronic Power Conditioners for the JCSAT-9 satellite.

"EDD is very pleased to be selected to support the JCSAT 9 program," said Chris Stephens, EDD vice president and general manager. "We look forward to continuing EDD's long history of providing high reliability and high performance products and contributing to Lockheed Martin's success for JSAT."

In communication satellites, traveling wave tube amplifiers (TWTA) are used to amplify and transmit very low-level radio frequency signals back to Earth for a variety of applications including voice, video and data. A typical TWTA consists of a traveling wave tube and an electronic power conditioner. On satellites that carry a large number of signals, a linearized channel amplifier is often added to cancel the amplifier distortion. This results in clearer communications that benefit the customers of the satellite operator. The final assembly is referred to as an LTWTA.

JCSAT-9 will provide satellite communications services throughout Asia and Japan and is scheduled for launch in 2005. JCSAT-9 is a high-power hybrid satellite and will be built on the A2100AX platform, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems in Newtown, Pa.

EDD is a leading provider of high reliability products to space and defense customers and serves as an independent merchant supplier under Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.


(Craigs comment, Jcsat 9 will be at 132E)


T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 32/2003 10 August 2003 -

A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International

Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition

A S I A


AUSTRALIA

ABC TO CLOSE DIGITAL TV CHANNELS

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. has announced budget cuts of AUS$26 million ($16.8 million), citing the federal government's failure to give the pubcaster additional funding in its May budget as the cause. Managing director Russell Balding, in a statement on August 4, said the Australian Broadcasting board had approved management proposals for cuts to program and nonprogram areas. The AUS$26 million includes the AUS$7 million ($4.5 million) saved with the closure of Australian Broadcasting's two children's digital multichannels, Fly TV and ABC Kids, at the end of June. Digital television has been slow to take off in Australia, with few people buying television sets and decoders that allow access to digital programs. By the end of May this year, only 82,000 homes had the necessary equipment to watch digital television in this nation of 19 million.

FOX SPORTS TO CARRY ASHES CRICKET TOUR

FOX Sports expected the 2005 Ashes cricket tour to be broadcast live on its pay-TV channel, but said coverage also would be provided by free-to-air television. Fox Sports has secured the rights to the Ashes tour as part of a multi-year deal. Anti-siphoning laws give free-to-air television channels the first chance to buy broadcast rights for a range of selected sports. But Fox Sports can acquire the Ashes rights from the England and Wales Cricket Board because it is not a pay-TV licensee, such as Foxtel and Austar, which are limited by the anti-siphoning regime. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has recommended a review of anti-siphoning laws, which confine most major sporting events including tennis at Wimbledon, Test cricket and World Cup rugby to free-to-air networks.

FOXTEL DENIES SEVEN ALLEGATIONS

Pay-TV operator Foxtel has denied making pacts with media companies owned by Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer in order to secure AFL Australian rules football and NRL rugby league rights. Terrestrial broadcaster Seven Network has taken Foxtel and its owners (50% Telstra, 25% News Corp., 25% Publishing & Broadcasting) to court, alleging the parties colluded to oust its C7 pay-TV subsidiary from the rights negotiations. In documents lodged with the Federal Court, Foxtel says there were negotiations three years ago, but no deal was agreed. C7 was closed in May 2002 after becoming financially unviable. Meanwhile, Foxtel is planning blanket live coverage of Australia’s most popular winter sport AFL, Australian rules football. Foxtel wants to televise every match live after the current rights deal expires at the end of the 2006 season. Currently it carries three of the eight fixtures played each week live, with its free to air rights partners Channels Ten and Nine running the remainder. Under the terms of the €230 million contract Foxtel pays €19.5 million a year for the three games - more than Ten and Nine - and it wants to use its spending power to gain a better deal when a new contract is brokered. F

CHINA - HONG KONG

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CCTV

At the end of August CCTV celebrates its 45th birthday. China Central Television, also known as CCTV, established in 1958, is the national TV network of the People’s Republic of China. CCTV employs 4,000 people and broadcasts 217 hours of programmes daily on 13 channels. It reaches over 84 per cent of China's total population. Regular audience figures exceed 1.1 billion!

INDIA

STAR NEWS GETS TEMPORARY EXTENSION

Star News, 24-hour Hindi news channel and a News Corp.’s venture, has been granted a fifth extension to uplink its channel from India. The decision was withheld on August 6. The channel managed to remain on air as it had obtained a stay order from the Mumbai High Court. The Information and Broadcasting ministry's decision was delayed as it needed more time to evaluate the clarifications given by the channel on issues such as company structure and arrangement with companies for infrastructure support and news gathering equipment. The government is still considering the critical issues such as company structure of Star News’ licensing company Media Content and Communications Services and arrangement with Hughes, Rent Works and Touch Telecontent, according to information available. Earlier this week, Star India had submitted a voluminous response to the second set of comprehensive clarifications sought by the government on its uplinking application for its 24-hour news channel.

ZEE TO BOOST PAY-TV PACKAGE

Indian broadcaster Zee is understood to be upping the number of channels that appear on its Zee-Turner bouquet. Bloomberg and CNN finance will bolster the news side of the offering with Turner Classic Movies and a new kids channel also expected to be added. The bouquet is expected to be boosted by the addition of more new channels going forward. Zee has also announced plans to launch four new city-centric independent 24-hour channels in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Besides locally-produced entertainment programmes, the channels will cover local events and will produce local news bulletins.

ISRAEL

TV MALL POSTPONES LAUNCH

Interactive commerce company TV Mall is postponing the launch of its service after the sudden withdrawal of French investor Paradise European. The channel had been slated for a September launch via satellite and cable television. CEO Galit Ben Simchon said that the withdrawal of the major 37 per cent investor would result in delaying the launch until early 2004. Other shareholders include Ben Simchon (29 per cent), the Shahar group (12 per cent), Talit Communications (12 per cent) and JCS with 10 per cent. Ben Simchon said she is currently in advanced negotiation with two local investors that would replace Paradise. An estimated NIS 25 million has been invested in the venture so far.

JAPAN

DTT TRIALS LAUNCHED

Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) and private television broadcasters began trial terrestrial digital TV broadcasts for the first time in the Kanto and Kinki regions on August 6 to finalize preparations for the launch of full broadcasts in December. The broadcasts will be receivable at up to 14 million households in Tokyo and six surrounding prefectures -- Gunma, Tochigi, Saitama, Ibaraki, Chiba and Kanagawa. In the Kinki region, they can be viewed by 5.8 million households in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Hyogo prefectures. The broadcasts will be aired five to six times during the trial period. In Nagoya and its vicinity in central Japan, trial broadcasts will be carried out this fall. Full broadcasts are due to start in the three metropolitan areas on December 1 and in other areas by the end of 2006, putting an end to analogue broadcasts in 2011. Electronics makers are set to promote TVs and receivers for the new broadcasts. However, Toranosuke Katayama, minister for public management, home affairs, posts and telecommunications, told reporters on August 5 that the public recognition of terrestrial digital TV broadcasts "is not strong enough," indicating the need for both the government and the private sector to promote them. According to NHK president Katsuji Ebisawa, the introduction of digital terrestrial broadcasting, which will start in parts of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka in December, will cost NHK about 400 billion yen in capital investment.

MYANMAR

MYANMAR EXPANDS TERRESTRIAL AND SATELLITE COVERAGE

Myanmar is building eight more television relay stations in its remote border areas with equipment imported from Italy and China under a government-funded development program launched in 1993, according to the Myanmar Times Journal. The eight TV relay stations, being built in the northeastern Shan state, southern Tanintharyi division and northernmost Kachin state, are expected to go into operation by the end of this year to relay programs of the state-run TV Myanmar from the capital of Yangon. The TV relay stations, on completion, will bring the total number of such stations in Myanmar to 105. The addition of such TV relay stations in border areas is said to aim at reducing foreign cultural influence. TV was introduced in Myanmar in 1980 and the country has two TV stations - the state-run TV Myanmar and the military-operated Myawaddy TV. Meanwhile, the country is also making efforts to enhance its radio and TV services in conformity with global changes and development, arranging to upgrade its radio and TV equipment and change its present TV system to digital one. The TV Myanmar is now making satellite news available with the cooperation of the Cable Networks News (CNN) and the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK).

NEW ZEALAND

TVNZ PLANS FTA RUGBY CHANNEL

Television New Zealand is making its first foray into satellite digital television, planning a free-to-air rugby channel to broadcast the Rugby World Cup in October and November. TVNZ already has the rights to broadcast all the Rugby World Cup matches live, and plans to do so on TV One. It will also run daily highlights programmes. The same broadcasts will appear on the free-to-air satellite channel, with the addition of replays during the day when no live games or highlights are screening. TVNZ's business development head, Marty Behrens, said the broadcaster had spare capacity on satellite Optus B1, which was already relaying TV One and TV2 free-to-air. TVNZ spent millions of dollars preparing digital strategies before agreeing to allow Sky to broadcast its channels. It wrote off $13 million in costs associated with a joint deal with British cable company NTL, which the Government shelved in early 2000. It had also invested millions in preparing to start a free-to-air service with TelstraSaturn. Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said the Government was still to make decisions about digital television so he would not comment on that or whether the possibility of TVNZ being able to offer pay-TV had been permanently ruled out.

PAKISTAN

PEMRA BANS INDIAN TV CHANNELS

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Chairman Mian Javed on August 3 asked the cable operators to strictly observe a ban on broadcasting Indian television (TV) channels. The PEMRA banned on relaying Indian TV channels over private cable networks after the December 2001 attack on Indian parliament, which New Delhi blamed on Islamabad-backed militants. The attack brought the neighbours to the brink of war but relations began to improve after Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee offered “a hand of friendship” to Pakistan in April. Hoping that the ban would be lifted with the recent peace overtures, cable operators had started showing Indian TV channels, which are extremely popular among Pakistanis. The renewed calls for the ban came as a surprise to many viewers who were pleased at the resumption of Indian channels. Javed said, the enforcement has nothing to do with politics. “The ban on Indian channels also has economic implications as most of Indian channels were attracting Pakistani advertisements in large numbers,” an official said, requesting anonymity. The ban has affected Star Plus, Star News, Zee Cinema, Zee Gold, Sonny and B4U, while PEMRA has also imposed a ban on broadcasting Indian DVDs and VCDs over cable networks, a senior official said.

THE PHILIPPINES

ABS-CBN SAYS REVENUES ON THE INCREASE

Leading broadcasting network ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. on August 7 said its group television, radio and cable airtime revenue amounted to 1 billion pesos in July. For the first seven months of this year, ABS-CBN said its group revenue amounted to PHP6.1 billion, up 25% on year. ABS-CBN has yet to release its second-quarter and first-half corporate results.

SINGAPORE

MEDICORP POSTS PROFITS

Singapore-based MediaCorp has posted net profit of S$134.4 million (US$76 million) for the year ended March 31, compared to a net loss of S$119.5 million in the previous year. Performance was boosted by a S$126.6 million gain from the sale of its stake in Singapore Cable Vision. Revenue remained relatively static at S$375 million compared to S$373.7 million in the previous year. However, the MediaCorp's free-to-air television stations Channel 5 and Channel 8 remained in the red.

NEWSASIA ON ASIASAT

3S Asiasat and Singapore-based MCN International have signed a lease agreement, to use the C-band capacity on Asiasat 3S to broadcast Channel NewsAsia digitally across Asia. From September 1, MediaCorp News’ Channel NewsAsia will completely switch over its broadcast to Asiasat 3S. The channel is currently being transmitted from Palapa C2 and APSTAR IIR. MediaCorp News is the holding company of MCN International. Based in Singapore, Channel NewsAsia claims to be viewed in 14.5 million homes and hotels in 19 territories across Asia.

THAILAND

CHANNEL 5 PREPARES IPO

Channel 5, the Thailand-based broadcaster owned by the Royal Thai Army, is set to complete its 44% flotation in September at Baht20 ($0.50) a share, according to sources from within the company. In preparation for the IPO, which will raise approximately Baht440 million, Channel 5 has increased its capital from Baht250 million to Baht660 million by securitizing its concession agreements with the RTA.


A F R I C A


KENYA

BROADCASTING STATIONS TO PAY LICENCE FEE

Tourism and Information Minister Raphael Tuju says the government will formulate a policy that will require all broadcasting stations to pay licensing fees before being allowed to operate. Tuju noted that during the past regime, certain individuals were given broadcasting licences without paying the broadcasting fees. Speaking during the launch of the fourth African Television Programme Market on August 6, Tuju asked broadcasting stations to promote local programmes' production. He encouraged the private sector to participate in the broadcasting arena.




10/08/03

Sunday no update




9/08/03

Good item in the Herald newspaper, the general public should now be aware of the TVNZ satellite rugby channel.

Rugby Tonight live on Star sports?


From my Emails & ICQ


From Jsat

NSS6 95E 12729 V 27500 7/8 5 vid channels NTD,FASHION TV,NILE TV,MBC EUROPE and VIDEO ITALIA...all
at 100% on a CI-24 sensor and a 1.8 solid...

lower south west of WA..
jsat


From the Dish


Optus B3 152E Optus B3 has arrived at 152 East. Reception reports are very welcome.

Intelsat 709 85E Intelsat 709 has arrived at 85 East. Reception reports are very welcome.

Apstar 2R 76.5E 3843 H "Celestial Movies" has left .
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3845 H "I-Cable and an APT test card" have started, Fta, SR 6500,FEC 3/4, PIDs 40/41 and 42/43.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 4033 H "I-Cable" is still on , Fta, SR 5000, FEC 3/4, PIDs 36/37, but weaker.


NEWS


TVNZ prepares to tackle Sky with satellite rugby


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3517262&thesection=news&thesubsection=general

Television New Zealand is making its first foray into satellite
digital television, planning a free-to-air rugby channel to
broadcast the Rugby World Cup in October and November.

What is being described as a "capacity proving exercise" comes three
years after the Government rejected the state broadcaster's plans to
venture into digital pay television in competition against Sky TV.

It may be the precursor of a move in two years to break Rupert
Murdoch and Sky TV's monopoly on All Black and New Zealand domestic
rugby rights.

But TVNZ was anxious last night not to over-hype what it was doing.

It already has the rights to broadcast all the Rugby World Cup
matches live, and plans to do so on TV One.

It will also run daily highlights programmes.

The same broadcasts will appear on the free-to-air satellite
channel, with the addition of replays during the day when no live
games or highlights are screening.

TVNZ's business development head, Marty Behrens, said the
broadcaster had spare capacity on satellite Optus B1, which was
already relaying TV One and TV2 free-to-air.

But it was important not to overstate what was going to happen with
the new channel.

About 6000 homes had free-to-air satellite decoders, he said.

They cost about $500 each, and receive only TV One and TV2, which
are also available through Sky decoders.

"New Zealand as a whole has to look at getting into digital," Mr
Behrens said. "It's really a question of when, not if."

Christchurch School of Broadcasting head Paul Norris agreed. The
former TVNZ news chief said it was "very conceivable" the company
could be a bidder when Sky's rights to broadcast All Black rugby
came up for renewal in 2005.

Mr Behrens agreed that rugby, particularly the World Cup,
was "something we all care about, deeply".

"We've always looked at the acquisition of rights for rugby, whether
it be for free-to-air replays or the original rights."

He said the satellite rugby broadcasts would run for only six weeks
to two months and were easy for TVNZ to do because it had the
programming and the capacity.

"We are trying to assess is this a good thing, should there be more
free-to-air digital programming on extra channels, is there a way to
do that in New Zealand?"

The BBC had recently put its eight channels on free-to-air satellite
and other broadcasters around the world were recognising the need to
provide such services, Mr Behrens said. "We would be remiss if we
weren't also looking at it, but do we have concrete plans? No. I
wish I could tell you that we were ready to launch some grand
service."

Instead, there would be a review over the next 18 months.

TVNZ spent millions of dollars preparing digital strategies before
agreeing to allow Sky to broadcast its channels.

It wrote off $13 million in costs associated with a joint deal with
British cable company NTL, which the Government shelved in early
2000.

It had also invested millions in preparing to start a free-to-air
service with TelstraSaturn.

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said the Government was still to
make decisions about digital television so he would not comment on
that or whether the possibility of TVNZ being able to offer pay TV
had been permanently ruled out.


(Craigs comment, much more positive than the news item the other day. I am told this appeared on the front page of the Herald newspaper, good publicity! pity about the $500 decoders we all know they can be got for near half that)


Fox wants to herald winter sports broadcast


From http://www.advanced-television.com/pages/pagesb/newsdaily.html

Australia's pay TV leader Foxtel appears to be trying to mirror BSkyB's English Premier League football coverage with a plan for blanket live coverage of Australia's most popular winter sport – AFL, Australian rules football.

Foxtel wants to televise every match live after the current rights deal expires at the end of the 2006 season. Currently it carries three of the eight fixtures played each week live, with its free to air rights partners Channels Ten and Nine running the remainder. But most of the matches on the terrestrials carry are delayed, sometimes for several hours which has been a source of anger among AFL fans and the sport's governing body since the current deal began in 2001.

Under the terms of the E230 million contract Foxtel pays E19.5 million a year for the three games - more than Ten and Nine - and it wants to use its spending power to gain a better deal when a new contract is brokered. Foxtel appears to have gained a measure of support from the AFL because the pay TV provider has said it will carry live broadcasts on Friday and Saturday nights in the states of New South Wales and Queensland and their capital cities Sydney and Brisbane. The AFL is traditionally a game played in Victoria and the AFL is anxious to increase its presence nationally.

Since 2001, Foxtel has put a lot of resources into its AFL coverage, creating two dedicated 'Footy' channels as premium tier offerings to subscribers. It regards AFL as a major subscription driver, particularly in Victoria and its capital Melbourne, where customer penetration lags behind Sydney.




8/08/03

Dr Dish TV show coming soon to C1? See news section for details.


From my Emails & ICQ


From Steve Johnson

Craig, TVNZ need to heavily advertise this new service on TV1 & 2 as Bob
Cooper (SatFacts) has requested, before installations will begin with any volume.

I agree with Bryan (TNC Communications - Wtgn, NZ): "The biggest question however, remains (and I'm offen asked), what comes next - after the RWC is finished? It is this uncertainty alone that seems to be the thing that causes most people to think twice. I believe TVNZ should come clean and publicise it's future intentions, otherwise chances are people won't connect if they don't perceive more of a future for their investment."

Steve Johnson
NZ


From David Ross

Subject:Bali feeds

Palapa C2

4144 H, 4155 H, 4174 H all Sr5632 3/4

Regards Dave.


From the Dish


Optus C1 156E Minor updates in Austar/Foxtel and Optus Aurora.

ST 1 88E 3582 H "Phoenix InfoNews" is on , enc., PIDs 32/33, time sharing with MATV.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H The test card has left , PIDs 517/700.

Apstar 2R 76.5E 4033 H "I-Cable" has left .
Apstar 2R 76.5E 4037 H "NR 1" has started testing , Fta, SR 2300, PIDs 33/36.(Anyone know what this one is?)

PAS 10 68.5E 3920 V "Jain TV" has started , Fta, SR 2950, PIDs 4130/4131.


NEWS


DrDish@TV now worldwide!


From Satco DX

The last show from DrDish@TV, which was transmitted live on July 9th, is
receiving a worldwide coverage, thanks to Satellite Company RRSAT, a
leading provider of Upling, Downlink and Turnaround Services. RRSAT
provides their worldwide transponders, and retransmit DrDish@TV via a total
of 5 satellites, repeated daily during a full week. No one can escape
DrDish@TV, everyone should be finally able to catch the show! No more
excuses for not having seen this Must-See show!

According to where you live, turn your dish to one of these satellites: (List edited)

To Asia, Africa and Australia each day 9-15 August 2003 between 07:00 -08:00 UTC:
THAICOM 3, 78.5 East, 3.672 GHz, Horizontal
SR 13333, FEC 3/4, Video-PID 1057, Audio-PID 1058

Also scheduled: To Asia, Africa and Australia THAICOM-3 and PAS-10, and to
Australia and New Zealand OPTUS-B3

For more details of covered areas, look at the corresponding footprints
which can be found at DrDish@TV homepage: www.drdish.tv

DrDish@TV is a satellite show about satellite reception. It is hosted by
DrDish (aka Christian Mass, editor-in-chief of worldwide TELE-satellite
International magazine) and reports on the latest satellite receivers and
other information about latest developments in satellite reception. "I'm
very excited", says DrDish, "that RRSAT generously repeates the show via
their global satellite network. Now we are really worldwide!".

DrDish@TV is aired every 2nd month, the next regular transmission is
scheduled for 10 September 2003 on INTELSAT 707.
You can be part of the show, which is now having a worldwide coverage
thanks to RRSAT Satellite Communcations, by providing videos of your own
reception equipment, or by providing any other videos of interesting
features about satellite reception. If you live near Bonn/Germany, where
the studio and Uplink is located, and speak good German as well as perfect
English, you can even become a live part of the show as a co-host of DrDish.


(Craigs comment, They may mean Optus C1 rather than B3)


Star arm's DTH plan in trouble


From http://www.rediff.com/money/2003/aug/07cas2.htm

Star-promoted Space TV's plan to start direct-to-home television in the country has run into trouble with the government asking it to fulfill certain conditions, including complying with the eligibility criteria on foreign equity holding, before issuing a license to start operations.

Stating this in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ravi Shankar Prasad said Space TV has also been asked to pay a non-refundable fee of Rs 10 crore (Rs illion) to enable the ministry to issue a letter of intent.

This is subject to Space furnishing an affidavit that it has fulfilled certain conditions like using an Indian satellite or any other satellite approved and recommended by the Department of Space with its proposed DTH project, he said.

Space TV has also been asked to declare that it would adhere to the specifications stipulated by the government on the architecture of the set top box, including provisions of its interoperability, Prasad said.

This was in view of the clarification issued earlier by the finance ministry that Space TV's present equity came from two employees of Star TV, which cannot be treated as domestic shareholding as the funding for this equity contribution has been "raised through bank finance in India, against the security of a deposit of Rs 10 crore made by Star TV".

However, they also stated that DTH guidelines do not make a distinction between stages of letter of intent and issue of a license or post license operations, for applying eligibility criteria on the limit of foreign equity holding.

The home ministry has also stated that Space TV was incorporated on January 9, 2001 whose two promoters are G Jagdish Kumar and Ajay K Sharma while G Subramaniam is the CEO of the firm.

It also observed that all the three people were currently working with Star India in different capacities.

Besides, the head office and regional office addresses of Space TV belong to Star India.


T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 31/2003 3 August 2003 -

A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International

Editor: Branislav Pekic

Edited Apsattv.com Edition

A S I A


CNBC ARABIYA GOES ON AIR

CNBC Arabiya has launched this week, beaming economic news about the Middle East out of Dubai. An affiliate of CNBC-owned by Middle East Business News (MEBN), the 24-hour satellite service will concentrate on business in the region. The launch comes after US deputy secretary of defence Paul Wolfowitz caused controversy last weekend by accusing networks Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya of inciting violence against US soldiers in Iraq.

MGM NETWORKS TO EXPAND IN ASIA

MGM Networks, a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, announced on July 31 that it has entered into a strategic alliance with CNBC Asia Pacific to launch and market the MGM channel to subscribers across key markets in Asia. MGM Networks and CNBC Asia Pacific will target the launch of the Channel for later this year. The Channel will be broadcast in English, and will carry Mandarin language subtitling. MGM and CNBC Asia Pacific are currently exploring several distribution opportunities in the region. Capping significant growth over the last 24 months, which has seen MGM Networks expanding its global presence fourfold to nearly 100 countries around the world, this alliance will further broaden the presence of the MGM Networks in the Asia Pacific region. MGM Networks' current reach today in the region includes MGM branded channels in South Korea, India and New Zealand, as well as its joint venture interests in the Star Channel in Japan and Movie Networks in Australia. With the launch of this MGM Channel in alliance with CNBC Asia Pacific, MGM Networks will have in deployment an array of satellite footprints across the globe that will allow technical receipt of MGM Networks channels in all significant international cable and satellite markets, including those within Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.

Internet - http://www.mgm.com

http://www.cnbcasia.com

CHINA - HONG KONG

HONG KONG TO GET 3 NEW PAY-TV OPERATORS

Three new pay-TV operators are expected to hit Hong Kong by year end, and they are likely to take away market share from Hong Kong's dominant operator i-Cable and its two existing smaller rivals. Analysts say of the six, only two are expected to survive the price competition and limited subscriber market. Newcomer City Telecom plans to offer a package of 10 to 12 channels next month, at a cost of less than HK$100 a month. That's nearly one-third the price that dominant player i-Cable is charging right now. In November, Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting, a joint venture between Television Broadcasts (TVB) and Intelsat, will begin broadcasting, offering 24 channels. Hong Kong's dominant telco PCCW is gearing up to re-enter the market sometime in the next quarter. Analysts expect Galaxy to give i-Cable the biggest run for its money. Market watchers are expecting parent TVB's earnings to be hit by its US$136 million investment into Galaxy. But TVB is confident of breaking even in three to four years.

CCTV TO ENTER PAY-TV MARKET

State-owned Central China Television is set to enter the pay-TV market with the launch channels in September. Although CCTV has yet to confirm how many channels will launch initially, it is expected six could be in place by year-end, with 30 available by the end of 2005. The launch is part of a series of media reforms designed to encourage improve production values and increased revenues form program libraries. Viewers will be ask to pay RMB1,000 ($120) for the necessary set-top box equipment.

INDIA

ESPN STAR SPORTS GETS CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

ESPN STAR Sports has bagged exclusive pay-TV rights to UEFA Champions League for three years till 2006. This will involve 125 matches and give ESPN STAR Sports 298 hours of live programming. ESS will air a total of four live matches per week including the finals across most of Asia (Taiwan and Phillipines will see two live matches a week). The multi-year deal will include pay-per-view and video-on-demand rights and terrestrial rights for China. The 2003/2004 UEFA Champions League season which begins on September 17, 2003, on ESPN and STAR Sports, will reach over 128 million households on ESPN and over 57 million households on STAR Sports. In India, ESPN telecast 149 hours of live coverage while STAR Sports covered 167 hours.

ZEE TV TO START DTH SERVICE

A Zee-backed company has become the first entity to receive the government's green signal to start direct-to-home (DTH) television broadcast. DTH involves the installation of a dish antenna of 60 to 90 cm radius and a set-top box at the subscriber's end to receive television signals transmitted from satellite. Zee's immediate response to the government decision is that it will roll out DTH from 1 September, also the date set by the government to kick off the phased introduction of the conditional access system (CAS) in the four metros. It said it would start both on that day, if it received all clearances. Zee/Siticable's total investment in its CAS and DTH projects will be around 4bn rupees [$87 million]. Information available with the ministry on the cost of DTH services to the subscriber varies widely. The ministry has a projection from STAR - which puts the price of the equipment (dish and box) at 7,000 to 10,000 rupees and subscription fees at 700 to 800 rupees per month. Jawahar Goel of Zee/Siticable said his DTH would cost 3,500 rupees for the equipment and subscription fees in slabs beginning from 150 rupees per month.

SET TOP DUTY REDUCTION EXTENDED

The government on July 30 extended import duty reduction on set-top boxes till September 30 even as it constituted a panel comprising broadcasters, cable network companies and cable operators to examine the ground preparation for the rollout of the conditional access system (CAS) for cable television. Customs, countervailing and special additional duties had earlier been reduced for set-top boxes till July 31. As per the new duty structure, the basic Customs duty on the boxes stands reduced to 5 per cent from 25 per cent, and the countervailing duty and the special additional duty reduced to nil from 16 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively. The panel, expected to meet in the first week of August in Mumbai, will look into issues such as availability of set-top boxes, the monitoring process for their installation, and awareness about CAS. The government also urged broadcasters to soon announce lower prices for pay channels. The Centre is also likely to step in to resolve the deadlock over the price of free-to-air channels. Cable operators want it to be raised to Rs 180 from Rs 72.

IRAN

PROVINCIAL NETWORK STARTS SATELLITE BROADCASTS

Satellite broadcasting of the West Azarbayjan centre's provincial network began on July 29 from the Voice and Vision's West Azarbayjan centre to the Intelsat 902 satellite. As a result of the installation in the province of the Voice and Vision's satellite broadcasting system, more than 250,000 residents of the Bukan and Takab regions will benefit from the programmes of the West Azarbayjan centre's provincial TV network.

JAPAN

BROADCASTERS SIGN OLYMPIC TV DEAL

A consortium of Japanese broadcasters including Japan Broadcasting Corp (NHK) signed a $155 million deal on July 28 to officially acquire the right to air the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in Japan. The two parties had already agreed on the fee for the Athens games in 1996 under an arrangement to make the total amount for the right to broadcast five Olympic games from 2000 to 2008 in Japan $545.5 million. According to the agreement, Japan Consortium will transmit the Games to Japan's six largest independent television stations, but also to the members of the National Association of Broadcasters.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ON SKY PERFECTV

Japan's SKY PerfecTV! has sealed a deal with UEFA for broadcast rights to the Champion League games. The satellite platform will air matches on its Perfect Choice and JSkySports 3 channels, beginning August 1. The platform will broadcast all 125 Champions League matches.

BROADCASTERS SEEK TO ANTICIPATE DTT BROADCASTS

Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK), private TV broadcasters and the telecom ministry on July 29 adopted a policy of bringing forward the start of terrestrial digital TV broadcasts in the nation's non-metropolitan districts from late 2006. As for the three metropolitan areas surrounding Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, they had agreed to start full broadcasts in December this year. In districts other than those three areas, the broadcasters and ministry agreed to start, in fiscal 2004 in principle, the process of adjusting the antenna mechanisms of existing TV sets in households to avert interference of broadcast signals, which would otherwise occur after the start of digital broadcasts. The agreements came at a plenary session in Tokyo the same day of a meeting of representatives from the private-sector TV broadcasters, NHK and the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications. The agreements are designed to expedite early dissemination of terrestrial digital broadcast services in Japan.

MALAYSIA

CHANNEL NINE PREPARES LAUNCH

Channel Nine, Malaysia's third private terrestrial station, is set to launch in early September with test transmissions commencing in August. The Medanmas-owned channel will offer an assortment of entertainment programming strands, skewed towards European and North American sports, in order to attract what it calls an "urban lifestyle" adult audience. Channel Nine will also offer what it calls a "balanced" mix of Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and English-language content, which will also be sourced from Japan, South Korea and Latin America.

SOUTH KOREA

HUMAX SECURES SKYLIFE CONTRACT

Humax, a South Korea-based electronics manufacturer, has secured a Won14.4b ($12 million) order from pay-TV platform SkyLife broadcasting for high-end set-top boxes. The first shipment will be made in October, with Humax highlighting the sustainable revenues the deal will bring.

THAILAND

UBC TO LAUNCH NEW ENTERTAINMENT CHANNEL

United Broadcasting Corp., a Thailand-based pay-TV operator, is set to launch a new entertainment channel in order to attract lower middle-class viewers. UBC InsidE will air in August in place of the UBC 25 movie channel, which has been withdrawn due to the plethora of movie channels already available. Local content will account for 60% of InsidE output. UBC had 437,845 subscribers at March 31 and expects 500,000 by year-end.

A F R I C A

EURONEWS ON AFRICAN DTH PLATFORM

EuroNews is now available on the African platform CANALSATELLITE HORIZONS. On July 23rd, EuroNews was launched (in French, English and Portuguese) within the “Grand Prestige” offer of the CANALSATELLITE HORIZONS platform, operated by Media Overseas and covering 25 sub-Saharan countries via KU band from Mauritania to Cameroon. Only one year after its launch, CANALSATELLITE HORIZONS today offers 40 TV channels and radio channels. The “Grand Prestige” offer adds almost 27,000 subscribers to the 67,000 EuroNews subscribers already using the Le Sat platform. EuroNews is broadcast in both French and English on Le Sat.

SOUTH AFRICA

SPORTS TV RIGHTS POSITION PAPER PUBLISHED

Sports lovers with no access to pay TV will no longer have to cross their fingers in the hope of watching Bafana Bafana or the Springboks on SABC or e.tv. According to a position paper and regulations on sports broadcasting rights released by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on July 25, free-to-air channels will now broadcast "national sporting events". This means that all South Africa's matches at the upcoming Rugby World Cup for example, will be broadcast on e.tv and the SABC. However, pay channel SuperSport says this is "unfortunate" and believes that the various sports federations will suffer financially as a result. According to acting Icasa chairperson Lumko Mtide, all "interested parties, stakeholders and the public" were invited to respond to a 2002 discussion paper into Section 30 (7) of the Broadcasting Act which says that subscription services (pay channels) cannot have exclusive rights for the broadcast of national sporting events. The new regulations stipulate that the "onus is on subscription broadcasters to sub-licence (broadcasting) rights to listed national sporting events to free-to-air broadcasters", but free-to-air channels can acquire rights from their custodians to broadcast exclusively. Some "national sports events" on the regulation list include: Summer Olympics; All Africa Games; With regard to the Fifa World Cup, African Cup of Nations, the IRB World Cup and the ICC World Cup: all South African team matches; opening match; two quarterfinals; third and fourth position play-offs if South Africa is involved; one semi-final; final match; and opening/closing ceremonies; and The finals of the Absa Cup, the Currie Cup, SAA Super 8, Coca-Cola Cup, CAF Champions League (if a South African team is involved); CAF Cup-Winners' Cup (if South African team is involved); Super 12 (if South African team is involved) and the Standard Bank Cup.




7/08/03

Good to see a couple of reports from installers who have already sold a few units for the RWC channel. It's sure to increase once word gets around

Optus B3 was at 152.77E at the time of putting my site update together. Intelsat 709 is also moving (on its way to 85E).

From the Intelsat website

Planned Deployment Location (approximately 2003); Some transponders are not configured at current location. This satellite will be relocated to 157° E in 2004. Coverages may change at that location.

See Link below

http://www.intelsat.com/globalnetwork/coveragemaps/709@85.asp

Hate onscreen logos? have a look at this link

http://dog-free-tv.tripod.com/



From my Emails & ICQ


From Bryan TNC Comunications WGTN (NZ)

Hi Craig,

"In response to the ODT report in tonight's apsattv, I have approached (and been approached by) a number of establishments and sports clubs in and around the Hutt Valley since the news broke Sunday. The response has been generally pleasing. I have managed to sell to a couple of establishments/sports clubs, with others (in the same chains) certain to follow.


The biggest question however, remains (and I'm offen asked), what comes next - after the RWC is finished? It is this uncertainty alone that seems to be the thing that causes most people to think twice. I believe TVNZ should come clean and publicise it's future intentions, otherwise chances are people won't connect if they don't perceive more of a future for their investment."


Cheers,
Bryan.


From Bruce Barnett

RE rugby world cup

Hi Craig,ONE CONFIRMED ORDER SO FAR FOR A FTA BOX FOR THE RUGBY WORLD CUP.

Bruce Barnett, Wanaka.


From Satellite Info

Montreal Tennis Open Feed seen on PAS 2 3958 V 6620 2/3


From the Dish


PAS 8 166E 3860 H Pop Dancing and Pop Music have replaced Electron Dancing and TAS Music on , Fta, APIDs 651 and 661.
PAS 8 166E 12646 H "INN" has left .

Optus B3 Optus B3 has left 156 East, moving west.(Has almost reached 152E!)

Insat 3A 93.5E Updates on Zee Telefilms:Aaj Tak has left 3985 V.NDTV India has left 4025 V.
Insat 3A 93.5E "Raj Plus Digital" has replaced "NDTV 24x7" on 4025 V, Fta, PIDs 167/106.Raj TV has started on PIDs 168/108, Fta.

Yamal 102 90E 3489 L "SGU TV" has left .

ST 1 88E 3582 H "Phoenix Chinese" has started , enc., PIDs 34/35, time sharing with Asia Plus.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3626 V "Punjab Today and Mh 1" are still on , Fta, PIDs 2097/2098 and 3105/3106.
Thaicom 3 78.5E Occasional RR Sat feeds and Arirang TV World 1 have started on 3671 H, Fta, PIDs 1057/1058 and 1793/1794.

PAS 10 68.5E 4064 V "INN" has left .(Anyone know what the story is with this one, it was one of Tarb's channels)


NEWS


Foxtel zaps the illegal cards


From http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,6875696%5E15319%5E%5Enbv%5E15306,00.html

THE loss-making pay television industry has stepped up efforts to stamp out pirated services that cost the operators up to $100 million of revenue each year.

In the latest move last week, industry leader Foxtel executed a sting operation on at least 4000 illegal smartcards used to pirate satellite pay-TV in Western Australia.

Foxtel claims it was a routine software upgrade - which knocked out some illegal cards.

But a source said Foxtel used a private investigator to obtain the subscription numbers used by the smart cards, which activate the pay TV on a set-top box. Foxtel, 25 per cent owned by The News Corporation Ltd (publisher of The Australian), then blocked the suspect subscriptions.

Foxtel is believed to have deliberately targeted set-top boxes bought from third parties rather than pay-TV providers. These boxes can not normally be disabled by regular software upgrades by the pay-TV providers.

"The cards that died were not in Foxtel boxes," the source said.

All the Perth smart cards were from a single provider, the source said. They had been distributed over a three-year period, largely by word of mouth, typically in pubs.

Pirated services have appeared in homes, pubs and hotels.

Foxtel and other sector players, including Optus and Austar, remain coy about the problem.

Debra Richards, executive director of the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA), said it had been working with operators, the Australian Hotels Association and Federal Police to weed out pirates.

In Canberra recently 10 people were charged with distributing illegal cards over the internet. Ms Richard said ASTRA was seeking amendments to the Copyright Digital Agenda Act to beef up anti-piracy legislation.

Most industry insiders suggest about 10 per cent above the industry's 1.5 million paying subscribers are illegally tapping into pay-TV content.

Such users legally buy a satellite dish and decoder, which is loaded with an illegally programmed smart card that gives access to all services.

Once the satellite signal has been decoded with the illegal smart card, all channels, including pay-per-view events and adult and premium channels, become available.

Piracy was a big issue for satellite sport and racing channel Sky television, chief executive Geoff Want said.

Sky had been "tracking down hotels that have been illegally accessing our system using these devices. We have been using private investigators to gather evidence."


Three Wollongong men arrested for subscription TV piracy


From https://www.aapmedianet.com.au/view_idx.html

Three Wollongong men were separately arrested yesterday on charges relating to subscription television piracy, in a major crack-down
in the area by AUSTAR, FOXTEL and Wollongong Detectives.

These arrests follow a number of similar arrests around the country that have been initiated by AUSTAR and FOXTEL to stamp down
on piracy of subscription TV services, whereby pirates can illegally access subscription television channels without payment to the providers.

Evidence gathered during a joint investigation by AUSTAR, FOXTEL and Wollongong Detectives shows that the three men sold
unauthorised smartcards which may be used in a decoder box to illegally access subscription television channels. The three men,
who were separately charged under Federal Copyright Legislation, were:

• a 29 year old from Port Kembla, who is due to appear at Port Kembla Court on 4 September;
• a 49 year old from Dapto, who is due to appear in Wollongong Local Court on 2 September; and
• a 39 year old from Kanahooka, who also is due to appear in Wollongong Local Court on 2 September.

Debra Richards, ASTRA's Executive Director, representing AUSTAR, FOXTEL & OPTUS, said, "These arrests are the result of the
subscription television industry's intensified efforts across Australia to crack-down on piracy of our television service and
prove that we are succeeding in our efforts. Our genuine subscribers are being hurt by piracy, so we are making a concerted
effort to fight back at the pirates by increasing our policing investigations to stamp it out.

"We hope today's announcement will send a clear warning to people not to be hoodwinked into becoming involved in piracy activity.
Piracy is a crime. If in any doubt, or if pirate activity is suspected, you are urged to report it to us through our special
piracy hotline on 1800 428 888."

Anti-piracy Hotline. 1800 428 888

A hotline has been established by the Australian Subscription
Television and Radio Association to enable suspected piracy
activity to be reported anonymously.


ISRO to make, launch satellite for Thailand


From http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/01061913.htm

New Delhi, Aug. 6. (UNI): The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will fabricate and launch a remote sensing satellite for Thailand.

The process was at an advanced stage and a proposal has already been submitted to Thailand detailing design, development and launch of the satellite.

India has already entered the area of space commercialisation by putting into orbit two satellites with its time-tested PSLV, for Germany and one each for Republic of Korea and Belgium.

It is also in the forefront of designing and fabricating remote sensing satellites.

The Antrix Corporation, commercial wing of the ISRO, which has submitted the proposal to Thailand, has also entered into a contract with Nanyang Technical University of Singapore for launching a remote sensing satellite called X-SAT by PSLV.

An official spokesman today said that within two years, India will play a greater role in space commercialisation when GSLV, currently in an advanced developmental stage, becomes operational.




6/08/03

Optus B3 is now on its way to 152E! Testing at 152E on 8th 9th? keep a lookout for it

A new issue of satmagazine is out you can read it at http://www.satmagazine.com/



From my Emails & ICQ


From Gavin Stuart

Hi Craig,

You may have already been told, but you got a mention on the front page of yesterdays' OTAGO DAILY TIMES. 5/8/03. (last paragraph). See attachment. sorry its not too clear, you could find it at www.odt.co.nz .

Keep up the good work.

Kind regards,
Gavin Stuart.
Dunedin.


(Craigs comment, see news section)


From John Harrison


Optus B1 12524H Sr 6110 fec 3/4 "Cricket, Aust v Bangladesh" From Darwin


From the Dish


Palapa C2 113E 3604 H "Smart FM" has left .

Telkom 1 108E 3580 H "The Soundtrack Channel Pacific" has replaced ESPN Asia on , Irdeto 2,PIDs 60/61.

ST 1 88E 3582 H Star Sports Asia is time sharing with SuperSport 3 on , enc.,PIDs 36/37.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3626 V "Punjab Today and Mh 1" have left .

Intelsat 902 62E 3996 L "SABC 1-3 and E TV" are encrypted again.


NEWS


Channel trial to coincide with cup


From http://www.odt.co.nz/

A TVNZ test means those with satellite television could receive a double dose of Rugby World Cup action.

Yesterday, TVNZ production and sport chief Denis Harvey confirmed the network was trialing an extra channel during the World Cup on its satellite-based programming and intended screening rugby and usual prime-time programming 24 hours a day.

Some viewers in rural areas had purchased satellite dishes and decoders in order to receive TV1 and 2 - a system that had been in place for "some years", Mr Harvey said.

"We have the ability to add extra channels to the satellite viewing, so we are using the World Cup to trial it and find out our capabilities and do some technical testing.

"It's a good time for us to do it because of the bulk programming."

As TVNZ already had screening rights to the cup coverage, the additional channel would "probably" be a simultaneous broadcast of TV1 from 4pm, when rugby highlights were on, followed by the news and then a switch to live rugby.

"That will finish about 3am New Zealand time, so then we'll start running repeats again until 4pm the next day, when, again, it will run simultaneously with TV1," he said.

Mr Harvey said the trial had no commercial advantage for the company.

"Absolutely none. It's really just going to be a replaying unit."

However, a Nelson-based web site, Asia Pacific FTA SAT TV Guide, is encouraging satellite installers to move quickly, claiming there is money to be made.

"There will be a high demand for pubs, clubs, etc, for access to the exclusive RWC channel," the site says.

But Mr Harvey believed installers would be disappointed.

"This isn't going to be anything new or spectacular."


(Craigs comment, well dealers? installers etc? have you done any installs for the RWC channel yet? has anyone enquired about it? let me know via email. If you wish you can be "ANON" to be published or not.)


SingTel launches first-of-its-kind disaster recovery service for broadcasters


From http://www.talksatellite.com/Asia214.htm

HBO Asia is first broadcaster in Asia to have back-up services for its entire operations

Singapore Telecommunications Limited announced that HBO Asia has appointed SingTel as its disaster recovery service provider.

HBO Asia has an impressive track record in the broadcast industry as a leader in technological advancement. A leading provider of home entertainment in this region, HBO Asia is the first broadcaster in Asia to have an off-site back-up of its entire operations as part of its proactive crisis management strategy, using SingTel’s latest Disaster Recovery Service.

The new service, a first of its kind in this region, allows satellite broadcasters to resume their operations in the shortest time possible with minimal disruption should their facilities fail due to accidents, natural disasters, sabotage or even terrorist attacks.

Mr Tay Chek Khoon, SingTel’s Vice President (Regional Satellite Business), said: “Our Disaster Recovery Service offers our customers an alternative operating site should anything untoward happen to their broadcast studio and facilities. Their programmes will be back on air in the shortest time possible and, hence, minimal disruption to the viewers.”

Mr Vincent Teo, Senior Vice President, Technology and Operations, of HBO Asia, said: “As a premium service, HBO Asia takes pride in ensuring both top quality and continuity of our programmes, so that the viewing pleasure of our subscribers would not be disrupted and our affiliates around the region can have that peace of mind as well.”

With SingTel’s Disaster Recovery Service, satellite broadcasters can look forward to cost savings as they do not need to invest in costly equipment or duplicate their facilities. They can also customize their disaster recovery service according to their needs, such as commercial insertion, playout operational support and flexibility of input feeds.

Mr Tay said: “We provide a shared facility to our customers, which is operated out of SingTel’s Bukit Timah Satellite Earth Station. This station is interlinked to three other SingTel satellite earth stations to provide diversity and utmost service reliability. With our 24x7 engineering specialists, our customers can realise their fail-safe plans at a fraction of the cost of setting up their own disaster recovery system.”

HBO Asia has also signed up for co-location and network services through SingTel’s Managed Hosting Services, SXPAN. With 12 data centres across Asia-Pacific, SXPAN services include provision of hosting services, Internet bandwidth, IT related operations and storage facilities. SXPAN can also support enterprises’ disaster recovery and business continuity plans ranging from site diversity, bandwidth connectivity and data storage to workroom recovery.


Zee to launch four city-centric channels


From http://www.advanced-television.com/pages/pagesb/newsdaily.html

India’s largest private broadcaster Zee Telefilms is planning to launch four new city-centric independent 24-hour channels in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

“The Delhi project is on the anvil. But the rest of the three would be formalised only if the Delhi experiment is successful. The content will be exclusively local. Besides locally-produced entertainment programmes, the channel will cover local events and will produce local news bulletins,” a company spokesperson has been quoted as saying in a financial daily report.

Besides its 24-hour Hindi National channel Zee News, Zee also airs local news through cable network SitiCable, which reaches out to 5.5 million homes. The company had also applied to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for a business news channel earlier this year.

Zee, which has a distribution alliance with Turner International - Zee Turner India, is expected to include four new channels ˜ two business channels, Bloomberg and CNN Finance, the old Turner Classic Movies or TCM channel and a second kids channel from Australia.


(Craigs comment, 2nd kids channel from Australia????)




5/08/03

Live satellite related chat in the chatroom 9pm NZ and 8.30 pm Syd time onwards.

As mentioned yesterday here is the Letter sent out from TVNZ about the RWC channel

Advice to Interested Parties Replay of 2003 Rugby World Cup Matches


TVONE intends to deliver a premier coverage of the 2003 Rugby World Cup (RWC) and will broadcast all games live, or near live.

TVONE also intends to extend the value to its sponsors of its existing coverage by broadcasting replays of all games on one of TVNZ’s free-to-air digital satellite channels. This will be a channel created especially for the RWC and it will only viewable by people who have a satellite dish and a FTA decoder.

It will not be available by Sky Digital subscribers unless they have a FTA decoder as well as a Sky Digital decoder

The new channel will commence operation in the days prior to the opening ceremony of the RWC, and it will continue for almost one month after the completion of the RWC final, ie between 10th October and – 20th December 2003.

The channel will broadcast only TVONE content. All RWC matches will be replayed exactly as they are originally broadcast on TVONE, including all sponsor and advertiser messages.

Some special offers that are advertised during the live even may not be available during the period of the replays and regular messages will be broadcast to advise viewers to check with the advertiser to determine continued availability.

The broadcast schedule will generally be as follows;

All RWC matches will be simulcast at the same time that they are broadcast on TVONE

All RWC Highlights programs will be simulcast at the same time that they are broadcast on TVONE

All RWC matches will be replayed, but they will be interrupted by the daily crossing to TVONE prime time programs between 6pm , and either the start of live coverage of RWC or 11pm.

TVONE key prime time programs, such as news and Holmes for example, will be simulcast at the same time that they are broadcast on TVONE.

Suppliers and installers of the equipment necessary to receive this channel are available nationwide, and many are listed in the Yellow Pages under “television Aerial Installation, Page 2127”. Questions may be directed to Doug Stevens at TVNZ email doug.stevens@tvsat.com


From my Emails & ICQ


From Altaf Peermohamed

Hi Craig


iI am writting from Kenya - E.Africa I check your web site on regular basis its Excellent,am an installer in Kenya for the C-band & Ku-band Dishes have written to u once before.

I get alot of info for the Pas 10 & Thaicom 3 from your Web site as these are the Satellites visible to us Multichoice is what we also install especially the Ku-Band.

Need more info on FTA channels available in Kenya if u have done more re-search and have any info will appreciate.

Is there any other Satellite to your knowledge visible to us here apart from PAS 10 THAICOM ARABSAT that we can use be it C BAND or KU BAND please advice and what size of a dish would we require.

We have channels from the Horizon star plus,alpha,Zee news,Zee english etc etc very weak signal good with 16ft C-band dish confirm what satellite that is please.

Thanks


KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK /INFO WE GET FROM YOUR WEB SITE!!!

Thanks
Bobby....


(Craigs comment, I don't know much about the African sat scene maybe someone in that part of the world would like to respond?)


From the Dish


No Lyngsat


NEWS


Satellite Newspapers eyes kiosks in Malaysia


From http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2003/8/5/business/5977195&sec=business

THE latest edition of over 125 newspapers worldwide should be available locally at the touch of a button by the year-end if Netherlands-based Satellite Newspapers Worldwide's plans materialise.

The company, which in four years has expanded operations to about 30 countries, is in the process of obtaining a licence to sell in Malaysia its International Newspaper Kiosk.

The kiosk is an interactive newspaper vending unit that allows a user to purchase newspapers from over 50 countries and have a copy digitally printed within two to three minutes, exactly as it would be seen in print at its home location.

Ralph Vooys uses the interactive newspaper kiosk to print a digital copy of the British newspaper The Guardian before it even hits the streets in London.

“It is all about speed and sometimes, we are even offering tomorrow's newspapers today,” its vice-president (publisher relations) Ralph Vooys told StarBiz.

Satellite Newspapers was showcasing its products at the Publish Asia 2003 conference and exhibition which ended in Kuala Lumpur last Friday.

He said the company digitally transmitted via satellite within 90 minutes of receiving a postscript from a participating publisher, usually as the newspaper went into print in its home country.

“With a kiosk here, you will be able to get a copy of a British newspaper for instance, even before it hits the streets of London,” he said.

Vooys said the self-service kiosks that accepted credit cards currently numbered 120 worldwide.

It would likely be found in hotels, airports or anywhere with large numbers of international business travellers and tourists that would ensure there was sufficient demand for the latest copy of their local newspaper.

He said although business travellers were the company's initial target market, the company had found that demand from leisure tourists and expatriate community had surpassed all expectations for the digital newspapers which were generally priced from US$4 to about US$5.50 for a voluminous copy of 48 pages.

Satellite Newspapers was also directly targeting airlines and would be announcing a deal to provide digital newspapers to a major Middle East carrier within the next few days, he said.

Vooys said the company was now in talks with several Malaysian newspapers including Utusan Melayu and The Star for their inclusion in the list of newspapers available on the system.

“Joining up is very much a possibility,” he said.

He added that talks with The Star had already progressed to agreement on running joint tests to assess the technical viability of such a venture.

Currently, Nanyang Siang Pau was the only Malaysian newspaper available on the system, he said.
Janet Ong-Tay, director of DTS Marketing, Satellite Newspapers’ appointed local distributor, said she was confident that the company could sell up to 50 newspaper kiosks in Malaysia after getting the green light from the authorities.

Each kiosks would cost about $8,000.

“We have received very positive response and got the publishers quite excited,” she said.


(Craigs comment, this was mentioned in June Satfacts available via Optus B1)


Harris Gets Reflector Contract for Japanese Satellite


From Satellite today

Harris [NYSE: HRS], a Melbourne, Fla.-based manufacturer, integrator and services supplier of satellite communications systems, has been awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] to provide an unfurlable mesh reflector for the JCSAT-9 geostationary telecommunications satellite. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The high-power, hybrid JCSAT-9, owned and operated by Japan's JSAT Corp., will carry C-, Ku- and S-band transponders that will provide satellite communications service throughout Asia and Japan following its launch, scheduled for 2005.


NDS says rivals' hacker allegations 'baseless'


From http://www.telegraph.co.uk

NDS, Rupert Murdoch's set-top box smartcard company, yesterday dismissed as "baseless" allegations that it had encouraged hackers to use competitors' services without paying.

The company faces lawsuits from US television companies NagraStar and Echostar, alleging it broke into their security systems and posted encryption codes on the internet. The UK-Israeli company, 78.2pc owned by Mr Murdoch's News Corporation, said the accusations were an effort to influence the market, as it unveiled a mixed set of results yesterday.

In March last year NewsCorp persuaded Vivendi Universal's TV company Canal Plus to drop a similar case as part of its deal to buy the French company's Italian pay-TV network Telepiu. NDS also said it expected NewsCorp's $6.6m (£4.1m) takeover of DirecTV, North America's TV largest satellite television company, to be passed by US regulators.

The takeover is expected to secure NDS's contract with DirecTV, which was put in jeopardy last year when rival media group EchoStar almost bought the company for $19 billion. The takeover was vetoed by US regulators, since it threatened monopoly regulations. NDS's president and chief executive Dr Abe Peled said yesterday that he looked forward to continuing his company's business in the US.

"While our contract with DirecTV comes up for renewal in August, I think we can add value to the company's operations in the future," he said. "Elsewhere, while the year provided a very difficult market environment, we have maintained profitability, and have prepared well for growth in the future."

NDS's turnover fell by 18pc to £53m in the final quarter, but was only 1pc down for the year at £241m. Pre-tax profits for the year fell 15pc to £26m. The number of subscribers using NDS cards rose 16.2pc to 34.4m.




4/08/03

For those that have not seen it yet I will try and get permission to publish the letter sent out to dealers / Installers etc about the TVNZ RWC channel tomorrow.

The Optus B3- C1 changes have almost completed, just a few minor services (non mpg) to move 12447v and 12489v


From my Emails & ICQ


Hi Craig

Just a quick note to introduce myself to you, we are a TV aerial Manufacturer & Wholesaler that covers the North Island (for the last 9yrs) with Satellite Receivers, 65,76,86,1m & 2.7m Dishes, Mounts etc (all ex stock). If possible I would appreciate being mentioned in your Web Page.

If you require any more info please contact me ASAP.

Regards
Mike Pothoven
Supreme Antennas Ltd
4 Fairfield Road
LEVIN, 5500
Phone 0064 (06) 368.8076
Fax 0064 (06) 368.8079
E-mail. mike.sa@xtra.co.nz


From the Dish


Pas 8 166E 3718 V "ABS-CBN News Channel" has left again, replaced by occasional feeds.

Optus B1 160E 12707 V "BBC World" has started on , Videoguard, SID 1026, PIDs 515/653.
Optus B1 160E Minor updates in Sky TV.

Optus B3/C1 156E The Austar/Foxtel muxes have moved from Optus B3: 12313 H and 12626 H to Optus C1: 12278 H and 12598 H.

Telkom 1 108E

Updates in TelkomVision:
CNBC Asia and Star World on 3460 H are encrypted again.
Discovery Channel South Asia on 3580 H is encrypted again.

AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3734 H Liaoning Traffic Radio and Liaoning People's News Radio have replaced Liaoning People's Radio and Liaoning Economic Radio, Fta, APID 257.

NSS 6 95E 12647 V The TARBS World TV mux has left .

Insat 3A 93.5E 3960 V "DD Sahayadri" is back on , Fta, SR 6250, FEC 3/4, PIDs 258/257.
Insat 3A 93.5E 3985 V "MTV India" is now encrypted.

Thaicom 3 78.5E 3545 V A test card has started on , Fta, PIDs 288/289.

Apstar 2R 76.5E 3714 V The TV Lanka info card has left .

PAS 10 68.5E 3716 V "Go" has started , Irdeto 2, PIDs 2062/2061, 18-22 CET.
PAS 10 68.5E 3897 V New FEC for the NDTV mux : 2/3.



NEWS


State wants investors for African satellite


From http://www.businessreport.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=566&fArticleId=201037

Cape Town - The department of communications has started sounding out local and foreign investors about the possibility of investing more than $200 million in a geostationary communications satellite for South Africa, Andile Ngcaba, the director-general, has confirmed.

But last week analysts were wary about committing themselves to whether or not the project was needed, affordable or economically viable.

It might be desirable, they said, because the use of satellite transponders had to be paid for in foreign currency and the local service could only be paid by clients in rands. But it might be unnecessary because foreign services already covered Africa.

Speaking after the department's convergence colloquium last week, which had looked at the future technical and regulatory options open to the South African communications industry, Ngcaba said the department had already completed a study into the feasibility of the project.

It would go to the cabinet before being released to the public but several private and parastatal players in the communications sector had already expressed interest in exploring the project further.

Ngcaba said a major rationale for mooting the idea had been the rapidly growing demand for satellite links by local and regional companies and the fact that "booking space", or the use of transponders on the existing satellite systems that covered Africa, had to be paid for in US dollars as all the satellites were owned by foreign consortiums

These included Intelsat, Panamsat, Utelsat and World Space's Afrisat, all of which had "footprints" over Africa and were able to deliver and distribute communications, ranging from television to telephones, the internet and radio broadcasting, to satellite receivers on the ground for further distribution via local satellites.

In South Africa the distribution is done by parastatals such as Telkom and Sentech as well as some media groups.

Ngcaba said the government could not finance the building and launching of a satellite because of its other development priorities. The only incentive that could be offered to investors was a major growth in the demand for satellite services that could outstrip supply.

James Hodge, an economist at the University of Cape Town, said this was possible given the rapid growth of pay television, internet and other services, but satellite owners had coped with the growth in demand so far and could do so in future.

Ngcaba said telecommunications parastatals had been closely involved in the research project and analysts said the fact that they would be on board, and could guarantee a growing market, could be another lure for investors.

The idea of a truly African satellite is not new and has often been raised at telecommunications conferences and meetings throughout the continent.


India among fastest growing cable & satellite mkts


From http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/xml/uncomp/articleshow?msid=109723

NEW DELHI: Ever wondered why despite the reportedly muddled media market, restrictive regulations, depressed subscription and ad revenues, foreign broadcasters are hell bent upon keeping the Indian viewer entertained?

A few recent reports from some international research agencies provide a clue. In fact, various reports in the past have suggested that Asia is emerging as the fastest growing cable and satellite market in the world. And within Asia, the maximum momentum has been coming from India and China. According to The Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) and Media Partners Asia (MPA), the two markets accounted for around 80% of the total pay television subscription revenue in the entire Asian market in 2002. MPA is a Singapore-based independent Asian media research agency.

The ‘strength’ of the ‘weak’ Indian market can also be gauged from the fact that STAR India, the market leader, typically accounts for 70% of STAR’s overall Asia-Pacific unconsolidated revenues. According to a senior executive of MPA, this excludes News Corp’s 50% share of ESPN STAR Sports. Another report says that News Corp’s Asian subsidiary STAR Group saw an unconsolidated revenue growth of 23% year-on-year for the third quarter of 2003 (three months ending March, FY July 2002-June 2003) to $147 million. This growth, according to Media Route, a regular report published by MPA, came mainly from STAR Plus and STAR News, the two Indian channels of the group. The report says that STAR Plus was the primary contributor to the 26% subscription revenue growth registered by the group. Not only that, STAR Plus along with STAR News were the main contributors to the 12% advertising growth registered by the STAR group. Besides, ESPN-STAR Sports saw revenues up 13% year-on-year to $34 million due to subscriber and ad rate growth in India and Hong Kong, the report says.

That’s the growth coming from a market that is still at a nascent stage. There are only 82 million television households in India, of which only 42 million are cable and satellite households. The data collated by Televison Audience Media Research, World Advertising and Research Council and NRS 2002 suggests that while the US has 100% colour television and remote television penetration, India has only 36% and 32%, respectively. While 74% of the households in the US are multi-TV set households, in India the penetration is estimated at around 11%.

Despite this, India still drives the growth of the world’s strongest broadcast companies. And that’s the lure that’s keeping the world’s top broadcasters glued to the Indian television screen.




3/08/03

Sunday no Update




2/08/03

BIG NEWS for FTA viewers, Installers, and Hardware importers in NZ / Australia

TVNZ via Optus B1 12456V (NZ beam) mux will launch "The Rugby World Cup Channel" which will be FTA! 900 hours or more of FREE TO AIR rugby, live and replayed plus special related programming. The Rugby World cup is exclusive to TVNZ. While all matches will be live on fta channel Tv1 there will be a high demand from pubs clubs etc for access to the exclusive "RWC" channel. This is where installers need to move quickly, in some places providing the RWC channel could be as simple as plugging in a $200 FTA unit and splitter off an existing Sky Dish. A 10 minute job! there is $$$ to be made here to those who are quick. Australian hardware suppliers please make yourself known if you have stock of FTA units. As its expected there may be a shortage of irds in the NZ marketplace.

B3- C1 Transponder swapover Sunday early a.m

Sun Aug 3rd 0430 AET B3/T9 (12313 H) moving to C1/T11L (12279 H)
Sun Aug 3rd 0500 AET B3/T14 (12626 H) Austar/Foxtel Moving to C1/T18 (12598 H)


900 HOURS of FTA Rugby for New Zealand!

By Bob Cooper (Satfacts magazine)

The following is a precedent setting pre-release of material that is scheduled to appear in SatFACTS Monthly for August 15th. We are releasing this information two-weeks early because Television New Zealand has placed into the mails (Friday August 1) more than 100 "Advisory Letters" to equipment installers and suppliers in New Zealand. We feel this is potentially the "break through opportunity" which FTA satellite in New Zealand has long needed and has waited patiently to occur. Read this carefully and let's have your comments, to Craig at this site and as well to skyking@clear.net.nz. This is a project that has been underway for 4 months and we are pleased to have played a role in bringing it to fruition. (Bob Cooper at SatFACTS)


RWC - Rugby World Cup. A BIG deal in NZ (and Australia) and an opportunity for New Zealand FTA satellite installers to SELL new terminals because of an innovative plan at the state-owned national telecaster TVNZ. Forty-eight matches, live in digital which will be treated in a very special way, creating a special-event "RWC Channel" operating 12+ hours per day with coverage ONLY available on satellite. Pubs, hotels and other public gathering spots are a natural for this only-on-satellite (and not on Sky NZ) channel - dealers bend over and slip on your 'selling shoes,' now! (Hills, importer of the Strong FTA receiver, has already stocked up for this one.)


Details - TVNZ's Satellite Fed Rugby World Cup Channel

Start date: Friday October 10 (Australia v. Argentina)
End Date: Tuesday December 20

Satellite/where to find: Optus B1, 12.456 vertical, Sr 22.500, 3/4

Coverage: All RWC will be broadcast live on TVONE and simulcast on the above Optus B1 channel.

Bonus coverage: RWC Highlight shows broadcast on TVONE (terrestrial) will also be broadcast on the special Optus B1 "RWC" channel. Additionally, RWC repeat telecasts will follow each live telecast for "approximately 12 hours per day" only on the (FTA) satellite channel. RWC delayed repeated showings will "build" as each match comes along creating a ever larger "RWC Channel" service as the 48 matches are played.

Other FTA satellite programming: Holmes, "some prime viewing hour" TVONE programming will also appear on the special RWC channel.

Restrictions: This is a genuine FTA service; clubs, pubs and others with a desire to have 12-hour plus daily RWC coverage will benefit by being equipped with 12.456 receivers.

Neither TV3 nor Sky will have any of these broadcasts, even on a time-delayed basis.


COOP'S COMMENT (SatFACTS August 15th)

Last month I suggested here that a resurgence (rebirth) of FTA or free to air satellite services seemed promising. There is new evidence this month that my optimism may yet bear fruit.

Name three programming categories guaranteed to make subscribing to a pay-TV satellite service desirable? Rugby, movies and more Rugby. In that order. Now name three categories guaranteed to make people buy FTA dish systems.

Rugby, movies and more rugby. OK, for at least New Zealand (and Norfolk Island) getting two of these free would be pretty acceptable. Let's try "rugby" and "more rugby."

Entire books have been written describing how one Rupert Murdoch has cornered the world Rugby market by buying TV rights (and or Rugby clubs) creating new wealth for a handful, himself included, at the expense of those who follow the sport. What I am about to reveal totally turns around the "Rugby = pay-TV = Murdoch" equation.

On page 14 here this month, we provide detail on a new "Rugby World Cup" television initiative underwritten by New Zealand Government owned TVNZ (Television New Zealand). Three magic letters ("FTA") make this coverage very interesting. In a nutshell, between October 10 and December 20, something like 48 Rugby matches involving all of the nations in the world who support the sport, will be televised. Many of the actual matches will be broadcast on terrestrial FTA TVOne and simultaneously on TVOne satellite digital (12.456Vt, satellite B1, Sr 22.500, FEC 3/4). None of this coverage will be on pay-TV service Sky NZ, nor on terrestrial competitor TV3 (4/Prime). Now the real news.

With 71 consecutive days of Rugby, played in a dozen plus venues and in an equal number of local time zones, out of TVOne's coverage will come hundreds of hours of fresh, if not totally live at least very current, matches. TVNZ will do something very innovative with this Rugby resource; establish on the same B1 satellite bouquet where TVOne is already available a new "RWC Channel" where 12+ hours per day, every day for 71 days, rugby fans can tune in today's live game, today's delayed games, yesterday's best game and so on. Over the nine week period, nearly 900 hours of RWC matches! Only on FTA satellite.

Is there a pub, tavern, sports bar anyplace in NZ that will not want this coverage? Are there not thousands - tens of thousands - of home that will also want this coverage? The punch line. Other than the live coverage of matches on TVOne (a tiny fraction of the total 900+ hours), there is only one place where this coverage will be available. That's right - FTA on satellite; TVNZ's digital satellite service.

But I worry. A great deal. The most optimistic estimates of FTA equipped locations in NZ suggest between 5 and 6,000 existing systems. Virtually all of these have been installed for B3/C1's Globecast and other ethnic (such as Indian) TV services. TVNZ is on B1, not B3/C1. Moreover, at any given moment (such as this very moment) in New Zealand there are fewer than 200 unsold FTA capable receivers sitting in the distributor (Hills, Skylink, Telsat) pipeline. Even the most conservative estimate suggests a huge rush (when the public learns of this unique offering ONLY on FTA satellite) for equipment. If it all starts on October 10, and this is August 15th, in less than two months the gates open wide and all hell breaks loose.

If TVNZ promotes this as I have begged them to do, using their own TVONE and TV2 resources, by early September most New Zealanders will have at least "heard" about "900 hours of FTA Rugby." But the pipeline for new dishes (or even 2-way splitters if you "borrow" the Sky dish already pointing at B1), new LNBf's, and most of all new FTA-capable DVB Compliant receivers is long, stretching first to Australia, then to perhaps the Middle East, then finally to an Asian manufacturer in China or Korea. Pipelines take time to fill, and October 10th is just around the corner. The "window" here is only 71 days long, and the incentive to own a TVONE FTA digital system will peak October 9th and steadily erode every day past that date. OK - you wanted FTA sport. Now you will have it. Are you up to "the game?"



From my Emails & ICQ


From Siam Global (Thailand)

Subject: TARBS

APPRECIATE YOUR PLUG YESTERDAY FOR A NEW CLEANER TARBS WEBSITE BUT IF YOU CHECK IT OUT, IT IS A BIG CON AND PRETENDS TO BE SOMETHING IT CERTAINLY IS NOT...A WORLDWIDE SERVICE.!

IT SHOWS A GRAND WORLD MAP ON WHICH TO CLICK FOR THEIR SERVICES. CLICK ON THE AMERICAS AND YOU WILL BE TOLD THEY HAVE NO SERVICES THERE. CLICK ON EUROPE DITTO.

IN FACT AUSTRALIA IS THE ONLY PLACE THEY HAVE A FULL SERVICE. ASIA & AFRICA TURNS OUT TO BE FEW SERVICES FROM ASIA ONLY.

SIAMG. BKK


From D Dawson (NZ)

Subject: [Apsattv] Optus C1 RX Report

Location - Palmerston North NZ ( middle bottom of North Island)

Currently seeing what looks like 6 transponders on A/NZ beam
Tp1 12305 -55dBm data?
Tp2 12367 -48dBm Globecast 13 TV and 12 radio channels
Tp3 12407 -50dBm Aurora SBS x2 SKY x7 BTV x3
Tp5 12487 -53dBm 2 data carriers
Tp7 12567 -50dBm Aurora ( ABC Nat plus 18 other channels see note)
Tp9 12647 -50dBm Probably data

All these Tps around -50dBm on a small 600mm dish will have a look with my 1.2m tomorrow.


From the Dish


PAS 8 166E 3718 V "ABS-CBN News Channel" has started on , PowerVu, PIDs 4091/4099.
PAS 8 166E 3740 H "MTV Southeast Asia" is now encrypted.

Optus B1 160E Updates in Sky TV: BBC World has left 12546 V, replaced by Sky Box Office Preview. Spice 2 has started on 12671 V, Videoguard, SID 1049, PIDs 514/652.(Craigs comment, some other changes on 12706v and 12733v as well,)

Optus B3 156E 12595 V The Optus Aurora mux has left .
Optus C1 156E 12607 V An Austar/Foxtel mux has started on , enc., SR 29473, FEC 3/4,a copy of 12518 H.

Telkom 1 108E Updates in TelkomVision:
CNBC Asia and Star World on 3460 H are now in clear.
Discovery Channel South Asia on 3580 H is now in clear.
Trijaya FM has left 3810 H.

NSS 6 95E Tarb's have left here

Insat 3A 93.5E 4025 V The Voice has started on , Fta, APID 1309.

Apstar 2R 76.5E 3714 V "TV Lanka" has left , replaced by an info card.


NEWS


Foxtel concerned with ACCC


From http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,6850742%5E462,00.html

MANAGEMENT at Foxtel and parent company Telstra is becoming increasingly concerned about the competition regulator's delays in finalising the access conditions for the $600 million roll-out of digital pay television.

Plans for the transformation of the Foxtel network from analog to digital, bringing more than 100 channels, have had to be put on ice yet again after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission sought another extension to the process last week.

The move could delay digitisation by a further three months, potentially jeopardising the long-held target of launching the service in the first half of next year.

The Telecommunications Competition Act, passed in December last year, set down a six-month timetable for a decision by the ACCC on the conditions that would allow other companies to get access to the Foxtel network.

But every time the ACCC seeks more information from industry players, the date can be pushed out.

Such delays are now beginning to affect the timetable for the so-called digitisation of Foxtel, which will see cable and satellite TV subscribers receive up to 120 channels.

A Telstra spokesman said the company, which owns 50 per cent of Foxtel, was "not happy with the delays".

Digital TV will initially allow more than 120 channels, and rival providers of content are already jostling for the chance to gain access to the Foxtel network and Foxtel subscribers. "About 30 channels will be set aside for video on demand services," said Foxtel spokesman Mark Furness.

Foxtel, whose other shareholders are The News Corporation Ltd (publisher of The Australian) and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, continues to develop its state of the art broadcast facility at North Ryde in Sydney. It has begun early tests on the new Optus C satellite, which will carry the digital service.

But without an access regime that has the imprimatur of the ACCC, the critical funding of the rollout using bank finance cannot be completed.

Foxtel was still awaiting the final regulatory regime which would allow other companies access to the yet to be built network, Mr Furness said.

Ten months after the landmark deal between Foxtel, Optus and Telstra was inked, rationalising Australia's loss-making pay TV industry, Foxtel is still unable to finalise financing for the project.

Penetration in so-called analog pay-TV has almost stalled, mainly due to Optus shedding low-value customers as it pushes to increase its margins and resuscitate its consumer division.

Mr Furness said Foxtel's direct business signing up its own subscribers was growing at 7 per cent a year.

The ACCC has remained tight-lipped about the timing of its decision on the access regime. Senior telecommunications commissioner Michael Cosgrave would only say: "The matter is in progress."


(Craigs comment, see Delays happen all the time in Pay TV)


Channel NewsAsia joins Asiasat 3S


From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k3/aug/aug3.htm

HONG KONG: Satellite Telecommunications company Asiasat and Singapore's MCN International have signed a lease agreement. As per this arrangement, the C-band capacity on AsiaSat 3S will be used to broadcast Channel NewsAsia digitally across Asia.

An official release informs that Channel NewsAsia is an Asian television news channel, providing the latest in news and information on global developments with Asian perspectives. Its content also includes lifestyle and analytical programmes on topics ranging from politics, finance, business, technology to health, food, travel and entertainment.

From 1 September 2003, Channel NewsAsia will completely switch over its broadcast to Asiasat 3S. The channel will no longer be transmitted from Palapa C2 and APSTAR IIR.

MediaCorp News' CEO Shaun Seow said: "This is another milestone for Channel NewsAsia since we started beaming to the region just three years ago. We're extending our reach to more parts of Asia and want to provide viewers, including professionals and executives working, living and investing in the region with the resource to get ahead. Today's sophisticated viewers demand more than just updated news. They want relevant information with the various nuances for them to make the right decisions." MediaCorp News is the holding company of MCN International.

Asiasat's CEO Peter Jackson said: "We are pleased to have Channel NewsAsia onboard Asiasat 3S. With Channel NewsAsia commencing their broadcast on AsiaSat 3S from 1 September, we will be offering an unmatched mix of news programming, ranging from global, regional and local perspectives. Channel NewsAsia will immediately enjoy the benefits of the enormous audience penetration of AsiaSat 3S reaching out to the numerous cable headends, rebroadcasters and individual television viewers across our huge C-band footprint".

Headquartered in Singapore, Channel NewsAsia reports from the major Asian and key Western cities, including New York, Washington DC, London and Moscow. In September 2000, it launched its second feed, Channel NewsAsia (International). Its satellite footprint stretches from the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia to Australia. Channel NewsAsia claims to be viewed in 14.5 million homes and hotels in 19 territories across Asia.

Channel NewsAsia is available on Asiasat 3S in C-band with the following reception parameters:

Transponder: 3H;
Frequency: 3706 MHz
Polarisation: Horizontal
Modulation: QPSK
Symbol Rate: 6 Msym/sec
FEC: 3/4


(Craigs comment, good news except many in NZ can't get Asiasat3 as its a very low look angle here)




1/08/03

MTV on PAs 8 has encrypted as expected. But the China feed is still fta there.

Tarb's has a newly designed website. www.tarbs.com.au which looks cleaner and easier to access than before.

Website for the new Mac TV Taiwan channel that has sstarted via Globecast Optus C1.

http://mactv.atlas.com.tw/

There is also video streams for those with fast enough connections. I found the 56k link to be very watchable.

and go here for the tvguide

http://www.ocac.gov.tw/16_macro/tvlist.asp


From my Emails & ICQ


From Satellite Info

A Soccer feed was seen today on Pas 2 3958 6620 2/3


From the Dish


PAS 8 166E 3940 H "Fox News Channel" and a test card have started, PowerVu,PIDs 2660/2620 and 2860/2820.

Optus B3/C1 156E The Austar/Foxtel muxes on Optus B3: 12501 H and 12564 H have moved toOptus C1: 12518 H and 12558 H.
New frequency for the Optus Aurora mux on tp 10: 12709 V.

Optus C1 156E 12367 V "MAC TV" has started, Fta, PIDs 501/540.

Palapa C2 113E 4000 H "Quick Channel" has left , replaced by a test card.

NSS 6 95E 11543 V The test card has left .


NEWS


MGM, CNBC Team for Asian TV Venture


From http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=televisionNews&storyID=3200498

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Film and television studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. on Thursday unveiled a venture with CNBC Asia Pacific to launch a movie channel under the MGM brand name on satellite and cable TV systems in Asian markets.

The deal marks one more step in an aggressive strategy by MGM's television group over the last few years to launch MGM- branded movie channels in international markets. It further underscores the success MGM and CNBC's sister company, NBC, have enjoyed working together overseas, MGM executives said.

NBC and CNBC are units of General Electric Co. .

"We have complementary assets in terms of where we are strong and where they are strong," said MGM Chief Operating Officer Chris McGurk.

For instance one alliance, in which MGM distributes NBC's prime time TV shows internationally, marries MGM's expertise in selling films and TV shows overseas with NBC's top-rated lineup of prime time programs such as "Will & Grace."

The CNBC Asia Pacific deal leverages CNBC's current operations in Asia that already reach some 25 million subscribers and utilizes them to launch the MGM channel.

"With a partner, the cost of entry was so much lower because we didn't have to reinvent the infrastructure," said Bruce Tuchman, executive vice president with MGM Networks.

Under Thursday's deal, financial details of which were undisclosed, the two plan to launch an MGM channel later this year. An exact date has yet to be determined.

The channel will broadcast movies in English and Chinese from MGM's 4,000-film library that houses titles like Oscar winning "Midnight Cowboy" and popular hit "The Birdcage."

CNBC Asia Pacific will provide the distribution and other services to tap into Asian cable and satellite TV markets.

While the alliance has yet to produce any firm deals, Tuchman said he hopes to have some to announce very soon.

The alliance will target markets where an MGM channel is not now seen, including China and South East Asia. MGM has channels in South Korea, India and New Zealand and ventures in the Star Channel in Japan and Movie Networks in Australia.

In the past two years, MGM has aggressively sought to launch cable and satellite TV channels overseas and now has channels in Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

McGurk said MGM sees its cable TV expansion as a long-term strategy with only a modest impact on near-term earnings. But it is expected to pay dividends far into the future as it reinforces the MGM name as a quality moviemaking studio.


INSAT 3E's launch on Aug 28


From http://sify.com/news/scienceandmedicine/fullstory.php?id=13214306

Bangalore: Indian communication satellite INSAT 3E is all set for launch by an Ariane Five generic launcher of the Arianespace from Kourou in French Guyana on August 28.

Arianespace today confirmed the launch date of the Indian satellite that would ride along with two other satellites--Smart-1, Europe's first mission to the Moon, and Eutelsat, an internet satellite of the European Space Agency.

The satellite, which had been flown to Kourou, was undergoing final tests and integration, before the launch.

INSAT 3E's predecessor INSAT 3A, which had been commissioned, was launched by an Ariane four launcher on April 10 this year.

INSAT-3E will be the fourth satellite to be launched in the INSAT-3 series. It will further augment the communication services provided by the INSAT System. Weighing 2750 kg at lift-off, INSAT-3E will carry 24 Normal C-band and 12 Extended C-band transponders.

INSAT-3E will be launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee of 650 km and an apogee of 36,000 km, inclined at an angle of seven degrees to the equator. The satellite will be manoeuvred to its final circular 36,000 km Geostationary Orbit at 55 deg East Longitude by firing the Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) on board the satellite from Indian Space Research Organisation's Master Control Facility at Hassan. It will be co-located with INSAT-2DT.

Commissioned in 1983, INSAT was the largest domestic communication satellite system in the Asia-Pacific region. At present, it has six satellites-- INSAT-2E, INSAT-3A, INSAT-3B, INSAT-3C, KALPANA-1 and an experimental satellite GSAT-2 providing for telecommunications, TV broadcasting, meteorological imaging, disaster warning and satellite-aided search and rescue services.

INSAT system provided about 120 transponders in S-band, C-band, extended C-band and Ku-band, besides Very High Resolution Radiometer and Charge Coupled Device camera for meteorological imaging.

INSAT-3D, an advanced meteorological satellite and the last in the INSAT-3 series, would be launched in 2004-05.