Things are all very quiet at the moment. Not a lot to report.
From my Emails & ICQ
Australian Idol feed seen
B3 12552V sr 6667
From the Dish
Optus B3 152E Updates in UBI, Fta:
Mad TV has moved from 12674 H to 12701 H, PIDs 521/649.
BK TV Sat has started on 12701 H, PIDs 515/643.
Nojoom has replaced Nile TV International on 12701 H, PIDs 516/644.
New PIDs for MKTV Sat on 12701 H: 520/648.
ESC 1-2 and TV Chile have left 12701 H.
Optus B3 152E 12524V "Star Sports Asia" has left(ETV).
Superbird C 144E 12692 V "CTS" has started on , Fta, SR 1777, PIDs 33/34.
Telstar 18 138E Two D-Sky muxes have started on 12302 V and 12402 V, Viaccess, SR 30000 and 22425, FEC 5/6, Chinese beam, same line-up and PIDs as on Telstar 10:12333 H and 12493 H.
Telstar 18 138E Two HKC Sat muxes have started on 12598 V and 12720 V, Nagravision,SR 43000, FEC 3/4. (China beam)
NSS 6 95E 12535 V "Splash" is encrypted again.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H "The Imagine Sat info card" has left .
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H New SR for the RR Sat mux on : 28066.
Thaicom 2 78.5E 3764 H "BBTV Channel 7" has started on, Fta SR 4700, FEC 3/4, PIDs 1160/1120.(Been there for weeks i think)
Telstar 10 76.5E 3760 H "Nojoom" has started on , Fta, PIDs 260/516.
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 V "SuperSport + and Fame" have left , replaced by info cards.
PAS 10 68.5E 4075 V "The Hungama Channel test card" is now encrypted.
Telekom Malaysia to launch broadband TV service
STATE-OWNED Telekom Malaysia Bhd will launch its broadband television on Wednesday, competing with two others in a growing pay-TV market, a business weekly said.
Existing subscribers to Telekom's Streamyx broadband in the capital and surrounding areas will be hooked up in the first two weeks of September for a three-month free trial of the new service, the Edge said, quoting unnamed sources.
Astro All Asia Networks, controlled by Malaysia's richest man Ananda Krishnan, now holds a monopoly over the country's subscriber-based TV market.
Another operator, MiTV Corp, backed by gaming tycoon Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, plans to launch its pay TV service over wireless broadband in October.
Telekom, the country's largest fixed-line operator, is expected to start with an initial 18 channels, adding another 30 at a later date, the Edge said. Telekom officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The three operators are competing in Malaysia's TV market which has around five million viewers. Astro claims over a quarter of the market, or 1.4 million customers, with its subscriber base growing by 30 per cent last year.
Astro, which broadcasts via satellite, plans to double its number of television channels to 101 by mid-2005.
MiTV has said it would offer at least 50 channels.
They will also be competing for a share of the country's advertising revenue which is forecast to grow by 5.4 per cent to RM3.9 billion (S$1.75 billion) this year, according to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
Advertisers spent some RM3.7 billion last year, with television getting just under RM1 billion, or a 27 per cent share. - Reuters
China Opens Cartoons And Pay TV To Foreign Investors
BEIJING: China has opened its pay television and cartoon sectors to foreign investment, a newspaper said on Monday.
But foreign investors would not be able to work in the country without a Chinese partner, the Beijing Youth Daily said, quoting officials from the state broadcasting regulator.
Analysts said the statement was a rare official endorsement of foreign investment in the media sector, but was not expected to herald a radical shift because policy had been moving in that direction in recent years. Western media firms such as Viacom Inc, News Corp and Time Warner Inc have been courting Chinese officials for years in efforts to gain footholds in the Chinese market, the largest in the world by viewers.
Viacom unveiled with much fanfare in March a joint venture to produce TV shows in Shanghai. The venture, in which Viacom took a minority stake, was said to be the first of its kind. “The broadcast and television sectors are being opened to foreign investments. The cartoon and pay TV sectors specifically allow foreign investment,” vice minister of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), Hu Zhanfan, was quoted as saying. Officials from SARFT were not immediately available for comment.
The newspaper did not offer details, but analysts said the statement showed a further relaxing of controls on two relatively innocuous segments of the broadcast media sector.
China jealously guards what its 1.3 billion people can see on television and in theatres. Programmes with sexual, religious and political themes are under tight leash.
‘Clean’ fare on DTH
There is no pornography available on any available direct-to-home (DTH) channels, and while a subscriber theoretically can switch to a smutty channel, it will take the person so much effort that he or she would rather take easier options.
This is largely the conclusion that an inter-ministerial committee today came to after being asked to examine the case in the wake of a petition filed by Mr N Bhaskara Rao of CMS in court. At a meeting where representatives of the information and broadcasting ministry, the Intelligence Bureau and the departments of space and telecommunications were present, DTH was largely given a clean chit. An official said the same arguments had been looked at in the past and DTH has been found to be “cleaner”.
To get pornography on DTH, one has to buy the relevant “card” for the X-rated channel and re-wire the DTH apparatus to get it. In comparison, it is easier to get smut on the normal C-band. All one has to do is buy a dish and aim it at the right channel, is the argument. Besides, if one really wants to access porn, there is the Internet or VCDs and video cassettes that are widely available at any big market in a city. These are much easier options than re-jigging the DTH platform. Finally, two DTH systems belonging to Zee and Doordarshan have launched telecasts and there is no pornography on them. If there is, there are enough laws to make sure the channel is swiftly banned. The other issue relates to national security. While DTH could theoretically be used, there are easier options, including the Internet.
Sorry about the recent server outages. Unless you wish to pay to have a tech called out on the weekend the repairs have to wait until Monday. Its not the end of the world if the servers down a few days anyway.
Star Sports Asia via b3 Globecast has gone black screen
From my Emails & ICQ
MTV music awards were seen on B3 Adhoc channel (all day Monday)
From JonC Thailand
Latest log off Telstar 18 138E cband
These all seem to load here of Telstar 18 what about down under?
1/ 3869V 5000
2/ 3591V 37501
3/ 4041H 24803
4/ 3896H 1520
5/ 3890H 2223
6/ 3867H 4290
7/ 3786H 5000
8/ 3665H 3617
From Mayuran Sivarasa
Aus vs Pak cricket final seen on Insat2E ,Doordarshan Chandana 3859V 6250
From Bill Richards
3600H 26667 3/4
Vpid523 Apid760 SID12 Encrypted in Irdeto2.
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3987 V "Occasional feeds" on , SR 3253, FEC 3/4.
Optus C1 156E 12638 HA Bubble TV info card has started on , enc., PIDs 1091/1092.
Optus B3 152E 12525 V "Australian Christian Channel and Star Sports Asia" have started on , fta, PIDs 2081/2082 and 2091/2092.
Telstar 18 138E 12476 V "A CCTV HD promo" has started on Fta, SR 41250, FEC 1/2,PIDs 308/256, Chinese beam.
AsiaSat 4 122E 12333 V The test card has left again.
Palapa C2 113E New SR and FEC for the Kabelvision mux on 3500 H: 27000 and 3/4.
NSS 6 95E 12595 V "ABC Asia Pacific has replaced Raj Music" on , Fta, PIDs 1302/1303.(India beam)
Measat 1 91.5E 3880 H "RTM Radio 1" has left .
Telstar 10 76.5E The UBI mux has moved from 3980 V to 3780 V, clear, SR 28066, FEC 3/4 (Due to interference issues with Thaicom3)
Telstar 10 76.5E 12493 H All channels in the D-Sky mux are now encrypted.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 HAn RR Sat mux has started on , Fta, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, same line-up and PIDs as on 3671 H.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3480 H "Thai TV Global Network, Tara, Sur Sangeet, KTN, Apna Channel tests, TVK,Radio Cambodia and Bangkok Radio 94 FM" have left .
LMI 1 75E 3419 H "An ABS-CBN mux" has started on , Nagravision, SR 20000, FEC 3/4, same line-up and PIDs as on 12610 H.(No reception in W.A)
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 V "SuperSport +" on is in clear again.
Austar to refinance
Pay TV provider Austar United Communications today announced a refinancing that would include a combination of a $290 million senior debt facility and $100 million hybrid debt security offer.
Austar said it planned to offer 1 million STARS (subordinated transferable adjustable redeemable securities) at $100 each with the ability to accept up to $15 million in oversubscriptions.
"STARS will pay cumulative interest quarterly in arrears at a rate equal to the 90-day bank bill swap rate plus an indicative margin of between 3.75 per cent to 4 per cent, to be determined by a bookbuild," Austar said.
The offer comes as the company's financial and operational improvements allow it to change its arrangements.
"This proposed refinancing is a direct reflection of the fact that Austar has made significant improvements in the last two years and we're pleased to be able to convert that success into an opportunity for investors," Austar chairman Bill Ferris said.
"At the same time, the company will be able to move past the restrictive covenants that have been a feature of its debt arrangements over the past few years. Financing flexibility is particularly important to Austar given our growth potential and the new opportunities facing subscription television."
Chief executive John Porter said the company was in its strongest position ever and wanted to capitalise on recent growth.
"Austar is a different company today to the one which signed up to the current debt structure," Mr Porter said. "Our prospectus forecasts $96.3 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the year ended December 2004 and a further $54.7 million in EBITDA for the six months to June 2005.
"We have turned the corner and among other substantial financial and operational gains are now operating free cash-flow positive. It's time now to re-strike our arrangements with a smaller, more streamlined bank syndicate, more appropriate covenants and the opportunity for the broader market to participate in the future of Austar."
Austar restructures debt in growth bid
Regional pay TV provider Austar United Communications Ltd revealed plans to restructure its debt arrangements to fund future growth.
Chief executive John Porter said a hybrid financing approach would reduce Austar's senior debt and allow greater access to cash going forward.
The company is the second largest pay TV provider behind Foxtel, predominantly using satellites to service its regional subscriber base of 467,000 across all states and territories except for Western Australia.
A revised senior debt facility of up to $290 million will combine with an offer of up to $100 million of tradeable hybrid debt securities called STARS (subordinated transferable adjustable redeemable securities).
Mr Porter said the decision to refinance had been prompted by Austar's improved financial performance.
"Austar is a different company today to the one which signed up to the current debt structure," he told analysts and media in Sydney.
"We have turned the corner and among other substantial financial and operational gains, are now operating free cash-flow positive. It's time now to re-strike our arrangements with a smaller, more streamlined bank syndicate, more appropriate covenants and the opportunity for the broader market to participate in the future of Austar."
Earlier this month, the pay TV operator pleased investors with earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $46 million in the six months to June 30, up $19 million on the corresponding half-year period.
Its reported net loss of $4.84 million for the six months was almost half the $8.723 million loss it booked in the first half of 2002/03.
Mr Porter said today that Austar's retention of customers was at an all-time high as the process of transferring customers to its digital offering continued.
He said senior debt will be reduced from $365 million to $290 million via three facilities, including an $80 million revolving debt tranche, a $190 million amortising debt tranche and a $20 million working capital smaller syndicate.
The STARS will have an issue price of $100, with a minimum investment of $5,000.
While investment bank UBS is acting as Austar's financial adviser, ANZ Securities, Deutsche Securities Australia, Ord Minnett and UBS Private Clients will be co-managers of the offer.
Optus B3 celebrates its 10th anniversary!
Optus B3 satellite will celebrate its 10th anniversary on 27th August 2004. Ten years ago, the Chinese Long March rockets launched Optus B3 and blazed a fiery trail into the night skies.
One year later, the Optus Aurora platform for remote area broadcasters (RAB) was launched using B3's transponder capacity. This marked the beginning of Optus B3's contribution to Optus' success in becoming Australia's leading satellite provider for all 13 RAB licensees throughout Australia. Subsequently, a Foxtel contract was signed in December 1998, making Optus B3 the 'Hotbird' that ensured high quality and reliable distribution satellite platform for Australia.
In July 2003, Optus B3 was replaced by Optus C1 and moved to 152 degrees East. With just one year at its new orbit location, Optus B3 is over half full with services. Today, Optus B3 provides Australia and New Zealand with narrowcast Pay-TV, Aurora closed user group customers (Sky Channel, and business TV), Business Satellite services (VSAT services), Remote Area Broadcasting Services (RABS), and Globecast services.
Over the past 10 years, Optus B3 has achieved an impressive and unprecedented success of utilisation rate of its transponder capacity for Australia and New Zealand coverage. Today, Optus B3 is standing proudly in orbit as Optus' shining star.
(Craigs comment, Late birthday wishes to B3)
CHINA: Free set-top box offer to help pay-TV promotion
Official says government will have new way to connect with the masses
Free set-top converter boxes will be offered on the mainland to promote pay-TV and speed up the move to digital broadcasting, officials said yesterday.
Zhang Haitao , vice-minister of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said the move would connect millions of households to interactive government, education and shopping services, along with providing entertaining and informative programming.
He told a cable TV executive management conference that the government would be given a new way of connecting with the masses.
Mr Zhang said the administration had given its approval to four media groups, in addition to China Central Television, to operate pay-TV networks.
The announcement of the free set-top boxes comes after the landmark decision to allow satellite broadcasting of pay-TV programming from August 1.
Sun Yusheng , president of China Central Digital Television, said this was a major break for pay-TV operators as it would make it easier to connect far-flung areas. Satellite transmission would also break down barriers put up by local governments that had invested in cable TV rollouts and resented the inroads being made by national pay-TV operators, industry sources noted.
The new pay-TV service will be officially rolled out on September 1. CCTV is offering a six-channel package for 58 yuan per month.
Mr Sun admitted that despite the central government's support, the pay-TV industry still faced many obstacles including technical ignorance about encoding and decoding, plus unfamiliarity with pricing and packaging.
Although mainlanders have more than 50 free-to-air channels to choose from, Mr Sun said he believed there was still significant demand for pay-TV given the size of the market.
In Germany, where the airwaves are saturated with free-to-air channels, pay-TV had only penetrated just above 7 per cent of households. But Mr Sun said the population of Germany was equal to that of a large mainland province and if just 7 per cent of the mainland's 100 million cable TV users signed on for digital pay-TV, this would amount to seven million subscribers.
The key was not to fragment into regional pay-TV franchises, but to build a national mass market, Mr Sun emphasised.
Apart from competition from free-to-air TV, Mr Sun said rampant piracy of films and foreign satellite channels were other hurdles that had to be addressed.
Mr Sun noted that digital TV was the way of the future with the dawn of high-definition TV, exclusive content and interactivity, which would justify the extra cost. CCTV is planning to launch high-definition TV next year.
China launches satellite
FLEDGLING space power China today launched a satellite from a remote desert region for a short-term scientific mission, state media reported.
The satellite, atop a Long March 2C carrier rocket, blasted off mid-afternoon from the Jiuquan launch centre in northwestern Gansu province, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The satellite, which will remain in orbit for just a few days before returning to Earth, will be used for land surveying, mapping and other scientific experiments, the agency said.
China became the third country after the US and the former Soviet Union to achieve manned space flight in October last year, when astronaut Yang Liwei orbited the Earth 14 times.
TM Net to provide online TV
KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom Malaysia, through its TM Net Streamyx broadband network, will provide online television entertainment from Wednesday.
Initially, selected Klang Valley residents will be given a free trial period of two or three months.
TM Net chief executive officer Datuk Baharum Salleh said that some free to air (FTA) stations like RTM1, RTM2, TV3, 8TV, NTV7 and Channel 9 were also expected to be available through the Streamyx network.
“We are still working with these television stations and nothing has been finalised.
“The television broadcast can be received through TM Net’s Streamyx on to a PC with a modem or direct to a television through a set-up box with a decoder,” he told The Star.
The transmission will be similar to Hong Kong’s Now Broadband TV, which provides 24-hour, high quality service with world-class television channels like Hallmark, Soundtrack Channel, MGM, Discovery Showcase and many more.
Streamyx will also offer customers the choice of paying only for the channels they want to watch.
However, subscription rates have not been confirmed, according to Baharum.
TM Net Sdn Bhd (www.tm.net.my) aims to double its number of Streamyx users to 300,000 by year-end.
No update Sunday
No update Saturday
2 new channels on B3 FTA! 12524V sr 30000 Fec 2/3 "Globecast WTV MUX" ETV (showing Star Sports!) and ACC Australian Christian channel. Star Sports of course is the very popular channel off Asiasat 3. The picture quality on Star Sports is good let's hope it stays. But I have to wonder how it can be broadcast surely Foxtel won't be happy?
UBI Have a card up on B3 warning people not to be taken in by scammers.(NO COMMENT, cough cough)
"This is a temporary test signal for United Broadcasting International. Please be advised NOT to purchase any equipment and that there are NO U.B.I. representatives authorized to offer any of these services. Announcements will be made when the services become available to subscribers.
From My Emails & ICQ
From Mondo R
In April this year Tarbs contacted me to do signal measurements of transponders on Optus B3 here in Derby WA. I asked why and was told could I please measure them and don't ask questions and I would be paid accordingly. I declined as their attitude always bothered me.
Seeing a few of the Public Servants here are married to Filipino women when ABS CBN put up a web site and offered decoders, at a price, to do their new services for Australia on Panamsat 8 a few sent away for them.
Now they have the IRDs it turns out the IRDs are useless.
One of the recipients brought one to my shop and trying everything I could not get it going. He then rang ABS CBN from my office and eventually getting through was told it worked when it left the Filipines and must be his fault it does not work now.
After checking with the other two had sent away for IRDs I was told they have had the same problem plus if they ring the number supplied on the website the call sometimes ends up in America or Australia instead of the Flipines.
My advice was for them was to get Foxtel and it would help their partners learn english with interesting programs.
Has any one else encountered these above?
Strange but true
(Craigs comment, so Tarb's were making plans to move to Optus in case they had to leave Pas8 way back in April??? so much for the sob story that Pas ditched them without warning. remember this? "Mr Boulos said he was shocked in early July when TARBS's satellite distributor PanAmSat called in receivers PriceWaterhousecoopers after failing to meet a debt repayment."
Are there any other installers that had similar approaches from Tarbs?
As to the Filipino receiver problem does anyone have info as to the brand being used?)
From Bill Richards
Pacific Broadcasting Services have moved frequency from
12691H to 12728H
Channel lineup remains the same.
Optus C1 Update
Bubble T[V] has started on 12638 H 27800
PAL Encrypted with NDS and Irdeto 2
Web page -->http://www.bandinabubble.com/
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E The PBS mux has moved from 12691 H to 12729 H, SR 28066, FEC 3/4.
Optus B3 152E 12701 H "ATV Turkiye has replaced Nile Drama", fta, PIDs 517/645.
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 V "SuperSport + " is now encrypted.
Court rules in Fiji TV's favour
FIJI TV has succeeded in its legal action for breach of contract against New Skies Satellites NV of Netherlands.
In a ruling handed down by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal on Monday, New Skies was ordered to deliver satellite transponder services to Fiji TV in terms of a 10-year contract made between the two parties in March this year.
Fiji TV chief executive Kenneth Clark said they were pleased with the ruling and that he looked forward to working with New Skies so that they could deliver their promise to the Government and people of Fiji. This will enable Fiji TV to launch its 12-channel Sky Pacific service in October this year and to deliver direct-to-home television services to subscribers in other countries in the Pacific region.
"We have encountered few, if any, problems on the technical side, which is a real tribute to Fiji TV's technical team and our installation contractors, AZCAR International Inc. We are looking forward to providing to the public and to our Sky Pacific subscribers a new level of programming quality and choice," Mr Clark said.
He said the development represents a new business for them on which to build new levels of value for their shareholders and new professional challenges and rewards for their employees.
Mr Clark said the testing of the service had gone extremely well.
BSA beams in record profit
BROADCAST Services Australia Ltd (BSA), which posted a record annual net profit of $2.7 million today, said growth was being driven by the need to continually upgrade communications infrastructure in regional Australia.
BSA, Australia's largest provider of domestic and commercial satellite installations for the pay TV industry, said it is well placed to efficiently deliver a range of service solutions to support the industry.
BSA secured a two-year Telstra contract worth more than $40 million in May, which helped drive up revenue by 46.8 per cent to $100.2 million for the 12 months ending June 30, 2004.
It also doubled the number of subcontractors to meet the required demand for the launch of Foxtel Digital and started work on its first major communications contract for the Department of Defence.
Joint managing director Daniel Lipshut said BSA had established profitable momentum and continued to grow and develop new related areas of business.
"The demand for service and installation contracting services in the broadcast and telecommunications sector is growing, particularly in regional Australia," Mr Lipshut said.
"We are well placed to continue to profitably scale up and efficiently deliver a range of service solutions to support these industries."
BSA undertook a successful $5.5 million capital raising during the year with institutional investors and existing shareholders, which strengthened the balance sheet and allowed for efficient capital management strategy.
"Future growth for BSA is being driven by the need to continually upgrade communications in regional Australia, the move to digitalise broadcast and online communications and optimising the efficient delivery of installation and maintenance services to customers," Mr Lipshut said.
At 1.45pm (AEST), shares in BSA were up half a cent to 33 cents.
New AFRTS Movie, Family Channels Debut In September
WASHINGTON, Aug. 26, 2004 The Defense Department's American Forces Network television system will start broadcasting new movie and family channels to overseas audiences Sept. 3.
The new channels -- made possible by new satellite technology -- will enhance choices for servicemembers and their families stationed overseas, said Air Force Lt. Col. Doug Smith, operations officer at American Forces Radio and Television Service headquarters in Alexandria, Va.
"The Family Channel is something we've been wanting to do for a very long time," Smith said, noting that programming content will be targeted to children ages 2-17.
The Movie Channel, he continued, will offer "the best of Hollywood" films, with behind-the-scenes specials detailing how some popular movies were made.
For years, Smith noted, the American Forces Radio and Television Service has provided news, sports, and entertainment -- as well as Defense Department- specific programming -- to troops and families stationed overseas. The new channels, he said, will fill "a couple of niches" previously unavailable to audiences.
AFRTS, Smith said, provides policy guidance for American Forces Network, DoD's television and radio broadcasting programmer. The overseas audience, he noted, currently numbers about 850,000 people.
Larry Sichter, AFN's affiliate relations chief at the Defense Media Center at March Air Reserve Base near Riverside, Calif., noted that AFN provides 10 television services and 12 radio services to 180 ships at sea and to servicemembers and families stationed in 177 countries.
"Our audience get the most popular programming that's in the states, and, they have a lot of choice," Sichter said.
This spring the Pentagon Channel began broadcasting military news programs, Pentagon news conferences and congressional hearings featuring senior DoD leaders to servicemembers stationed overseas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Pentagon Channel also is available to stateside military bases for airing on installation cable systems or to anyone wishing to receive it via satellite. To request Pentagon Channel service, visit the channel's Web site.
Turner, Zee may beam sports channel
Turner International Asia Pacific, an AOL Time Warner group company, has made a proposal to the Subhash Chandra-controlled Zee Telefilms for jointly floating a global sports channel.
This comes close on the heels of Zee emerging as the highest bidder for the Board for Control of Cricket in India’s (BCCI) cricket telecast rights for the next four years.
Zee had outbid the field with a bid of $260 million (Rs 1,180 crore).
The deal, if concluded, will be Zee’s second partnership effort with the global media conglomerate. It currently has a 74:26 distribution joint venture called Zee Tuner Pvt Ltd., with Turner International India for television channels.
A Zee group spokesperson confirmed the developed but refused to divulge details. “We have received a proposal from Turner International for setting up a global sports channel. We are looking into it. It is too early to comment on what shape this proposal will take,” he added.
Turner’s proposal is being viewed as a shot in the arm for Zee. Though Zee as a broadcaster has a considerable presence in terms of general entertainment and movies, sports has not been its focus area. Sony Entertainment and Star India have a major presence in sports broadcasting through Set Max and ESPN-Star Sports, respectively.
“The alliance will have financial muscle to bid for further sports telecast rights. While Turner will get an entry into Indian sports business, Zee will be in a position to leverage its direct-to-home (DTH) platform. The alliance will be a win-win situation for both Turner and Zee,” an analyst said.
Time Warner, though has access to some international sports properties, its presence its relatively insignificant compared with other international media companies.
Zee Telefilms has already announced its plans to launch a global sports channel which would telecast domestic cricket in all the international markets, including the US, the UK, Middle East and South Africa.
Time Warner Inc is the world’s leading media and entertainment company with businesses including filmed entertainment, interactive services, television networks, cable systems and publishing.
After a report of an increase in power on Asiasat 4 KU I drove my motor down and managed to pick it up on the 76cm. But some how in the process a cable appears to have caught on the U bolts on the mount and managed to pull the F connector socket out. ARGGGGGGGH! I did a temp repair and it should fine until I can be botherd taking the whole thing down and open it up to fix it. In the meantime I have the Asiasat 4 KU test signal at %36 quality on the Innovia (approx 36-39 on nokia 9500). Which is just enough to play without breakup on a fec 3/4 signal. If you are looking for this in NZ on a motorized mount try H pol due to low look angle the skew will be well off.
ADL feed on NZ Auction site Just perfect for Nasa off 701
Odds and Ends
Sky NZ have added to services, one labeled Panasonic the other labeled "Rugby TGT" I reckon both may be for interactive services.
ETV test ? has left B3 Globecast mux
From my Emails & ICQ
From Terry P
I hear on the grape vine that the signal up on Asia Sat 4 is a test signal for a new DTH platform. Apparently Australian DTH Services is operated by Sydney Teleport Services which is operated by Sydney Film & TV Studios. I don't know the fellows name but he's signed up some channels which were on tarbs.
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E Occasional feeds on 3709 R, 3718 R, 3727 R and 3736 R, SR 5632, FEC 3/4,West hemi beam.
Telstar 18 138E 12402 V The D-Sky mux has left again.(China beam)
AsiaSat 4 122E 12333 V An Australian DTH Services test card has started on , Fta, SR 5878,FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256, Australasian beam.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3760 H "Indus Plus" has started on , Fta, PIDs 1040/1041.
NSS 6 95E 11598 H "Eros Sat and Cosmoradio 95.1" have left
NSS 6 95E 11635 H "KTR (Kyrgyzstan)" has replaced SpaceGate on , Fta, SR 3324, FEC 3/4, PIDs 4194/4195, Middle East beam.
NSS 6 95E 11679 V "Al-Islah TV" has left .
NSS 6 95E 12535 V "Splash" is FTA.
Thaicom 3 78.5E Apna Channel has started testing on 3480 H and 3520 H, Fta, PIDs 516/644.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "Apna Channel" has started testing on , Fta, PIDs 521/740.
Telstar 10 76.5E 3760 H "ATV Turkiye" has started on , Fta, PIDs 259/515.
There's plenty of movement in the world of ethnic broadcasting.
Mike Boulos, founder of the defunct ethnic pay TV group Television & Radio Broadcast Services (TARBS), is planning a new pay TV venture; regional pay TV group Austar has picked up TARBS's Italian and Greek channels; and Foxtel has been busy reassuring subscribers to its Italian and Greek channels that those services are secure.
But despite all the activity, the word from TARBS's receivers, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is that nobody wants to buy TARBS's 60,000 subscribers in 14 different language groups across Australia.
TARBS had been broadcasting its 65-channel service via satellites owned by PanAmSat. Last month, PanAmSat, TARBS's largest creditor, decided to appoint PwC as receivers to the group after two months of discussions with Mr Boulos to renegotiate an estimated $US2.4 million debt.
(Craigs comment, no surprise here what use is a list of subscribers to obscure ethnic channels if you don't also have the rights to broadcast them)
Foxtel mellows on extra channels
PAY-TV group Foxtel has softened its hardline stance against rival free TV networks providing several channels on a single digital TV signal - but on the proviso the federal Government ends restrictions on sports broadcasting.
The move, which is the first major concession in the critical digital TV debate, was outlined in Foxtel's submission to the federal Government's review of multi-channelling.
Free TV networks such as Seven, Nine and Ten are not allowed to offer extra channels on their digital TV signals until at least 2007.
Foxtel now says it will not oppose so-called multi-channelling in 2008 "as long as it is introduced as part of a balanced deregulation of the TV broadcasting regime".
Multi-channelling has been suggested as a way of accelerating the free TV sector's slow take-up of digital technology, but has always been opposed by the pay-TV industry due to the competitive threat.
Since 2001, only 410,000 Australian homes have converted their free TVs to digital, while the pay-TV sector has converted more than 500,000 subscribers to digital in six months.
But Foxtel - which is 25 per cent owned by News Limited (publisher of NEWS.com.au) and 25 per cent owned by Nine Network owner Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd - now argues a 2008 start date for multi-channelling would give pay-TV four years to establish its $550 million investment in digital pay-TV.
That compares with the six-year ban on new competition given to the free TV networks when they launched their digital signals in 2001.
"Any regulatory change in relation to 'free' multi-channelling must give subscription TV an equitable opportunity to that given to the commercial TV networks to establish their digital investments," Foxtel said.
But Foxtel remains opposed to any subscription multi-channelling by the free TV networks.
The federal Government is now extending the anti-siphoning regime, which restricts the number of sports able to be shown on pay-TV, until 2010.
Foxtel wants that period reduced so a fairer playing field, which includes multi-channelling, can begin.
"To give the networks the new advantage of multi-channelling, without first correcting the inequity of the anti-siphoning system, would ... multiply the destructive impacts of the system on competition from subscription TV," it said.
Foxtel had no opinion on whether a fourth free TV network should start, but said any new station should have time to become established before existing TV networks could multi-channel.
"Otherwise these (existing) broadcasters will be given an even greater first-mover advantage over the fourth network," it said.
The Seven, Nine and Ten networks also released their multi-channelling submissions yesterday, reiterating their divided opinions on the issue.
Nine remains opposed to all multi-channelling, saying it would reduce the quality of existing TV services.
Seven "strongly supports" both free and subscription multi-channelling and says it will have "no significant impact on existing free TV or pay-TV broadcasters".
Ten wants to offer subscription multi-channels but opposes free multi-channelling.
Harmonic Advances the Art of Next-Generation Standard and High Definition Encoding at IBC2004
From Press Release (Slightly edited)
SUNNYVALE, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- Aug. 25, 2004 -- At IBC2004 which is to be held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, September 10 - 14, Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq:HLIT) will demonstrate advances in the development of digital video solutions based on next-generation codecs. A series of Harmonic's DiviCom(R) MV 100 encoding platforms, running either SMPTE VC-9 or MPEG-4 AVC, will compress video in real-time and seamlessly interoperate with recently introduced third-party set-top boxes. This is the first major European event where Harmonic will show side-by-side MV 100 systems utilizing the new codecs.
The DiviCom MV 100 will also be presented within solutions for digital terrestrial (DVB-T) and satellite broadcasting (DVB-S), video-over-xDSL, and stored content applications such as video-on-demand. The MV 100 has set the benchmark for MPEG-2 bit-rate efficiency and video quality while providing a straightforward path to the next-generation codecs that reduces the total cost of ownership.
Harmonic will showcase the new DiviCom Ion(TM) multichannel MPEG-2 encoder. Ion's compact and modular architecture enables operators to deliver four times the digital channels from a one rack-unit (1RU) encoder while maintaining high levels of video quality. A particularly attractive solution for DVB-T, Ion gives operators a more cost-effective way to provision a combination of local and national programming, increasing their overall revenue potential. At the same time, Ion's IP output capability permits cable and telecom operators to realize increased flexibility while reducing their deployment and operational costs.
A leading provider of high definition (HD) solutions, Harmonic will be presenting HD in both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC formats. To simplify the introduction of HD services, Harmonic will demonstrate how HD and SD encoding systems can be mixed within the same statistical multiplexing pool, essential to bandwidth sensitive networks as well as cable operators seeking to maximize channel carrying capacity of their network.
Other solutions to be featured in the Harmonic Inc. stand include:
-- Video-on-demand based on the industry leading NSG 9000 edgeQAM and the 10-Gb/s GIGALight digital DWDM transmission system, which has earned the title "biggest contributor to the future of content delivery."
-- Video overlay for passive optical networks (PON) and Ethernet fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP/FTTH) environments. Using this architecture, operators will be able to efficiently transport a complete line-up of analog and/or digital broadcast television, including 250 or more HD channels.
-- A network operations center (NOC) based on Harmonic's NMX Digital Service Manager(TM) which controls and monitors both Harmonic and third-party equipment. In addition to managing broadcast services, NMX provides the most comprehensive management of VOD services from the headend to transport equipment and edge devices distributed throughout the network. NMX has been deployed by satellite, cable, terrestrial and telecom operators worldwide.
-- A compact and fully integrated DVB-compliant Digital Turnaround solution that permits operators to quickly and cost-effectively introduce and expand their pay-TV services.
-- Distributed digital program insertion (DPI) using Harmonic's award-winning DiviCom encoders, NMX Digital Service Manager and Terayon DM-6400 Digital Splicer. This standards-based end-to-end solution helps DVB-T and cable operators meet regulatory requirements and strengthen customer relationships by delivering localized content.
ISRO`s re-entry vehicle by 2015
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will take the first step to develop its own space shuttle, a Re-entry Launch Vehicle Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD), in about five years time by 2010.
G Madhavan Nair, chairman, ISRO and also chairman - Space Commission & Secretary to Government of India, Department of Science, told the Eighteenth NAL Foundation Day celebrations here today: “The RLV-TD is aimed at demonstrating the ability to make a launch craft re-enter the atmosphere at hypersonic (above Mach 10) speeds, slow it down subsequently, and make it land like a normal aircraft. The conceptual design has been completed and work will soon start on making the craft."
It will subsequently form part of a two stage to orbit (TSTO) re-entry launch vehicle capability to be developed by 2015, which will enable ISRO to reuse launch vehicles for launching satellites at low cost.
The RLV-TD will possess wings and tail fins, and will be launched atop a solid booster, similar to the ones on the PSLV. The booster will then separate and fall away, and the craft will go on to make an unpowered ascent.
It will then re-enter the atmosphere at hypersonic speed, which will be slowed down using aerodynamic breaking techniques. It will be brought to a gliding, unpowered cruise speed of about 0.8 mach, and slowed down further to make a horizontal landing.
The craft will have materials designed to withstand the high temperatures of re-entry carbon in the nose, thermal protection in the upper fuselage, and ceramic tiles in the lower fuselage.
In the TSTO concept targeted for 2015, the winged re-entry vehicle and the rocket booster will be separately recovered, with the booster making a parachute landing.
Nair further underlined the need to develop a hypersonic wind tunnel facility in the country (the existing ones are supersonic) which will enable testing of models of aircraft designed to fly at hypersonic speed.
The TSTO concept was more feasible than the much talked about SSTO (single stage to orbit) concept, which might take time till 2050 for any country in the world to develop, he said.
In the path towards developing the RLV-TD, ISRO will be launching a 500 kg 're-entry capsule’ next year, a small satellite which will then be brought back to earth.
It will be launched along with CARTOSAT-2, by PSLV, sometime in late 2005 or early 2006.
The project will try out important re-entry technology, which will cover the issues like precise control of the angle of entry into the atmosphere, materials technology to minimise the chance of burn-up at the high temperatures generated during re-entry, and control of the spacecraft to ensure its landing at the desired spot on the ground.
New comedy channel from the Zee group
Ludhiana, August 24: Come September 3, get set to watch the country’s first comedy channel titled Smile TV, from the Zee group.
Till recently, Smile TV was available on Direct-to-home Dish TV. With the cable telecast, it will be open to all viewers. The channel has been positioned distinctly as a 24-hour fun and entertainment channel.
Smile TV aims to offer wholesome fun and entertainment for all age groups, said a Zee official.
(Craigs comment, FTA on Asiasat 3 at the moment)
Things are very quiet. There have been a few reports of firms trying to sell TVChile via B3! don't get sucked in. A reminder the so called "UBI" channels are nothing more than test signals. Do not hand over any money for them yet.
Optus B3 12501H sr 30000 Fec 7/8 has a signal unknown
Data snooping? suggested freq Telstar 18 138E 4040H
From my Emails & ICQ
Just to let u know....3.7m KTI with dual C/KU feed in the lower south west
of WA...81% and 90% on the fortec..
Fine here in Perth on 1.8m...lots of signal.
Test pattern still on at the moment.
From Steve Hume
St1 88E 3484V sr 2408
ABtv1 - VPID - 512, APID - 650, PCR 8190
ABtv2 - VPID - 513, APID - 660, PCR 8190
ABtv2 shows mainly test cards with "ABtv2 Buddhism & National News"
Sometimes a readers comes up. Looks like a Thai channel by the writing
on the bottom of screen.
From Steve Hume
Latest Telstar 18 scan
Frequency Pole Symbol Usage
3590 V 37500
3665 H 3615 China Stockmarket TV
3670 H 3350
3677 H 2498
3760 H 24812
3786 H 4996
3866 H 4289 VSat01
3869 V 4996
3889 H 2222 Loads as radio/data
4040 H 24812
From the Dish
No Lyngsat update
St 1 88E 3484 V sr 2408 2 new channels loading (Weak to Australia, strong in Thailand)
Murdoch's media vision
Rupert Murdoch says his grand plans to delist in Australia and reincorporate News Corp in America will provide a better deal for investors. John Durie reports.
Rupert Murdoch is prepared to predict the next media revolution and he is confident his News Corporation will be in the vanguard.
The future is the personal video recorder, and he reckons this gadget will rewrite the rules and the media winners and losers. He expects News to be a winner.
In Australia last week to cajole and persuade investors that his grand plans to delist in Australia and reincorporate News as a United States-listed company is a better deal for them, Rupert Murdoch finished his week-long tour with a meeting with Kim Williams, who runs Foxtel, of which News owns 25 per cent.
To Mr Williams the PVR is a "category killer" that will "end forever the thought that there is nothing on television because what's on TV will be what you choose to watch".
Foxtel owns the technology in Australia, so he probably would say that. Yet Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan could not agree more. The way the PVR works in Australia is that by clicking the remote control on Foxtel's electronic programming guide, viewers can tape up to a month ahead, and two or more programmes can be taped while they are watching another taped programme.
The same remote will allow you to pause programming and fast forward through advertisements. The concept is not new earlier versions that allow you to pre-record up to 150 hours of programmes have been in existence for five years, but Rupert Murdoch argues "technology is making them better and easier to use". Penetration rates are low with 3.5 million homes using them in the United States and 300,000 in Britain using the BSkyB system that will be the Foxtel model.
The Yankee Group predicts a 20 per cent penetration in the US by 2007, so while it's a stretch to call it a mass-market product yet, advertisers and broadcasters are watching the space carefully.
In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, both Rupert and Lachlan extolled the virtues of PVR, which they argue is compatible with their huge investment in satellite technology. "They are a fantastic equaliser for satellite in the technology race with cable because they bring the memory and technology into the home, bypassing the need to spend billions of dollars laying cable," Lachlan says.
Rupert Murdoch is equally convinced. "I think they will become ubiquitous. People won't have loyalty to a particular channel. They'll hear about programes on some unheard-of channel and watch that."
Like any technology, it comes with its risks to incumbents but Lachlan says: "For us, it will be a big plus because we carry 850 hours of news a week and live sport, which people want to watch live."
He added no doubt with his investment in the US Fox television network in mind that "the negative, of course, is that network loyalty diminishes and we have to make better programes". "But people watch news and sport live and this means advertisers will want to spend more money on those programmes and they are two areas we specialise in."
Product placement is an obvious alternative. Lachlan used the example of Coca-Cola "which gives us a lot of money for American Idol". "People sit on Coke colour couches with Coke colour sets drinking Coca-Cola."
"People won't have loyalty to a particular channel. They'll hear about programmes on some unheard-of channel and watch that."
US studies show the 18 to 39-year-old demographic is the big user of PVRs and is overwhelmingly the age group that will fast-forward through the ads when they can. In the US, News Corp has every base covered from programming through its Fox Films to its free-to-air broadcast network and via DirecTV.
In Australia, Foxtel is the only broadcast vehicle that News has an interest in, and if both Rupert Murdoch and Mr Williams are right, its monopoly control of the capital city pay television market will only get stronger.
The Seven and Ten networks, while still arguing over the terms under which they will join with Nine and SBS to grant re-transmission rights to Foxtel, will add their programmes to Mr Williams's favourite device the EPG which, to the non-converted, is an electronic programming guide.
Once all the networks sign on, Foxtel's digital box will be the device through which people will watch television and once it has its remote controls in more homes, Mr Williams gets to sell them more products and programmes to enhance their viewing experience. He will control what Madison Avenue advertising executives call "the most valuable square foot in America" the set-top box.
Foxtel sells them for between A$48.95 (NZ$52.80) and A$94.95 a month and it is through channel choice and applications such as interactive games and pause buttons that Mr Williams argues it will grab more share.
Rupert Murdoch's fight for a greater percentage of the consumer wallet space puts him in direct conflict with his Foxtel partners, the Packer controlled PBL and Telstra who, in different ways, are preparing for the fight.
Telstra is pushing its "DVD on demand" product as a direct competitor to Foxtel, but it also wins if the latter is successful through its 50 per cent ownership.
The concept of convergence has dominated the global media industry for the past two decades, yet free-to-air television is confident. The US experience has shown that with more differentiation and more products on offer, free-to-air has remained the sure way to reach a mass market.
Pay television calls 2 per cent audience share a success, and while free-to-air obviously loses some eyeballs, the fact is that though during the past decade US free-to-air broadcast share has fallen below 50 per cent, advertising revenue has increased exponentially.
When video recorders first emerged, they were said to spell the end of film. Now DVDs threaten pay television because they get first grab of the new films. Companies such as News Corp earn half their film revenues from DVD sales.
Network Ten has proved it is possible to dominate Sunday night television viewing by running cop shows instead of movies that not so long ago were treated as sure winners by the networks but are seen by Ten as a filler when there is nothing else to run.
However, Rupert Murdoch argues: "I haven't heard anyone who has their own recorder who doesn't rave about them, and, what's more, surveys have shown those who have one watch 10 per cent more television."
He left Australia confident that he had convinced investors of the merits of his plan to change News Corp's domicile to the US. The News camp cautions that approval is not a sure thing and will keep pushing till the vote at the company's annual meeting in late October in Adelaide.
China to test digital TV in 2 years
BEIJING, Aug. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- A senior official says China will test digital terrestrial and satellite TVs within the next two years.It will elimiate the analogue TV transmissions in 2015.
Vice Minister of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, Zhang Haitao, told a meeting in Beijing that China will develop a signal transmission standard before testing the digital terrestrial TV system at the end of this year. China Radio International reported Wednesday.
Testing on the digital satellite TV will begin after the launch of a satellite for direct broadcasting either next year or in the first half of 2006. .
China has decided to eliminate the analogue TV transmissions in 2015.
(Craigs comment, and still no word on any NZ Digital tv plan...)
HK PRESS: Guangdong State Media Firm To Buy 10% In ATV
HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Guangdong's Southern Broadcasting Media Group will buy a 10% stake in Hong Kong's free-to-air television operator Asia Television for 200 million yuan (US$1=CNY8.28), the South China Morning Post reports.
The report, citing unnamed sources, doesn't name the seller of the stake. Southern Broadcasting is controlled by the Guangdong branch of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.
Pro-Beijing businessman Chan Wing-kee, ATV's chief executive, now owns 46% in ATV. Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings (8002.HK) Chairman Liu Changle controls 42% of ATV, the paper says.
Years ago, Cyril Viguier, a French television journalist, fell in love with the lifestyle of those who live by the beach in Southern California. He was determined to live here one day. He and his family now enjoy their beach residence and the lifestyle that accompanies it.
Cyril Viguier wanted to share these images that so affected him with young people around the world. We can't imagine that what we take for granted would make such an impression on teens in Asia, for example, but it does.
"It's a new world," Cyril Viguier describes. What exists now in the realm of television didn't exist years ago. People dream about the lifestyle in Malibu. We provide images of the beach culture, fashion, sports, travel, events, restaurants, education, music and more on videos shot in Malibu. The videos are short, patterned after those on MTV.
"We are going all over Asia with a major satellite company called ASIASAT," Cyril Viguier explains. Via cable and satellite feeds, AsiaSat3S takes Malibu Television to 25 million homes across Asia. The shows are run locally on Charter and Adelphia cable.
Described as a radical departure from traditional programming, the images balance adrenaline-pumping action to up-close profiles of surfing superstars, innovative three-five minute original segments that present the viewer with looks into the worlds of ecology, music, travel and fashion.
"I read all over that Americans are unpopular. That's not true," Cyril Viguier states. "The lifestyle dreams of people around the world are reflected in our shows. They demonstrate that everything is possible. We get feedback from China, Indonesia and Japan," he continues.
"Thousands of segments of California dreams are shot every day. The lifestyle here is #1. We promote real life-styles 'edutainment,' we call it. We get the help of local residents to send a strong message on environmental issues, for instance.
"In the future, we hope to create new channels to distribute these positive images to more states in our country and around the world. It is also important to have faces - identities reflecting the lifestyle. We are constantly trying to find young people to promote the images.
"Now there are 800 channels on a satellite dish. We are in competition for attention. Viewers eat television in a new way."
In January of next year, Cyril Viguier is planning to launch the Malibu Film Surf Festival. This will be yet another way to share the Malibu lifestyle with even more viewers.
Channels Fight A Cricket War
MUMBAI, AUG 24: A fierce bidding war for the lucrative rights to broadcast international cricket matches in India has pitted a deep-pocketed sports network against the country's biggest listed media firm.
Up for grabs are broadcast rights for all matches organised by the Indian cricket board over four years starting in October, a bigger share of the expanding TV advertising pie and more subscriptions in the world's third-largest cable TV market.
Zee Telefilms Ltd, India's third-ranked network, emerged as the surprise highest bidder with an offer of $260 million. Its shares have gained more than 15 per cent since the bids were made public last week.
But ESPN-Star Sports (ESS), a joint venture of Walt Disney Inc and News Corp that offered $230 million, has opposed Zee's bid on the grounds that the company did not have the required experience in broadcasting live cricket. Zee disputes that.
"General entertainment networks are looking to use cricket to drive the ratings and advertising on their other channels," said RC Venkateish, managing director of ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, which provides programming to ESS. "But we are a sports channel--this is our bread and butter."
Bids from Sony Corp, Dubai-based Ten Sports and state-owned Prasar Bharati were much lower.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to award the broadcasting rights later this month.
BATTING FOR RICHES
Cricket corners three-quarters of sports advertising spending in India and draws millions of viewers. Air time during the recent India-Pakistan series sold at Rs 200,000-300,000 ($4,300-$6,500) per 10 seconds.
Zee wants a share of the spoils.
"Cricket is an exceptionally positive property-- we have bid for cricket events in the past, as there's a lot of ad money to be had and eyeballs to target," said Ashish Kaul, a vice president of brand development at Essel Group, which owns Zee.
Sony Entertainment pocketed more than $43 million from advertising during last year's cricket World Cup after paying an estimated $225 million for rights to ICC matches until 2007.
The historic India-Pakistan series in March brought ad revenues of about Rs 1.2 billion to Ten Sports and the recent Asia Cup in Colombo generated nearly Rs 750 million for ESS.
ESS earns more than $60 million from subscriptions in India and has rights to six of the 10 test-playing nations.
Zee owns India's largest cable distribution unit, Siticable, which reaches 5 million of the 48 million cable homes, and the sole direct-to-home platform, Dish TV, with 150,000 subscribers.
Zee does not have a sports channel, but has said it will launch one next year. Adding cricket now will increase Zee's clout with local cable distributors and drive domestic and overseas subscription revenues, analysts say.
Research firm Media Partners Asia estimates India's cricket-related ad market at more than $70 million a year. Cable TV advertising is expected to grow more than 10 per cent this year.
Analysts say the BCCI rights would strengthen Zee's cable and direct-to-home platforms, and provide greater stability to its domestic pay-TV revenues. Zee, once the top network, now trails Star and Sony in advertising and subscription revenues.
"But Zee will have to drive subscription and other revenues to justify the price," said Sanjeev Prasad at Kotak Securities.
"Advertisement revenues alone (about Rs 4-5 billion over four years) may be insufficient," he said.
Turner game for sports tie up with Zee
NEW DELHI: Even as Zee Telefilms Ltd and ESPN-STAR Sports remain embroiled in a fight for the BCCI cricket rights, a top international media company has also shown keen interest in the game.
According to top sources, Time Warner’s arm Turner International Asia Pacific has made a joint venture offer to Zee Telefilms, under which it has proposed that in case Zee wins Indian cricket’s telecast rights, it will partner the media group to launch a sports channel for the Asia Pacific region.
When contacted, Zee Telefilms vice-president Ashish Kaul confirmed the receipt of a letter from Turner International Asia Pacific head Steve Marcopoto, but declined to divulge details. “We have received a letter from Turner International Asia Pacific in which the media company has congratulated our chairman (Subhash Chandra) for emerging as the top bidder for BCCI rights. We can’t disclose anything further,” he said.
Sources, however, said that the Turner International Asia Pacific head has made a categorical offer in the letter for the joint launch of a sports channel.
Incidentally, Turner Broadcasting System, the holding company of Turner International Asia Pacific, does not have a sports channel of its own in the region, but the group owns quite a few prestigious and popular sports properties internationally.
The media company owns NBA rights, US Professional Golfers’ Association rights, the top US motor sports property called Nascar and quite a few boxing events.
The sources said that the Time Warner company has said that a sports channel with access to the best domestic and international sports properties will be a winning proposition for both the media groups.
Sources in Zee Telefilms said that the media group is also quite upbeat about the offer. “It’s a win-win proposition for us. Along with the BCCI rights, the best of international sports events will help us expedite our plan to launch a global sports network,” a source said.
Zee Telefilms and Turner International already have a distribution joint venture in India under which all Zee and Turner channels are collectively distributed to cable operators across the country.
The distribution JV was signed in 2002. Turner International operates three channels in India: Cartoon Network and Pogo, which are both kids channels, and news channel CNN.
The Board for Control of Cricket in India had recently invited bids for the telecast rights of the international matches that India will play in the next four years. Zee Telefilms had emerged as the highest bidder with an offer of $260 million.
Live satellite chat in the chatroom tonight 9p.m NZ and 8.30p.m Syd time onwards
First KU signals reported from Asiasat 4 on the Australia /NZ? Beam
I have not had a decent look for it here. But No sign of it when I drove the 76cm down on the moteck. It may just be that the low end of my Ku arc is a little out of alignment. I will take a better look for it tomorrow. Satfacts magazine a while ago suggested a 1.6M for Asiasat 4 ku in NZ. Yet other info I had from Asiasat said a 76cm would be fine for reception in NZ.
ATV Turkey has appeared on B3 12701 V Tarbs/UBI mux
OLYMPICS page updated
For those reading in Asia
Telstar 18 138E 12477 V Sr 41246 Fec 1/2 China beam
CCTV TEST in HDTV! perhaps testing for the Olympics closing ceremony.
Some pics here http://www.tvrobbs.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2970
The below readings off a satellite tuner card.
CCTVSI Default Service2008 16x9
Video Mode: Bob
Display Mode: DirectShow
FourCC Code: YV12
Surface Type: Hardware Video Accelerator (DxVA)
Video compression mode: MPEG-2
TV system: 625/50 (PAL)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Display Mode: Both Pan&scan and Letterbox
Source picture resolution: 1920x1088 (625/50)
Frame Rate: 25.00
Source picture letterboxed: Not letterboxed
Audio Coding mode: MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 without extension bitstream
Sampling Rate: 48kHz
Audio application mode: Not specified
Number of Audio channels: 2
Bitrate: 384 Kbps
Number of Audio streams: 1
From my Emails & ICQ
From Jason Wu (Who found it first)
Dear Craig and All apsattvers,
I found a test card on 12333V, SR5878, FEC 3/4.
It's uplinked from Sydney. See attachment.
The signal is very strong using 65cm in Melbourne.The position is above As3S, I guess it is from either As4 or Jcsat3, maybe on the OZ/NZ beam!
Jason Wu (meltvro)
Very strong in Mackay, 94% ID Digital, 1.2m 15 segment wood dish and cheap Jonsa LNBF.
got it here
test pattern australian dth services
aus dth channel name
12331 v 5878 3/4 v 308 a 256 pcr8190
40% signal level
on a hummy with moteck
84%S 85% Q on 90 and motek in Cairns
Also Palapa C2
FLY AWAY CARGO VAN....3921 H 3500 is a news feed channel, and has been
active a couple of times in the last day or two
Bangladesh TV on AsiaSat3S shows live Olympics every night.
BTV on As3s
3725 V 4450 SR
Also Insat2E DD channels
DD Chandana is showing Aus-Ind Cricket from Holland
DD Punjab is showing Olympics Men's volleyball Rus-Ita
DD Kolkatta is showing Weightlifting
From Head Gun
Craig, just wanted you too know that
samanyolu tv has been on b3 for about 1 week
kanal 7 has been on for 3 days and also there is bktv
just telling you this because you and lyngsat havent said anything
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E 12691 H New PIDs for BBC World, Mad TV and Mazzika on : 521/649-523/651.
PAS 8 166E 12575 H "DZMM - Radyo Patrol and WRR 101.9 For Life" have started on , Fta,APIDs 85 and 87.
Optus B3 152E 12701 H "Kanal 7 and Samanyolu TV" have started on , fta, PIDs 518/646 and 519/647.
Telstar 18 138E 12402 V A D-Sky mux has started on , SR 22425, FEC 5/6, Chinese beam, same line-up and PIDs as on Telstar 10: 12493 H.
Palapa C2 113E Updates in True World TV, Viaccess:
CCTV 5 has replaced SuperSport 3 on 11132 V, PIDs 176/177.
MTV China has left 11472 V.
J Wave Satellite TV 3 has replaced Fashion TV India on 11472 V, PIDs 2701/2702.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3880 H Radio Sout Al-Sha'ab, El-Bernameg Al-Aam, Sudan Radio, Al-Nour Radio,Radio Omdurman Holy Koran and Qatar Radio have started on , Fta, APIDs 1512-1612 and 2112-2412.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H The KTN info card and Thai TV Global Network (PIDs 525/5644) have left ,replaced by test cards.
Satellite project grounded
Telecom has ditched plans for a national satellite broadband service following its failure to secure the Government's Project Probe funding.
The Government recently awarded its provincial broadband extension tender to Auckland internet provider Iconz, which has secured a deal with Thai-based satellite operator Shin Satellite.
Shin is in the process of launching a satellite that will service New Zealand and the rest of the Pacific.
Telecom was keen to use the satellite to reach the 5 per cent of the country it cannot reach with broadband services via other means.
Now Telecom, which had also been negotiating with Shin, is ending its efforts and will direct customers interested in satellite services to its competitors, Iconz and Timaru-based provider BayCity, says Telecom's general manager of technology investment, Steven Crombie.
"We won't be servicing customers directly but will instead work with other providers to ensure they are catered for," he said. No contracts would be signed with Iconz or BayCity, but Telecom would ensure its customers were well taken care of.
"We don't want to be in the business of reselling a product so it's better for us to direct customers to these other providers."
Iconz general manager Sean Weekes said Telecom's move was a good one for Iconz and BayCity.
"There won't be a contract signed. It'll be more of an ad hoc arrangement, but it's all good news."
BayCity managing director Barry Payne said the company was on the verge of making an announcement about its relationship with Shin Satellite but was not prepared to comment until later in the week.
Iconz has signed a contract with Shin and will be offering services immediately. Shin plans to launch IP Star, one of the world's largest capacity telecommunications satellites, in February, but is already offering service via existing satellites.
BayCity is also expected to begin offering services shortly and will be targeting remote rural settlements.
BayCity originally worked with technology provider Ericsson and wireless network company BCL to provide internet services to Fonterra farmers. It has been working with Telecom since 2002 in rural New Zealand.
Shin is to spend $15 million building an earth station in Auckland to manage the satellite, which will offer service in New Zealand, Australia, India and most of Southeast Asia.
At Telecom's full-year profit announcement last month, chief operating officer Simon Moutter said he was disappointed about missing out on the Probe funding.
He said Iconz had put in a less sophisticated and cheaper proposal.
AUSTAR welcomes Australia's Italian and Greek communities with dedicated channels
From Press Release
AUSTAR announced today that from October 1, RAI and Antenna, the Italian
and Greek channels previously supplied into regional Australia by defunct
provider, TARBS, will be offered as part of the New AUSTAR Digital lineup.
"Italian and Greek Australians form the backbone of many of our regional
communities, and we're thrilled to announce that RAI and Antenna will soon
be available as part of the New AUSTAR Digital service," AUSTAR's Group
Director Corporate Development, Deanne Weir, said today. "New AUSTAR
Digital is about providing choice and value, and offering customers unique
experiences which they can't find elsewhere. To that end, we say
kalosorisate and benvenuto to our Greek and Italian friends and customers."
New AUSTAR Digital will offer RAI and Antenna free of charge to customers
in October and November. From December 1, the channels will be available as
special channel options for $13.95 per month.
"Over the years AUSTAR has invested more than one billion dollars in
providing services to regional and rural Australians, and we will continue
investing to provide valuable, innovative and unique services to our
customers," Ms. Weir continued.
Mr Tony Ishak, Managing Director of World Media International,
representative of RAI and ANTENNA in Australia, said, "We are delighted to
be a part of the New AUSTAR Digital service. There are many people in
regional Australia with an interest in Greek and Italian language and
culture, and our two channels will help them access those worlds regardless
of where they live."
RAI and Antenna will be available as part of the New AUSTAR Digital service
from October 1. To find out more, phone 132 432.
Loral's Powerful and Far-Reaching Telstar 18 Satellite Enters Full Commercial Service Over Asia
From Press Release (Slightly edited)
One of Asia's Most Advanced Satellites Will Provide a Host of Broadcast Video and Networking Services for Its Full 13-Year Design Life
NEW YORK, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Loral Space & Communications today announced that Telstar 18, a powerful and flexible satellite designed to provide communication services across Asia, has completed its in-orbit testing and is now fully operational.
"With Telstar 18 joining Telstar 10 over Asia, Loral now operates two of the most powerful and strategically placed satellites in that region," said Patrick Brant, president, Loral Skynet. "Telstar 18 covers a large area that stretches from Central Asia, through the Indian sub-continent, China, Korea, Japan, South East Asia, Australia and Hawaii. It offers our customers a strong footprint for intra-regional applications, as well as the ability to directly connect with the US."
Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) and operated by Loral Skynet, Telstar 18 was launched June 28, 2004 aboard a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket. During the launch, the rocket's upper stage shut down early and placed the satellite in a lower than expected orbit. Engineers from SS/L, however, were able to raise the satellite to its proper orbital position at 138 degrees East longitude. The satellite still has sufficient on-board fuel to exceed its specified 13- year life.
Telstar 18's users include well-known regional video and data providers, such as Smart Digital Communications Bhd, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and PSVN, Inc., which is based at the Hawaii Pacific Teleport. Loral's other satellite over Asia, Telstar 10/APSTAR-IIR, hosts one of the largest video communities in Asia at 76.5 degrees East longitude.
In addition to transmitting innovative new applications, cable programming and direct-to-home broadcasting services, Telstar 18 is scheduled to begin hosting Skynet's SkyReach(SM) two-way IP-based networking solution in 2005. SkyReach is already available and in use by customers throughout the Americas, allowing organizations to create an instant infrastructure using a VSAT network, connecting offices between cities or around the globe.
Telstar 18 carries a total of 54 active transponders, of which sixteen are high-power Ku-band transponders and thirty-eight are C-band transponders. In consideration for funding a portion of the satellite project's cost, APT Satellite Company Limited, Hong Kong, will initially use 68.5 percent of Telstar 18's transponder capacity for APSTAR-V services. The number of transponders used by APT will be reduced over time, ultimately to 54 percent of the satellite's capacity. For more information on APT, visit http://www.apstar.com.
Telstar 18 is a version of SS/L's space-proven 1300 satellite platform, which has an excellent record of reliable operation. The geostationary 1300 has a specified service life of 13 years and maintains station-keeping and orbital stability by using bipropellant propulsion and momentum-bias systems. In all, SS/L satellites have amassed more than 1,100 years of on-orbit service.
A pioneer in the satellite industry, Loral Skynet continues to deliver the superior service quality and range of satellite solutions that have made it an industry leader for more than 40 years. Through the broad coverage of the Telstar satellite fleet in combination with its hybrid VSAT/fiber global network infrastructure, Skynet is a source for all broadcast, data network, Internet access, IP and systems integration needs. Headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey, Loral Skynet is dedicated to providing secure, high-quality connectivity and communications. For more information, visit the Loral Skynet web site at http://www.loralskynet.com.
Space Systems/Loral is a premier designer, manufacturer, and integrator of powerful satellites and satellite systems. SS/L also provides a range of related services that include mission control operations and procurement of launch services. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company has an international base of commercial and government customers whose applications include broadband digital communications, direct-to-home broadcast, defense communications, environmental monitoring, and air traffic control. SS/L is ISO 9001:2000 certified. For more information, visit the Space Systems/Loral web site at http://www.ssloral.com.
Loral Skynet and Space Systems/Loral are both subsidiaries of Loral Space & Communications (OTC Bulletin Board: LRLSQ - News). For more information, visit the Loral Space & Communications web site at http://www.loral.com.
Fashion TV was seen on B3 Globecast earlier this afternoon loading as ETV
TVSN has left Sky NZ channel 45.
The Olympics page is looking pretty sad how about some reports? surely some FTA channels up in Asia are offering live FTA coverage?
All satellite pages have been updated
Cricket tonight on Insat 2E DD channel
Seen on the Forums
"OBAVE TAVAMO GLEDAOCE U AUSTRALIJI, AMERICI I KANADI DA JE BN TV POTPISALA UGOVOR SA NOVIM KOMPANIJAMA ZA DISTRIBUCIJU TV PROGRAMA. POCETAK EMITOVANJA OCEKUJE SE OKO 1. SEPTEMBRA. "
Roughly translated a new company signed contract to carry the "BN TV" signal from 1st of September.
Who are TV Plus PTY LTD ? supposedly to broadcast a Serbian channel September 1st onwards. Could it be the new Tarb's/UBI name?
Extracted from ASIC's database at 22:33:50 on 20/08/2004
Name TV PLUS INT PTY LTD
ACN 110 467 975
Type Australian Proprietary Company, Limited By Shares
Registration Date 11/08/2004
Next Review Date 11/08/2005
Locality of Registered Office Melbourne VIC 3000
Jurisdiction Australian Securities & Investments Commission
These are the documents that ASIC has most recently received from this organisation. Page numbers are shown if processing is complete and the document is available for purchase.
Date Number Pages Description
11/08/2004 020635863 8 201C Application For Registration as a Proprietary Company
END OF LIST
Also of interest
Extracted from ASIC's database at 22:42:30 on 20/08/2004
Name TV PLUS OPERATIONS COMPANY PTY LTD
ACN 110 294 294
Type Australian Proprietary Company, Limited By Shares
Registration Date 30/07/2004
Next Review Date 30/07/2005
Locality of Registered Office Melbourne VIC 3000
Jurisdiction Australian Securities & Investments Commission
These are the documents that ASIC has most recently received from this organisation. Page numbers are shown if processing is complete and the document is available for purchase.
Date Number Pages Description
30/07/2004 020635143 11 201C Application For Registration as a Proprietary Company
END OF LIST
Does anyone have any info on this?
From The Dish
From Steve Hume 22/08
Latest Telstar 18 scan
3590 V 37500
3665 H 3615 China Stockmarket TV
3670 H 3350
3760 H 24812
3786 H 4996
3866 H 4289 VSat01
3869 V 4996
3889 H 2222
4040 H 24812
Looks like 3889 and 3760 might have something interesting come up. Still
no loads/channels on the ones with no descriptions.
Also Bull Fights seen on
Telstar 18 - on VSat01 3886H 4289
From Stu Mcleod (NZ)
Hi Craig ,
You may have these details already , maybe not .
I realise some of the T18 stuff was listed before of the last few days , but I do find it frustrating when the FEC is not listed . So I went to the hassle and found these out for others who dont have Auto FEC .
Telstar 18 @ 138
Hz 3762 , 24797 , 7/8
Hz 3787 , 4998 , 2/3
Hz 3868 , 4289 , 3/4
Hz 3891 , 2222 , 3/4
Hz 3958 , 2498 . 2/3
Hz 4042 , 24797 , 7/8
Vt 3871 , 4998 , 1/2
AS-4 @ 122
Hz 3763 , 27715 , 7/8
Hz 4003 , 20000 , 1/2
Hz 4123 , 27495 , 3/4
Vt 3867 , 4298 , 3/4
Vt 4023 , 27495 , 3/4 - FTA + CA
Vt 4103 , 27495 , 3/4 FTA + CA
CAT has both Irdeto + NDS listed at present
From Mark Fahey
Yemen TV has joined the Arabs on Asiasat 3.
3880 H 25500 3/4
This time (unlike a few weeks ago) the service is actually Yemen TV.
Yemen Radio 1 & 2 have also joined the transponder.
Cricket series live from Holland Live on DD Bangla
Insat 2E 3832 V sr 6250
(Craigs comment, another game on tonight with Australia playing)
From Dharmesh Bamrolia
Hear and Enjoy the Very Best Hindi Tunes only on SAHARA SWAR!!!
Please note everybody that SAHARA SWAR (4 radio channels)
is playing the very best in Hindi tunes on its one of radio channel
on Asisat 3S, on freq.4020 V and s.r.27250.
Hear and enjoy the very best tunes ever only on SAHARA SWAR.
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E 12691 H "Test cards" have started on , Fta, PIDs 517/645-519/647.Some of the test cards are now encrypted.
Intelsat 701 180E 12691 H "BBC World" has started on , Fta, PIDs 520/648. Mad TV and Mazzika are now fta.
Asiasat3 105.5E 3880 H "Yemen Satellite TV" has started on Fta PIDs 1121/1122.
NSS 6 95E 12647 V "AIR Vividh Bharati" has started on , Fta APID 701.
Yamal 201 90E The REN TV mux has moved from 4041 R to 4028 R, SR 20255, FEC 3/4.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "A KTN info card" has started on , Fta, PIDs 524/770.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "Thai TV Global Network" has started on , Fta, PIDs 525/644.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "Thai TV Global Network, Tara, Sur Sangeet, KTN, the Apna test card, TVK,Radio Cambodia and Bangkok Radio 94 FM" have left .
Telstar 10 76.5E 3760 H "Kanal 7" has started on , Fta, PIDs 258/514.
Hezbollah TV channel still on air
A HEZBOLLAH-BACKED television channel is still being broadcast across Australia almost 12 months after an investigation into allegations that it was raising funds for the banned terrorist organisation and inciting hatred of Jews.
The Australian Broadcasting Authority told The Weekend Australian last night that it did not know Al-Manar was continuing to be broadcast in Australia.
The nation's telecommunications watchdog also admitted that its investigation into the Lebanese channel had still not been completed.
A spokesman for the ABA said the investigations had been given a "lower priority" because the company that initially provided the channel -- TARBS TV -- had taken it off the air.
At the time it was removed, it was Australia's second-most popular Arabic pay-TV channel.
"We will consider what action, if any, should be taken now," the spokesman said.
The ABA requested tapes of Al-Manar broadcasts after advertisements were seen that urged viewers to make donations to help the Palestinian cause, giving a bank account believed to be linked to Hezbollah.
The Australian arm of French-based telecommunciations group GlobeCast TV has been broadcasting Al-Manar via the Optus B3 satellite.
A spokesman for its Australian operations said Al-Manar was carried as a part of a package for GlobeCast. Viewers need only buy a $595 satellite dish and the program is available free.
Al-Manar is the mouthpiece of Hezbollah -- or the Party of God -- an Islamic Shia group formed in Lebanon in the mid-80s to fight the Israeli occupation of Lebanon.
The federal Government proscribed the militant arm of Hezbollah last year, calling it a terrorist group under the nation's new counter-terrorism laws. Anyone found belonging to, training, funding or recruiting members for the group could be jailed for up to 25 years.
Hezbollah, which is also banned in Britain, Canada and the US, has been blamed for launching suicide attacks against Israelis and US and Western targets.
Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Jeremy Jones said it was "outrageous" that Al-Manar was still being broadcast.
Mr Jones said the Al-Manar screening last year of a mini-series called al-Shatat, about a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world, was "a clear breach of standards".
"The way they describe Jews is designed to incite racial hatred," he said.
Mr Jones said the broadcasting authority should take more responsibility and check on what programs were being shown. "You should not be doing any favours for people promoting hatred just because they use new technology."
But telecommunications experts told The Weekend Australian yesterday that even if GlobeCast were forced to remove Al-Manar from its free-to-air program packages, it would be impossible to stop people tuning into the program with their own satellite dishes.
The broadcasting authority spokesman said it had no jurisdiction over programs broadcast from outside Australia.
(Craigs comment, a $595 satellite dish? Certainly a controversial channel I would like to see Globecast ditch it for something in English that people may actually want to watch such as NASA TV. That would add far more value to what the offer via their platform. But read that last line again "The broadcasting authority spokesman said it had no jurisdiction over programs broadcast from outside Australia")
Hezbollah-Linked Network Ordered to Comply
PARIS (AP) - France's highest administrative body on Friday ordered a Lebanese TV network linked to the anti-Israel group Hezbollah to adhere to broadcast regulations or face being banned from French airwaves.
The Council of State said a decision rests with France's media watchdog, the CSA, about whether to give Al-Manar network a license it needs to beam programs through a Paris-based satellite broadcaster.
The CSA had taken legal action to try to force Al-Manar to halt broadcasts through the satellite operator Eutelsat after Jewish groups complained the network had aired an anti-Semitic series.
The council decision means the door remains open for Al-Manar to show that it will follow French law. If the agency ultimately rejects the newtwork, Eutelsat will be forced to stop transmitting the network's programs.
The 29-part series, ``Al-Shatat,'' was produced in Syria and broadcast throughout the Middle East by Hezbollah. Based on ``The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,'' it depicts among other scenes the killing of a Christian child on the orders of a rabbi so the blood can be baked into matzos for Passover.
An Al-Manar lawyer on Thursday acknowledged the broadcast was unfortunate. ``Al-Manar broadcast a series that everyone recognizes was of an inadmissible nature,'' said attorney Denis Garreau.
But Lebanon's Foreign Ministry has defended the network, saying the station's programs condemn the policies of Israeli governments but are not racist or critical of Jews or their faith.
The United States lists Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, linked to Shiite militants who carried out suicide bombing attacks and kidnapped Americans in Lebanon in the 1980s
Sky NZ to start DVD service
Pay TV operator Sky has a $15-million-a-year business opportunity in its sights with plans to launch an internet-based DVD rental service that will compete with its own movie channels.
The venture, disclosed with the company's $35.3 million profit last week, is being set up to muscle in on the market occupied by rental chains such as Video Ezy, which are able to release movie titles before Sky gains access to them.
Sky's chief executive, John Fellet, said the service would allow Sky subscribers to pay a flat fee each month for which they would be sent a number of DVDs that they would return in a pre-paid envelope.
But a number of small companies have a head start on Sky. Auckland-based www.fatso.co.nz is already operating on the model Sky is pursuing.
Fatso's Robert Berman said there was a "definite window" of opportunity to reach the movie audience before Sky and it was only a matter of time before the pay TV operator moved in.
"I'm not surprised, there are other companies looking at this space as well," he said. Fatso offers an all-you-can-eat monthly DVD subscription for $40 and is starting an advertising campaign to attract subscribers.
Berman said Fatso would compete on quality of service.
Fellet said the economics of the movie industry meant the pay TV operators were unlikely to get to screen movies at the same time as the rental chains any time soon.
"The studios make so much money off the DVD segment that they don't want to destroy that market."
Sky made the bulk of its $441 million in revenue for the year to June 30 from pay TV subscriptions, but has been trying to open new revenue streams. It has dabbled in interactive TV services and introduced pay-on-demand movies, which contribute about $15 million a year revenue.
Fellet said the DVD rental business had the potential to deliver a similar amount. "It's less than 5 per cent of our revenue but that's not to say it isn't a nice healthy piece of business."
Fellet said: "Similar to pay-per-view, it will cannibalise our movie channel and it will cannibalise our pay-per-view a bit. But, at the end of the day, we think we have an advantage in that we know a great deal of people that like movies."
Macquarie analyst Stephen Freundlich said Sky was moving to counter the major disadvantage of playing second fiddle to the cinemas and rental chains in receiving content. "By the time they get it, they're third cab off the rank. Maybe they're trying to take one step back in that chain and catch some of that revenue a bit earlier."
Sky's move mirrors that of major media players who are attacking the market share of large rental chains such as BlockBuster.
"It's terribly ironic to me that with today's technology it's economically more feasible to mail you two DVDs than it is to download the movies," Fellet said. "It's like we're going backwards technology-wise but that's the way the economic model works right now."
Infrastructure players such as Telecom, a partner of Sky's, have talked about delivering movies over phone lines on a "video-on-demand" model. Fellet said the DVD mail-out service was a stop-gap until the market tipped in the favour of instant-access technologies such as video on demand.
(Craigs comment, It looks like Sky are trying to make up for having mediocre movie channels. So If you can't beat em join em.)
Sky audience jumps 9pc
Ratings for subscriber network Sky Television have leaped at the expense of the major free-to-air channels, viewer figures released by ACNielsen reveal.
Channel share ratings for a variety of age groups in the Auckland region and nationally show the network's ratings have risen by up to 9 per cent in the past year, a huge leap for an industry that equates each point to about $6.5 million in earnings.
Figures for the 20-year-old to 54-year-old group in the Auckland region show the Sky channels attracted a daily average of 22 per cent of the viewing audience between January and July, the same as TV3.
The same results show a drop in channel share for the major free-to-air stations - TV1, TV2 and TV3 - of up to 6 per cent each for the same period compared with January to July last year.
Sky Television chief executive John Fellet said Sky's growth reflected international trends towards pay TV, but attributed most of the rise to the popularity of new services, the Disney and History channels and UKTV.
According to the network's annual report, released yesterday, Sky subscribers increased by almost 34,000 to 576,602 in the past 12 months.
About 85 per cent of Sky customers are residential digital subscribers.
Britain's BSkyB this month announced it had attracted 81,000 new subscribers to its base of 7.4 million between April and June.
Mr Fellet said more than 40 per cent of New Zealand homes now had either Sky's digital or UHF service and total subscriptions had been growing by an average of 2.5 per cent each year.
While pleased with the, he said it would not necessarily suck advertising revenue from thefree-to-air channels.
"We get less advertising than the number of eyeballs we attract should deserve, but people watching Sky don't want to be swamped with ads. So our ratings probably won't affect the other channels too much.
"We have a different focus - it's not better or worse than what they're doing, it's just different."
Mr Fellet predicted a 50 per cent increase in subscriptions over the next 10 years.
"Given our steady growth and looking at the United States where 80 per cent of homes have pay TV, I'd say we have a long way to go before we slow down."
Peter Myles, media director for advertising agency Colenso BBDO, said the growth of pay television in this country was expected, although Sky's recent success had taken many by surprise.
But improving ratings did not necessarily mean increasing advertising revenue.
"When you talk about Sky, you talk about a multitude of channels," he said. "So it's not so easy to buy a good spot for your ad.
"Do people stick around to watch the ads between the movies? I'm not so sure."
TVNZ spokeswoman Avon Adams suggested the figures reflected growing diversity within the industry.
Roger Beaumont, TV3's head of communications, said the channel was not concerned about Sky's performance - provided TV3 ratings remained strong in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic.
DD to telecast Videocon Cup cricket matches live
NEW DELHI: Doordarshan will telecast live the ''Videocon Cup super challenge 2004'' to be played between India, Australia and Pakistan in Amsterdam in Holland from Saturday to August 28.
All the four matches will be telecast live on National channel (dd1) starting from Saturday? India-Pakistan tie from 1355 hrs IST to 2215 hrs (or till the end of the match).
India will take on Australia on August 23 while Pakistan will meet the world champions on August 25.
The finals will be played on August 28.
Edusat launch on September 20: ISRO
Bangalore, Aug 22. (PTI): The launch of India's first education satellite Edusat is slated for September 20 on board the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) from the spaceport of Sriharikota.
"The launch window will be open from September 20 to 30," Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation G Madhavan Nair told reporters after delivering the Prof Brahm Prakash Memorial Lecture here on Saturday.
ISRO officials said if everything goes well, Edusat would be launched on September 20 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR, Sriharikota, some 80 kms north of Chennai.
The Edusat programme, according to ISRO, is planned to provide a sustainable distance education service in India using advanced space and ground based technology.
The system is primarily meant for school, college and higher level education and would also support non-formal education, the Bangalore-headquartered space agency said.
Earlier, delivering the lecture on "India's advanced space missions - challenges in materials development" at the Indian Institute of Science here, Nair said: "ISRO hopes that Edusat will bring about a revolution in the field of education in the country in the coming years."
He spoke about the role of Edusat in the context of dearth of teachers in the country.
The spacecraft would have five spot beams in Ku band, one national beam each in Ku band and extended C band (six channels), the ISRO Chairman added.
No update Sunday
No update Saturday
End of a messy week sorry about the site going down due to a billing glitch. Yes the Bill was paid on time but a glitch saw them turn the connection off by mistake.
If you will scroll right down the page you will see daily updates for the days the server was offline I did the page as normal except I couldn't upload it!
Be sure to check out the news items from the last few days plenty of interesting items to read.
New Satellite coming Telkom 2 in December 2004 @ 118E
Fiji TV signal on 701 signal has gone off.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Andrew H
Telstar 18 Signal Report
Location: Port Vila - Vanuatu
Dish: Orbitron Mesh 3 Meter (the 3.7 seems to be stuck on Bluekiss, motor problems???)
Feed: el cheapo with Norsat 15deg lnb
Receiver: Fortec LTU
1/ 3869V 5000 s/r 90% Q
2/ 3591V 37501 s/r 60% Q
3/ 4041H 24803 s/r 75% Q
4/ 3896H 1520 s/r 60% Q
5/ 3890H 2223 s/r 75% Q
6/ 3867H 4290 s/r 60% Q
7/ 3786H 5000 s/r 15% Q dodgy but there
8/ 3665H 3617 s/r 77% Q
From the Dish
Tel18 138E 12400 V Sr 22425 New Service testing China beam?
Tel18 138E 12720 V sr 43000 New Service testing China beam?
NSS 5 177W New frequency and SR for the Best TV mux on tp 373A: 12691 V and 17600.Good TV and PTS have started on PIDs 101/268 and 800/801, fta.
Intelsat 804 174E 3873 R Occasional feeds on , West hemi beam.
Palapa C2 113E 3500 H "CNN International Asia Pacific" is now encrypted.
Telstar 10 76.5E 3760 H "BK TV Sat" has started on , FRta, SR 28066, PIPDs 257/513.
Sky TV announces $35.3m year net profit
Sky Network TV today posted its first significant profit since its expansion into digital delivery of its pay TV was embarked on five years ago.
The company, which is 78.3 per cent owned by the Rupert Murdoch-controlled Indpendent Newspapers Ltd, posted a net profit of $35.3 million, against last year's $694,000 net profit.
Last night, INL announced a plan to merge with Sky by about the middle of next year.
The two listed companies announced after the sharemarket closed yesterday that they were in the early stages of merger discussions.
The merger would require various regulatory approvals, the approval of shareholders of both companies, and High Court approval.
INL chairman Ken Cowley said: "At this stage we anticipate that the proposal would not be put to shareholders until the first quarter of 2005."
The merger discussions come eight months after INL's failed takeover bid late last year for Sky.
INL lifted its stake to 78.3 per cent of Sky from 66 per cent but did not reach the 90 per cent needed to compulsorily buy the rest of the shares.
The offer price was too low for most shareholders except Telecom, which sold its 12 per cent stake in Sky to INL.
INL sold its New Zealand publishing business last year to John Fairfax Holdings for $1.18 billion. It returned $340 million to shareholders in April this year through a share buyback and now has its shareholding in Sky and $300 million in cash.
Sky chief executive John Fellet said the merger timetable envisaged completion in about 10 months from now.
INL and Sky said today that shareholders in both companies would receive shares and cash in a new company to be formed to acquire Sky and INL, Newco.
Newco would be renamed Sky Network Television, the same as the old company.
Mr Fellet said Sky's existing staff and management would continue to run Sky.
The details of payments to shareholders are vague at this stage.
Sky shareholders would receive one Newco share plus a cash payment for each Sky share, the companies said. INL shareholders would also receive Newco shares and a cash payment.
INL shareholders would be issued 78.3 per cent of the Newco shares on a pro rata basis reflecting INL's ownership of Sky.
Sky shares closed yesterday at $5.32 today, 5 cents up. INL shares closed at $4.73, 1c up.
Sky's revenue rose 12.6 per cent to $440.6m and earnings per share rose to 9 cps from 0.17 cps.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) increased 24.1 per cent to $187.2m.
"The 2003/4 results were in line with the guidance issued last year and were achieved by continuing improvements across several areas of the business including an increase in subscriber growth, as well as a decrease in operating expenses relative to revenue," Mr Fellet said.
He said subscriber numbers were at records and disconnections and churn rates (subscribers disonnecting at period intervals) at all-time lows.
The growth in viewing came from entertainment channels including recently added Disney Channel, The History Channel and UKTV. News and sports viewing was static.
Sky's subscriber base reached 576,602, a gain of 33,711 over the previous year. This breaks down into 478,080 residential digital subscribers (84 per cent), 91,286 residential UHF subscribers (16 per cent) and 7,236 commercial subscribers.
The gross churn rate fell from 17.6 per cent to 17.1 per cent
Sky and INL plan merger to simplify ownership
Media groups Sky Network Television and Independent Newspapers are considering a merger to rationalise the complicated ownership of the satellite broadcaster.
The deal will also allow Sky, due to disclose its full-year earnings today, to pay shareholders a greater share of its $100 million-plus annual cashflow.
Analysts expect annual profits to rise from $750,000 to about $34 million.
Sky Network shares closed yesterday up 5c at $5.32. INL was 1c up at $4.71.
A deal between INL and Sky has been on the cards since INL sold its newspapers and magazines to Australia's Fairfax and bought Telecom's 12 per cent stake in the satellite broadcaster last year.
After these transactions and an INL capital return, it made little sense to retain two listed vehicles as INL was left with just a 78.3 per cent stake in Sky and $300 million of cash.
"The deal is the rationalisation of two publicly listed companies that have only one business," INL spokesman Sean Wynne said.
Sky chief executive John Fellet said the deal would also boost the broadcaster's shareholder equity, giving it a greater ability to pay more of its cash flow in dividends.
Under the proposed deal, a new company would be created, which would later assume Sky's current name.
Sky shareholders would be offered one share in the new company and an undisclosed cash sum for every share they own.
Shareholders in INL - 45 per cent owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's News Limited - would get an undisclosed number of shares as well as cash.
If some shareholders preferred more cash or others more shares, the companies would try to accommodate them.
The details had yet to be negotiated, but Wynne said he expected shareholders would have a clear idea on progress by the end of the year.
"Sky's existing staff and management would continue to run Sky. It would be business as usual," Fellet said.
In a joint statement, INL executive chairman Ken Cowley and Fellet said the boards and managements of the two companies had a considerable amount of work to do before the deal could be brought to shareholders early next year.
The merger proposal would be implemented as a scheme of arrangement. It would require approval from regulators, the shareholders of each company and the High Court.
INL and Sky TV start planning merger
Independent Newspapers Ltd and pay-TV operator Sky Network Television plan to merge by the middle of next year.
The two listed companies announced after the sharemarket closed yesterday that they were in the early stages of merger discussions.
The merger would require various regulatory approvals, the approval of shareholders of both companies and High Court approval. "At this stage we anticipate that the proposal would not be put to shareholders till the first quarter of 2005," INL chairman Ken Cowley said.
The merger discussions come eight months after INL's failed takeover bid late last year for Sky.
INL lifted its stake to 78.3 per cent of Sky from 66 per cent but did not reach the 90 per cent needed for a compulsory purchase of the rest of the shares. The offer price was too low for most shareholders except Telecom, which sold its 12 per cent stake in Sky to INL.
INL sold its New Zealand publishing business last year to John Fairfax Holdings for $1.18 billion. It returned $340 million to shareholders in April this year through a share buyback and now has its shareholding in Sky and $300 million in cash.
Sky chief executive John Fellet said the merger would be completed in about 10 months.
Shareholders in both companies would receive shares and cash in Newco, a new company to be formed to acquire Sky and INL, INL and Sky said yesterday. Newco would be renamed Sky Network Television, the same as the old company.
Mr Fellet said Sky's existing staff and management would continue to run Sky.
Details of payments to shareholders were vague at this stage.
Sky shareholders would receive one Newco share plus a cash payment for each Sky share, the companies said. INL shareholders would also receive Newco shares and a cash payment. INL shareholders would be issued 78.3 per cent of the Newco shares on a pro rata basis reflecting INL's ownership of Sky.
Sky shares closed at $5.32 yesterday, 5 cents up. INL shares closed at $4.73, 1c up.
Mr Fellet said the ownership structure of the new company would make it easier for Sky to pay dividends but further consideration of that would be given after detailed merger discussions.
He expected both companies would have valuations done to form the basis of recommendations to shareholders.
INL has about 4700 shareholders. The biggest is News Ltd with about 45 per cent of INL. Todd Corporation has 14 per cent and Telecom 9 per cent.
Sky has about 3000 shareholders. Besides INL, the only other shareholder with more than 5 per cent is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia with 8.39 per cent.
Telkom to launch new satellite by end of 2004
PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) plans to launch a new satellite with broader coverage in December to capitalize on the increasing use of satellites in Asia.
The new satellite, to be known as Telkom-2, will replace Telkom's Palapa B4 satellite. It has a total of 24 transponders and a useful life of 15 years.
"The total investment is around US$170 million, and has been taken from our internal reserves. Unlike the Palapa B4 satellite, whose footprint only covers the Southeast Asia region, the Telkom-2 footprint goes all the way to India and China," Telkom president Kristiono said on Thursday in Cibinong, West Java, after a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the launching of Telkom's first satellite, Palapa A1, 28 years ago.
Telkom-2 will be launched into orbit by European commercial launch service provider Arianespace from Guyana, South America, and will be in full operation by February 2005.
Besides running Palapa B4 with 24 transponders, Telkom also operates Telkom-1, which was launched in 1999 and has 36 transponders and a useful life of 15 years.
Forty-six transponders on both satellites are occupied by Telkom, while the rest are leased to 12 operators of very small aperture terminals (VSAT), nine national television stations, three local television stations, and foreign leaseholders such as Reuters and NHK.
"Eventually, we'll occupy less transponders as for long distance services, Telkom will gradually switch to undersea cable and fiber optic infrastructure. So, more transponders will be available for lease by foreign customers," said Kristiono.
Currently, Telkom leases out one transponder for around $1.1 million per year. However, Kristiono said that it would be difficult to maintain this price due to increasing competition among satellite service operators in the region.
Kristiono added that Telkom would still use Jasindo as the insurance provider for the new satellite, although Jasindo would likely have to form a consortium to insure an asset of such value.
At present, Telkom is the second biggest satellite provider after AsiaSat in the Southeast Asia region, with a market share of 17 percent in 2003.
AsiaSat eyes regional pay-TV as profit stalls
Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings (AsiaSat) said it plans to venture into direct-to-home (DTH) pay-television services in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau to boost its satellite utilisation rate after first-half profit edged up just 6 per cent. It kept its interim dividend at 8 HK cents.
First-half net profit rose to HK$253.6 million, thanks to a one-off compensation of HK$103 million from one of its main clients, Tom Group's China Entertainment Television Broadcast. Excluding the one-off gain, net profit fell 32 per cent to HK$162 million.
AsiaSat, controlled by China International Trust & Investment Corp, derives most of its income from leasing satellite transponders to television broadcasters and phone companies.
``The low-cost regional pay-TV service will be launched by the end of this year,'' chief executive officer Peter Jackson said, adding that some areas in Guangdong may also receive the signals.
The pay-TV service was likely to cost less than HK$100 a month for 20 to 40 channels, deputy chief executive officer William Wade said. Viewers would need a DTH receiver dish that sells for less than HK$1,000 to get the signals, he said.
The rollout of pay-TV services, in which AsiaSat will introduce partners, will use four transponders on AsiaSat4, adding about 8 percentage points to the current utilisation rate.
At the end of June, AsiaSat2's utilisation rate fell to 41 per cent from 54 per cent six months earlier, AsiaSat3S rose to 74 per cent from 59 per cent, and AsiaSat4 went to 18 per cent from 10 per cent. Overall usage increased to 44 per cent from 39 per cent. ``In the Asia-Pacific satellite sector, the first six months of 2004 continued to be sluggish, with transponder demand lagging behind early signs of improvement in some regional financial, consumer and tourism markets,'' chairman Mi Zengxin said.
At the end of June, the firm held contracts worth HK$3.2 billion, down from HK$3.7 billion six months ago.
``While AsiaSat achieved stronger results in the period through the inclusion of a one-off receipt, the results for the second half are expected to continue to reflect the current market conditions,'' Mi added.
In June, Jackson said growth was slow because of excess capacity in Asia, so the percentage of its transponders in use and the amount it could charge would probably be ``fairly flat'' until year-end but improve by mid-2005.
Shares in AsiaSat dropped 1.07 per cent to HK$13.85 on Thursday.
Astro keen to broadcast Malaysian news for the world
KUALA LUMPUR: Privately owned satellite-television company Astro wants to create a special news channel to broadcast Malaysian news to a global market by next year.
Its group chief executive officer Ralph Marshall said it was currently talking with the Information Ministry and other local broadcasters to see how this could be done.
The purpose of the discussions with Bernama, TV3, NTV7, RTM and the Information Ministry was to create a content to “expose Malaysia’s creative talents and perspective internationally.”
“We are not looking into it to profit from export revenues.
“It is a small initiative, which we hope will snowball and take off by 2005.
“We are well-positioned to expand and make Malaysia a broadcasting hub, which is very closely related to the Government’s objective when Astro was created and licensed in 1995,” Marshall told reporters during a press conference at Astro headquarters yesterday.
Also present was Information Minister Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, who was there on an official visit.
Abdul Kadir said more details would be revealed after an in-depth discussion set to be held in October.
On his visit, Abdul Kadir said Astro was a very well managed company and praised its self-censorship mechanism.
The device, he said, could filter and censor sexual and violent elements before it reached the subscribers’ screens.
“I saw how it is done and I’m satisfied.
“I know there is a minority who thinks Astro airs too much violence and sex.
“This matter is subjective as everyone has different standards or perception of what is violent or sexual,” Abdul Kadir said.
He added that the issue could be easily rectified as Astro promised to focus more on censoring violence and other elements.
Intelsat Pre-Books Over 35,000 Channel Hours for Athens Olympics Coverage
From Press Release
London, U.K., 19 August 2004 Intelsat, the only global satellite leader to provide coverage of every Olympic Games since 1968, has today confirmed that it pre-booked over 35,000 hours of programming for 50 channels for this year’s Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. This represents one of the highest traffic events in the company’s history, and equates to what would be almost four years of continual programming carried within a 20-day period.
Intelsat is providing all-digital transmission of the Games for many of the event’s rights holders, using six satellites from its global fleet covering every ocean region. The Intelsat system is carrying Olympic footage from Athens to North America, Asia and South America for a number of premier customers, including CCTV in China and GlobeCast, a leading international provider of satellite transmission and production services for professional broadcast customers. GlobeCast will utilize Intelsat capacity to offer high-quality services to ATV Hong Kong, TV Globo, Brazil, TVB Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei Broadcast Pool. OTE, the national telecom provider of Greece, will use the Intelsat system to provide occasional use services to its customers in Europe. Intelsat-carried Olympic images will be broadcast to a potential viewing audience of over 3 billion people.
“Reliability is the most important aspect of providing coverage of the Olympic Games to our clients’ viewing audiences,” said Graham Smith, Head of Sport for Europe at GlobeCast. “We are utilizing Intelsat satellites to deliver this content and we’re confident that, during this exciting event, our clients’ programming will benefit from Intelsat’s experience and reputation for unmatched satellite service.”
“The Olympics is arguably one of the most important events for bringing the people of the world together, and Intelsat is proud to play a key role in making that happen by enabling quality video distribution around the globe,” said Ramu Potarazu, COO, Intelsat, Ltd. “Our sophisticated, hybrid network supports complex video solutions and value-added services. Now, we’ve brought that to a higher level with our rapid integration of the new Intelsat AmericasTM satellites and the establishment earlier this year of a fiber-based, digital video delivery network in North America.”
Building on 40 Years of Leadership. As a global communications leader with 40 years of experience, Intelsat helps service providers, broadcasters, corporations and governments deliver information and entertainment anywhere in the world, instantly, securely and reliably. Intelsat's global reach and expanding solutions portfolio enable customers to enhance their communications networks, venture into new markets and grow their businesses with confidence. For more information, visit www.intelsat.com.
GlobeCast (www.globecast.com) - a subsidiary of France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) - is the world’s leading satellite services company, operating a global network of satellite distribution platforms for DTH and cable broadcast, enterprise media and advanced IP-based content delivery. The company’s global presence includes 17 offices as well as 15 teleports and technical operations centers throughout America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. GlobeCast offers the complete range of satellite broadcast solutions, including TV channel distribution, secure satellite Internet delivery, webcasting, satellite newsgathering, direct-to-home distribution, sports programming backhaul, program origination, studio production, special events mobile production and audio distribution.
+1 202 944 7841
+1 202 944 8223
I&B Minister Not To Change DTH Policy
NEW DELHI: Information and broadcasting minister S Jaipal Reddy seems to have set the record straight on direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting policy. Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, the minister indicated that there was enough safeguard in place in DTH, implying that there’s no cause for a review of the policy. A few days ago, sources in the I&B ministry had pointed out that a committee was being set up to review the DTH policy. But, it is learnt that the proposed committee would only examine certain issues related to pornography on DTH. Policy matters such as foreign direct investment (FDI) and sectoral cap will not come up for review.
On why DTH was being permitted since it could affect national security, Mr Reddy told the House that the NDA government had set up a group of ministers which had explored the national security and morality issues.
Also, every DTH player must get the clearance of the home ministry and Wireless Planning and Coordination before starting a service. The minister also said that whoever fulfilled DTH licence conditions would be given permission. “More the merrier,” he said. Although in 1997, DTH was banned when Mr Reddy was the I&B minister, he said that guidelines were much stringent now.
Meanwhile, the government is formulating a legislation for the print media. It relates to strengthening guidelines for FDI in print media. In a written reply to a LS question, Mr Reddy said the government was contemplating legislation to amend the Press and Registration Act for giving legal sanctity to the Cabinet Resolution of 1955.
SABC says its pay-TV rivals not playing fair
STATE-owned broadcaster the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has accused Multichoice and MNet's parent, MIH Group, of holding a "managed duopoly" of the pay-television market, and hampering growth in the market through a price structure that was affordable only to top earners.
This week it said the pay-television market could grow only if competitors to Multichoice were licensed and if they came with "flexible pricing and proposition structures".
The SABC also accused Multichoice of hogging advertising and hurting growth in the pay-television market by charging prices that only a small group could afford.
Earlier this week, Competition Commission compliance manager Zodwa Ntuli confirmed that following a complaint from a subscriber over Multichoice's 2002 price increases, the commission had probed the matter.
"At the time, we investigated excessive pricing and decided the complaints were not justified. But we have not looked at Multichoice's overall pricing structure to examine whether it is anticompetitive," she said.
The SABC's comments came in a presentation to the Independent Communications Authority of SA. It said only 9,3% of South African households subscribed to these pay-television channels and the market had become saturated because the prices were too high to be affordable for middle-income earners.
It said the current pay-television market "appears to be saturated only at current price and proposition levels". Some players in the industry believe a new competitor to Multichoice could help put downward pressure on Multichoice's prices, resulting in a possible cut in its subscription fees.
Multichoice confirmed this week that 48% of its subscribers come from the top tier of earners in terms of a living standards measure but said this did not indicate that its prices were excessive.
CEO Nolo Letele said earlier this week Multichoice's prices were appropriate as the broadcaster had to recover more than R1bn that it had ploughed into getting satellite service DSTV off the ground.
Multichoice also had to pay the channel providers to be able to carry their services , which was a significant portion of its costs.
"The pricing of the DSTV bouquet is comparable to that offered elsewhere around the world, such as in Europe and the US and is not out of kilter with those regions," he said. He said the Competition Commission had examined the pricing structure and found it appropriate.
With the price of satellite decoders recently cut, it is now possible to get a fullyinstalled satellite television service for a minimum of R1,200.
The monthly subscriptions for DSTV's monthly subscriptions range between R379 and R429; the terrestrial MNet service costs R209m a month.
DTH Boom: Nucleus Taps Market For Dish Antennae
CHENNAI: Nucleus Satellite Communications is all geared up to cash in on the direct-to-home (DTH) boom.
“We expect to grab 50 per cent of the market for DTH dish antennae in the coming years,” said V Raman and V Laxman, directors of the city-based Nucleus Satellite Communications P Ltd.
Direct-to-home (DTH) telecasting is entering its boom period. Dish TV of the Zee group already has over 75,000 subscribers. Doordarshan (DD) and Star TV are getting ready for DTH. Many regional language channels have readied their plans for DTH. The number of subscribers is expected to touch to three million in two years time, and by 2008 it is expected to cross 7.5 million.
“Nucleus is way ahead thanks to its state-of-the-art infrastructure and vertical integration in its manufacturing process. Its new Rs 3 crore manufacturing facility situated at the IT highway on the city outskirts, has a manufacturing capacity of 1.5 million eliptical dishes a year, with the capability of two-fold expansion,” the two directors said at a media conference here.
On stream since 1996, the company has had technical collaborations with Electronic Link Ltd, UK.
The antennae, available in three different sizes of 45 cm, 60 cm and 100 cm, are priced between Rs 340 and Rs 790. Nucleus is the approved supplier of dish antennae for Dish TV’s DTH bouquet.
Tamil TV channel to fight piracy
In a bid to stop film and song piracy, motion picture directors and cable operators in Tamil Nadu have joined hands to launch a TV channel next month that will broadcast movies and cinema-based programmes.
The 'Thamizh-th-Thirai', or Tamil Screen channel, will begin its telecast from Sep 3, according to director R. Bharathiraja, who is associated with the project.
This is a major effort by the film industry to stop illegal broadcast of film songs and movie sequences by a section of cable operators.
Such entertainment programmes need permission from the concerned producer/director for public viewing and an amount has to be paid as royalty.
Thamizh-th-Thirai will telecast mega-serials by senior directors, feature films, documentaries and star-night programmes. It will also buy newly made films for telecast.
The programmes will be beamed up to the Insat 2E satellite from the Ambattur uplink station, located on the outskirts of this city.
Many industry members, while welcoming the channel, still doubt that it will be able to rein in film piracy. They point out that Chennai Police have seized over a thousand pirated VCDs of "Vasoolraja M.B.B.S." that was just released last week.
BestTV on NSS5 (NZ Beam) has changed freq to 12691V sr 17600 Fec is still 5/6,m 2 channels are fta "GOODTV" and "PTS" Both Taiwanese
Zee Encryption change on Asiasat 3 next week?
Interesting product yes it does mpg 4:2:2
From My Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards
Screenshots from I701
Abc Asia Pacific, E!, Espn
Mad TV and Mazzika
From Steve Hume
Telstar 18 138E
3665H 3615 China Stockmarket TV
3866H 4289 VSat01
From Ric Carlyon TVNZ
Special Event on TVNZ Digital (B1)
Special Coverage on FV1, Monday Aug 23rd - Thursday Aug 26th.
The Christchurch Primary Schools' Cultural Festival is nthe major event on the primary school Performing and
Visual Arts calendar in Canterbury each year,celebrating diversity of culture with its different
themes, brilliant costumes, choreography and music.
This year a record 50 schools and culture groups will
be performing with more than 4,000 young people on the
stage of Christchurch's Town Hall during then festival.
FV1 will be covering all 4 nights of the Festival
- live, 7pm until 9.15pm.
[END of Advisory - from Ric Carlyon, TVNZ]
(Craigs comment, Oh yes this is far more interesting to have on B1 instead of a couple of extra digital Olympics channels. Right now for example NZ's playing in the Basketball but no live coverage because the news is on!)
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E 12691 H Several test cards have started on , Fta, PIDs 512/640-516/644 and 522/650-524/652.
Intelsat 804 174E Intelsat 804 has replaced Intelsat 802 at 174 East.
Intelsat 802 Intelsat 802 has left 174 East, moving west.
Palapa C2 113E 3500 H "The Kabelvision mux" is back on , Nagravision, SR 24250, FEC 5/6.
NSS 6 95E Several updates in DISH TV.
Yamal 102 89.8E 3553 L "TV 4 (Turkmenistan)" has started on , Fta, PIDs 401/112.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H "Hellas TV and Cosmoradio 95.1 have left , replaced by an Imagine Sat info card. Panjab Radio has started on APID 771, Fta.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "Sur Sangeet" has started on , Nagravision, PIDs 522/750.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3671 H "The Winner promo, Hellas TV, the RR Sat promo, both VIC-TV Turkiye,Thai TV Global Network and Cosomoradio 95.1" have left .
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3695 H "Sky International" is now encrypted.
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 V "SuperSport +" is Fta.
Shin sat passes critical tests
Ipstar-1 -- the satellite that will inherit the responsibility for providing Project Probe's national satellite broadband system -- has passed a critical phase in testing, Shin Satellite said.
The satellite is the largest commercial satellite ever built.
According to Thailand-based Shin, which owns the satellite, SS/Loral, the US manufacturer, said Ipstar1 had successfully completed critical thermal vacuum testing and was on track for delivery later this year.
Shin said the satellite was placed in a chamber where it was subject to intense heat and cold while in a vacuum, much as it will eventually experience in its geostationary orbit 35,000 kilometers above the earth. Successful testing has now significantly decreased many major risks associated with the construction of a satellite of this magnitude, Shin said.
In the next and final series of tests, SS/Loral will attach the antennas and solar arrays to the satellite, as they will be on take-off, and then subject the assembly to vibration and acoustic simulations replicating the forces it will experience at launch.
This will confirm the integrity of the whole satellite.
The craft will then undergo testing of its ability to send and receive signals, called a Compact Antenna Range Test (CATR), followed by an electrical test of the other electronics onboard.
The reflectors, solar arrays and batteries will then be permanently attached ready for launch.
The satellite should be ready for delivery to the company before the end of 2004, Shin said, and it will take two to three months more for the satellite to be installed in the launch vehicle, tested then launched from Arianespace’s spaceport at French Guiana, South America.
"To safeguard shareholders and lenders, we have always insisted on full and comprehensive testing. A satellite cannot be recalled for adjustments once it has been launched, and we have been determined to ensure the project’s success by rigorous testing and re-testing," said Shin Satellite executive chairman, Dr. Dumrong Kasemset.
Ipstar-1 is a project of the Ipstar Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Shin Satellite Plc, which is listed on the Thailand stock exchange.
The satellite will deliver broadband connectivity -- including the ability to watch television and films over the internet -- to customers in the Asia Pacific market. Where conventional satellites provide around 2Gbps of bandwidth, Ipstar-1 will provide an aggregate capacitiy of around 40Gbps.
Shin Satellite operates three Thaicom satellites.
Zarlink Introduces Next Generation of Leading Demodulator Chip for Digital Satellite TV
From Press Release
- ZL(TM)10313 demodulator adds fully flexible interface to MPEG decoder
products, offers high-speed "blind scan" and low power consumption
OTTAWA, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Zarlink Semiconductor
(NYSE/TSX:ZL) today introduced the next generation of its industry-leading
QPSK (quaternary phase shift keying) demodulators for digital satellite TV
Zarlink's ZL10313 chip is targeted at DVB-S (Digital Video Broadcasting-
Satellite) receivers used worldwide, and builds on the success of the ZL10312
demodulator. In China alone, approximately 50 percent of the digital satellite
receivers manufactured for the domestic market use Zarlink demodulators.
Zarlink's newest demodulator is fully pin-compatible with its
predecessor, and offers the same key features including superior "blind scan"
capability that allows STB (set-top box) owners to scan the complete range of
available television signals at high speed with minimal intervention. The new
device now also directly interfaces with all common MPEG decoders and back-end
STB processors, and is ideal for use in higher-end combination products such
as dual-capacity satellite/terrestrial STBs.
The ZL10313 demodulator, when combined with Zarlink's ZL10036 tuner chip,
provides manufacturers with a complete satellite front-end subsystem for
tuning, scanning, decoding, and demodulating digital satellite TV signals. The
new chip is aimed at STBs that receive DVB-S compliant "free-to-air" and
subscriber-based satellite broadcasts, and DSS (Digital Satellite System)-
"Expanding our successful demodulator design to incorporate flexible
transport stream interface options and the ability to Tri-state transport
stream outputs will help speed time-to-market for the next generation of
satellite receivers," said Bob Ferreira, DTV Front-End product line director,
Zarlink Semiconductor. "Customers who are evaluating the ZL10313 device are
telling us that it reduces their reliance on external components, and will
meet their design needs into 2005."
High-speed "blind scan" capability
Zarlink was first-to-market with demodulators delivering a very high-
speed "blind scan" function. Receivers with competing demodulators typically
rely on complex, software-based channel-scanning algorithms that often require
the consumer to enter the key parameters of the signals they are looking for,
such as the code rate, symbol rate and frequency.
In comparison, receivers with Zarlink demodulators use a hardware-based
state machine to automatically scan the entire broadcast band many times
faster. Because operators in the free-to-air environment routinely change
services and relocate channels to new frequencies, the ability to easily re-
scan and identify the available channels is a valuable feature for consumers.
Strong performance for free-to-air channels
Free-to-air satellite receivers are sold globally, and must be able to
manage a wide range of satellite signals. Some countries are served by
satellites delivering signals at predominantly low symbol rates, in the region
of 1 or 2 MSps (megasymbols per second), while other countries need receivers
capable of handling signals delivered at symbol rates up to 45 MSps. The
ZL10313 chip delivers strong performance across the whole symbol rate range,
allowing it to process a flexible range of channels without external
As STBs shrink in size, heat-sensitive RF (radio frequency) tuner and
demodulator chips are packed into smaller areas. The ZL10313 demodulator
minimizes heat generation, which improves the front-end performance and field
reliability. The chip consumes less than 300 mW (milliwatts) of power in a
typical application. It also features a "sleep" pin that reduces the chip's
power requirement 1,000-fold when a set-top box is not in use, assisting
manufacturers in meeting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR(R)
requirements. The ZL10313 device also complies fully with European DVB-S power
specifications and the U.S. DSS standard.
Programming and support
The ZL10313 device includes its own state machine and as such can be
programmed with very few instructions from the main set-top box CPU (central
processing unit). The chip is backed with full software support and front-end
reference designs for both can-tuner and motherboard implementations.
Pricing and availability
Zarlink's ZL10313 satellite channel demodulator chip is now in
production. The chip is packaged in a 64-pin LQFP (low-quad flat pack) and
measures only 7 mm (millimeters) by 7 mm. In 1K volumes, the ZL10313 is priced
at US$3.65. For more information please visit
About Zarlink Semiconductor
For almost 30 years, Zarlink Semiconductor has delivered semiconductor
solutions that drive the capabilities of voice, enterprise, broadband and
wireless communications. The Company's success is built on its technology
strengths, including voice and data networks, consumer and ultra low-power
communications, and high-performance analog. For more information, visit
Certain statements in this press release constitute forward-looking
statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown
risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual
results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially
different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed
or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties
and assumptions include, among others, the risks discussed in documents
filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investors are encouraged to consider the risks detailed in those filings.
Zarlink, ZL, and the Zarlink Semiconductor logo are trademarks of Zarlink
Semiconductor Inc. ENERGY STAR is a registered trademark of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.
First CodecSys(TM) Patent Granted
From Press Release
Unique Multi-Codec System Patent Application Approved in Singapore
SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Broadcast International (OTC Bulletin Board: BCST - News) today announced the patent for its core CodecSys technology has been granted by the Singapore patent office. Singapore, the gateway to Southeast Asia, is one of many international jurisdictions in which the company has filed patents and the first to issue notification that a patent for the unique, video compression technology will be granted. This approval is also a strong indication of the world-wide potential for adoption of the Multi-Codec System. The Company anticipates patents will be granted imminently in the U.S. and many other countries, as well as for additional applications that have been subsequently filed.
"While CodecSys has been recently recognized as an award-winning innovation by several industry and technology organizations, having our patent approved greatly enhances our licensing opportunities throughout the world," stated Rod Tiede, Broadcast International CEO. "This is a significant milestone in the growing value of BI's exciting new technology."
CodecSys employs real-time artificial intelligence systems to dynamically manage libraries of standard and specialized codecs to efficiently process a particular scene, or even frame, of video and then switches on the fly to another codec that is better suited to the next scene or frame. Exploiting the best attributes of multiple codecs enables 50 to 75 percent reductions in bandwidth compared to single codec solutions.
About Broadcast International
Broadcast International is a leading provider of video-powered business solutions, including IP and digital satellite, Internet streaming, and other types of wired/wireless network distribution. In addition, BI assists clients with video production, rich media development and a full range of network support services. CodecSys is a patent-pending technology that enables BI clients to enhance video quality at current bandwidths or reduce the cost of bandwidth while maintaining quality.
Broadcast International was founded in 1984 and is a public company (OTC Bulletin Board: BCST - News) headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT. For more information, visit http://www.brin.com or call +1-801-562-2252.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements in this press release include demand for Broadcast International's services, the Company's dependence on technology and third party vendors, its potential need for additional financing, as well as other risks described in Broadcast International Inc.'s Form 10-KSB filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 24, 2004. Copies of the filing are available upon request from Broadcast International's Investor Relations Department.
PanAmSat Merges With Wholly Owned Subsidiary of The DIRECTV Group
From Press Release
PanAmSat Closes Merger With Wholly Owned Subsidiary of The DIRECTV Group, Inc.
and Delists Shares from NASDAQ; Private Equity Firms to Acquire DIRECTV'sEquity Stake
WILTON, Conn., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PanAmSat Corporation
today announced the closing of its merger with PAS Merger Sub, Inc., a wholly
owned subsidiary of The DIRECTV Group, Inc. The Company's shares will be
delisted from the NASDAQ and will no longer be publicly traded. The Company's
shareholders approved the transaction at its annual meeting held on August 13,
Affiliates of Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., The Carlyle Group and
Providence Equity Partners, Inc. are scheduled to acquire The DIRECTV Group's
equity stake in PanAmSat on Friday, August 20, 2004.
Through its owned and operated fleet of 24 satellites, PanAmSat is a
leading global provider of video, broadcasting and network distribution and
delivery services. In total, the Company's in-orbit fleet is capable of
reaching over 98 percent of the world's population through cable television
systems, broadcast affiliates, direct-to-home operators, Internet service
providers and telecommunications companies. In addition, PanAmSat supports
the largest concentration of satellite-based business networks in the U.S., as
well as specialized communications services in remote areas throughout the
world. For more information, visit the Company's web site at
The DIRECTV Group, Inc.
The DIRECTV Group, Inc. (NYSE: DTV) is a world-leading provider of digital
multichannel television entertainment, broadband satellite networks and
services, and global video and data broadcasting. The DIRECTV Group, Inc. is
34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is approximately 82 percent
owned by News Corporation Ltd.
NOTE: The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a
"safe harbor" for certain forward-looking statements so long as such
information is identified as forward-looking and is accompanied by meaningful
cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual
results to differ materially from those projected in the information. When
used in this press release, the words "scheduled," "estimate," "plan,"
"project," "anticipate," "expect," "intend," "outlook," "believe," and other
similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and
information. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results
due to certain risks and uncertainties, which are more specifically set forth
in the "Financial Guidance/Recent Presentations" page of the Investor
Relations section of our website and the Company's annual report on Form 10-K
for the year ended December 31, 2003 on file with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. The risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results
to differ, include but are not limited to (i) risks associated with operating
our in-orbit satellites, (ii) risks of launch failures, launch and
construction delays and in-orbit failures or reduced performance, (iii) risk
that we may not be able to obtain new or renewal satellite insurance policies
on commercially reasonable terms or at all, (iv) risks related to possible
future losses on satellites that are not adequately covered by insurance, (v)
risks related to domestic and international government regulation, (vi) risks
related to the Company's contracted backlog for future services, (vii) risks
of doing business internationally, (viii) risks of inadequate access to
capital for growth, (ix) risks related to competition, (x) risks related to
customer defaults, (xi) risks relating to pricing pressure and overcapacity in
markets in which we operate, (xii) risks associated with the Company's
indebtedness, (xiii) risks related to control by our majority stockholder and
(xiv) litigation. PanAmSat cautions that the foregoing list of important
factors is not exclusive, and PanAmSat undertakes no obligation to publicly
update any forward-looking statement. Further, PanAmSat operates in an
industry sector where securities values may be volatile and may be influenced
by economic and other factors beyond the Company's control.
DStv takes gold in Olympic coverage
I wonder if any other country in the world has quite so many TV channels devoted to the Olympic Games as we have here in South Africa? I remember during the Sydney Olympics four years ago, Multichoice mentioning almost as an aside that they had set some sort of world record for continuous coverage of the Games. And even if my memory is failing and they didn't - it certainly feels as though they're setting records again.
Clearly SABC and e.tv are restricted in their coverage due to pure logistics and channel availability and, of course, the fact that not everybody in South Africa is obsessed with the Games and certainly don't want to miss their daily soaps even if South Africans are winning medals.
But in spite of this, SABC with its special coverage and e.tv through its news and updates are certainly keeping viewers informed if not glued to their sets.
Undoubtedly, we're being spoilt rotten with all this coverage, particularly as the Games are providing massive excitement - not only with SA's relay team bringing home the gold, but also with things like that phenomenal last minute cockup by the Chinese at the 3 metre synchronised diving that saw them crash out of first place and a certain gold to end up last and giving Greece the gold medal on a plate.
On top of actual coverage and the ever-increasing number of channels - History Channel was the latest winner - DSTv has now beefed up its interactive service with something called DSTV Touch which effectively groups all interactive services together in one pop up window that can now be activated irrespective of what channel you are watching just by hitting the "OK" button.
It's these little extra touches and conveniences that are making watching TV so much easier these days. It just gets better and better all the time.
Of course, there are a lot of people saying it's all very well DSTv putting on eight channels of Olympics but you have to be rich to access it all.
Interestingly enough, I've been keeping my eyes open driving around the country and somehow, to me, those fficial statistics concerning the number of people having satellite TV and the actual numbers don't seem to gel. I get the impression that far more people have access to satellite than meets the eye.
Unless, of course, a lot of people are using "blank" satellite dishes just to show off.
But, travelling along the N3 past Alexandra last week I slowed down and tried to count the satellite dishes and there were more than I could manage.
In Gaborone, Botswana, a few weeks ago, I noticed satellite dishes galore not only in the affluent areas but in what looked very much like informal settlements and squatter camps.
There is no doubt that much as even wealthy people bleat about the price of satellite subscriptions these days, most of them wouldn't dream of being without it.
And expense, one supposes, is in the wallet of the beholder, because not only the cornucopia of sport makes it easy to dip into one's pocket but there is so much of everything else that when you compare this with the price you pay to get into the movies, its not as exorbitant as it seems.
It just struck me watching the Games last night that South African consumers and we journos in particular love to bitch and moan about things, but very rarely acknowledge the good stuff.
Frankly, we’re being spoilt rotten by Olympic Games coverage which is worth every cent of subscription fees.
(Craigs comment, TVNZ has had woefull coverage so far its just not possible to do the event justice with 1 channel trying to cover everything. Once again TVNZ has missed the boat completely and could of had 2 or 3 extra Digital satellite channels on B1 to show they are serious about Digital TV)
Cricket telecast: ESPN to match Zee bid
ESPN-Star Sports is willing to match Zee Telelfilms' bid of $260 million for the rights to telecast cricket matches conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in the country for the next four years.
"We surely have the appetite and will be willing to match the price if the BCCI desires us to do so," RC Venkatesh, managing director of ESPN-Star Sports, told Business Standard.
Cricket telecast: Zee sees Rs 800 cr profit
ESPN had bid $230 million, but had also expressed its willingness to increase it to around $300 million if BCCI extended the offer to five years from four.
On Tuesday, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said the board would take a final decision after further deliberations and had asked for some clarifications from the various bidders.
ESPN has publicly said Zee does not qualify for the bidding process as it does not meet the board's criterion of two years' experience in telecasting international cricket events.
Zee executives, however, deny the charge, pointing out that they have telecast international cricket matches in countries like the UK since 1995.
The broadcaster, which manages to win the four-year telecast contract will get satellite as well as terrestrial rights (which it will have to offer to Doordarshan).
The contract will also include international satellite rights, telephony rights (including cellular) and Internet rights.
However, it does not include in-stadium rights, which have already been farmed out. The board has offered 27 days of cricket in a year under the bid documents.
The Zee group sprung a surprise last week when it emerged as the highest bidder for the cricket rights in India. The other bidders included Sony TV at $140 million, Ten Sports at $115 and Doordarshan.
Zee executives pointed out that the government laws clearly stipulated that if there was any revision of bids, the highest bidder would be given first priority.
Given the lucrative nature of the contract, which is sure to drive up the winning broadcaster's revenues both from advertising and subscriptions, the hectic bidding doesn't come as a surprise.
What makes the rights of matches in India more attractive is the fact that in the next 15 months most of the key matches will be held within the country. This includes the tour by world champions Australia in October, followed by South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
2ME Radio is new on B3 12524V Globecast MUX
I need more info for the Olympics page please email me any FTA coverage you see.
In the latest Satfacts...BER/MER , Inline amps how and when to use, Tiny Tots small receivers, more on Low noise LNBF, and a new column from "Scratchie"
No announcement from Tarbs/UBI yet
From my Emails & ICQ
From John Harrison
12693H 28066 PBS Mux
Com 10 Mad Vpid 521 Apid 49
Com 11 Muzzaka Vpid 522 Apid 650
(Craigs comment, this mux uplinked from Australia they must be sourcing test signals off the new Tarbs/Ubi mux on B3 the video quality is absolutely crap)
From Steve Hume
C-Band i802 & i804
Just dragged the speccie out again and took a look at Intelsat 802 and 804.
I can see nothing where 804 is supposed to be, and I can see carriers on
both horizontal and vertical on what could be 802. I say could be,
because these slots are being shuffled about at the moment. Not sure
really what's going to end up where.
After doing a complete scan on "802",Success!!
Feed from NHK Manila
Freq: 3873V SR: 6110 VID:1160 APID: 1120 PCR: 1160
Maybe someone else with a circular pole lnb might want to run a full scan.
Also from Steve another screenshot for the Olympics page
From JonC (Thailand)
Television and Radio Channels Change Their Parameters. /16.08.2004/
The year 2004 will became significant for the mass media of Turkmenistan. First of all, it is connected with technical re-equipping of the electronic mass media that opens for them new possibilities in expansion of forms of presenting information and its qualitative reception and allows considerable increase of the number of their users. The rapidly developing system of telecommunications of the country is a basis for such radical reforms and the Ministry of Communications is charged with modernisation and maintenance of it.
At present, the specialists of the branch in collaboration with their foreign colleagues are completing assembling up-to-date equipment for the new channel. The fourth channel of the national television will be broadcasted in Turkmen and six foreign languages and will be called to become an important source of objective information on our country for the foreign audience.
As the Ministry of Communications of Turkmenistan informs, the parameters of such TV channels as Altyn Asyr Turkmenistan, Yashlyk and Miras as well as three national radio channels will be changed for providing for broadcasting a new Turkmen television channel via the satellite system and in connection with putting a new digital complex into operation. On August 16, to receive them it is necessary to tune the receivers in the following parameters: signal frequency 3553 MHz, symbol rate 20 000 msec. If necessary you may receive a consultation calling 35-21-53 or 35-66-65.
SATELLITE NAME: Yamal 102 at 89.8°E
FREQ: 3553 POL: L S/R: 20500 FEC: 3/4
MODE: DVB & Free To Air (FTA)
[Turkmenistan TV 4 test card]
Turkmen Radio 2
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E 12691 H "Mad TV and Mazzika" have started on , MDS, PIDs 521/649-522/650.
Yamal 102 89.8E 3550 L "A Turkmenistan TV 4 test card" has started on , fta, PIDs 401/411.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "KTN and five test cards" have started on , fta, PIDs 520/730-525/5644.
NZ Sky TV To Post Bumper FY Pft,Update Mkt On Div Payout
WELLINGTON (Dow Jones)--Sky Network Television Ltd. (SKY.NZ) Friday is expected to post a sharply higher annual net profit and update the market on paying its first dividend since turning profitable a year ago.
New Zealand's main pay TV operator is forecast to post a net profit for the 12-months to June 30 of NZ$37 million, surging from NZ$671,000 in the previous year, according to the median of five analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization is forecast at NZ$184 million, up 22% from NZ$150.8 million Sky posted in the 2003 fiscal year.
ABN AMRO analyst David Boyce said a key highlight for the market will be a likely announcement about Sky TV's dividend plans.
Chief Executive John Fellet said at the release of the company's first-half results in February that the company will make an announcement about its dividend plan when the fiscal year results are produced.
Fellet said the company will carefully consider its capital structure and the amount of debt to carry on its balance sheet when finalizing its payout to shareholders.
Boyce isn't ruling out a final dividend being declared for the 2004 fiscal year. "I haven't forecast a dividend but there's a reasonable chance of that occurring," he said.
However, a dividend payment for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, 2005, is "a certainty," Boyce said.
In August last year, Sky TV posted a profit in the second half of its fiscal year ended June 30, 2003 - the first time Sky has been profitable since the launch of its digital satellite network in 1998.
That return to profitability was further strengthened when it posted a higher first-half net profit in February.
High Consumer Confidence Underpins Advertising Growth
First NZ Capital analyst Sarndra Urlich said in a research note that Sky's free cash flow highlights its capacity for a 100% payout to shareholders.
She forecasts cash flow to grow from an estimated NZ$91 million in fiscal 2004 to NZ$135 million in fiscal 2007.
Analysts say Sky's annual earnings will be underpinned by high consumer confidence ramping up advertising revenue, a pick up in subscriber growth following a lull in the first half of the year and more dynamic programing continuing to keep subscriber disconnections, or churn, low.
Subscriber growth in the first half of the year was hurt by last year's Rugby World Cup being shown on a free-to-air network.
Urlich expects subscriber Sky TV subscribers to have grown to 578,000 in the 12-months to June 30, up 6.6% from 542,000 in the year-ago period. She forecasts annual churn at 16%, down from 17.6% in the previous year.
Urlich said the company has continued to improve customer retention levels, helped by improved programing, which has changed from being primarily sports oriented to comprehensive format.
The aggregate average revenue per user, or ARPU, forecast to have risen to NZ$54.40 a month, up 6% from the previous year's NZ$51.3 a month.
ABN AMRO's Boyce said the strong domestic economy is likely to have sustained advertising revenue growth, which rose 34% in the first half.
He expects operating margins - operating profit as a percentage of sales - to have improved to 41.5% from 38.5% the previous year.
Overall "it should be a good performance," he said.
Sky is 78% owned by Independent Newspapers Ltd. (INL.NZ) following a takeover offer last year.
(Craigs comment, read it and weep Foxtel...)
B-plan for Project PROBE just in case
Wellington, we won't have a problem
Iconz and Shin Satellite’s local representative are hopeful that they won’t have to call the Ministries of Economic Development and Education to say “Wellington, we have a problem” in February next year. That is when the IPstar 1 satellite is expected to be launched in order to supply bandwidth for remote regions in New Zealand under Project PROBE.
IPstar 1 has had its launch postponed several times already, with the original date early this year moved first to May, then to July, September and now February 2005, according to John Humphries, director of IPstar New Zealand Ltd, a wholly-owned Shin Satellite subsidiary.
Humphries says the delays have been caused by the IPstar manufacturer Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California, being extremely cautious during the construction, as the $US350 million dollar satellite will be exposed to extreme forces during take-off and great temperature variations while in orbit.
During final testing a faulty component was found on a different satellite. Even though the same component on IPstar 1 was not malfunctioning, Space Systems/Loral decided to replace it, Humphries says.
Humphries says IPstar 1 will be “the heaviest satellite ever lifted”, weighing in at 6,775kg. Describing it as “the size of a truck” Humphries says the main body of the satellite is about as large as a three-storey house.
Shin Satellite will use the French Ariane 5 rocket to hoist IPstar 1 into orbit, from the Korou spaceport in French Guyana, South America. The European space consortium ArianeSpace that operates Korou is the world’s largest satellite launching service with some 250 contracts signed.
However, Ariane 5 exploded during its maiden launch in 1996 because of a software bug and the rocket’s self-destruction mechanism triggered again in 2002, and blew it up after it veered off course over the Atlantic. In 2001, Ariane 5 failed to put two satellites at their correct altitudes resulting in the loss of one and the shortened mission of the other.
Asked if the chequered history of Ariane 5 is a concern, Humphries says that Shin wanted a proven engine and has “bought the most conventional drive which has had a number of successful launches already and lifted the heaviest satellite so far, the Canadian Anik F2”.
Nevertheless, should the launch fail, Humphries says there is a Plan B.
Currently, the broadband satellite service is being tested with “some 30 antennas around the country and a gateway in Sydney” using the New Skies 5 satellite. Humphries refers to this as the “first generation” service with the second being IPstar 1, which has a gateway in Albany, Auckland, that is already built and waiting to start transmission once the satellite has been launched.
John Scott Russell, ICONZ research and development manager echoed Humphries’ sentiments and says while a failed launch “would be devastating for Shin” it would not affect the provider’s PROBE plans.
Group buys Intelsat for $7bn
INTELSAT, the Bermudan satellite company that broadcast Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon, on Monday agreed a $US5 billion ($7 billion) takeover by a four-member private equity consortium.
The deal with Apax and Permira, two of Britain's biggest buyout firms, along with Apollo and Madison Dearborn, two US peers, marks a rare instance in which European private equity houses have made big investments in North America.
US buyout houses, in contrast, have made aggressive inroads into Europe.
Intelsat's sale caps 18 months of consolidation in the global satellite industry, a sector transformed by private equity firms looking for cash-rich properties, which have snapped up the large players. Almost $US11 billion worth of deals have gone through in the last eight months alone.
In May, Intelsat, which operates a network of 25 satellites and counts Lockheed Martin as a 24 per cent shareholder, abandoned plans for an initial public offering and chose to pursue a sale.
The move set off a competitive auction that came to a head at the weekend when the four-member consortium edged out competing offers from groups led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Blackstone, both US buyout firms.
Zeus, the consortium's acquisition vehicle, is paying $US18.75 a share to acquire Intelsat and is assuming $US2 billion of the company's debt, valuing the business at about $US5 billion.
When it was planning an IPO, Intelsat estimated it would have an enterprise value of about $US4.2 billion, based on the mid-point of its mooted pricing range.
Apax and Permira have already participated in the wave of satellite deals with last year's $US1.5 billion acquisition of Inmarsat.
Late last week, the pair joined forces with Apollo and Madison Dearborn to place the winning offer.
Media bankers in New York said two questions remained unanswered. One was the extent to which Apax and Permira would attempt to extract cost savings by combining Intelsat and Inmarsat.
There is also the question of whether US regulators and the Bush administration might want to ensure the deal does not violate rules on foreign ownership of sensitive technologies.
This year, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Carlyle and Providence Equity Partners agreed to buy Panamsat for $US3.35 billion. The price was cut by $US200 million after a technical malfunction at one of the group's satellites allowed the buyers to walk away.
Blackstone also joined in the action with the $US950 million buyout of Netherlands-based New Skies Satellites.
Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley advised Intelsat. Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers advised the consortium. CSFB, Lehman and Deutsche Bank are financing the deal. Intelsat said the deal could be closed before the end of the year
Intelsat sold to buyout firms for US$3b
Intelsat, the main shareholder of Hong Kong's loss-making Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting, has agreed to be sold for US$3 billion (HK$23.4 billion) to four buyout firms from the United States and Europe.
Zeus, formed by a consortium of funds Apax Partners, Apollo Management, Madison Dearborn Partners and Permira, will acquire Intelsat at US$18.75 an Intelsat share issued and outstanding, compared to US$12 to US$14 that Intelsat had planned to raise in an initial public offering.
The total value of the transaction, including about US$2 billion of existing net debt, is approximately US$5 billion, and was approved by the Intelsat board of directors, the satellite operator said.
The deal still requires approval by 60 per cent of shareholders and the regulator, which was expected to be obtained by year end, the company said. Lockheed Martin owns 24 per cent of Intelsat. France Telecom, Europe's second-biggest phone company, and Tata Sons, which runs India's biggest software developer, each hold about 5 per cent.
Intelsat, which sends voice, video and data, and put itself up for sale in May, has a 51 per cent stake in Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting, one of the pay-TV rookies to challenge i-Cable Communications' dominant position in the sector.
The pay-TV unit, 49 per cent owned by free-to-air broadcaster Television Broadcasts (TVB), recorded a first-half operating loss of US$19.1 million, 40 times more than the US$479,000 loss a year earlier.
Last week, TVB general manager Ho Ting-kwan revealed that Intelsat had expressed an intention to withdraw its 51 per cent equity stake in Galaxy, which is believed to have just 5,000 subscribers since its launch in February. ``This transaction comes at a time when Intelsat is successfully executing its strategies for market leadership in the fixed satellite services sector,'' Intelsat chief executive officer Conny Kullman said.
All of the existing service commitments between Intelsat and its customers, including those dating from the privatisation in 2001, would remain in force, it said.
Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are acting as financial advisers to Intelsat in the deal.
Pay-TV role examined for private investors
China, which plans to replace its current analogue television system with nationwide digital broadcasting by 2015, is considering allowing private investors to take stakes in digital pay-TV channels - though they will be barred from any operational role, officials with the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (Sarft) said.
``The right of reviewing and broadcasting television programmes and any big decisions will remain in the hands [of Sarft],'' an official said.
Sarft recently granted licences to four mainland media companies to broadcast digital pay-TV channels, ending the monopoly of state-run China Central Television (CCTV).
A Sarft official said all four companies given licences, including Shanghai Television, China Broadcast Network and a consortium of five other companies that includes China National Radio, are media companies directly under its control.
The official said Beijing may allow other state-owned media institutions to set up pay-TV joint ventures, although Sarft has no timetable for when another batch of new licences will be issued.
He also said Sarft may permit domestic companies that have the capital, resources and television production experience, including privately run ones, to take stakes in joint-venture digital pay-TV channels.
The official denied press reports saying foreign media companies may take stakes in joint-venture production companies to supply programming for the pay digital television services.
He said foreign media companies, which are barred from holding broadcasting licences, will not be able to take part in the digital television services either. Currently, a handful of foreign channels have limited access to some cable systems in parts of Guangdong and satellite access in high-end hotels and residential compounds.
MultiChoice plea for exemption to cross-media law
Icasa told of grave implications for Naspers
SATELLITE broadcaster MultiChoice appealed to the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) yesterday to back an exemption for pay-television companies from proposed new curbs to cross-media ownership .
The proposed additions to the Broadcasting Act sections 49 and 50 are aimed at limiting monopolies in SA's media. Icasa has been asked to recommend to government whether these rules should apply to broadcasters.
Icasa's decision could have dramatic consequences for SA's large media houses, including Naspers, Johnnic Communications and Primedia, which could see any plans to diversify and become multimedia conglomerates either sanctioned or scuppered.
The proposed section 49 states that "no person shall exercise control over more than one commercial television broadcasting licence".
Section 50 states that no entity which controls newspapers with a minimum of 25% of the newspaper circulation of an area shall be allowed a broadcasting licence for that area.
But in hearings yesterday to shape a new policy on satellite broadcasting, MultiChoice lawyer Schalk Burger attacked the two sections as being "out of sync" with international media trends and constitutionally suspect as they inhibited freedom of expression.
Burger warned this had grave implications for media giant Naspers, which owns M-Net and MultiChoice through MIH Holdings. He said th e new constraints could force Naspers to sell off M-Net or MultiChoice.
Also, because Naspers owns major newspaper titles including Beeld and the Daily Sun, the proposed rules could force a change in strategy.
Burger said Icasa should recommend amending those sections to include clauses in both stating that "this section does not apply to a subscription broadcasting licence".
He said that, internationally, media houses had been allowed to grow across a range of media without interference for instance, the US-based Time Warner owned CNN, Time Magazine and other major media and entertainment assets.
But the South African Broadcasting Corporation said that while it was aware the proposed changes might have a significant effect on some players , "it would be desirable that these rules apply to all commercial broadcasters, including subscription broadcasters".
Icasa will again hear submissions on cross-media ownership legislation on August 26 after which it will deliver its far-reaching recommendation .
Weeding out DTH porn ain't easy
NEW DELHI: Policy-makers, who are rushing in to regulate direct-to-home (DTH) content may be biting into more than they can chew in some areas. While blocking of pornographic content is desirable, it may not be a good idea to put the onus entirely on the DTH-service provider.
Any filtering at the ground level may compromise the interoperability clause pertaining to set-top boxes (STB) under the DTH guidelines in the long run.
The move to set up a committee headed by the I&B secretary, Naveen Chawla to review the DTH norms, has apparently been prompted by a public interest litigation (PIL) against the flow of pornographic content into homes and the threat to national security.
While porno can be accessed through the DTH technology, it is not necessary that the DTH service provider provides this access. Anyone with a set-top box (STB) can purchase a conditional access module (CAM) card akin to the pre-paid card of mobile phones insert it into the STB and tune in to the channel, which may be beamed from anywhere in the world.
Aligning the dish antenna in the direction of the satellite carrying the channel is all it takes.
The channel may be beamed from a transponder of a particular satellite, which hosts other clean channels too.
For instance, Asiasat 3S which hosts Star, Zee, Sahara and Sab TV channels also beams three adult channels. Blocking the transponder is easier than singling out the frequencies of specific channels, but then it would mean blocking other channels too what if the “others” are part of the must-carry provision that is being contemplated?
“Earlier when there was a problem with some subscribers viewing FreeX TV, we removed the “edit facility” in our Digibox (the brand name of the Dish TV STB), which allows addition of frequencies carrying such channels,” points out Jawahar Goel, vice-chairman, Essel Group. However, this involves creating specific software (on the lines of software patches for specific virus attacks on computers).
It is no permanent solution either as the channel provider can switch frequencies, which means the DTH provider would have to evolve another patch. With the market expected to be flooded with various STBs catering to the soon-to-be-launched DD Direct service, the consumer can access FTA porno channels with ease. DD may not be in a position to fortify third party STBs at the subscriber end.
According to technical opinion in the I&B ministry regulating downlinking of such content is therefore extremely difficult. “It is better to rope in the department of space. ISRO, which is tying up with foreign satellites for DTH, should negotiate to shift the signals out of the India beam or get the satellite company to persuade the pornographic content provider to block it from the uplinking station itself.”
As for messaging on DTH, while the law allows unified messaging service through licensing, concerns over national security has placed an informal ban on the service.
Instead of restricting the scope of DTH in this manner, it would be better to monitor content by making it mandatory for the service provider to maintain a log of SMS.
Zee to beam in HK, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand & Japan
MUMBAI: After the successful launch of its dedicated Zee TV beam for Singapore, Zee Network has announced that it will further extend its South East Asia beam.
The Subhash Chandra promoted network will now have a customised feed to Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan.
Speaking on the launch of the service, Zee Telefilms president Abhijit Saxena said, "Zee Telefilms is proud to announce the extension of the South East Asia beam of Zee TV to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Japan. It was the overwhelming response from our viewers in these regions that compelled us to extend our local beam with customised programming strategy for Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. The viewers of these regions will now be able to watch Zee TV shows at their local time and not deferred time as they were earlier receiving the India feed."
"With this extension, Zee TV will now have a viewer-driven programming schedule. We will also be taking local programming initiatives for these countries. It also opens up opportunities for advertisers who currently face extremely high advertising rates on the India feed," Saxena added.
The local feed to the rest of South East Asia will coincide with prime time in different markets and concurrently the values of airtime inventory will be according to locally relevant and competitive rates, says a company release.
The timings for Hong Kong and Philippines will be the same as Singapore, whereas Thailand and Indonesia will be an hour before Singapore and Japan an hour after Singapore.
According to the release, besides the programmes being aired at a time convenient to viewers, the entertainement channel will have a flexible program schedule to cater to the preferences of viewers in these countries.
Besides the entertainment feed, the channel will also air three news bulletins every day, Hindi pop and film music based programs, Bollywood based programs and local programs.
Doordarshan to open foreign channel
BANGALORE, AUG. 17. Doordarshan (DD) is poised to open its first foreign channel. To be targeted at Indians in Britain and Europe, it is expected to be a reality in a few months.
At present, a few private television networks in the country are telecasting programmes for viewers in Britain. DD will telecast news and other programmes in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Bengali from London.
The Secretary, Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Naveen Chawla, recently visited London to study the prospects for such a DD channel. Mr. Chawla, who was in Bangalore, told The Hindu that his Ministry had cleared the channel. Only the Finance Ministry had raised a question under a law relating to foreign exchange. Under that law, clearance will be given provided the organisation that approached the Ministry established an office in the foreign country concerned. The issue raised by the Finance Ministry created some confusion.
It had now been decided that DD will not open an office or station in London. Instead, the programmes will be telecast making use of a British satellite, ``B Sky B.''
Mr. Chawla said the DD Director-General had been asked to set up a special programming unit to decide upon the programmes to be telecast. The programmes would cater to three generations of the Indian diaspora in Britain the elderly, the middle aged and the youth. Indians living abroad had for long been feeling the absence of an Indian television channel and DD would make up for the desideratum.
It would be a 24-hour channel with a mix of news, entertainment and information oriented programmes. The Secretary said that it would be a free channel and also help All India Radio to broadcast programmes to Britain.
Mr. Chawla said the programmes for the London channel would be prepared in New Delhi and telecast to London. Doordarshan was not going to have an establishment there.
Live chat in the chatromm tonight 9pm NZ onwards 8.30pm Syd. Tarb's / UBI /Olympics etc
Intelsat has been sold, details in News section
No Tarbs/UBI info as yet.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Steve Hume 16/08
Latest Telstar 18 scan
3665 H 3615 China Stockmarket TV
3786 H 4996
3866 H 4289 Vsat
3869 V 4996
3889 H 2222
4040 H 24812
China Stockmarket TV
(Craigs comment, screenshots tomorrow)
Vsat01 3867H 4290 3/4, 83% on ID Digital 2.3m solid Mackay. "mature"
Chinese lady on the program. ;-) Should easily get this on a 1.8m.
Trading Day Channel 11 showing what looks like stock market reports
3665H 3616 3/4, 94% ID Digital 2.3m solid. Could probably get this on a 1.5m.
From the Dish
AsiaSat 4 122E 4100 V Several updates in the CDM mux on .
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3660 V "Radio Quran and Program One" have left .
Express AM 11 96.5E 3875 L "Perviy kanal (+4h) and Radio Mayak" have started on , SECAM, 6.50 and 7.00 MHz.(Dx'ers take a look)
NSS 6 95E 11456 H "A Greek promo" has started on , Fta, SR 4340, FEC 3/4,PIDs 4194/4195, Middle East beam.
NSS 6 95E Minor updates in DISH TV.
Yamal 102 90E 3538 L "ORTRK 12 Kanal has replaced GTRK Omsk" on , Fta, SR 4285, FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256.
Yamal 102 90E 3550 L New SR and PIDs for the TMT mux on : 20000, 100/111, 201/211, 301/312,111, 211 and 312.
Intelsat 709 85.2E 11587 H "Hellas TV and Cosmoradio 95.1" have left .
Telstar 10 76.5E All channels in D-Sky are encrypted again.
Telstar 10 76.5E 3980 V "Samanyolu TV" has started on , Fta, PIDs 524/652.TV Chile has replaced Nile News on PIDs 521/649, Fta.New PIDs for MBC Europe and MKTV Sat: 522/650 and 523/651.
PAS 10 68.5E 3974 V "Discovery Travel & Living India" has started on , PowerVu, PIDs 1360/1320.
Intersputnik Provides Golden Telecom With LMI-1 Satellite Resource
The Intersputnik International Organization of Space Communications and Golden Telecom, a leading independent telecommunication operator in Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), has signed a contract for the lease of two C-band transponders of the LMI-1 telecommunications satellite (75o East) for the duration of five years.
The 72 MHz capacity leased by Golden Telecom will be used to provide voice and data transmission within the footprint of the LMI-1 satellite’s Beam A.
Ordered by the joint venture Lockheed Martin Intersputnik, the LMI-1 spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, USA, and brought into use in November 1999.
LMI-1 carries 44 high-power transponders in C and Ku bands and features high station-keeping accuracy. With a guaranteed active lifetime of 15 years, LMI-1 boasts a unique four-beam service area covering the whole of Russia and the CIS, Europe, South and South-East Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.
LMI-1 is used by telecommunications operators and broadcasters from different countries to establish voice and data transmission channels, VSAT-based dedicated networks, digital broadcasting to distribution and user networks, as well as high-speed Internet access.
Thais style 24/7 news
BANGKOK -- The Mass Communication Organization of Thailand (MCOT) is to launch its first English-lingo channel worldwide, which it hopes will compete with the BBC and CNN to give overseas auds "a window to the East."
Initial investment in MCOT Television will be more than $25 million, according to MCOT topper Mingkwan Sangsuwan.
The round-the-clock channel will be listed on the Thai Stock Exchange in September and an initial public offering of 25% of its share will help raise more funds. MCOT will start working on the project next year and the 24/7 broadcast will be phased in over the next two years.
The Finance Ministry will hold a 75% stake in the company after the listing, and foreign investors will be restricted to holding no more than 15% of shares.
MCOT plans on leasing several satellite transponders from operators worldwide to make sure its signal will reach audiences around the globe. And only those with a dish will be able to see the programs within the country.
Sangsuwan says the channel is aimed at strengthening Thailand's role in the international broadcasting market and tightening its trade ties worldwide by creating a better understanding of the country.
Most programming will be produced by Panorama, MCOT's 90%-controlled subsidiary, with a focus on documentaries. New production companies will be added in the future through acquisitions.
Local staff will be trained to cover regional news, especially in Southeast Asia, and MCOT, which also operates the Thai News Agency, will help support the operation.
State-owned MCOT, which is in the process of being privatized, owns concessions for free-to-air Channel 9 and Channel 3, paybox UBC, and 62 radio stations.
Recently, the Cabinet approved its sale amid criticism it could violate the 1997 Constitution that calls for a National Broadcasting Commission to oversee media liberalization.
Shin Satellite Q2 sales and profit drop
Satellite operator Shin Satellite (ShinSat) posted total profit of Bt249 million in the second quarter, down by Bt11 million from the same period last year.
Its profit for the first half was Bt439 million, a decline of Bt174 million from the first six months last year, due to declining sales and services.
ShinSat posted total revenues of B1.12 billion in the quarter, down by Bt346 million on the year.
Of the total, the firm’s satellite service contributed Bt730 million, Internet service Bt17 million, and telephone services Bt370 million.
However, the company’s chief financial officer Tanadit Charoenchan said that total revenue was Bt1.61 billion if contributions from its Internet service provider subsidiary CS Loxinfo were included. CS Loxinfo’s revenues were included last year, but the Internet firm has since listed on the stock exchange.
CS Loxinfo posted total revenue of Bt517 million, up 63 per cent from the same period last year and 25 per cent from the first quarter this year.
Its second-quarter net profit was Bt92 million versus Bt28 million in the same period last year.
Tanadit said that ShinSat’s broadband satellite provider iPSTAR Co had also continued to clinch broadband Internet service deals with foreign customers.
Recently it signed a five-year deal with one of New Zealand’s largest Internet service providers, ICONZ, to provide Net broadband service.
But ShinSat recently delayed the scheduled launch of its broadband satellite iPSTAR from late this year until the first quarter of next, pending final technical tests.
Currently ShinSat provides services via its Thaicom 3 satellite and iPSTAR signal-receiving terminals.
The iPSTAR satellite aims to become the flagship to tap the broadband satellite demand in the Asia-Pacific market.
The stock price of ShinSat closed at Bt12.50 yesterday, up from Bt11.80 on Friday.
Satellite pioneer $4.2bn buyout
INTELSAT Ltd, the pioneering satellite operator founded by a multinational government consortium, is being acquired by a group of investment funds for about $US3 billion ($4.2 billion) in cash, or $US18.75 per share.
The Bermuda-based company, created in 1964 through a partnership among 147 nations, said Monday it has signed a definitive agreement with Zeus Holdings Limited, an investment consortium formed by Apax Partners, Apollo Management, Madison Dearborn Partners and Permira.
As part of the deal, Zeus also will be assuming about $US2 billion worth of debt from Intelsat. Zeus plans to finance an undisclosed portion of the $US3 billion price tag by issuing new Intelsat debt.
Intelsat, privatised in 2001, is closely held by major investors, led by Lockheed Martin Corp. with a 24 percent stake, VSNL of India and Telenor of Norway. It had twice dropped plans to become a public company with an initial public offering of stock, first in 2002 and then this past May.
The company recently expanded its network fleet to 28 satellites with the purchase of five spacecraft from Loral Space & Communications Ltd. for $US1.1 billion, a deal financed through the sale of $US1 billion worth of bonds. The Loral deal also included a sixth orbital slot over North America.
Intelsat, which also leases capacity on two other satellites, transmits voice, data and video broadcast services to about 200 countries and territories.
In 2003, the company turned a profit of $US181 million on revenue of $US953 million. It has about 900 employees, located mostly at the company's base of operations in Washington.
The deal requires approval by government regulators and shareholders owning 60 per cent of Intelsat's outstanding stock. Intelsat said it expects the deal could be approved and completed by as early as the end of 2004.
Intelsat to Be Acquired by Consortium of Private Investors
From Press Release
Transaction Valued at Approximately $5 Billion
Pembroke, Bermuda, 16 August 2004 - Intelsat, Ltd., a global satellite communications leader providing services in over 200 countries and territories, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement that provides for the amalgamation under Bermuda law of Intelsat and a subsidiary of Zeus Holdings Limited (“Zeus”), a company formed by a consortium of funds advised by Apax Partners, Apollo Management, Madison Dearborn Partners and Permira. At closing, Zeus will be acquiring Intelsat, and Intelsat’s current shareholders generally will be entitled to receive $18.75 for each Intelsat share issued and outstanding immediately prior to closing, subject to adjustment in a specified circumstance. The total value of the transaction, including approximately $2 billion of existing net debt, is approximately $5 billion. The transaction was approved unanimously by the Intelsat, Ltd. Board of Directors.
“This transaction comes at a time when Intelsat is successfully executing on its strategies for market leadership in the fixed satellite services sector. We believe that the acquisition of Intelsat by this consortium of well-respected private equity investors represents the best opportunity for Intelsat to achieve its strategic goals,” said Intelsat, Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Conny Kullman. “Once completed, this transaction will both satisfy our shareholders’ interest in a strong valuation and allow shareholders to monetize their investments. At the same time, the deal will align Intelsat’s future with a force that can make our vision for continued leadership a reality.”
“Our consortium is very pleased to begin a partnership with Intelsat, a global leader in the fixed satellite services sector. Intelsat’s healthy, young and flexible satellite fleet, seasoned management team, strong brand and solid backlog of long-term contracts create a very attractive investment opportunity,” said the representatives of the consortium. “As Intelsat enters its next stage of strategic development, its operational strength, stable, diversified revenue base and global market presence offer the company a variety of exciting organic and strategic growth opportunities, and the consortium will provide the financial and strategic support Intelsat needs to capitalize on these opportunities.”
At closing, all of the existing service commitments between Intelsat and its customers, including those dating from the privatization in 2001, will remain in force. “Intelsat and members of the consortium understand that strong and stable media, communications, corporate and government customers are the lifeblood of Intelsat’s business. Although the satellite industry continues to evolve, our commitment to our customers, including continuing to deliver the ‘gold standard’ in satellite services, remains unchanged,” said Intelsat CEO Kullman.
Required approval of shareholders holding 60% of Intelsat’s outstanding shares will be sought in a general meeting of shareholders expected to be held later this year. The closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of several conditions, including the receipt of shareholder and regulatory approvals. Intelsat currently expects that required approvals could be obtained and closing could occur as early as the end of 2004.
Zeus has obtained commitments for financing the acquisition, subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions. Intelsat understands that Zeus intends to finance the transaction in part with debt that, after giving effect to the transaction and consistent with the terms of Intelsat’s existing indebtedness, will be at the Intelsat (Bermuda), Ltd. level. The security expected to be granted in connection with this new debt will be in compliance with the terms of Intelsat’s existing indebtedness and is not expected to result in the grant of security to the company’s existing senior notes.
Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are acting as financial advisors to Intelsat, Ltd. in connection with the transaction. Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Lehman Brothers Inc. are acting as financial advisors to the consortium in connection with the transaction. The new debt financing will be led by Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston and Lehman Brothers Inc.
Building on 40 Years of Leadership. As a global communications leader with 40 years of experience, Intelsat helps service providers, broadcasters, corporations and governments deliver information and entertainment anywhere in the world, instantly, securely and reliably. Intelsat’s global reach and expanding solutions portfolio enable customers to enhance their communications networks, venture into new markets, and grow their businesses with confidence. For more information, visit www.intelsat.com.
About Apax Partners
Apax Partners is one of the world’s leading private equity investment groups, operating across Europe, Israel, the United States and Japan. With over 30 years of direct investing experience, Apax Partners’ Funds provide long-term equity financing to entrepreneurs to build and strengthen world-class companies. It pursues a balanced equity portfolio strategy, investing in companies at all stages of development from early stage to buy-out. Apax Partners’ Funds invest in companies across its six chosen global sectors of information technology, telecommunications, healthcare, media, financial services, retail and consumer. Some of Apax Partners’ Funds information technology and telecommunications investments include Audible, Dialog Semiconductor, Frontier Silicon, Jamdat, Kabel Deutschland, Sonim Technologies and Yell. For additional information, visit the web site at www.apax.com.
Apollo, founded in 1990, is among the most active and successful private investment firms in the U.S. in terms of both number of investment transactions completed and aggregate dollars invested. Since its inception, Apollo has managed the investment of an aggregate of approximately $13 billion in equity capital in a wide variety of industries, both domestically and internationally.
About Madison Dearborn Partners
Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP), based in Chicago, is one of the largest and most experienced private equity firms in the United States. MDP has approximately $8 billion of equity capital under management and makes new investments through its most recent fund, Madison Dearborn Capital Partners IV, L.P., a $4.0 billion fund raised in 2001. MDP focuses on management buyout and other private equity investments across a broad spectrum of industries, including basic industries, communications, consumer, financial services and healthcare. Over the last decade, MDP has been an active investor in the communications industry, with investments in such companies as Omnipoint Corporation, Nextel Partners, Telemundo Communications Group, Clearnet Communications, and XM Satellite Radio, Inc. For additional information, visit the web site at www.mdcp.com.
Permira is a leading global private equity firm, advising funds of $13 billion, including Permira Europe III, a E5.1 billion fund raised in 2003. Permira is an independent business with offices in Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, New York, Paris and Stockholm, focusing on buyout transactions across a number of sectors, including technology & telecom, consumer, business services, chemicals, industrial products and services, and healthcare. Since 1985, funds advised by Permira have invested in over 260 transactions and have an investor base comprising principally public and corporate pension funds and other institutions. For additional information, visit the web site at www.permira.com.
Intelsat Investor Relations and Financial Media:
+1 202 944 7406
Note: Some of the statements in this news release constitute forward-looking statements that do not directly or exclusively relate to historical facts, including statements relating to Intelsat’s belief that the acquisition of Intelsat by the consortium of private equity investors represents the best opportunity for Intelsat to achieve its strategic goals, Intelsat’s belief that the transaction will align Intelsat’s future with a force that can make Intelsat’s vision for continued leadership in the fixed satellite services sector a reality, Intelsat’s expectation that required approvals could be obtained and closing could occur as early as the end of 2004, and Zeus Holdings Limited’s intended financing for the acquisition. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for certain forward-looking statements as long as they are identified as forward-looking and are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. When used in this news release, the words “plan,” “expect,” “intend,” “outlook,” “believe” and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made in this news release reflect Intelsat’s intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside of Intelsat’s control. In connection with the proposed acquisition of Intelsat by the consortium of private equity investors, known risks include, but are not limited to, the inability to obtain shareholder approval of the transaction; the inability to obtain required regulatory approvals or the need to modify aspects of the transaction in order to obtain such approvals; and the inability to complete the transaction. Known risks also include, but are not limited to, insufficient market demand for the services offered by Intelsat; the quality and price of services offered by Intelsat’s competitors; the risk of delay in implementing Intelsat’s business strategy; Intelsat’s access to sufficient capital to meet its operating and financing needs; changes in laws and regulations or the inability to maintain required governmental authorizations; political, economic and legal conditions in the markets Intelsat is targeting for communications services or in which Intelsat operates; general economic conditions; and a change in the health of Intelsat’s satellites or a catastrophic loss occurring during the in-orbit operations of any of Intelsat’s satellites. More detailed information about known risks is included in Intelsat’s annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2003 on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Because actual results could differ materially from Intelsat’s intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about the future, you are urged to view all forward-looking statements made in this news release with caution. Intelsat does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Semiconductor Makers Develop 3 Core Chips For Satellite DMB Receiver
Domestic semiconductor makers developed all of core chips used for satellite digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) receivers such as a baseband chip, tuner chip and multimedia chip.
Industry sources said on Monday that on the heels of Samsung Electronics, which developed a code division multiplexing (CDM) chip earlier this year, Integrant Technologies, Mtek Vision, and Core Logic unveiled a tuner chip and multimedia chip, respectively.
In the first half of this year, Samsung Electronics developed a CDM chip that plays the role of a central processing unit in a satellite DMB receiver. The CDM chip of Samsung Electronics features functions of baseband chip that can receive satellite video and audio signals as well as applications that can process collection and management of subscriber charges. The new chip is also power-efficient.
Having developed a single chip of tuner module, Integrant Technologies recently began its commercial production. Being a tuner designed smaller than finger nail, Integrant’s chip boasts greater efficiency in power consumption than competing products. "Designed to be fit in mobile phones, our new chip will be able to take superior position in the market with power efficiency and smaller size," said Goh Beom-gyu, CEO of Integrant.
Mtek Vision and Core Logic have installed functions of processing satellite DMB video and sound in their ‘mv8601’ and 'Hera chip', respectively. "The company incorporated functions of satellite DMB multimedia in its chip that supports 5 million pixels, 3D engine and MPEG4 technology," said Jang Sang-man, a team manager at Mtek Vision.
In addition to these chips, a semiconductor designer Makus plans to roll out a new chip featuring functions of conditional access system (CAS) next month.
"With the development its pivotal components, satellite DMB service will grow as one of growth engine industries of the nation. Component industry will also be benefited from business achievements of satellite DMB service," said Seo Yeong-gil, CEO of TU Media, a satellite DMB service licensee.
Intersil Releases Advanced Power and Control IC For Satellite TV Systems
Intersil has announced the ISL6421A, a new highly integrated solution for providing power and control signals from advanced set-top box (STB) units to the satellite dish low-noise block (LNB) down converter.
This new power and control IC offers high integration to reduce space and costs, high power efficiency to reduce power dissipation and heat, and high reliability to ensure long service in customer premises equipment.
The new ISL6421A contains both a high-efficiency current-mode boost PWM converter and a low-noise linear regulator, along with the circuitry required for I2C device interfacing and for providing DiSEqC standard control signals to the LNB. A regulated output voltage is available at the output terminal (VOUT) to support the operation of the antenna port in advanced satellite STB applications.
The regulated output may be set to either 13 V or 18 V by use of an external pin (SEL18V) or the voltage select command bit (VSEL) through the I2C bus. Additionally, to compensate for the voltage drop in the coaxial cable, the voltage may be increased by 1V with the line length compensation bit (LLC) feature.
"With the introduction of the ISL6421A, Intersil now offers the flexibility to integrate single (ISL6421A) or dual LNBs (ISL6405) with the same high integration, high efficiency, and high reliability into the latest set-top box designs," said Richard Powers, director of marketing for Intersil's Broadband Power Products.
"Our ISL6405 dual-output low-noise block (LNB) down-converter supply and control voltage regulator IC is the first of its kind and was specifically designed to save satellite set-top box manufacturers board space, parts count and costs for their set-top boxes."
The device can be put into a standby mode by means of the enable bit (EN), this disables the PWM and linear regulator combination and helps conserve power. The input to the linear regulator is derived from the current mode boost converter, such that the required voltage is the sum of the output voltage and the linear regulator drop (1.0V typical).
This ensures that the power dissipation is minimized and maintains a constant voltage drop across the linear pass element, while permitting an adequate voltage range for tone injection. The device is capable of providing 450mA (typical). The over-current limit is digitally programmable to static or dynamic mode.
DTH Policy Under Scanner, Review Committee Soon
NEW DELHI: Direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting policy is likely to come up for review, according to government sources. A committee, headed by information and broadcasting secretary Naveen Chawla, is being set up for a fresh look into DTH. The committee is expected to focus on content-related issues.
The review of the direct-to-home policy is being planned at a time when one player, Subhash Chandra-promoted ASC, has already launched its DTH serviceDish TV, while two others are in queue. Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati’s DTH service is set to be rolled out soon, and Tata-STAR venture, Space TV, is awaiting government nod.
A recent public interest petition, filed by Centre for Media Studies (CMS) chairman N Bhaskara Rao against the Union government, is understood to have triggered the review exercise. The petition points out that the DTH service guidelines need to be re-examined because the current norms overlook national security issues. Also, there’s no mechanism or regulatory authority to monitor DTH services, resulting in pornography and obscenity in direct-to-home, the petition has stated.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) also wants to make it mandatory for TV channels to give their content to all DTH providers on a non-discriminatory basis. “If this is not made mandatory, you as a consumer will be required to have multiple dishes,” Mr Baijal had told FE recently. That’s another reason for the I&B ministry to review the entire policy, sources said.
Also, government was recently working on a downlinking policy. A downlinking policy would include guidelines on DTH, it is understood.
Review of the DTH policy may not consider changes in foreign direct investment or issues such as sectoral cap. When STAR officials had met I&B minister Jaipal Reddy recently, they had stressed the need for a higher FDI. But, Mr Reddy had indicated at that point that he was not in favour of hiking FDI in DTH, from the current level of 20 per cent.
To put things in perspective, DTH was banned in 1997. Mr Jaipal Reddy was the I&B minister then, and STAR was in a state of preparedness to launch DTH at that point. The ban on DTH was lifted in 2000, under the NDA government
Zee to launch sports channel
The cricket telecast war has intensified with Zee Network, reportedly the highest bidder for the Board of Control for Cricket in India rights, claiming that it had the production expertise and was planning to launch a full-fledged sports channel once they bag the rights.
"We have met all the requirements and have no reason to believe that we are not eligible for telecast rights. We will utilise our internal capacities in the first year of getting the rights and intend to launch a full-fledged sports channel in the second year," a Zee Network spokesperson said.
Zee's response came a day after ESPN-Star Sports claimed to have made the highest qualifying bid for the lucrative telecast rights of cricket matches in India from the current season to 2007-08.
"Under the terms for the bid for BCCI cricket, the ESPN-Star Sports bid was the highest qualifying bid under the rules of bidding specified by the BCCI," R C Venkatesh, Managing Director of the private television network, said in a media release.
Referring to claims of Zee Network that they were the highest bidder, he said the company had offered a larger bid but did not qualify since they did not have prior experience of broadcasting live matches.
"Although Zee Network had offered a larger bid, they clearly did not qualify as they have had no experience of broadcasting or producing live international cricket event as specified in the tender," he claimed.
The Zee spokesperson, however, said that the channel had telecast live and deferred live about 20 international series since 1995.
"If we were not eligible how was our bid entertained by the BCCI," the spokesperson asked.
The group has the largest in-house production facilities in the entire SAARC region, he said adding, it would utilise its vast internal capabilities for the telecast.
In line with the BCCI's vision to develop domestic cricket, the group would commit about Rs 94 crore (Rs 941 million) for the cause, he said.
The deadline for submission of sealed bids for the telecast and radio broadcast rights ended at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday.
BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya confirmed to PTI from Kolkata that the bids were opened yesterday in the presence of all the bidders along with BCCI Finance Committee chairman N Srinivasan and Joint Secretary R S Shetty.
"Audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers were asked to receive and open the bids which were signed by the notary public as per law," Dalmiya said.
"The papers are, however, yet to be received by me, so I am in no position to say whose bid is the highest," he said.
Panel to find ways to protect DTH from porn
Concerns over issues as disparate as national security and pornography have prompted the Centre to decide on constituting a committee to take a fresh look into the guidelines for Direct-To-Home (DTH) technology. It will be headed by I&B secretary Navin Chawla. The committee's other members will be appointed in consultation with I&B minister Jaipal Reddy.
The panel, which is expected to include a representative from the Law Ministry, will examine whether some amendments can be made in the existing law to check the misuse of DTH.
Recent media reports have highlighted how DTH enables viewers to access 24-hour adult programming from around the world.
I&B Ministry officials said apart from satellite porn, there was concern that DTH channels could be used to access programmes that have implications for national security.
Ministry sources said there had been reports that one pornographic channel being accessed through the DTH technology had shown disrespect to the national flag. "The technology can be misused in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Northeast by insurgent groups to promote their propaganda," said a senior ministry official.
The other issue on the agenda will be exploring the possibility of putting a regulatory mechanism in place for DTH.
Geo TV to set up distribution base in India; plans to start India-specific feed
NEW DELHI: Geo TV, the satellite television venture from the Pakistan-based Jung Group, plans to set up distribution base in India and also start an India-specific feed of the channel.
Speaking to indiantelevision.com on the sidelines of the Cable Quest-organised broadcast and cable show here, Geo TV's director distribution Hasan Mustafa said, "We have some interesting plans to undertake aggressive distribution initiatives in India as we feel there's a huge market available to us here."
At present, Geo TV, an Urdu-language channel that broadcasts entertainment and news-based programmes, is available in India on Dish TV's DTH platform, apart from some pockets in the country where the local operators feel there is a concentration of Muslim population.
According to Mustafa, though he would not be able to give a time frame to the initiatives planned, but they are likely to happen soon. "The India feed is being put together and it would be different from the Geo TV that is currently being viewed here," he added.
The main purpose of the India feed is to have more Indian programming on the channel, which need "not necessarily mean accepting advertisements from
companies based here." He added, "We are looking at having only entertainment-oriented programmes for the India feed."
Mustafa pointed out that Geo TV would continue to be a digitally free to-air channel s this is one of the surest way of increasing penetration in the Indian cable and satellite TV market.
With a stiff distribution target for India, Geo TV plans to seed the market with about 10,000 integrated receiver decoders (IRDs) amongst the cable ops free of cost in the initial phase.
"The decoder box does cost about Rs. 5,000, but we are looking at subsidizing it and unveil attractive packages for the Indian cable operators," Mustafa said.
As part of the distribution plan, Geo TV is also weighing the option of siding with an existing bouquet that may just help in giving a fillip to the penetration process.
Though he refused to confirm or deny it, cable industry sources indicated that in recent times, Geo TV has been holding talks with Zee Turner, Star India and even a LK Modi company for distribution purpose. Amongst some other channels, the Modi company also looks after the distribution responsibilities of another Dubai-based channel, Ten Sports.
"We are talking to everybody," Mustafa said, adding that investments would not be a problem for Geo TV.
Earlier, Geo TV has said that with a conscious bridge the Indo-Pak chasm, it would sign up a number of Indian TV artistes and producers for projects.
Among some of the Indo-Pak programming scheduled are the Sunil Salgia directed sitcom Lakhon Mein Teen. The 52-episode comedy involves around the adventure of three friends -- two Pakistanis and one Indian -- who go to Dubai in search of a job. The cast includes Ashok Saraf and Pakistan's Javed Sheikh and Ismail Tara as the three friends. Ravi Gosain and Anil Pandit are also roped in for the sitcom.
Geo TV went on air from August 14, 2002. The channel broadcasts 24 hours a day from Dubai Media City to give viewers in UAE, Pakistan, Mauritius, the US and Bangladesh news, besides reality and talk shows, soaps and quiz shows.
ETV takes 5 regional channels to US
MUMBAI: Ramoji Rao's ETV is taking five of its network channels to the US. The channels set for their US entry are ETV Telugu, ETV Telugu-II, ETV Kannada, ETV Gujarat and ETV Bangla.
The channels will be launched in the Direct platform.
"For now it is the US. In the next phase we would be taking these channels to other countries including Canada and Mexico, ETV chief producer Manvi told Indiantelevision.com.
Manvi ruled out any plans to launch a Malayalam channel saying the market there is a saturated one.
Update late Monday , The test signal seen on Telstar 18 is now running some kind of Chinese Stockmarket channel.
Please keep the Olympics coverage reports coming in.
A New Tarb's / UBI signal on B3 12701 H sr 22500
From my Emails & ICQ
Woohoo! We have digital. 3665H 3615 3/4 a chinese test card ID's as
channel 11. 4039H 24820 7/8 doesn't lock looks like data.
3665H is very strong. 90% on my 2.3m solid. 4039H 24820 7/8 pushes full scale deflection.
3677H-2500 is FEC 2/3 nearly FSD,
3673H-3351 is FEC 2/3 about 90%Q.
Telstar 18 ??
3 TPs appear,disappear about where T18 should be......around 15 dB above the noise floor...
According to spectrum analyser roughly ...
Unfortunately, due to a death in the blind-scan receiver family this is as
much information as I can relate.....
Telstar 18 now has VSAT01 on 3869 H 4290
From Steve Hume
More tests on Telstar 18
3677H Sr 2500
3673H Sr 3351
3666H Sr 3616
Some more for you. Nothing locks on them yet.
From Mark Fahey 16/08
3665 H 3617 3/4
The test card from the weeked has come to life and running a program called
"Trading Day".The program IS LIVE with the Asian stock markets now open and the screens
are showing current data (with the usual few minute delays). A blind scan of
Telstar 18 shows a host of transponders loading this morning but at the
moment the screens a just blank.
From Mike Hammond (NZ)
Fiji tv in Auckland NZ
I scanned 701 only get Canal Plus 11610 at 48c095 weak signal and 10975 38co95 weak signal on Nokia 9600s no sign of Fiji signal or PBS on 3.5 solid 1 degree gardiner lnb
From Andrew Harrison
Fiji mux back on@ 3.45pm
Loads 72% on a 95cm offset in Port Vila.
PBS on 12691 loads also @ 72% quality on the same dish. I am using a Fortec lifetime blindscan.
Canal+ is FTA also and has pics at the moment. Same dish etc 11610H @95% quality.
Buncha chnnels pumping out the old fryingpan now.
I701 the new pinup bird.
Afl Feed seen
B3 12553V 6667 3/4
Boxing also seen same freq
From Gavin Stuart (NZ)
You may be aware Dunedin got a good dumping of snow last night.
I thought you might like to see how the Ku band dishes coped with the snow down here.( Not too well by the look of these photos! )
(Craigs comment, Extreme super LNBF cooling! I hear they may need some installers up in Fiji.....)
From JonC (Thailand)
A super strong Ku band signal on
Palapa C2 ku FREQ: 11623 POL: H S/R: 7000
No transponder name ..
Anyone seen the new "Shin 2 - 14" MUX in 'irdeto' encryption on Thaicom 2/3 C band? What is on this mux? I see MV TV is also mentioned in there..
Thaicom 3 3424 H 3367
ChId - Service 1100 Vpid 1110 Apid 1120 PCR 1110
appears to Olympic games feed ( Chinese ?) m1700 UTC (yes it is 0230 local !)
B3 12442 H 6671 Oran Park V8's
B3 12452 H 6670
From Several people
TVChile is now on Tarbs/UBI
Revive your Tarb's box via B3
1/Put you dish on Optus B3 and align it
2/ Get your useless "X" TARBS box and connect it to the dish ON OPTUS B3
3/ Get into the menu (PIN NUMBER 8272 for the older box)
4/ Change the Freq to 12674 H, S/R 22500 FEC 3/4 or leave it a AUTO.
5/ press EXIT to SAVE.
6/ NOW for older boxes or most of them there is a little reset button on the rear,(RIGHT SIDE LOOKING FROM FRONT) press it and it will re-boot and re map, 80% of the time the reset button on rear will have to be hit to force the change of freq. Also re map you channels if box fails,,,,,. It has a funny problem liking that freq but once locked in its ok
7/Now you have 2 transponders and plenty more channels.
8/For some of you you will not be able to VIEW,,,, I mean VIEW,,, the second Transponder as they are playing with the encryption so in other words it will tell you you are not authorised to view these channels.
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E 11674 H "ESPN, E! and some test cards" have started on , Fta, PIDs 518/710-522/750. BBC World and Zee Music have left PIDs 514/670, 515/680 and 523/760,replaced by test cards.
Intelsat 701 180E 11674 H "Fiji1 , Zee Music, BBC World and TBN Asia-South Pacific" have
started on , Fta, SR 43656, PIDs 512/650-517/700 and 523/760, New Caledonian beam.
Optus B3 152E 12674 H New PIDs for MBC Europe and Mad TV on : 514/642 and 522/650.
Optus B3 152E New frequency and SR for the UBI mux on tp 15: 12674 H and 22500.TV Chile has replaced Nile News on PIDs 521/649.MKTV Sat has left this mux.
Optus B3 152E 12701 H "Four test cards, Nile TV International, Nile Drama, ESC 2, ESC 1, MKTV Sat and TV Chile" have started on , Fta, SR 22500, FEC 3/4, PIDs 512/640-524/652.
Optus B3 152E 12701 V "ABC TV Western and Dig Radio" have left .
Optus B3 152E 12720 V "The SBS Western mux" has left .
Optus B3 152E 12738 V "Win TV and GWN" have left .
Measat 2 148E 4085 V "GMA Network" has encrypted again
Agila 2 146E 3853 H "ESC 1" has left .
Apstar 1 138E 3677 H "China Stock TV" has left , moved to Sinosat 1.
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V All channels in the I-Sky-Net mux on are encrypted again, except BLTV, Life TV, Da-Ai TV and Asia Travel.
AsiaSat 4 122E 3864 V "TVSN" has left .
AsiaSat 4 122E 4020 V "CCTV World Geography" has started on , enc., PIDs 511/640.CHC is fta.
AsiaSat 4 122E 4100 V "Several updates in the CDM mux".
Telkom 1 108E 3580 H "ABC Asia-Pacific has replaced A1 Asia" on , Irdeto, PIDs 103/529.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3660 V "Saudi Arabian TV 1 Satellite" has left , replaced by a test card.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 4000 H "REE and WRN Multilingual Asia & Pacific" have left .
Insat 3A 93.5E DISH TV has left 11630 H and 11670 H, moved to NSS 6.
Yamal 102 90E 3576 L "Radio Rossii has replaced Kanal Melodia" on , Fta, APID 257.
ST 1 88E 3632 V "FTV Entertainment" is Fta.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3424 H "Occasional feeds" on , PIDs 1110/1120.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 12438 H "Olympics Channel" has started on , Irdeto, PIDs 523/760.
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 V "SuperSport +" has started on , Irdeto, PIDs 1631/1632.
PAS 10 68.5E 4099 V "Telly Track" is now encrypted.(bet its not...)
New PAY TV Operator Poised to Launch its 13 Channel DTH Service in Fiji and Rotuma
From Press Release
Pacific Broadcasting Services Limited (PBS), a joint venture between Ba Provincial Holdings Company Limited of Fiji and City West Broadcasting Services Pty Ltd of Australia is ready to give Fiji the most extensive Digital Satellite Subscription Television service it has ever seen.
The satellite service of PBS will be on the only remaining Direct To Home (DTH) full transponder available over Fiji and Rotuma through the Intelsat 701 satellite which has been secured by the joint venture through its long term agreement with City West Technical Services Pty Ltd.
PBS will provide Fiji initially with a capacity of up to thirteen (13) digital television and thirteen (13) digital radio channels of the highest quality, long awaited for by the Fiji market.
Berenado Vunibobo, PBS Chairman designate says, The joint forces of our shareholders are a solid foundation to bring the best and most affordable Pay TV service in Fiji. PBS aims to be a major player in the Digital Satellite Subscription Television market in the Southwest Pacific. Its immediate concentration is to make sure that the best digital satellite service is launched to serve the television and radio needs of the Fijian market.
Isimeli Bose, CEO of Ba Provincial Holdings Company Limited, states,We are delighted to enter into a partnership with City West Broadcasting Services who have years of solid experience in programming and broadcasting in Satellite Subscription Television. Our participation would assist PBS reach its goal. Through PBS, we aim to achieve the objectives set by the government of the Fiji Islands in provisioning of broadcasting services particularly to the rural areas and scattered islands of the Fiji Archipelago.
Simon Fong, director of City West Broadcasting Service Pty Ltd and PBS, says, We are very happy to join forces with a well respected and highly professional organisation such as Ba Provincial Holdings Company Limited who have strong visions for TV and radio services for Fiji. We are confident that this is the Satellite Subscription Television service Fiji has long deserved and will be most welcomed by the Fijian people.
The satellite service can be accessed from any corner of the Fiji group. The Joint Venture will be bringing in added value services such as wide screen technology currently enjoyed by cinema enthusiasts.
The Joint Venture gave careful consideration during the procurement of a satellite provider coupled with its decision to centralise its infrastructure in Sydney, Australia as connectivity to the rest of the world was important ensuring live and ad-hoc programming will be brought to the Pacific with affordability. This decision has already paid dividends in light of New Zealand Television's announcement that satellite coverage in the Pacific will cease at the end of 2004.
PBS is soft launching their service in September this year as programming content are finalised. The final testing on signals is presently being completed with primary consideration given to consumer satellite dish size being limited to 85 cm. This will minimise environmental and affordability uncertainties and have its Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) meet world standards in Direct To Home technology.
(Craigs comment, City West Broadcasting Service Pty Ltd hmm I smell Tarbs/UBI or whatever they are now called.)
Radio stations in TV bid
Fiji's two leading radio stations have shown interest to operate television stations says Information Minister Simione Kaitani.
Kaitani says state owned commercial entity, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation and private radio station, Communications Fiji Limited, are waiting on Government's stand on its policy framework for television licences and cross media ownership.
He says Government has plans to have more TV stations within a span of two years and is putting these plans into action through its Cabinet Sub-Committee on the Media and Communication.
He is optimistic that Cabinet will have a policy framework ready before the end of 2004.
Other overseas companies have expressed interest in operating television stations in Fiji.
These include Around the Pacific Limited from Canada and Fushen Limited from China.
Meanwhile, Kaitani says he has not received an application for a TV operators licence from Pacific Broadcasting Services Limited, a joint venture by Australia based City West Broadcasting Services Pty Ltd and the Ba Provincial Holdings Limited, the commercial arm of the largest provincial council in Fiji, Ba Province.
The new company has advertised its soft launching in September, promising state of the art technology.
PBS, in a statement, says it will provide Fiji initially 13 digital television and 13 digital radio channels.
Television was first introduced to Fiji in October 1991 as a temporary service mainly to broadcast the 1991 World Cup
China to Subsidize Rollout of Digital TV to 100 Mln Households
Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- China will provide low-interest loans to cable companies to convert 100 million urban households to digital television by 2008, a government official said.
The goal is to have all 380 million households in China on digital technology by 2015, providing sharper pictures and access to interactive services such home shopping. About 280,000 households nationwide are now digital.
``We want to be a digital society,'' Wang Xiaojie, director-general in charge of digital TV at the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said in an interview in Beijing. ``We want to phase out all analog and convert to digital by 2015. We are going to have to fund some of the technology required.''
China's rollout of digital television presents overseas investors a new avenue into a restricted market. Motorola Inc. recently agreed to invest $33 million in Hong Kong set-top box maker DVN (Holdings) Ltd. Viacom Inc. formed a production venture with Shanghai Media Group in April to make children's programming. Discovery Communications Inc. and News Corp. are among companies seeking to form media ventures.
The initial plan is to shift 100 million urban households now on cable to digital television by 2008, Wang said. That would require at least $7 billion worth of set-top boxes, based on the current cost of digital set-top box equipment.
``Subsidizing digital is a good investment for the state,'' said Jamie Davis, president of Star China, part of News Corp.'s China television unit. ``Television has the potential to create jobs, wealth, tax revenue, and a better lifestyle for people here.''
Digital television delivers better visual quality by encoding its signal as zeroes and ones -- the same digital code used in computers. The technology also allows for data transmission and the simultaneous broadcast of multiple channels, enabling interactive service such as pay-per-view movies, home shopping and stock trading.
``You'll see all kinds of entertainment on pay-digital TV,'' said Wang. ``You'll see fishing channels, health channels, women's channels, children's channels. The only thing we don't allow is adult content, nudity or politically sensitive information. But everything else will be available on pay TV.''
China is among the world's top five television markets and second in Asia behind Japan in terms of advertising. Spending on ads, before discounts and based on published rates, increased 45 percent in 2003 to $45 billion, according to New York-based market researcher Nielsen Media Research.
The subsidized rollout follows incentives offered by digital broadcasters in the U.K., Taiwan and other markets as they attempt to develop new audiences for their services.
China's TV regulator approved 40 digital pay-TV channels last year, Wang said. Sixty more will be approved in the next two weeks, she said. The loans will be made through China Development Bank.
State-owned China Central Television, which has 15 channels, began operating six digital pay-TV channels last week. Many local Chinese TV stations also are getting into the new technology.
``Digital TV needs pay television and pay television needs digital television,'' said Sun Yusheng, president of CCTV's digital TV unit.
DVN, which has 46 percent of the set-box market in China now, is working with Qingdao Cable Co. in eastern China to develop a platform for value-added services, including games and entertainment, real-time information for stocks and other data.
``The concept is to create a new business model, with value- added services,'' said Terry Lui, DVN chief executive.
Converting all the nation's households to digital will be a mammoth undertaking because two-thirds of China's population lives in rural, sometimes remote, areas that don't have access to cable and will have to receive digital TV from satellite dishes or digital broadcasts by local TV stations.
``This will take a massive effort as the nation is so huge and the number of households so many,'' Wang said. Helping farmers pay for expensive digital TV sets is the only solution, she said.
``The digitalization of Chinese society is very important,'' Wang said. ``It is important to China's industrialization. It is important to China's cultural modernization. We want to do this right.''
Free digital TV planned for many cities
China will reschedule its timetable of developing digital cable television in cities, officials said.
And more cities will give free decoders instead of selling them in order to attract subscribers.
"The situation has been changing rapidly over the past year, so we have to adjust the timetable and will release a new one soon," said an official surnamed Liu.
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television published a timetable last June, hoping for at least 30 million digital cable TV subscribers by the end of 2005.
It also planned to convert all municipalities, cities in eastern regions and most provincial capitals in central and western regions to digital broadcasting by that time.
But the situation is not developing as the administration has anticipated.
Many cities have found it difficult to attract more subscribers, with the number reaching just 20,000 in cities such as Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing.
"The problem lies in the digital cable providers of these cities, who were trying to promote digital cable TV in China in the same way as in other countries, but this does not conform with China's reality," said Wang Xiaojie, an senior official from the administration.
Most of the digital cable providers attract more subscribers by broadcasting TV programmes different from those offered by free channels. Subscribers have to pay around 1,000 yuan (US$120) to buy a special decoder in order to watch the programmes on a normal television.
"But the reality in China is that people have been accustomed to enjoying free television, and Chinese digital cable providers are forbidden to broadcast pornography like some foreign digital cables do to attract subscribers," Wang said.
The official cited Foshan in South China's Guangdong Province as an particular example.
Foshan started the promotion of digital cable three years ago, with overseas TV programmes being the major attraction. Only 6,000 subscribers were signed up on the city.
"When the digital cable provider in Foshan finally shut down the service because no more users were subscribing to the service, only one person called asking why. The rest had either already stopped subscribing, or did not even care," she said.
To encourage more people to opt for digital TV, the city has decided to give away the decoders for free.
"Hundreds of people line up every day to get the free decoder in Foshan, and the number of digital cable users in Foshan has at least quadrupled," she said.
The official revealed that Beijing, Taiyuan in Shanxi Province, and Dalian in Liaoning Province will also adopt the method in the near future.
In another development, the administration has recently issued digital TV licences to four companies to break the monopoly held by China Central Television on digital television.
Tamizh Thirai's curtains to go up 3 Sept
Tamizh Thirai, a satellite TV channel, being floated by Tamil film producers and directors in association with the cable TV operators across the State, will go on air from 3 September.
Noted director and chief of Tamizh Thirai television channel R Bharathiraja said, 'everything is set for the launch on 3 September. We have even decided on programme content which includes a host of telefilms, documentaries, feature films and other programmes'.
The 24-hour channel would feature mega serials on weekdays being churned out by noted producers of the Tamil filmdom. They include Gowri Teacher by Kovai Thambi, Abavanan's Appuchi and Kutty Padmini's Karpoora Nayagi, he said and added: The telefilms would be directed by noted directors including K Balachander, P Vasu, Cheran, Thangar Bachchan, Lingusamy, Revathy Menon among others.
On production of films by Thamizh Thirai for exclusive telecast on satellite channel, Bharathiraja said, 'we have proposed to produce movies under three categories'. The entire production cost would be taken up by the channel in the case of the funded films, where the rights for the negative would be retained by the channel itself. In the case of joint production, the production expenses would be shared by the producers with the channel and in the event of an outright purchase, the channel would purchase few Tamil movies, once they were produced and ready for release, he said.
A host of other programmes proposed include a musical show to foster new talents. It would be hosted by music director Gangai Amaran and veteran playback singer S P Balasubramaniam. Actresses including Suhasini Manirathinam, Poornima Bakiyaraj, Anu Hassan , Rohini and Kameela Nasser would host special programmes for women, Bharathiraja said.
He further said that following an agreement with VSNL, the channel would be uplinked from Ambattur satellite station. Basically, a Free- To- Air (FTA) channel, Tamizh Thirai would be available on Insat 2E digital mode, said noted director and managing director of Tamizh Thirai R K Selvamani.
Zee's bid highest, poised to win India cricket rights
NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: Talk about pulling a rabbit out of the hat. Zee Group CMD Subhash Chandra certainly chose a mighty big one in the India cricket rights bid when his company pipped all the "fancied" rivals to the post with a Rs 12.06 billion winning punt.
Zee Group CMD Subhash Chandra: Pulling cricket rights plug on his rivals?
The tenders for the live television and radio broadcast rights for international matches to be played in India for the next four years were opened at 2:30 pm. And it was Zee's bid of Rs 12.06 billion (some numerology here?) that according to industry sources came out "ahead by a nose" of close second Sony Entertainment Television India.
There is still some due process to be followed though, which is why the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), which had called for the tenders last Saturday, cannot make any announcement just yet. Price Waterhouse Cooper, which had been mandated by the BCCI to vet all bid proposals, will complete its audit of all the bids and then submit its report.
ZEE SPORTS CHANNEL ON THE ANVIL
Barring unforeseen hiccups, Zee's bid is expected to be ratified at the BCCI working committee meeting early next week after which a formal announcement that Chandra has taken cricket's "BIG ONE" will be made. The immediate question that flows out of this of course is what will Zee do with the rights? Look forward to an announcement of the launch of Zee Sports in due course once the deal has been signed and delivered.
The telecast rights that Zee is all set to win runs from 1 October 2004 to 30 September 2008.
So is this the last word on the subject. Not quite, according to a senior broadcast industry executive. There may still be some surprise twists in the tale still to unravel, he says.
BCCI cricket: Zee ups the ante
NEW DELHI: A day after the tender documents were opened on Saturday, the fight for the BCCI cricket telecast rights has intensified with the highest bidder, Zee Telefilms, upping the ante by committing an additional Rs. 945 million for development of domestic Indian cricket, in association with the cricket board.
The Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Telefilms has emerged as the highest bidder for the telecast rights for four years of Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI)-organised cricket in India with a quote of Rs. $260 million.
The closest to this punt is ESPN-Star Sports whose bid is about 10 percent lower to that of Zee’s.
In a detailed plan for development of cricket, Zee Telefilms has informed the BCCI that not only it would commit additional funds for domestic cricket, but would partner with the cricket board in turning into reality its dream of taking cricket to newer heights in India and abroad.
Zee Telefilms, which feels that ESS is making “unnecessary noises” on the bids as it’s feeling the heat of a domestic company, has said that if it emerges successful in winning the telecast rights, cricket would be on the existing network in the first year, while a separate sports channel has been planned for the second year of the deal that should get flagged off from 1 October, 2004.
Contacted by indiantelevision.com, Ashish Kaul, vice-president, Corporate Brand Development, Essel Group (the umbrella corporate entity for Zee Telefilms and other business ventures of Chandra) said, “Zee will ensure that potential steps are taken to raise the profile of domestic cricket
Not only Zee has proposed, according to Kaul, to create a centralized marketing programme for domestic cricket, but the network channels will support in licensing and merchandising and packaging and promoting domestic cricket tournaments, thus raising the “emotional quotient” for fans’ involvement in India’s international series events.
“Zee intends to raise the domestic matches television coverage. It will produce live coverage of over 52 days of cricket each year of domestic cricket, possibly extending to as many as 72 days annually,” Kaul explained, detailing the plans that had been conveyed to BCCI along with the bid.
As part of this game plan, Zee is looking at producing and telecasting live matches of the Ranji Trophy (both one day and first class), Irani Trophy, N. K. P Salve Challenger Trophy, D. B. Deodhar Trophy and Duleep Trophy.
The focus will also be on live coverage of select matches from university level and Under-19 cricket.
According to Kaul, “It is BCCI’s vision that Zee proposes to build and nurture in due course. Considering that Zee Telefilms has the infrastructure and the experience in the broadcasting industry and has been the first broadcaster to enter into the cable and satellite households (in India), producing and telecasting cricket should not be a problem.”
In executing the telecasting plans, Zee Telefilms will have the advantage of its affiliate, ASC Enterprises that owns and operates India’s first KU-band direct-to-home (DTH) satellite platform and cable Siti cable, which is the biggest multi-system operator in the country.
“This makes it possible for any Zee channel to get instant connectivity in a significant number of cable homes,” Kaul said, hammering home the advantages the company holds, which could be put to good use for cricket purpose too.
Zee Telefilms is India’s largest listed media company with current market capitalization of approximately Rs. 54.45 billion ($ 1.18 billion). It operates the largest number of television channels in India, totaling 19 across a spectrum of six languages. The combined reach of Zee Telefilms’ channels representsvirtually 100 per cent of India’s satellite cable homes, estimated to be over 40 million, translating to over 225 million television viewers.
Zee has also claimed that is India’s largest overseas broadcaster as it owns and operates three channels in the USA, Canada and the Caribbean, four channels in the UK, two channels in Europe, one each in Africa, Australia /New Zealand, four channels in the Middle East and six channels in the Asia-Pacific.
Lastly, Zee Tele has also pooh-poohed critics who have said Zee, despite being the bidder for BCCI cricket, does not have any experience in producing and telecasting cricket. “We have shown cricket quite extensively on our network abroad,” Kaul added.
No update Sunday
No update Saturday
Olympics page launched please send additions.
Tarb's / UBI announcement Monday?
Sorry No shots off 701/B3 until I have positive I.D on them.RE Fiji TV mux NO the Humax won't do it the Symbol rate is to high. Don't get to excited read the news section for details. No subscriptions will not be available in Australia..
Kablevision/Smart TV mux is back on Palapa C2 and much higher power.
From my Emails & ICQ
From A Viewer
Optus in bed with TARBS????
Who is conning who here? Old TARBS Channels up on Optus B3 without the channel owners consent via UBI (TARBS '2')?
Where is the business logic - TARBS goes broke owing millions leaving Viewers and Channels upset. TARBS reform under UBI within a few weeks, and Optus sign contracts with UBI?
Aren't Optus publicly listed? Surely the Singtel/Optus Shareholders would have something to say about doing business with these UBI Operators, or are they even aware a deal has been done by Optus?
Seems Optus might have said "yes!" a bit too quickly and could be inheriting a pile of debt!
From John Harrison
Satellite Intelsat 701 @ 180° East
Decoder- Topfield TF3000cipro
Lnb- Microelectronics 0.6db
Dish 1.2 metre offset
Weather Conditions Heavy rain, Thunderstorms
Freq 11610 signal Level 76% Signal Quality 98%
Frequency 10975 Signal Level 80% Signal Quality 94%
Frequency 11074 Signal Level 78% Signal Quality 65-68%
V8 super cars feed seen
Optus b3 12442H 6670
From Steve Hume
2 Olympics screenshots
(Craigs comment, added to the Olympics page)
From the Dish
Intelsat 804 at 174E Intelsat 804 has moved from 176 East to 174 East.
Optus B3 152E 12689 H "ABC TV Northern, Win TV and GWN" have left .
Optus B3 152E "Nile Drama, Nile Variety, Mad TV, Syria Satellite Channel, Al Mehwer TV,Mazzika, ESC 2, ESC 1, Al Arabiya, Nile News, MBC Europe and MKTV Sat have started fta, SR ?, FEC 3/4, PIDs 512/640-524/652.
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "All channels in the I-Sky-Net mux" are now fta.
JCSAT 3 128E 4120 V "Da-Ai TV (clear), BLTV - Buddhism Light TV (clear), ETTV Asia, JET TV and SET International have started on , Viaccess, SR 27739, FEC 3/4,PIDs 1010/1011-1050/1051.
AsiaSat 4 122E 4020 V "Several updates in the CCTV mux".
AsiaSat 4 122E 4100 V "GTV has replace Health Channel" on , Fta, PIDs 517/700.
Measat 1 91.5E 10982 V "Astro SuperSport 4-6 "have started on , Mediaguard, PIDs 173/185-176/193.
Telstar 10 76.5E 3980 V "Nile Drama, Nile Variety, Mad TV, Syria Satellite Channel, Al Mehwer TV,Mazzika, ESC 2, ESC 1, Al Arabiya, Nile News, MBC Europe and MKTV Sat have started on , Fta, SR 28066, FEC 3/4
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 V "The Olympic Channel info card" has left .
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 V "An Athens 2004 info card" has started on , Irdeto, PIDs 1631/1632.
Dish full of problems for TV
FIJI Television Limiteds planned foray into pay-TV has met its fair share of turbulence before it started.
It has spent $US3.5million ($F6.24million) in capital expenditure but the project is expected to cost the company more in court cost.
Early this year Fiji TV made a commitment to provide free-to-air and Sky signals.
It had two options to utilise terrestrial transmitters or employ satellite technology to distribute the signals to the whole country.
But it needed a satellite, which they said was the NSS-5.
The satellite floats about 36,211 kilometres above the equator and bounces signals to certain parts of the Pacific including Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Nauru.
It belonged to New Skies Satellites.
They planned to provide 12 TV channels including an expanded pay-TV service called Sky Pacific.
Chief executive Ken Clark was optimistic about it when asked about the delay.
Sky Pacific is operating very close to its scheduled plan, he said.
Technical installation has been completed. More equipment for other purposes is being added and testing will start soon.
We expect to deliver the package of signals on schedule in September, probably by the end of the month.
There is a lot of equipment to test and staff to be trained for new assignments, Mr Clark said.
The new service is expected to include free-to-air Fiji One, movie and sports channels, a childrens entertainment channel, news and information services, Hindi language programmes and documentary and natural history channels.
Some channels being considered are the Discovery Channel for natural history and documentaries, Nickelodeon for children, and MTV for music entertainment.
Mr Clark said earlier that they had bought a full transponder from supplier, New Skies Satellites, 77 MegaHertz of bandwidth for the 12 channels they were providing.
He said there had been a lot of controversy during the planning stages of the project about the number of channels the bandwidth could support.
The transponder was supposed to have supported eight stereo audio channels and Fiji TV was looking at the option of leasing them to broadcasters such as the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited and Communications Fiji Limited.
Fiji TV completed the technical installation of the equipment on July 24.
But then in May, TV New Zealands satellite service closed because of a world-wide recession in the occasional-use industry and the fact that they had signed a new charter with the New Zealand Government to provide more local content.
TVNZs subsidiary satellite service was not willing to invest in what was termed a high-risk business and it closed.
New Skies official Elizabeth Hess denied any agreement existed between them and Fiji TV but Mr Clark said they had a ten-year contract with the company and they were taking legal action in a Netherlands court for alleged breach.
The District Court of Amsterdam, on July 1, rejected Fiji TVs claim and awarded damages to New Skies but Fiji TV chose to appeal the judgement more court time and more legal fees.
The application is now expected to be heard on August 20.
Mr Clark refused to divulge details of the said contract between Fiji TV and New Skies.
Having agreed on the transponder, its position, price, starting date, technical parameters all essential components of the service and had their head office approval, there was a contract that must be honoured.
In the meantime, we have arranged for a supplier so that our promise to the people of Fiji can be fulfiled and our project properly completed, Mr Clark said.
Some satellite operators operate in the region but do not have coverage over Fiji which Fiji TV wants.
The NSS-5 will provide them coverage.
A rival television service Pacific Broadcasting Services is accessing an Intelsat 701 satellite and will provide a new pay-TV service in Fiji soon.
Fiji TV had the alternative of using PanAmSat, Intelsat and SES satellites which were available in the region.
Satellite pay-TV companies use a KU band satellite frequency because it provides a high power signal into the areas and allowed them to use small satellite dishes (65-95cm).
The $6.24million expenditure was based on the availability of a satellite from New Skies.
Ms Hess said: Actually, nothing went wrong and we didnt withdraw any service.
New Skies does own NSS-5 but we never had a contract with Fiji TV for the provision of that service.
Meanwhile, Fiji TV is already in discussion with Intelsat for the use of their transponder on Intelsat 701.
Many companies use Intelsat for their services, said Mr Clark.
He said as a result of the litigation, testing of the satellite-based service was delayed for a while and started on August 9.
We were a few weeks behind on testing but our expectation remains that while there are many details to be worked through, we will start the service as close to the original scheduled time as possible.
Specialists will continue to train Fiji Television people who will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Sky Pacific.
The business of delivery of Sky Pacific is expected to start in September.
Mr Clark said exact content and pricing details would be available in the coming weeks.
He added that while TVNZ had pulled out, other providers would take up the slack left as TVNZ departs the scene.
There are programme rights issues for Tonga and Samoa and other Pacific Island nations to address, but where they can see the satellite feeds, they can access the same way as we do as long as the rights issues are properly addressed.
He said the company had made their arrangements and were satisfied that the service would be present and robust.
However, he said the cost of services they engaged were a commercially confidential matter.
Having completed the technical installation of equipment on July 24, Fiji TVs management announced that the testing of their satellite uplink service had started on August 9.
Jodi Katz, media relations manager Intelsat said Fiji TV made arrangements for the use of the Intelsat 701 satellite, located at 180E, to support the testing of their service.
Testing will be carried out throughout the month of August, she said.
However, in order to provide the service Fiji TV will have to reduce its power as Intelsat has other customers including Pacific Broadcasting Services and telecommunications, data and the Internet customers it serves in Fiji.
In order to achieve their goals, Fiji TV has the option of asking customers to buy bigger satellite dishes to catch the service and reduce their power to reduce interference.
Mr Clark dismissed this scenario and said there was no one else occupying the bandwidth that they would acquire.
The uplinking takes a certain amount of power, he said.
The number of other players on the rest of the satellite plays no specific part in increasing or decreasing our power charges.
It will cost us a certain amount to deliver our signals, that gets factored into the price along with all the other business costs programming, equipment, people etc and we calculate all that into the cost to the consumer.
Just as we now do with Sky Fiji, there are certain ingredients that go into the cost of producing a product and the result, including margins for the company, is the cost of the service to the consumer.
If the consumer finds that acceptable we have a business, if not, then we have to rework things. Our forward planning indicates that we will be able to offer a very attractive programming package at a reasonable price.
Mr Clark said another thing that mattered was that all the players involved adhered to the technical confines to which they agreed.
Its been defined this way if in a bus full of school kids, one of them pees in the seat, then all the other kids in the seat get wet, he said.
All of us want to keep each other dry, so we adhere to the technical rules.
He said present indications are that Fiji customers will be able to buy a Television Receive Only dish in Fiji with a 90cm dish. He also denied that the 701 satellite was taken up by other customers and said they had two remaining full transponders i.e. 72 Mhz wide.
We have arranged to use one of them. Who else is using other capacity is not of my concern though the affect on the ground is, of course, a matter we care about.
While potential clients and existing ones will soon or have already become addicted to the present pay service they too are awaiting the outcome of the new service as the programmes on offer are quite popular worldwide.
The $6.24million committed to the first uplink was for capital expenditure. But no one wants to talk about a signed agreement.
When business decisions are made money is committed after planning and viability is determined and deals are signed in black and white otherwise one has to ask the serious question why do it?
The bottom line (profitability) is the ultimate goal.
With the likelihood that customers may end up paying for more than what Fiji TV initially hoped to charge for this service, which would be a make or break situation as far as the success of this new service is concerned the viability of such a service is heading for the uncertain.
And the companys shareholders, (Yasana Holdings a company owned by Fijis 14 provinces 51 per cent, TV New Zealand 5 per cent, Telecom Fiji 14 per cent; and the remaining 30 per cent held by individuals) wait with anticipation to see where their hard-earned dollars end up.
Northerners eagerly await TV service
PEOPLE in Vanua Levu are waiting for a new cable television company to start operation in Labasa.
Labasa Mayor Paul Jaduram said yesterday the only thing left was for the Government to approve a licence before the Chinese television company went ahead with construction work.
Mr Jaduram said the council would help Fushun Television (Fiji) Limited by providing facilities to help it set up operation. He said people had offered land and other forms of assistance for the venture.
The Chinese pay-TV station is offering 20 channels to viewers but it stands to lose $1million if the Government does not issue a licence because equipment for the station had been sent from China.
"We are waiting for the equipment to arrive and proceed from there," he said.
Mr Jaduram said the company had initially applied for a television licence in 2001 but the events of May 2000 resulted in changes to the Government set-up.
"The company again requested for a licence early this year and things are moving."
Mr Jaduram said the council would not pay a cent but only help facilitate the TV station's set-up by allowing it to use council property.
Digital rollout hits Foxtel
THE cost of digitising Australia's largest pay-TV group, Foxtel, was brought into stark relief yesterday, with the group's annual net loss blowing out 78 per cent to $109million.
The loss, revealed in the annual results of its 25 per cent owner and manager, The News Corporation Ltd, was struck on an 18per cent rise in annual revenue to $767million.
The cost of digitising the service also propelled net debt to $323 million from $60 million last year.
But the new digital offer, which was launched in March, helped increase Foxtel-managed subscribers by 8.3 per cent from a year ago to 904,000.
And when subscribers who gain Foxtel through other pay-TV groups (such as Optus and TransACT) are included, total subscription numbers lifted to 1.1 million.
At the end of March the number of Foxtel-managed subscribers stood at 867,000, meaning this total grew by 4per cent in the final quarter or 16 per cent on an annualised basis.
Chief executive Kim Williams said the loss reflected the rapid rollout of the digital service, including the cost of new set-top boxes, marketing and installations.
"We are travelling in line both for our migration of all our customers to digital, new customer growth and for our break-even targets," he said.
Foxtel hopes to break even in the first half of calendar 2006 and to reach into 35 per cent of homes by 2008.
After adding a net 37,000 new subscribers in the last quarter of 2004, it is now in about 25 per cent of homes.
But by June 30 more than 310,000 orders had been taken for Foxtel Digital, of which 91,000 came from new subscribers.
Mr Williams indicated the growth trajectory looked set to continue, as 84,000 of those new subscribers had yet to be installed at June 30 and so were not included in subscription totals.
Foxtel said the industrial problems that hurt its digital launch were now resolved and more than 15,000 Foxtel Digital installations were occurring each week.
More than a quarter of the Foxtel-managed subscribers have been connected to digital, and Foxtel said the appeal of that service helped reduce its number of disconnections to a record low of 16 per cent.
Slow, red Foxtel still digitally challenged
Almost a decade after the powerful triumvirate of Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer and Telstra brought pay television to Australian viewers, Foxtel is still making a loss.
Figures released by News Corp yesterday show that, thanks mostly to an aggressive campaign to convert existing subscribers and attract new subscribers to its digital service, Foxtel's net loss widened to $109 million for the 12 months to June, from $61 million a year earlier.
Foxtel - 25 per cent owned by News - has just two years to reach its target of cash-flow break even, let alone a bottom-line profit.
In March Foxtel launched its digital service amid great fanfare but it was immediately beset by technical difficulties that slowed installation and upset customers.
Those problems have now been fixed and the June quarter had the highest levels of sales and installations in Foxtel's history.
By June 30, more than 310,000 orders had been taken for the digital service, with almost 30 per cent of those coming from new subscribers.
Foxtel also said churn, or the loss of customers, had fallen to its lowest since the pay TV service became available nine years ago.
However, chasing subscribers is an expensive business.
Last week the share price of another of News Corp's pay TV companies, the UK's BSkyB, tumbled 19 per cent after its executive director and possible heir to his father's empire, James Murdoch, told investors he planned to spend more on infrastructure and marketing to attract new subscribers.
That expenditure would likely squeeze profit margins, he said.
In the US, DirecTV, bought by News last December, recently reported it had added 455,000 net subscribers in the quarter, a 151 per cent increase on the period last year and far better than the market's estimate of 285,000.
But the growth came at a high price, with the company falling into the red for the latest quarter due to extra promotional and advertising expenses.
DirecTV had a net quarterly loss of $US13.3 million ($18.6 million), down from a net profit of $US21.6 million a year earlier.
Can Foxtel ever break even?
Terry Television has had a look at all the latest figures and wonders what is the story at Foxtel?
In his quarterly chat with reporters and analysts on Thursday morning, Rupert Murdoch didn't mention Foxtel, the Australian pay-TV operation that, stacked up against News' other interests, is just a small part of the empire, especially with attention turning to integrating Direct TV and using it as the platform for the next expansion.
In Crikey's coverage of the News results we looked at Foxtel, noted the News version of the year with higher debts from the digital roll out and higher subscriber numbers and increased losses.
News put its 25% share of the losses at $19 million after tax and Telstra put its share (for 50%) at $44 million. News said pre-tax losses for Foxtel were $142 million and post tax $109 million. All due to higher marketing costs which are part of the cost of the digital conversion, the higher debt (at $323 million) and higher depreciation charges.
Sort of par for the course for a media organisation still growing but also in the midst of a significant change in technology. But the shareholders remain confident that Foxtel is on track
But delving further into the News report, looking at the Telstra accounts and chatting to odds and sods, it's clear that while still bleeding badly, Foxtel is not bleeding for no purpose.
The hope remains that the digital conversion will eventually stabilise the operation and give it a platform to boost revenues and produce earnings, which would no doubt be welcomed by shareholders, who include News, PBL and Telstra.
The group says its 'churn' has fallen to the lowest level in its history, 16%. But with 904,000 subscribers that means well over 140,000 thousand people will 'churn' over the next year if that level is maintained and not improved. (Still, Crikey would love a churn rate of only 14 per cent.)
That's an improvement on previous years when Foxtel says the churn the year before was almost 20% and well over 23% in 2002. But it's still a big cost, despite the joy that the lower figure brings.
Tarbs subscribers were never in the equation. The wholesale customers are from Optus and Trans ACT. But looking at the figures for 2003 and 2004 for total subscribers and the Foxtel managed subscriber base, it's clear there has been a drop in the number of wholesale subscribers.
When Foxtel talks about its 'managed subscriber base' it's talking about all those who come through its operations. All 904,000 of them at June 30. Foxtel says this rose by 8.3% in the year, and the total number, including the wholesale customers, rose by almost 4%.
Foxtel disputes claims that there are still delays to being hooked up to digital. They delay is now put at three weeks. Only five per cent of customers are taking the basic service, compared to 20% in the analogue service. It's claimed by sources that around half of the digital subscribers are taking the premium package, which isn't bad but way below the equivalent figure at Sky Italia where more than 80 per cent of subscribers go for the premium package.
Around 310,000 orders have been taken by June 30 according to the News and Telstra briefings and the weekly rate is around 15,000. Some 226,000 people had been connected by June 30 to the digital service, so around 130,000 have taken the top package. That means the stated aim of being cash flow break-even by 2006 is still on track, according to sources from the shareholder groups.
Of the 310,000 orders for digital, around 90,000 were from new customers. A promising level, but not a flood of new people flocking to a new toy! The fourth quarter saw 37,000 net new customers added to the managed base, so that would indicate, more promisingly, that there is an acceleration in the take-up.
Foxtel revenues rose 18% to $767 million in the June year, that's a not too bad result and would have come from the combination of higher revenues from subscribers and some advertising. Total costs are more than $900 million and that's the gap that has to be closed.
Will it ever make a lot of money, like BSkyB, which seems to be the model for all these businesses in the News camp. It's too hard to say, but if it was wholly owned by news, you might like to put a bit of money on Foxtel achieving a lot of milestones much more quickly than it does now with the suspicion and infighting that goes on between PBL, News and Telstra at the shareholder level.
You can bet that Foxtel is one media asset Kerry Packer will never let Rupert Murdoch get total control over, such is his fear of the Murdoch touch and power. News Corp has nominal management control but it can't do too much without board approval and it needs Telstra and PBL support for that.
DirecTV cuts price for its stake in PanAmSat Corp.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - DirecTV Group Inc. has cut $200 million from the price that private-equity firms will pay for its stake in satellite broadcaster PanAmSat Corp., in order to reflect problems with a satellite.
DirecTV, an El Segundo-based satellite-television provider, now expects approximately $2.6 billion for its 81 percent stake in PanAmSat and noted that the amended price doesn't affect the $23.50 a share to be paid to the other PanAmSat shareholders.
The deal was approved by the Federal Communications Commission. If PanAmSat holders approve the agreement at their annual meeting this week, the buyers plan to close the deal Aug. 18 and purchase stock from DirecTV on Aug. 20, as expected.
Led by buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., the parties previously agreed to acquire Wilton, Conn.-based PanAmSat for $23.50 a share, or $3.55 billion, plus the assumption of $750 million in debt.
Aside from KKR, the other private-equity firms involved in the transaction are The Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners Inc.
A representative for DirecTV wasn't immediately available to provide the amended per-share price for PanAmSat.
"This transaction continues to be a good value for our shareholders and enables us to take one more step toward our goal of focusing resources and management time on our core DirecTV business." said Chase Carey, president and chief executive of DirecTV, in a prepared statement.
The reduced price stems from an incident on August 3, when the main propulsion system of one of the company's $200 million core satellites, the Galaxy 10R, failed. At the time, PanAmSat said the satellite should function normally on a backup system for at least three more years, though it was scheduled to operate for about seven years.
PanAmSat plans to accelerate the construction of a replacement satellite so it is ready for launch before the Galaxy 10R is expected to expire.
Shares of PanAmSat closed at $23.45, up 16 cents, or 0.7 percent, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
DirecTV shares closed at $15.90, down 1 cent on the New York Stock Exchange.
MB Tech Tests Portable Flat Antenna for Direct Broadcast Satellite Systems
MB Tech announced Wednesday that it has successfully tested its proprietary portable auto positioning flat antenna for Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Services such as DirecTV, Sky Life (Korea), and Sky Perfect (Japan).
The antenna is revolutionary for several reasons in the ever-growing DBS marketplace. Primarily it allows a popular digital television service to be portable and mobile at a mass consumer-based price point.
This market includes the RV, camping, boat, cottage, summerhouse, condominium and apartment markets among others which were previously virtually unattainable in the mass consumer-based market price point.
"Portable" means the antenna doesn't have to be bolted down or attached to a roof top or alcove and is easy to stow away and travel with in a noncumbersome way.
"Auto Positioning" means that you don't have to sit there and try to find the satellite signal until finally locking it in, rather MB Tech's antenna finds the signal automatically and locks on to it using a proprietary mechanism and software solution.
"Flat" means that it is svelte and stylish and can fit in your trunk and or stowed away easily on your boat or in your RV or car or truck.
The company plans to market the Portable Auto-positioning Flat DBS antenna combined with a basic digital set top box in an affordable service offering with the major distributors and/or service providers.
As an example, the closest competition's (much larger) antenna only (without a set top box) is over $1,500, whereas MB Tech's packaged solution should cost under $400, plus would be greatly reduced to the end user given service offering packages and incentives that are common place in this business.
MB Tech plans to offer these bundled product offerings through existing distributors and resellers and major big box electronics and consumer goods stores. However, it should be noted that the company has initiated discussions with members of this distribution channel but has not completed any final distribution agreement.
This is the next step in the product development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution phase.
Additionally, the company plans to sell this product offering via various direct advertising means including infomercials and print ads.
MB Tech is a leader and pioneer in satellite receiver technologies starting with the multihorn LNB, however, instituted a paradigm shift in its core business from a supplier of electronic components for DBS satellites, to an end-user, consumer-driven company delivering specialized entertainment solutions for the mass market.
According to industry reports, at the end of 2002, the two primary U.S. DBS providers reached a combined 19.36 million subscribers, up 16 percent from 2001, which represents 20 percent of U.S. households.
Hanwook Bae, CEO of MB Tech, stated, "The new MB Tech family of products introduced with the company's development of the portable auto-positioning flat antenna, future enhanced derivatives of this product and associated product bundles, are designed to complement and augment the success and growth of the direct broadcast satellite market globally."
Bae further commented, "Our shift into the consumer markets is part of an overall strategy developed to position the company in higher margin businesses. By extending into new consumer categories, it gives the company an opportunity to offer revolutionary products on behalf of the consumer and industry as a whole."
ABS-CBN unit eyes Singapore listing
ABS-CBN Global Ltd., the international arm of the Lopez-led media giant, plans to list its shares at the Singapore Stock Exchange by 2006.
“Within two years, we expect to bring ABS-CBN Global in Singapore and Hong Kong. ABS-CBN has plans of listing its shares at the Singapore Stock Exchange but the majority of shares shall be maintained by the company,” ABS-CBN chief finance officer Randy Estrellado said.
Should the company close the deal, ABS-CBN Global would be the first wholly owned subsidiary of ABS-CBN listed abroad.
Estrellado added that ABS-CBN would concentrate more on expanding the operations of the firm’s offshore unit as more and more Filipinos go abroad -- as in the case of Australia. In June, the company launched its own direct-to-home service in Australia where ABS-CBN channels were previously distributed by a third-party provider. The Filipino Channel (TFC), ABS-CBN Global’s flagship product, reaches to about 150,000 Filipinos based in the region.
TFC is seen by over a million Filipinos all over North America, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Australia, American Samoa, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Africa and Europe.
ABS-CBN Global’s international expansion continues to account for the bulk of net sales and services which accelerated to 23 percent to P2 billion in the first half of this year, the company said. A parallel growth in viewership was observed with its year-on-year reach hitting at 1.5 million mark by end of June from last yea’s 1.2 million.
ABS-CBN Global also recently signed a ten-year contract with American Satellite service provider, PanAmSat8, which allows for a broader programming reach across the globe.
Expansion in Hong Kong and Japan is under negotiations as well. In the case of Hong Kong, expansion is seen to thrive via use of cable although ABS-CBN Global is also reviewing other platforms. For the Japan venture, costs may be higher than in other Asian regions but the company is looking closely at the matter, Estrellado said.
Catch the Olympics fever on TV
Throughout the 17 days of the Olympic Games, Malaysians will be get their daily fix of glorious action and the medal ttally on TV1, TV2 and six channels on Astro, writes SHEELA CHANDRAN.
THE much looked forward to Olympic Games will be launched today at 8.45pm in Athens, Greece, (1.45am tomorrow Malaysian time). The multi-sport Games, held once every four years, is set to draw millions of viewers worldwide for a celebration that recognises the true spirit of sports and humanity.
In conjunction with the event, official broadcaster RTM and Astro will treat viewers to hours of continuous coverage on the Games.
TV1 and TV2
Former Miss Malaysia India Worldwide 2002 Jasmine Chahal is one of Astro's presenters for the Olympic Games.
RTM sent 15 news and production members to Athens to ensure extensive coverage of the Games. Deputy Information Minister Datuk Donald Lim heads the team that includes seven engineering officers, six production officers and anchorman Zainal Abidin Rawop.
Lim said the crew members, who left for Athens last Sunday, will be responsible for receiving the broadcast directly from the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in Athens. They will then re-transmit the information via satellite to TV1 and TV2 in Angkasapuri, Kuala Lumpur.
“A variety of events will be held simultaneously at various stadiums such as the Galatsi Olympic Hall, Peristeri Oympic Boxing Hall and Panathinaiko Stadium. In total, there are 35 Olympic competition venues and all feeds will be sent to the IBC in Athens. RTM’s crew members will pick up10 feeds that will be transmitted back home.
“TV1 and TV2 will air as many games as possible while spotlighting popular events like swimming, gymnastics, badminton and athletics.
“We will also focus on events that Malaysians athletes are competing in, namely taekwondo, diving, archery and badminton. With additional broadcasting hours, both stations will be able to televise a wider selection for everyone,” said Lim in a phone interview recently.
The station’s TV Sports Unit Director/Producer Tarmizi Muhidin said TV1 and TV2’s daily coverage on the Games will be about 14 hours and 10 hours, respectively.
In general, TV1 and TV2’s daily live coverage is from 2pm till 4am while the recorded events is from 9am till 1pm.
As a run-up to the Games, TV1 has been airing pre-Olympic programmes since last Monday and there will Puncak Idaman, early Saturday morning at 12.30am. Both channels will broadcast live the opening ceremony at 2am tomorrow and the closing ceremony on Aug 30 at 4pm.
The anchor people at RTM’s studio are Hasbullah Awang, Hafizal Hamad, and Harmi Takzimi.
Lisa Wong, Sanjeev Palar and Faizal Hussein will be delivering the updates while Jasni Safee, Shauki Kahar, Wan Alimi and Wan Raman Hayat will do the voice-overs on the programmes aired over TV2.
Some of the regular programmes that will not be pre-empted on TV1 throughout the duration of the Games are the news bulletins, U Remaja, An-Nur, Panorama, Tilawah and Malaysia 2020.
Over on TV2, transmission of Golden Phoenix, Asean Delight, drama Sembilu, cartoon series Samurai X, Spiderman and the daily Mandarin and Tamil news bulletins will not be affected.
Tarmizi said that the news crew in Athens is producing Hello Athens, a five-minute segment on the aspirations and dreams of Malaysian athletes competing in the Games. The 13-parter hosted by Zainal starts airing tomorrow on TV1 and TV2 at 2.30pm and noon, respectively. He added that 150 production people have been assigned to work round-the-clock to ensure smooth transmission.
From now till the end of the Games, Astro subscribers are able to indulge in comprehensive coverage of the events at no additional cost. SuperSport (Channel 80) will be broadcasting over 850 hours of live, delayed and repeat telecasts through its six interactive screens.
According to Astro’s senior director and producer of the Olympic transmission Sooraj Nair, there will be 22 hours of Games broadcast on each screen.
“We are getting eight feeds from TVNZ in New Zealand. We have 12 presenters and two anchormen to provide up-to-date information on the events. The anchors are veteran football analyst Serbegeth Singh or Shebby and former newscaster Raymond Goh,” said Nair.
Among the presenters are AMP radio announcers Annont Wathanasin and Ramesh Nair or Mesh, former national gymnast Sarina Sundara Rajah, former Miss Malaysia India Worldwide 2002 Jasmine Chahal and Astro producer/newscaster Amir Mahmood Abdul.
Nair explained: “The presenters come from diverse backgrounds. They were chosen based on their diverse knowledge of the various events.”
Astro’s impressive Olympic hub is in Studio One at Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. It is equipped with six flat screen TVs, a studio and an information centre.
Nair hopes there will not be any technical glitches. He said: “Eight people will be stationed at the info centre while 30 fromt he production side will be working 12-hour shifts to ensure all goes well.”
MiTV’s low fees to draw 100K subscribers
MiTV Corporation Sdn Bhd expects the low flat-fee structure of its pay-television service to attract 100,000 subscribers within a year of its launch this December.
“We are still refining the numbers but it will certainly be much lower than what is being charged (by the other operator),” said its executive director and chief operating officer Jonathan Chan after the company signed a leasing agreement with Celcom (Malaysia) Bhd in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 12.
He said MiTV expected its subscriber base to grow by 150% to 250,000 in 2006 and a further 40% to 350,000 in 2007.
He said a flat subscription fee would be charged for the initial 50 channels that the company planned to launch before year-end.
“However, after a while we will start to tier the prices, depending on what kind of content the market wants,” he said.
MiTV yesterday agreed to lease for three years Celcom’s tower facilities at two sites to cover the Kajang-Semenyih-Cheras and Damansara-Kepong-Batu areas.
Chan said the company hoped to extend MiTV’s service to the northern region of the peninsula within six months of its launch and to the rest of the country, including Sabah and Sarawak, in the next 18 months.
MiTV’s entry into the pay television market would pose direct competition to Astro All-Asia Networks Plc. Astro TV offers 48 channels and has penetrated an estimated 20%-25% of the country’s 5.5 million households. Astro is expected to offer better content once its new satellite Measat-3 is launched in the first half of 2005.
“There will be room for us to grow as there are 1.1 million households identified in Klang Valley,” said MiTV deputy chairman and chief executive officer Datuk Rosman Ridzwan.
He said there would not be much room for growth for existing pay-TV operators if a third pay-TV player were to enter the market. “It will not be easy for a third player to enter the market. It will be very competitive.”
DD to dish out 4000 hours of Athens Olympics
New Delhi, Aug. 13 (UNI): With only hours left for the inauguration of the 28th Olympics at Athens, Doordarshan has put in place elaborate arrangements for a comprehensive round-the-clock coverage of the world's greatest sporting extravaganza, beginning today.
Doordarshan will telecast a total of 4000 hours of programmes - all 17 days - in its DD Sports Channel and Olympics Highlights on the national network on DD-1, a statement from the national broadcaster said on Thursday.
The Opening Ceremony of "Olympics-2004" will be telecast live on the National Network on DD-I today at 11 pm to 3 am on Saturday. The repeat telecast of the programme will be on Saturday from 9 am to noon on DD-I.
Daily Capsules of India's participation in the games will be shown along with interviews with players, athletes, coaches, managers and Indians living in Athens.
Doordarshan had already telecast two curtain raisers "Athens Olympics -2004" on the National Channel (DD-I) on August 10 and 11.
The last in the series was telecast last night, detailing the stadia, India's preparations and the prelude to the Olympics'2004.
There will be two segments on national network of DD-I. India at Athens and Highlights of the Day will be telecast from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. while the second segment would be from 11 p.m. to 00:30 a.m. (except on August 15).
On August 15, the morning segment will be telecast from 10 am to 1100 am.
The Day's best events will be telecast from 11:30 pm to 00:30 am.
Doordarshan will telecast live the closing ceremony of the event on August 29 from 11:30 pm to 3:15 am on the National Network on DD-I. The repeat telecast will be on August 30 from 9 am hours to noon.
The main sponsors for this year's Olympics are Coca Cola, Samsung, McDonalds, Kodak, Panasonic, Hyundai, General Motors.
Grandpa to Jr, DTH buffet to be treat for hungry eyeballs
NEW DELHI: Digital picture quality, zero-snow, commercial free or single-break cinema viewing, stereophonic sound, parental lock, video games...Yaaawn! Let us tell you something new about the direct-to-home experience.
With the government expected to bring in a “must provide” clause in the DTH policy very soon, all broadcasters would have to provide their channels to a DTH operator meaning a boom in content creation and a bonanza for the viewers.
Says Jawahar Goel, vice-chairman, Zee Telefilms whose affiliate ASC Enterprises is the sole DTH operator: “When we started the Dish DTH service in October last year, it was with just 48 channels. We now offer 100 channels and with time can expand to 400 channels.”
The broadband policy is round-the-corner and will bring in market segmentation. Plain entertainment DTH, broadband for high-speed data and DTH broadband or two-way DTH on the one hand. Cable largely digital and some residual analog players, on the other.
For marketers, this would spawn three generations of TV viewers in a single urban home cable for grandparents, DTH for parents and broadband DTH for the youth! For industry, revenue streams would multiply from pay-per-home to pay per tube.
As the market matures, the DTH consumer is bound to be bombarded with a slew of value-added services. Even now there is dual audio you can opt for the Hindi or the English version of say, Cartoon Network. Gradually, the language options would increase.
With the help of the Digibox, (the STB being distributed by Dish) a channel can be set with four mono audio streams or two stereos. FM radio channels are available if one wants to tune in to them on TV but with time, many more radio options are likely. AIR DG, Brijeshwar Singh promises 10 “composite” language radios through Prasar Bharati’s soon-to-be-launched DTH service, DD Direct.
“The Hindi channel would cater to the Hindi belt, while a Telugu channel would appeal to all of Andhra not just Hyderabadis, ” he says.
But then an STB can only do so much. Shell out Rs 12,000 for a personal video recorder (PVR) enablement and you just may be able to enjoy pay-per-view (a sporting event ) or near-video-on-demand in say end-2005. You can choose from a catalogue of movies, the film of your choice and from a range of screening timings, the slot of your choice.
With the required regulatory backup, the PVR can also filter out ads made possible through cue-tone prompted tech interventions. Similarly, an electronic ID can be ascribed to each channel, charting a new course for TRP mappings. But these are future possibilities. Right now, even text messaging on DTH, though possible is banned for security reasons.
However, teletext is available on Zee News. Through the remote one can scroll down the text and link to more details as if leafing through an electronic newspaper. Obviously other news channels would do a me-too. DTH would also provide a ready platform for new channel launches.
Says Sanjay Reddy, vice-president (Sales), India TV: “On cable, individual operators or MSOs prefer to carry popular channels. DTH gives us access to homes at start.” India TV is on the Dish platform which claims 1,50,000 subscriber homes.
Dish provides a weekly electronic programme guide, automatic switching of channels to a pre-tuned programme, renaming and slotting of channels as per choice, audio level preset and picture zoom-in.
But the cable industry is definitely not taking the DTH onslaught lightly. Multi-service operators are digitising their networks with a vengeance and nearly Rs 1,000 crore has been invested by In Cable, Siti Cable, Hathway and so on. “What you get on DTH, you will on cable too and for less price, asserts S N Sharma of Hathway Cable & Datacom Pvt Ltd which has digitised headends in metros at a cost of Rs 150 crore.
Smaller cable operators would increase local coverage on their channels to hold on to their subscriber-base. And oh yes, they would retain their USP telecast of the latest (pirated version) of the Bollywood blockbuster direct to your home!
Monthly subscription Rs 6 for Hungama TV
NEW DELHI: Hungama TV, the proposed kids' channel from the UTV stable, which would be distributed by Star, will be priced at Rs. 6 per subscriber per month.
Whether this would immediately result in an increase of the Star bouquet price is not known but he broadcast and cable regulator feels that a directive on freeze of cable prices, effective 26 December, 2003, does not apply to new channels being launched.
Seeking co-operation, in a letter to the cable industry, especially multi-system operators (MSOs), United Home Entertainment vice-president Kevin Periera has said that Hungama would be India's first homegrown kids' entertainment channel in Hindi.
Hungama will offer multi-genre content for kids in the age group between 4 and 14 years. The channel would be ready for launch this month. Hungama would beam off a C-band transponder from PAS 10 satellite, which houses some of the hot channels like BBC, Sony, SET Max, among others, with the downlink frequency being 4074.5 MHz. The downlink polarisation would be vertical.
With a spate of new channel launches lined up this year and early next year in India, including some from the Disney and Discovery stables, it was being speculated whether a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India-mandated freeze on cable prices would be a hindrance.
Speaking to indiantelevision.com, an official from Trai clarified that the price-freeze would does not affect the new channels being planned. "The freeze, till Trai comes up with recommendations on the related issues, is on prices that were prevalent as on December 26, 2003. How can the freeze be effective on pricing of new products," the official quized back. He further added that the confusion would likely to be cleared when Trai would submit its report to the I&B ministry.
Where do I start today??????
Tarbs / UBI Have arrived! they were testing this afternoon on B3 12687H sr 28066, also seen last night on Cband Telstar 10 / Apstar 2R 76.5E has a mux with the following channels
"MKTV Sat, MBC, NileNews, Al Arabiyah, ESC1, ESC2, Mazz,MWer,TVS, MAD, Nile Variety, Nile Drama"
Telstar 10/Apstar 2R 3980V SR 28066 Fec 3/4
Optus B3 12687H Sr 28066 fec ? Testing
Optus B3 12674H Sr 22500 Testing
Please note B3 freqs and settings are changing so fire up the blindscanners
Intelsats making some changes According to the Intelsat's page and other sources
Modified and created 08/11/2004.
I601 parked @ 157e is moving to 178e
i804 @ 176e is moving to 174e (has moved already, now we know why BestTV moved off I804)
i604 to 178e
This info from Vetruns FTA Forums
"F.Y.I Intelsat is moving I804 at 176 to 174 in place of I802. I804 will carry mostly telco IDR carriers plus 4 occasional use tv channels on c band. Don't know yet where I802 will go..probably into the AOR region. Intelsat has been for the past few months relocation the carriers on the I802 to other satellites. The transition of the two satellites will be happening today(11th) from 1400GMT."
Those with Cband Circular feeds might like to check and report?
Olympics page will be online tomorrow. Please report coverage by any FTA satellite channels or locations of feed activity.
Screenshots off I701 Fiji Tv and UBI off B3 will be online tomorrow as soon as some work has been done to I.D them.
And one last thing for today !
Fire up those blindscanners and "LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Jon's Asia Weekly
"The Asian quickie .. Jon is in Cambodia"
Issue 17 and ½ point 3.2
So last week I made the mistake of saying that NDTV 24x7 on Panamsat
7/10 was not a regional news player, boy was I wrong. I was forced to
watch this satellite the other evening while I was waiting for a
subscription card to activate so I decided to watch 24x7 for a few
hours. Much to my surprise you could not get more of a regional player,
so when the MCOT people in Thailand fire up their regional news service
they will fit into the 3rd slot after Channel News Asia and 24x7. Keep
up the good work at NDTV…
Channel 9 Australia has been using the ABS services in Athens to send
back news and on Monday when most of their team arrives, you could not
half tell. Questions like “is that the main stadium there”, “So you
cousin is the luckiest Greek guy around, yes, he is my driver” one
Aussies ex-swimming couch turned tv personality said on his mobile phone
to Greek friend back in Australia, and live to the entire world. I was
over with another Australian broadcaster here in Thailand at the time
and they were all in stitches as they watched this.
Astro, the premier cable network in Malaysia has brought on six new
Olympic channels for their subscribers to watch. This has to be the best
service in the Asian / ASEAN region. Well done Astro.
Subscribers across the region who watch the Multichoice network, will
have noted a new channel added to their line up on the C Band called
TVNZ is going to carry Olympic content for the Pacific region, shame
they can not send out their own kiwi content back to us up here in Asia.
The President of the Philippines has declared that the Olympics will be
available in country after a decision by the national broadcaster not to
carry it due to outstanding financial reasons.
A quick hint: do not confuse DVB 4:2:2 broadcasts with HDTV
Blind scanners are selling like hot cakes at the moment as users go
searching for the sports feeds across the region. Doug over in Japan who
popped into the office here the other day, tells me he has been out of
stock for a few days now, and the same over this way.
Lots of new Ku band feeds found over here this week and the blind search
marathon resumes its 6th sitting. Even some ‘new new’ stuff on Measat 2
Ku, ST1 Ku and so on..
The Panamsat 8 C band news feeds have been busy this week, not only with
the Olympic stuff, but with plain good old fashion rushes.
From my Emails & ICQ
UBI has started testing on Optus b3
12687 H 28066 and it a powerful signal the most powerful out of all the signals on b3
12674 H 22500
From Herb Gardiner
UBI (Useless Bloody Idiots)
I can't believe these clowns have forgotten about Australasia's 2nd
biggest ethnic market - again!
NZ has a huge ethnic community making up possibly around 30-40% of
the population - around 1.25 million, yet the shear arrogance of the
former TARBS crowd toward this sector is blinding!
They deserve to go bust again. Bring it on!!
I installed a Ku Universal on my 3m dish for experiments here and find
I701 11074H s/r 43656 Fec 1/2!! - FTA,
Geog)Disney/ET,Movie1,Movie2(MTV)PPV, - channel names are all over the place/incorrect.
I701 11074H S/R 43656 ( Powtek numbers !)
FTA Vpid 512 Apid 650 (1 of 2) PCR 128
SKY3 Vpid 513 Apid 660 (1 of 2) PCR 129
TCM/TOON Vpid 514 Apid 670 (1 of 2) PCR 130
MTV/Nickel Vpid 515 Apid 680 (1 of 2) PCR 131
ABC-AP Vpid 516 Apid 690 (1 of 2) PCR 132
CNN Vpid 517 Apid 700 (1 of 2) PCR 133
ESPN Vpid 518 Apid 710 (1 of 2) PCR 134
Sports EXT Vpid 519 Apid 720 (1 of 2) PCR 135
Disney/E! Vpid 520 Apid 730 (1 of 1) PCR 136
Movie 1 Vpid 521 Apid 740 (1 of 1) PCR 137
Movie 2 Vpid 522 Apid 750 (1 of 1) PCR 138
PPV Vpid 523 Apid 760 (1 of 1) PCR 139
All are fta
Are these normally on here ? TP not listed at Lyngsat
(Craigs comment, Confirmed as FIJI TV mux. Fec 1/2 will make it much more rain resistant you won't need as much signal to get pics.)
got 'em here ok in SE, Qld
68% on 90cm Nokia reports 11074H 43000 1/2
(Craigs comment, that Symbol rate may be a problem for some!)
I701 signal 61% on a wooden home made 1.2m here. Quite strong for 1/2 fec.
From Bill Richards
Athens Broadcast services, feeds Asiasat2
From the Dish
No Lyngsat today
Almost a million turn over to digital
SOME time in the next few weeks, Australia will hit the magic digital million. Somewhere, a family will hook up a new digital set-top box to become the millionth home with free-to-air or subscription digital television.
The classic hockey-stick graph - a slow start, then a sudden and sustained uplift - is emerging, true to form and true to Australians' history as a people who enthusiastically embrace new technologies.
The exact numbers are not known on a day-to-day basis but the free-to-air stations say they had 409,000 digital customers at June 30, up from 75,000 a year ago. Sales of set-top boxes are running at 30,000-plus per month and growing, and there has been a big kick in the run-up to the Olympics.
Pay-TV figures, through Foxtel and Austar, are in the region of 500,000. Foxtel guards its figures closely, but the exact number of new subscriptions and digital conversions since it launched its new suite of digital services in March are expected to be revealed in the results of part-owner and manager News Limited (publisher of The Australian) later today. Sources say the conversion of Foxtel's analogue customers is "pretty well on target".
A million homes with digital services represents 14 per cent of the total market of 7.1million homes 3 1/2 years after free-to-air digital services began. But because free-to-air and pay services use different systems, it doesn't mean everyone who makes the digital leap can see everything in bells-and-whistles wide-screen clarity.
Typically, a free-to-air digital set-top box will cost from $199 to $899 - with the most popular on a price sweet spot of $299 - and that will enable about 80 per cent of the Australian population to receive the five FTA networks - Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC and SBS.
Foxtel or Austar subscribers pay $50 to $100 a month for their selection of services. Cable subscribers get the FTA signals piped in but at this stage cannot use any interactive services being offered by the FTA networks. Foxtel is working on a programming upgrade to allow FTA digital interactivity on cable.
An Austar or Foxtel satellite subscriber needs two set-top boxes - one for pay and one for FTA - to complete the full range of digital services.
The big surge in digital uptake does not surprise Julie Flynn, head of Free TV Australia, the networks' lobby group. She says the networks were always confident of a digital take-off once the three critical elements were in place - transmitter roll-out to ensure wide coverage, content and interactive applications, and equipment in the marketplace.
There is plenty of the latter. According to Gerry Harvey, of Harvey Norman, sales of digital equipment have exploded.
"Our sales of set-top boxes rose by 210 per cent last year and that was on top of 400 per cent the year before," he says. "Plasma TVs are up 211 per cent and LCDs up 209 per cent. Home theatre sales are up 81 per cent. At the same time, prices have more than halved. A plasma screen cost $20,000 to $30,000 when introduced; now they're between $4000 and $15,000. It's changing the way we live."
The Olympics have given sales a boost, but anyone who rushed out to buy an expensive wide-screen set-up, intent on all-night sessions supporting the Aussies, will be disappointed. Seven's coverage of the Athens Games will be in the standard 4:3 screen format, as decreed by the International Olympic Committee, with only the opening and closing ceremonies in high definition wide-screen TV (HDTV). But never mind. China has recently announced it is adopting the HDTV format mandated for Australia (along with South Korea, Japan and the US) and all coverage of the 2008 Beijing Games will be in HDTV wide screen with full stereo sound.
Seven has no interactive digital coverage from Athens but has established a second results/data channel for statistics, available on digital channel 71. That will include a bar carrying viewers' comments submitted by mobile telephone SMS.
Meanwhile, a flurry of new digital content offerings has been announced. The Nine Network last week introduced an information service for its Getaway travel program, offering product information and sales specials. It already offers interactivity on its Nine Sports Active coverage of NRL and AFL football. But not all FTA digital customers can access these services, especially those early adopters who purchased low-tech "dumb" boxes, which have no, or very limited, interactive functions.
Foxtel is quick to point out most of the interactivity offered by FTA consists of voting-style applications relying on the phone, based on programs such as Big Brother, Australian Idol, My Restaurant Rules and The Block.
Seven and Ten continue to promise interactive services - including shopping and banking, gambling, games and messaging services - but add it will be "some time in the future".
Foxtel has announced phase two of its digital roll-out. Head of digital Patrick Delany says real-time polling services are already being used for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards program in September, and Sky News Active intends to poll various issues during the election campaign. All it requires is for a viewer to press a button on the remote.
Fox Sports coverage of the international cricket championships in September and the following India and New Zealand Tests will all feature multi-channel views and a choice of audio channels. The same will apply to the NBL matches broadcast from November.
The Weather Channel will introduce regional weather forecasts in early October. By keying in your postcode, you'll get a forecast for your area for the next seven days, surf reports and tide times.
But the big change will not come until early next year. That's when Foxtel plans to introduce its personal video recorders, which change the mind-set from simply recording programs to time-shifting hours of viewing to suit personal requirements.
The Foxtel-branded PVRs will come in a new set-top box that has a 40-gigabyte (or larger) hard disc, allowing days of recording, and DVD-style functionality with live TV, where viewers can pause the program, then pick it up where they left it.
PVRs are being seen as TV's equivalent of the personal computer - a must-have home appliance. But that's another revolution and a hockey-stick graph yet to come.
Telstra 'won't be big media player'
TELSTRA Corp had no plans of making any large forays into the media industry, chief executive Ziggy Switkowski said today.
"We are not a media player. You will not see us go out there and take a big step. That's not part of our thinking," Dr Switkowski told analysts today.
Telstra became embroiled in controversy earlier this year when a leak from the board alleged four directors, including then chairman Bob Mansfield and Dr Switkowski, were behind a failed $3.5 billion proposal to buy newspaper group John Fairfax Holdings Ltd.
The controversy eventually led to Mr Mansfield's resignation.
Dr Switkowski today said Telstra needed to align itself with the media industry over the next decade, but without becoming a media player itself.
"If you look at the next few years in this industry, the technology infrastructure will be capable of very high bandwidth, whether that's copper or cable or wireless or eventually satellite," he said.
"What's going to drive traffic over these very high speed networks?
"We're conservatively looking at what sort of content is going to be important in order to use up the capacity of the networks."
He predicted that by the end of the decade in Australia there would be 25 million mobile handsets with high resolution screens.
"That will be the appliance of choice," Dr Switkowski said.
"What content will be fed into these appliances? We do sponsorships with a view to getting early positions in terms of getting relevant content."
Telstra already has three main media businesses, which Dr Switkowski listed.
One is the Sensis directories business, which Dr Switkowski described as "uncontroversial".
Another is the recent Trading Post acquisition.
The third is Telstra's 50 per cent ownership in the Foxtel pay-TV network.
"That may be controversial in some eyes, but it's not controversial in our eyes," Dr Switkowski said.
TVB expects to lose key Galaxy investor
Television Broadcasts' 49 per cent-owned pay television unit, Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting, is on the brink of losing its major shareholder, Intelsat, after the joint-venture recorded a first-half loss of US$19.1 million (HK$149 million).
``Intelsat has expressed their intention to pull out of Galaxy,'' TVB general manager Ho Ting-kwan said on Wednesday.
Ho said TVB ``would love to have'' 100 per cent ownership of Galaxy were it not restricted by the firewall agreement that prevents the free-to-air broadcaster from also controlling a pay-TV unit.
``It is Intelsat who needs to determine how to deal with their stake, based on the shareholder agreement,'' Ho said, without giving details.
Hutchison Global Communications, the fixed-line unit of Hutchison Whampoa, is reported to be interested in taking over Intelsat's 51 per cent stake.
``It's not surprising to see that [Intelsat's possible pullout], as Galaxy's coverage is quite poor,'' Standard & Poor's Equity Research associate director David So said.
So added Hutchison would be the ideal candidate to take over Intelsat's stake.
On Monday, Galaxy said its chief executive officer Jim Blomfield had resigned, which Goldman Sachs analyst James Mitchell said was a further sign that Intelsat may merge Galaxy with a telecoms company, or exit Galaxy altogether.
Neither Intelsat China (Hong Kong) managing director Kenny Chu nor Washington-based media relations manager Jodi Katz was available for comment. Galaxy is estimated to have signed up only 5,000 subscribers since its launch in February, in a market dominated by i-Cable Communications.
Due to the slow uptake, Galaxy's first-half operating loss leapt four times from its US$479,000 loss a year earlier, Intelsat said in its interim report.
Ho also said TVB is close to securing the landing rights for its Jade and Pearl channels in the nine Pearl River Delta cities in Guangdong province, with 11 cable television networks.
``We hope a final agreement may be sealed in the third quarter of this year, and the mainland cable operators will give us a guaranteed payment for our content,'' Ho said.
Olympics on Doordarshan
Doordarshan will show 'live' the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday besides daily telecast of events during the 16-day sporting extravaganza being held in Athens, Greece.
The opening ceremony will begin at 11 pm IST and continue till early morning.
The telecast will also include capsules on the weather in Athens and the performance of the Indians in the 28th edition of the Games, an official press release said here on Wednesday.
DD may telecast cricket even without rights
NEW DELHI: The government is acting with speed to enact a law which will enable Doordarshan to telecast cricket matches on its terrestrial network whether or not it holds the rights for it.
The move comes at a time when the Board for Cricket Control of India (BCCI) has called for bids for satellite, radio and terrestrial telecasts over a period of four years between October 2004 -September 2008. The last date to submit the bids is Saturday. Separate bids for the three streams have not been allowed.
The Prasar Bharati board which met here today gave the go-ahead to the public broadcaster to bid competitively for the contract.
An empowered committee is being set up under the chairmanship of Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma to professionally decide on the bid amount.
However, in the light of the recent spat between Ten Sports and DD over telecast of the Indo-Pak cricket series as well as the non-transparent bidding process of the BCCI, it also urged the government to take steps to bring in a legislation to make the sharing of rights mandatory.
The rights would be negotiated on commercial terms as is the norm, and if necessary the mutually acceptable price would be adjudicated by the Regulator (which at present is TRAI). In fact an Ordinance vetted by law on these lines is with the government prepared in April when the Ten Sports-DD spat broke out.
The proposed legislation is in line with a global trend where countries like Britian, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Italy and South Africa have made it mandatory for broadcasters holding exclusive rights to sporting events notified as “events of national importance” to part with the signals to the national broadcaster
Government to make it mandatory to give India cricket telecast rights to DD
NEW DELHI: Whatever may be the final outcome of the bidding process for India cricket rights, on one thing there is certainty. All matches would be available for viewers of national broadcaster Doordarshan. That is if the government thinking on the issue is implemented.
This flows out of the decision today by the government to have a downlinking policy wherein it would be mandatory that telecast rights of sporting events of national importance be made available to the national broadcaster, which in this case is DD. A senior government official confirmed the development to indiantelevision.com.
Though the rights to the pubcaster are not likely to come free, the dice seems to be loaded heavily in favour of DD and All India Radio.
Whether this would set a precedent in other sectors of the broadcasting business is not clear yet. The broadcast and cable regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), is looking into a case that entails making available channels to all platforms, including cable and DTH, on a non-discriminatory basis under a 'must provide' clause.
Interestingly, today’s development came about after information and broadcasting minister Jaipal Reddy had a meeting with senior officials of Prasar Bharati, which manages DD and AIR.The meeting continued till late in the evening.
The decision, which according to government sources is effective immediately, can bring about a paradigm change in the way the media business is managed in India. Similar downlinking laws exist in some other South-East Asian countries, including China and recently even Pakistan.
The government proposes to bring in a proper legislation on the issue very soon, the official said. To take care of any legal issues that may arise in the short-term out of today's decision (that may also include issues other than sports), the government is likely to promulgate an Ordinance, the official said.
It is also learnt that a committee would be formed to look into the issue of pubcaster DD putting up “competitive bidding” for telecast rights of sporting events, including the telecast rights for the Indian cricket board organised matches in India for the next four years. This committee would include representation from Prasar Bharati and the government.
However, the decision to have a downlinking policy would have to be okayed by the cabinet. “This should not be much of a problem,” the government official said.
PRASAR BHARATI TO SHUN PRIVATE BROADCASTERS
In a related development, the Prasar Bharati board has decided that with regard to the India rights bids it would not have any truck with any other party and would go in for “competitive bidding” independently.
On 14 May, ESS made a presentation expressing its intention to collaborate with DD for India rights. It offered DD live telecast of all ODIs played under the BCCI contract at a fee of Rs 10 million per match, and Rs 500,000 per hour for daily highlights of Test matches. As per the proposal given to DD, ESS would "retain and sell all the commercial inventory on the above programming telecast by DD and share 10 per cent of its total revenue with it." In return, DD will not be required to bid for television rights or will have to shell out nothing for production either.
Another offer for collaboration to DD also came from Nimbus Communication but it did not involve joint bidding.
Meanwhile, other issues that cropped up during the Prasar Bharati board meet today included pay-scale revision of employees and the finalisation of a launch date for DD's KU-band DTH service. Prasar Bharati is targeting a 15 August debut, which would also be subject to availability of the Prime Minister for the inaugural function.
DTH packages for cosmopolitan cities
Dish TV has launched a number of regional language channel packages that will allow the viewer to choose, and pay for, only what he wants.
You can now order a completely Punjabi or a totally Gujarati dish or just a-la-carte.
There are also Bangla, Oriya, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam dishes to choose from, whatever your native tongue is.
What’s more, there a free treat: eight radio channels, and a sprinkling of news, cartoons and movies.
Surprised? Dish TV has launched a series of regional language channel packages, custom-made for cosmopolitan cities like Bangalore, where people from different parts of the country live and prefer to watch channels of their language. Apart from standard channels of each language, certain channels such as Cartoon Network or BBC World and ESPN are commonly offered across the board.
“The move came because we realised though direct to home (DTH) earlier offered some 70 channels at Rs 220, nobody was watching all channels. The regional channels’ packages have been launched keeping in mind what each household wants and the expense incurred. Each package of about 40 channels that you would watch at about the same cost,” said a city-based DTH distributor. Spurred by a surge in demand after cable wars and the cable operators’ strike, DTH now offers a “pick your channels and pay for only what you want” deal. The promise: Never any shutdown of telecast (as telecast is direct from satellite to home through a two-foot dish antenna) and crystal clear quality.
According to conservative estimates, there are nearly 10,000 DTH customers in the State already, with about 800 to 1,000 of them in Bangalore city. “It’s mostly the cost that puts people off (with installation charges costing Rs 7,000), but we have a good customer base in rural areas, particularly areas like Coorg or Mangalore or even on the outskirts of major cities. As the customer base rises, the subscription rate will come down,” said H N Sridhar, manager of Cosmic Infosystems, a DTH dealer. With rising demand, there are over 80 retailers in the city.
The launch of regional language packages is expected to improve DTH popularity among south Indians, who are more particular about their channels. So far, it has mostly been a fad with only north Indians in the State.
What has been another obstacle is that three main TV groups Star, Sony and Sun have not agreed to uplink their channels to DTH as yet.
By October, Dish TV the only DTH service provider also plans to tie up with more international channels such as CNN Finance and Malibu (an adventure sports channel).
‘Welcome’ package (about 35 channels choose your
regional language channels, plus basic DD, Hindi, Music and news channels): Rs 107
‘Dish News’ (six channels): Rs 60
‘Dish Plus‘ (10 channels): Rs 125
‘Dish Pick‘ (entertainment/music): Rs 30 for two channels; Rs 50 for five; Rs 60 for seven.
Sorry about the lack of stuff on the site today things seem very quiet. Things may get hectic after Friday with the Olympics starting.
Agila 2 the other week outage related to a beam shift? on Ku...
Keep an eye on B3 for "UBI" tests
From my Emails & ICQ
From Dinesh Abel
Hi, I live in sydney australia and am interested in acquiring any satellite which has Dubai-based Taj Television to watch sri lankan and asian cricket. is it possible?
(Craigs comment, Taj TV also known as Ten Sports broadcast on Pas 10 which isn't visable in Sydney. Not that you would actually be able to subscribe to it anyway.)
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E 12691 V "The PBS info card" has left .
PAS 8 166E 3710 V "Occasional feeds" on , SR 3260, FEC 7/8.
AsiaSat 4 122E 4020 V "CCTV City Sports, CCTV Football Channel" and occasional feeds have started on, Irdeto, PIDs 512/650, 513/660 and 518/710.
All channels are now encrypted in Irdeto.
Telkom 1 108E 4097 H "JTV" has started on , Fta, SR 3125, FEC 5/6, PIDs 1160/1120.
NSS 6 95E 11543 V The Free-XTV info card has left .
Telstar 10 76.5E All channels in D-Sky are encrypted again.
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 V "An Olympic Channel info card" has started on , Irdeto, PIDs 1631/1632.
Another Thaicom satellite set to be launched (Ipstar)
Bangkok, Aug 11 (VNA) - A 400 million USD Thaicom 4 satellite is nearly complete and is set to be launched in March next year, according to company executives.
When launched, the satellite, which is being built by a US company, will be the world's biggest commercial satellite.
It has been tested under both high and low extremes of temperature, as the satellite will be put into orbit more than 35,000 kilometres from the Earth, Chairman of Shin Satellite company Damrong Kasemset, told reporters on Monday.
The Thaicom 4 satellite, weighing 6.5 tonnes and 8 metres high, is 20 times bigger than the Thaicom 2 and 3. With 14 kilowatt of power, the new satellite uses new revolutionary digital coding techniques.
The Thaicom 4 satellite will provide telecommunications facilities and multimedia services to households, business and public organisations.
The satellite service will cover 14 countries and territories in Asia and the Pacific, and will provide seven gateways when they are established in Thailand, Myanmar, Taiwan, China, India, Laos, and Australia.-Enditem
BBC and BSkyB discuss free-to-air satellite service
Freeview: Sky hopes to set up rival
LONDON The BBC is in talks with BSkyB about joining forces to launch one free-to-air-satellite service instead of creating rival initiatives.
A BBC spokeswoman said: "The BBC is in the process of constructive dialogue with BSkyB, and several other broadcasters who cannot be named, about a joint satellite proposition, although nothing is confirmed at this stage."
The digital terrestrial television service Freeview, owned by the BBC, BSkyB and Crown Castle, is already in 4m homes after less than two years. However, the BBC and Sky have been looking to branch out on their own.
The BBC has been in talks for months about introducing its own free-to-air service while BSkyB's plans to launch a rival service consisting of 200 TV and radio channels for a one-off £150 payment were unveiled in June.
James Murdoch, the BSkyB chief executive, announced last week that the service will launch by October.
The commercial broadcaster has not officially named the service but is believed to be interested in buying the "FreeSat" trademark from the BBC or combining forces with the corporation.
All this comes at a sensitive time for BSkyB -- the company's share price fell by 19% after it revealed it gained just 81,000 new subscribers from April to June, well below the target of 100,000.
Satellites Seem Ready for Another Launch
A year ago, "satellite" was a dirty word on Wall Street. Billions had been lost on pie-in-the-sky schemes to capture voice, data, video and Internet traffic. And, with competition from millions of miles of unused terrestrial fiber-optic lines driving down prices, satellites looked to be the sort of slow-growth, low-margin business that investors shunned.
But suddenly satellites are hot again, with big-name private equity firms tripping over each other for a piece of the action. It started back in December, when Inmarsat was scooped up by Apax Partners and Permira Advisers, a pair of London firms that outbid George Soros. Then chunks of Eutelsat, the European consortium in the midst of privatization, found their way into the hands of American firms like Texas Pacific, Spectrum Equity Investors and Lehman Brothers. In April, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) beat out a who's who of private equity firms to purchase PanAmSat from Rupert Murdoch, then turned around and sold minority shares to two losing bidders, Washington's Carlyle Group and Providence Equity. Last month, the Blackstone Group picked up New Skies.
With each purchase, the price kept creeping up, from just over six times operating earnings to 7.6, a 25 percent increase in valuations.
Now the focus shifts to Washington, where two big players are on the block.
Having sold off PanAmSat, Murdoch is now shopping Hughes Network Systems, a hodgepodge of profitable telecommunications service businesses that employ about 2,000 people in Germantown. One provides Internet service to homes and business; another allows big companies to communicate with outlets or suppliers around the world, keeping track of sales or checking credit cards at gasoline pumps. The real wild card in the mix, however, is a $1.8 billion program to develop and build two next-generation satellites with 10 times the speed and capacity of those now in use.
Word in the industry is that the bidding is down to Texas Pacific and one or two other firms, with a selling price north of $400 million.
Meanwhile, Intelsat, with 850 employees in the District and the world's largest fleet of satellites, could fetch as much as $5 billion by the time a sale is announced later this month. KKR, Blackstone and Apax/Permira have looked to see if it makes sense to merge Intelsat with their recent purchases. And for two other buyout teams -- Bain Capital with Thomas H. Lee Partners and Apollo Management with Madison Dearborn -- Intelsat may be the last remaining ticket to the satellite ball.
There are two ways to think about these developments and how they play out for the Washington economy.
The positive view is that the stars are finally aligned for the needed consolidation of an industry now moving from government control to private ownership. While the IPO market dislikes slow-growing industries, banks and bond markets are attracted to the satellite industry's reliable stream of cash and are willing to finance heavily leveraged buyouts favored by private equity firms. The hope is that these tough new owners will finally bring financial discipline to an industry run by engineers too enamored with their own technology.
The more cynical view is that private equity funds with too much money to invest and too few good opportunities to invest in are now exhibiting a kind of herd-like behavior we've seen before on Wall Street. They overestimate efficiencies to be gained, and profits to be made, by consolidating an industry where the big costs -- buying and insuring satellites -- don't lend themselves to big efficiencies of scale. And since these financial buyers need to sell out in a couple of years, they're not really interested in making the kind of capital investment necessary for long-term growth -- bad news for the companies and a local economy that depends on them for thousands of good jobs.
No matter how it comes out, however, one sure winner will be Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin, whose ill-fated purchase of Comsat three years ago left it with major stakes in Inmarsat, New Skies and Intelsat -- stakes that could now be worth $1.5 billion.
Discovery travel-lifestyle channel to launch in October
NEW DELHI: Discovery Networks India today announced that it would launch Discovery Travel and Living -- as reported by Indiantelevision.com earlier -- a new channel aimed at upper and upper-middle class audience in October.
India would be the first country where the idea of Discovery's lifestyle portfolio would be incubated for replication in other global markets in 2005.
Today's announcement is part of a series of other similar channel launches as outlined by Dawn L. McCall, president of Discovery Networks International, in June when he had told international media, "We saw a real opportunity in the market. A lot of people have been dabbling in (lifestyle); no one has been really willing to commit the dollars necessary to really build this segment of the business."
According to McCall, "India, with its growing and dynamic TV market and emerging middle-class, is the right place to begin Discovery Networks' new lifestyle endeavour."
On cue, Discovery India's executive vice-president and MD Deepak Shourie today told journalists, "I think the time in India has come for this type of a channel." He also added that the company hopes to "create a set of channels to take documentary (making) and non-fiction to new heights."
The other two channels, to be formed from existing networks Discovery Travel & Adventure, Discovery H & L and Discovery Health, may be launched in India later, but Shourie did not offer any other detail. As a natural progression, some programmes that are now seen on Discovery Channel in India would migrate to the new channel.
Discovery Travel and Living will be distributed in India by One Alliance. Shourie, however, did not divulge the price of this proposed pay channel.
The company expects the channel to provide a new and unique platform for advertisers by targeting a discerning audience comprising upscale and young adults with active interests in the age group of 18-45. It is also likely to expands Discovery's ability to attract new audiences and advertisers who have traditionally not advertised on Discovery (high-end watch companies like Tag Heur) as traditionally lifestyle advertising has been in print due to lack of focused TV platforms, Discovery India executives claimed.
How has the Indian consumer changed? Making a presentation today, Discovery India said consumption no longer is just a function of income as there are 10 million credit card holders; disposable income has risen by over 270 per cent since 1990; dual income families are now a widespread urban phenomenon and there is a fundamental shift in consumption patterns of the Indian consumer.
"Despite the rapid growth of television industry in India, advertising spends on lifestyle brands have traditionally been restricted to the print medium," Shourie said, adding, "Discovery Travel and Living will provide advertisers with a dynamic media vehicle to reach a well targeted and defined viewership profile."
Some more figures to validate why Discovery Travel and Living is making its international debut in India:
In the 1990s, organised retail added 1 mn sq feet space per year.
In 2003, 10 mn sq ft was added, while in 2004-05, about 40 mn sq ft is expected to be added. According to Shourie, when his colleagues from the parent company came to India, they were taken to Gurgaon, on the outskirts of Delhi, where a mall mania is sweeping the region. "Seeing the place and the growth, they were convinced that Discovery Travel and Living should debut in India first," Shourie said as an aside.
The new channel is targeted at upscale urban households across the country (18-20 million households by October, said Shourie) with a cosmopolitan outlook. The treatment of the channel and its programming would be aspirational, glamorous and smart.
The programming genres will include travel, health & well-being, food & cuisine, automotive & motoring, home design & décor, hobbies and outdoor leisure. "Local (Indian) programming would be introduced in 2005, which would be acquired," Shourie added.
Some of the programmes that are likely to be seen on the new channel include Celebrity Travelogues, Globetrekker, Floyd's India, Cooking for Love (a blind date show blended with cookery), Date Patrol, Biker Build-Off, He's Gotta Have It, Great Vacation Homes, Superhomes, Other Peoples' Homes, While You Were Out, The Chris Lowell Show, Tim Brooke-Taylor's Golf Clubs and World Poker Tour.
Live satellite chat tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd onwards
Fiji TV testing on I701? They were suppose to be testing around this date. Start looking and reporting what you can see.
New ethnic pay TV service coming soon? NOT Tarb's, NOT WMI, NOT UBI....
From my Emails & ICQ
From M. Laki
Why Mr Mike Boulas hiding overseas all the time? Why he not in Australia ? Why he try to come back on Optus B3 and take our money again. We are not fools to be cheated again.
We want Greek government to have Boulas deported to Australia and force refuning of our money. Also seize all Tarb assett in Greece everything also everything in Australia under his wife name.
How can he be in receivership one day then next week has new business?
It would seem that 701 is picking up, I,ve just loaded 90 TV channels and 20
MTV China is playing on 12010 V 27499, Just about everything else is
encrypted. No sign of Fiji TV
Feed seen last night
B3 12552V sr 6666 Fec3/4
From the Dish
Palapa C2 113E 11132 V "CTS" is now encrypted.
Palapa C2 113E 11472 V "MAC TV" is now encrypted.
Telkom 1 108E 4096 H It's only occasional JTV feeds on , SR 3123, FEC 5/6.
Another ethnic venture for Boulos
MIKE Boulos, founder of the defunct ethnic pay-TV group Television & Radio Broadcast Services, has outlined plans to relaunch a new venture partly funded by former Australian pay-TV investor Gerry Lenfest.
Mr Lenfest created the US cable group Lenfest Communications and was a major investor in Australia's first failed pay-TV company, Australis Media.
The 73-year-old sold his business to US rival Comcast in 2000, reportedly netting the family about $US1.2 billion ($1.7 billion).
Since then he has become one of the US's great philanthropists, saying he wants to give away his fortune before he dies. Speaking from Manilla yesterday, Mr Boulos confirmed a report in The Australian yesterday that he planned to develop another ethnic pay-TV service.
"We are in the process of relaunching a lot of the services to service the migrants of Australia," he said.
New satellites were being tested for the service, which has yet to be named but would be launched as soon as possible, he said.
Mr Boulos said he was shocked in early July when TARBS's satellite distributor PanAmSat called in receivers PriceWaterhousecoopers after failing to meet a debt repayment.
Days later, PWC pulled TARBS off the air, creating a furore among its 57,000 ethnic subscribers. He said TARBS had been adding between 1500 and 2000 new subscribers each month and would have broken even at 72,000.
PWC has advertised TARBS for sale, and Mr Boulos said he offered to buy the assets - principally the subscriber base.
PWC has yet to announce any sale, and Mr Boulos said he could proceed even without buying those subscribers.
"There are a lot of committed ex-TARBS subscribers who would love to support what we started six years ago," he said.
Mr Boulos, who has already invested $200 million in TARBS, said relaunching the service would cost "a lot" but he had "loyal backers who have supported us in the past, who believe in us and the way we do things".
"Gerry Lenfest is our greatest supporter and has been for many years," he said.
Asked whether he would invest in a revived TARBS, Mr Boulos said: "Yes, absolutely."
He said his wife Regina - who last month registered a new company called United Broadcasting International - also planned to invest further funds.
Asked if he needed investors other than Mr Lenfest, Mr Boulos said: "We don't need anybody else."
"He's had a very successful career in pay-TV and ... we don't believe we have failed," he said.
(Craigs comment, the article below says it all. What better way to get rid of millions of dollars. Throw it into the black hole called Pay TV. It looks like UBI is their new "charity")
Billionaire Couple Keeps On Giving
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 23, 2004
"During your lifetime, you can direct how your wealth is spent for the most good. But after your death, it is problematic. You don't have the control."
(AP) H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest and his wife, Marguerite, have given away about a third of their $1 billion fortune over the past four years, and they say they want to give it all away before they die.
After four decades building a cable television business that made them one of America's wealthiest couples, the Lenfests are spending the profits on charity.
Their three children already wealthy from the sale of the cable business to Comcast will get no more money if the couple have their way. The couple also wants foundations that survive them to have spent every penny within 20 years of their deaths.
Gerry Lenfest, 73, said he saw many charitable institutions lose effectiveness after their founders died and decided the bulk of the family's fortune should not end up in long-lasting endowments.
"During your lifetime, you can direct how your wealth is spent for the most good," he said. "But after your death, it is problematic. You don't have the control."
So far, the couple have given or pledged about $325 million of their earnings from the sale of the cable business the family began building in 1974.
Columbia University, Wilson College and Washington and Lee University have each received gifts of between $16 million and $18 million. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation are among many organizations that have received Lenfest money.
Gerry Lenfest was a lawyer and an executive at Triangle Publications, a company owned by another philanthropist, Walter Annenberg, when he borrowed $2.3 million to buy a small cable television system in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
When Lenfest sold the system to Comcast Corp. in 2000, it had grown to 1.2 million subscribers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The sale netted the Lenfest family about $1.2 billion.
Ad industry presses for extra TV channels
The advertising industry has called on the Federal Government to allow the free-to-air networks to broadcast extra channels, arguing there is "no technical, economic or public interest reason" not to do so.
The Government is reviewing the ban which prevents the networks using their extra digital spectrum to broadcast additional channels - known as multichannelling.
In its submission to the review, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) argues multichannelling would spur widespread adoption of digital television, by providing viewers with more choice.
Kerry Packer's Nine Network and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp are the only major media players to oppose multichannelling. Anxious to protect their investment in pay TV company Foxtel, Mr Packer and Mr Murdoch fear multichannelling would enable the free-to-air networks to become de facto pay TV operators.
Nine argues multichannelling would simply fragment the mass market TV audience without increasing advertising revenue, and so reduce the quality of free-to-air programming. AANA rejected Nine's argument as "spurious, unsupported by facts [and] against the public interest".
An independent report commissioned by AANA found that in the US and UK advertisers were prepared to pay to reach the niche audiences watching multichannels. It said free-to-air TV advertising expenditure continued to grow in Australia.
The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance also believes the multichannelling ban should be lifted.
But to prevent multichannelling from being a backdoor route for the free-to-air networks to become pay TV operators, the union wants networks limited to broadcasting two extra free digital channels.
Hills reports a 14.2% profit rise
Diversified manufacturer Hills Industries says it will achieve acceptable results in the 2005 financial year reporting a 14.2 per cent rise in net profit for 2003/04.
The company, known for developing the iconic Australian Hills hoist clothes line, posted net profit of $31.11 million for the full year to June 30, from $27.25 million in the previous year.
"On the basis of our forecasting, our desire to grow the business through strategic bolt on acquisitions and our desire to grow in existing and adjunct markets, we believe that the 2005 year will bring acceptable results," Hills said.
Revenue rose 7.4 per cent to $718.67 million and earnings per share rose 8.7 per cent to 22.6 cents.
However, Hills warned new home starts would fall in the current financial year although renovation and non-residential construction activity was forecast to remain very strong.
Hills currently operates businesses in three industry segments including home and hardware products, electronic security and entertainment, and building and industrial products.
The company said its electronic security revenues finished ahead of last year's results, thanks to overall market growth and its decision to further diversify its product range.
Hills also said the digitisation of the Foxtel network and the launch of the new AUSTAR Digital helped its antenna and TV systems to increase profit and sales, as it generated increased demand in the Pay TV sector.
"We are very pleased to be key suppliers to both Foxtel and AUSTAR leading into what we think is a very exciting period for the Pay TV industry," Hills said.
The company said overall results for the sector were assisted by the closure of a number of loss making operations in the previous year.
Meanwhile, Hills said the revenues and profits fell slightly lower in the home and hardware product sector.
It said the rapid increase in the local currency in the first half resulted in increased competition for a number of its core consumer goods.
Hills also noted that the management of volatile steel prices remained a key challenge facing the home and hardware products sector as it was difficult to recover cost increases.
In the building and industrial products sector, Hill said sales and profits improved thanks to improvements in market shares across all business units.
However, they said significant price increases across a whole range of steel products imposed by Bluescope Steel and other suppliers remained a challenge to the company.
Hills said the management of steel price movements was a key issue across all the business units within the sector.
"We will need to continue to carefully monitor the variability of steel prices and changes in the Australian dollar versus the US dollar," Hills said.
"We will concentrate on operational performance and cost reduction and push innovation in relation to new product development."
The company also declared a fully franked final dividend of 11.5 cents per share, up from 10.5 cents previously and said it would continue to pay out the majority of its net profits to shareholders as interim and final dividends.
Shares in Hill Industries rose five cents to $3.97 at 1402 AEST.
TVNZ's third channel stuck in the bureaucratic mud
Progress on TVNZ's proposed third channel has ground to a halt amid rumours that it will not get to air. But TVNZ bosses insist the hold-up is temporary as they wait to tender to broadcast parliament.
In April the state broadcaster was forced to reveal its plans for a "local content channel", which would include live parliamentary coverage, but it has remained tight-lipped since.
TVNZ executives, including some board members, are split over the proposal, the Sunday Star-Times understands. Key problems include plans to use the old Horizon Pacific network, which transmits only to the country's five major cities and is in need of significant upgrading, estimated to cost $5m.
But a further hurdle was recently added when parliament decided to publicly tender the rights to broadcast its proceedings.
Key third-channel content would include live coverage from parliament.
Parliament's reporting services clerk-assistant Wynne Price said TVNZ was only one of about 10 parties interested in broadcasting parliament.
"(The service) will go out for full public tender. We're going to get the right team for this."
Sky has put forward a detailed proposal to broadcast parliament.
TVNZ spokesman Richard Griffin said it was likely the broadcaster would submit an application to broadcast parliament.
"We are waiting on a tender document. When we get a tender document, we will make the decision accordingly," said Griffin.
But in April TVNZ chief executive Ian Fraser told the Star-Times he expected TVNZ's board to consider the proposal at June's monthly meeting, once a business case had been devised.
The third-channel proposal was not on the board's agenda last month and a TVNZ spokeswoman confirmed it would not feature this month.
Even if TVNZ does not tender for primary coverage, it could still access parliamentary coverage from the successful provider, but rising channel costs are likely to be an issue.
Parliament is set to foot most of the bill for its in-house coverage, including around $3m in set-up costs and annual operating costs of more than $500,000.
Fraser has previously said the new channel would pay for itself and TVNZ would not use charter money or seek additional government funding to operate it. National MP Murray McCully said the proposal was at a stand-still.
"It involves $10m worth of cost at a minimum without even making any new programmes to show on it.
"It's backed by a politically correct faction within the board, but the proposal makes no sense."
Meanwhile, the Commerce Commission has decided it will not investigate a complaint against TVNZ by a group negotiating with the broadcaster to use its Horizon Pacific network for an Auckland-only channel.
The group's plans were quashed when TVNZ announced it would use the frequency for the third channel.
For the commission, a spokeswoman said it found no evidence that TVNZ had been anti-competitive.
The group's spokesman David Beatson said it was considering its options.
ESS renews deal with Thai pay TV operator UBC
MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports (ESS) and Thai pay TV operator UBC have reached a multi-year renewal agreement for carriage of the two sports channels.
ESS MD Rik Dovey said, "We are excited about continuing another chapter with UBC. This agreement between our companies represents a renewed commitment and partnership, and together we look forward to bringing viewers in Thailand the best sports television including the English Premier League which kicks off in a week."
"The agreement is timely as it ensures that viewers in Thailand do not miss out on our expanded coverage of the EPL. The upcoming season will be bigger and better. For the first time in Asia, ten matches will be shown each competition week most of them live. The rest will air on a quick turnaround and will be supported with a line-up of programming covering predictions, highlights, news and information, as well as pre and post game analysis."
UBC CEO, Sompan Charumilinda said, "UBC and ESS have also agreed to grant limited syndication rights of 17 live matches per season to terrestrial TV to peak the interest of viewers and drive them to the full EPL coverage on UBC."
Thailand expects delay in launch of fourth satellite
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - The telecom company owned by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's family said Monday the launch of its fourth satellite will likely be delayed until next year because testing is taking longer than expected.
Shin Satellite PCL's US$400 million broadband satellite, iPSTAR, originally was to be launched between July and September, but must undergo further testing because it uses a new technology to handle Internet connections, said the company's executive chairman, Dumrong Kasemset.
Space Systems/Loral, the manufacturer of iPSTAR, recently informed Shin about the further testing needed, which may postpone the launch until March 2005, he said.
"The satellite should be ready for delivery to the company before the end of 2004 and it will take two to three months more for the satellite to be installed in the launch vehicle, tested and launched,'' Dumrong told reporters.
The satellite, which will be launched from French Guiana, South America, will offer high-speed data transmission for Internet and multimedia applications.
It is expected to become a mainstay of the company's revenue.
Shin Satellite Chief Financial Officer Tanadit Charoenchan said the company was waiting for the market to improve before holding a planned public share offering, which was earlier scheduled for July.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand index has lost about 20 percent since the beginning of the year due to a series of setbacks, including the bird flu outbreak and ongoing violence in Thailand's Muslim-dominated southern provinces.
Under the proposal, Shin Satellite will sell up to 208 million shares to raise between US$60 million to US$90 million, which will be used mainly to refinance its short-term debts and as working capital.
Shin Satellite is a public company affiliated with Shin Corp., a telecommunications group controlled by the family of Thailand's billionaire prime minister, Thaksin. - AP
HONG KONG: Galaxy chief resigns amid flat growth
The chief executive of Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting has stepped down from the troubled joint venture, citing personal reasons
The chief executive of Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting has stepped down from the troubled joint venture, citing personal reasons.
Galaxy, 49 per cent held by Television Broadcasts (TVB) and 51 per cent by United States-based Intelsat, said yesterday that Jim Blomfield had resigned.
"His dedication and passion have been instrumental in building a solid foundation for the company," Galaxy said.
The resignation follows failed efforts to boost subscription numbers amid intense competition with i-Cable Communications and PCCW's NOW Broadband TV.
Chief operating officer Jackey Chan Sek-nin and chief financial officer Qin Li will share Mr Blomfield's duties. "Our board of directors will later decide a successor," a company spokeswoman said.
TVB lost 0.94 per cent yesterday to finish at $31.90.
PTV to launch DTH transmission from November
Pakistan Television will start its Direct To Home (DTH) transmission from November 26, said Akhtar Waqar Azeem, the managing director of the state-run network.
According to the Daily Times, as many as fifty channels, including PTV Gold, PTV Sports and PTV Islamic among others, would be broadcast during the first phase.
PTV would be holding meetings on August 13 with three parties, who have expressed their interest in PTV DTH, although a final decision in this regard would be made only after a meeting with the Board of Directors of PTV Foundation, on August 21.
Azeem further said that the agreement with the companies would be for five years while the profits would be proportionately divided between the PTV Foundation and the company in the ratio of 51 to 49 percent respectively. (ANI)
Getting closer to the Olympics. There will be a special Page for the feeds and regular coverage that people find just as I did during the 2000 Olympics (See articles section)
I had a report that Indians are being called by Sky NZ asking if they would pay $20 per channel for Star+ and Sony TV. That seems odd when Visionasia has the Aus/NZ rights.
Jon's Asia Weekly
"TVNZ Where are you?"
Been a big week for everyone this week, as is normal with the first of each month. This is the period we see new changes to most of the satellites across the Asia Pacific region, like additions changes or deletions to here there and everywhere, but not much new around so far that has grabbed me by the scuff of the neck and said "watch me".
Many of the readers in the Pacific region got to watch Nasa TV this week while those of us over here in Asia still have to watch it on broadband or the news feeds that come through from time to time.
The whole of the Asian and shortly the south Asian region up here gets to see ABC AP while after 25 years of satellite use TVNZ down in New Zealand still has nothing beaming up to Asia. So much for the Free trade agreement's the Kiwi government have been and are in the process of signing with a few countries in the region. If the kiwi government TV stations (who used to run global satellite distribution to boot) will not put out some programming so those of us up here in Asia can see, how will the average person know what "New Zealand" is all about, and why these FTA's are so good for them. Hey the "Pure NZ" advertising on Discovery Travel and others does not count chaps, but a good start. .
We are told moves are afoot, look they say "there was recently a RFI for the KiwiSat", the NZ papers tell us there are noises being made by private interests, but when you speak to Kiwi programmers they say "just hold on" But heck guys after 25 years, how long do you have to hold on for? I remember when we were forcing the changes to Kiwi to law allow satellite TVRO back in the early 1980's when the then Minister and MP "Talbot" said the same thing.
Q: How long before we see a result? A: Talk about elephants mating instead.
Not to be out done by the lack of technology we are faced with over this issue, (do broadcasters in Kiwiland even know about technology?) we can get a few of the Kiwi channels via broadband, and our thanks to the private company who does this, but here in the heart of Asia even with a 5.7mb or greater broadband link, the quality is not the best at only 27fps and in 640x480 resolution, but good enough to feed to the tele, and remind the family that "no it is not a rainy night on the Ku band with a few breakups here and there". However it is nice for the first time in over ten years to see Holmes is still babbling away, in the land time forgot. Technology does not progress that much down there does it. I still remember Nigel and his NZ Army medical team along with the internet company I started [ICONZ] in NZ were feeding pictures from Bosnia back to the NZ Army hospital in Auckland via his portable satellite ground units and that was over 10 years ago.
Sri Lanka has been playing encryption roulette over the last few weeks with its channels on Telstar 10, in the old on again off again mode (how does this country offer satellite TV and NZ can not? Aid monies - nope! - go figure)
HOT: Sports feed hunting - Olympics about to happen
MCOT here in Thailand are doing a big push to become the "media center" for Asia and propose to start broadcasting a 24x7 English news service. If it is going to be anything like what they do with their existing TV programming now, and the new NBT radio formats they have recently done, we indeed have something great to look forward to.
There are only a few regional broadcasters doing this sort of news at the moment, being Channel News Asia, and … and … and …. Channel News Asia, which I have to say always struck me as being like watching the 50th rerun of "the home knitting channel"
Some of the non-regional players like "24x7" from India on Panamsat 7/10 do a great job as do "Ari" on the same bird. Channel 11/1 a domestic / South East Asian news channel on the Thaicom 2/3 Ku band do a good job, however it is not English language based (albeit they have English 5% of the time) but never to mind, we are all awaiting the MCOT English service to arrive and instantly slot into the #2 position in the regional market (oh there will only be two players - good spot).
HOT: UCAS - AU on Nagra & Seca
The biggies like BBC and CNN who have a regional presence, along with Bloomberg and CNBC do a great job of fair and balanced reporting across the region. The new line up at Bloomberg with Steve (yes he got there ages ago) and Bernie at the anchor make this a network well worth a look at in our time zone (Panamsat 2, AS 3S, and on many paytv network across the region).
HOT: Blind search receivers - the hobby side is back again
Did it blow up, did it run out of steam, exactly what happened to the Agila 2 (146 degrees) satellite last Friday night, and why does the transponder power seem to be changing a few times a day. Is the rumours we read in the message boards across Asia true? Is this bird about to end its life?
So what happened to www.dream.com.ph and the dreamsatellite.com (in Shanghai, CN) web sites of late?
So Videoland on Panamsat 8 went belly up for the FTA watches and became encrypted, shame about that. STC on the same bird and the winner by a mile of my question of last week about what music channel to watch, is still encrypted. On the Ku band on this bird, cricket is everywhere to be seen with a footprint from over here in Thailand across to Japan.
HOT: Panorama C band LNB's
ABC AP on Palapa C2 Ku band is still MIA - SNAFU! There are reports that a 12foot Ku band dish can see it, but have seen no screen shoots to date to substantiate this claim. So a dickey bird tells me that a new low powered community license has been sort to re-broadcast it here in Bangkok.
25' dishes in Southern India for home TVRO. Wow! One of the web boards that cover Asia from Eastern Europe has a thread about this, shame there are no pictures nor screen dumps of the content he says he is watching. Time to buy a new house and a bigger dish, or simply hook into the 20 meter one that backs onto my farm. Hmmm Astro in India.
Warning: there seem to be more and more sites across the world saying they have cracked one encryption code or another, and when you go to their web site it has either a "dialer" or "mal-ware" of some sort or another on it. No cracks at all. What did you expect? A good solution is the popup blocker from google or yahoo, that comes with their "task bar". I like the Yahoo one as I can check my mail at the same time. Be warned.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards
Seen on Sunday
4080 H Sr 6000 FEC 3/4 Vpid308 Apid256 SID1 *GDTV Motor Racing Feed. FTA
3830 V Sr 13330 FEC 5/6
Vpid2101 Apid2111 SID2001 Athens Service 1
Vpid2201 Apid2211 SID2002 Athens Service 2
Vpid2301 Apid2311 SID2003 Athens Service 3
Athens Feeds All FTA
Dear Mr Sutton,
Due to the return of the English premier league next weekend, our local
UBC cable won't show the All Blacks-Springbox match live but will delay the
telecast until the conclusion of the last soccer match which is 1am on Sunday
Bangkok time. The FTA Starsports channel on Asiasat3 won't show the match
live either but will screen the recording of the match at 9am on Sunday.
As the outcome of this match will now have bearing on the Trination Cup,
I would love to watch it live instead of having to wait five hours for a delayed
telecast. Are there any C-band live feed that you might know of?
An All blacks Supporter Since 1968
(Craigs comment, I don't know about a FTA feed but you can watch but you should be able to watch it live here
Soi 33 Office Bar Londoner Green Parrot..and CHOKADEE NZ next time)
From the Dish
Optus A3 164E 12501 H "The God Channel" has started on , Fta, PIDs 769/770.
AsiaSat 4 122E 4020 V "CCTV Music, CCTV Beijing Opera, CHC and occasional CCTV feeds" have started on , clear, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, PIDs 514/670-517/700.
AsiaSat 4 122E 4100 V Foreign Movie Channel, Cartoon Channel, Game Channel, Documentary Channel, East Finance, TVSN, Health Channel, Tianyan I-Go and Automobile and Motorcycle Channel have started on , Fta, SR 27500, FEC 3/4,PIDs 511/640-519/720.
Palapa C2 113E 3580 H The Kabelvision mux is back on , Nagravision, SR 27000, FEC 3/4.
Palapa C2 113E 4080 H "RRI Pro 2 FM has left" , moved to Telkom 1.
Telkom 1 108E 4096 H "Jawa Timur TV" has started on , Fta, SR 3123, FEC 5/6, PIDs 1160/1122.(No sign of it???/)
Telkom 1 108E 4130 V "RRI Pro 2 FM has replaced RRI Pro 4" on , Fta, APID 257.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E Occasional feeds on 3830 V, SR 13333, FEC 5/6.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E Occasional feeds on 4080 H, SR 6000, FEC 3/4.
Express AM 11 96.5E 3875 R "Radio Unost and Radio Mayak" have swapped APIDs.
Express AM 11 96.5E 11044 V "NTV" has started on , Fta, SR 21700, FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256.
NSS 6 95E 12729 V "Sexy Sat TV Australia" has left .
Insat 2E 83E 3485 V All channels in the ETV mux on are now Fta.
Telstar 10 76.5E All channels in D-Sky are Fta.
PAS 10 68.5E 3974 V "The Discovery Lifestyle promo" has left, replaced by a test card.
PAS 10 68.5E 4075 V "The Hungama Channel tests" have left , replaced by a test card.
Ethnic pay-TV mogul makes an encore
FAILED ethnic pay-TV businessman Mike Boulos is attempting to launch a new pay-TV service as his Television & Radio Broadcasting Service remains mired in receivership.
Mr Boulos's wife, Regina, registered a new business, called United Broadcasting International, in mid-July just two weeks after TARBS was pulled off the air.
TARBS's main creditor, satellite company PanAmSat, called in receivers Price-waterhouseCoopers in early July after TARBS failed to make an estimated $40million payment.
Apart from PanAmSat, TARBS's main creditor is CityWest Pty Ltd, a company owned by Mr Boulos which owns the property at 55 Pyrmont Bridge Rd in Sydney, which was TARBS's headquarters.
PWC has advertised the business for sale - its main asset is the estimated 60,000 subscribers - but no other details of the receivership have been released.
Documents lodged by United Broadcasting International list that address as its registered office and name Ms Boulos as its sole director and secretary.
Mr Boulos is understood to be in discussions with satellite provider Optus for access to transponders on its B3 satellite.
An Optus spokesman would not comment on any negotiations and Mr Boulos is believed to be overseas.
As the owner of the former TARBS headquarters and a creditor, Mr Boulos is arguing the satellite uplink facility on the building's roof belongs to him.
Mr Boulos is also believed to own some programming rights himself, and has been trying to re-sign ethnic channels previously on the TARBS platform.
Last month, Mr Boulos said he had invested $200 million in TARBS, which had been close to break-even when the receivers were appointed.
(Craigs comment, So what if they were close to breaking even? if they do get on B3 they're starting from scratch again. How long did it take to build up 57000 subscribers? years. How long to move 57000 Pas 8 ex Tarb's people to B3... ? Quite obvious what will happen 2nd time around. Considering how much they owe Panamsat , I also have to wonder why Optus would take them on as a customer? I have heard rumours that whatever appears on B3 will be FTA for many months to try and encourage ex Tarbs people to repoint Pas 8 dishes to B3. What sort of business plan is that?)
Support for fourth free TV network
THE Australian Consumers Association has joined the call for a fourth free-to-air TV network, while also proposing greater relaxation of digital TV regulation in the first of the reviews into Australian TV.
The federal Government announced four statutory reviews of its digital TV legislation in May, and initial comments have been received.
The first review covers issues such as whether networks Seven, Nine and Ten should be able to multi-channel - or offer extra TV channels on their digital TV spectrum.
The ACA disagreed with the Government's move to segment the digital TV debate into four, saying it was "essential to contemplate the bigger picture of how the digital TV change should be reshaped as a whole".
In that regard, it said there should be a fourth digital-only TV network. Then regulation should be relaxed so existing TV networks could "use their spectrum as they see fit".
That would enable them to multi-channel, provide high-definition TV channels, new data services and enhancements but they should not be allowed to offer pay-TV services through free-TV aerials, the ACA said.
It said take-up of digital TV was "modest at best, particularly when compared with the runaway success of DVD players or the ongoing sales of standard 4:3 analog TV sets".
The ACA joins John Singleton's Macquarie Media and Sony Pictures TV in the call for a new TV network, although new Communications Minister Helen Coonan recently said she was against the idea.
The metropolitan TV networks, which have differing views on whether to multi-channel, have yet to provide formal submissions but the opinions of their regional affiliates mirrored the previously stated positions of the metropolitans.
Seven affiliate Prime TV, for example, followed the lead of Seven by arguing it should be able to offer multi-channels in regional markets.
"Prime believes multi-channelling would receive cohesive support from viewers, advertisers and manufacturers," it said.
But Ten affiliate Southern Cross does not want the current ban on multi-channels lifted. "The TV industry could not withstand a potential doubling of program streams from multi-channelling, plus contend with a growing pay-TV market and absorb further competition from very-low-cost DVDs," it said.
It said any digital TV enhancements should be limited to data information services such as text news, weather, sporting results, financial and community information.
Sydney races on TV again
SYDNEY racing is again being telecast live on Sky Channel into pubs, clubs, TAB agencies and the home pay-TV channel from today.
And stay-at-home punters are soon to have a choice between the existing Sky Channel wall-to-wall racing coverage and a dedicated thoroughbred channel featuring Sydney and Melbourne racing plus selected interstate races.
This was the upshot following a welcome and overdue breakthrough in contract renewal talks yesterday between TABCorp, owners of Sky Channel, and ThoroughVision, which represents the Sydney and Melbourne race clubs.
There has been a nationwide Sky Channel blackout of Sydney racing since the AJC and STC failed to come to agreement with Sky on a new broadcast deal last March.
The blackout is said to have cost Sydney racing more than $20million in lost wagering turnover.
TABCorp and TVN have agreed to form a joint venture company to broadcast a dedicated thoroughbred channel.
"TABCorp is delighted with the agreement, it really is a win for punters and all parties involved," Matthew Slatter, TABCorp's chief executive officer said.
"We lost no time after the takeover in seeking the support of racing to reach an agreement that we believe provides the best outcome for the industry as a whole."
TVN has already proven its ability to cover racing with the excellent Sydney Races TV broadcasts, anchored by The Daily Telegraph's Ken Callander, Richard Callander and Russell Barwick which beamed into pubs and clubs across NSW and Victoria in recent months.
Although the contents of the new dedicated racing channel are still to be determined, it is understood thoroughbred racing will be complemented by selected sports programs.
The new racing channel will be launched on Foxtel within three months into pubs, clubs, TABs and to the home viewer.
It is unclear if broadcasts will begin in time for the Sydney and Melbourne spring carnivals, particularly as the Melbourne feature races are shown extensively on free-to-air TV.
The more likely scenario is the new channel will be launched immediately after the Melbourne Cup carnival at Flemington in November.
It is significant the new agreement allows coverage to be shown on Foxtel's old analogue system as well as the new digital product.
Both racing channels remain part of the basic Foxtel package and no extra fees will be charged.
Essentially, the new broadcast deal means the home viewer will eventually be able to choose between two racing channels.
Sydney race club chief executives Tony King and Michael Kenny can feel vindicated today after standing firm in the face of relentless criticism of the blackout to secure a more lucrative deal for the racing industry.
'Kabelvision' to show Olympics live in Jakarta
Due to the local TV stations' lack of interest in airing the Olympics, Kabelvision, a cable TV broadcaster, has stepped into the vacuum and made a deal with the Kuala Lumpur-based Asia-Pacific Broadcast Union (ABU) for the rights to the program.
"We are proud to announce that Kabelvision will broadcast the 2004 Olympics, the most prestigious global sporting spectacle, taking place in Athens," Anya Wenas, the manager of marketing communications, said in a release here on Saturday.
Anya said that the broadcasts would begin on Friday, Aug. 13 and the various events could be viewed on six channels.
ABU, whose broadcast package did not draw interest from local TV stations, confirmed the deal when contacted by The Jakarta Post.
"It was concluded last night," John Barton, ABU's head of broadcast operations, said.
Barton said that it still was not an ideal situation for the Indonesian people given that Kabelvision is only accessible to its limited number of subscribers and the coverage area is only in greater Jakarta.
Local TV stations decided not to show the general public the Olympics, after complaining of overly expensive broadcast rights and little interest by would-be local advertisers.
While the ABU declined to mention the value of the package, RCTI mentioned US$900,000. TVRI said that the starting price had been US$1.5 million.
A source close to the negotiations, however, said that the original price was over $2 million, which was then significantly trimmed to $400,000.
The ABU suggested that in the interest of Indonesian citizens, and from a cost management point of view, that the television stations should cooperate like tv station in Japan and Korea have.
"They declined," Barton said. "It is the policy of the IOC, and supported by the ABU, for the Olympic games to be seen by the widest audience possible, hence the desire for it to be broadcast on free television, by a country's national broadcaster, or a combination of them as is the case in Japan where five stations are sharing the telecast, and Korea, where all their country's broadcasters (three) are involved," Barton said.
The ABU made the latest offer but there was still not a positive response from the broadcasters.
"As late as yesterday (Friday) I offered a daily highlights program to Indonesian broadcasters but they still were not interested," Barton said.
"The program would feature all the medal events, ceremonies and other happenings on a daily basis," Barton said.
The highlight packaged was offered at just US$75,000
Olympics aired North and South, but in HDTV here
Both North and South Koreans will be able to watch the Olympics live this month, thanks to some help from South Korean television crews in Athens. But the broadcast quality will be higher here.
Broadcasters from both sides of the Demilitarized Zone said after a meeting in Mount Geumgang on Aug. 4 and 5 that the crews from Seoul would film events involving North or South Korea, the opening and closing ceremonies and other highlights and provide them to Pyeongyang for rebroadcast in North Korea, either live or delayed. In the past, North Korea has simply pirated the footage of important sporting events. The Korean Broadcasting Commission, a Seoul organization, will pay part of the estimated 300-million-won ($270,000) cost; the rest will come from government funds.
And sports fans here who have been thinking about buying a high-definition digital television set may have another reason to take the plunge. Several television broadcasters say they will air digital coverage of the games, with Sky TV, a satellite broadcaster, having the most ambitious plans.
Sky TV officials said yesterday they are preparing 24-hour-a-day coverage of the Athens games on one of their HDTV satellite channels. Sky subscribers who have not signed up for high-definition reception already will have to pay 489,000 won for a set-top box to process the high-quality signals; and, of course, they need an HDTV receiver. Subscribers who have a set-top box not capable of handling HDTV signals can trade it in in partial payment of the better one, a Sky TV employee said.
The Korean Broadcasting System said it would broadcast an hour or two per day of Athens coverage using high-definition signals; its over-the-air broadcasts cannot be seen everywhere in the metropolitan area. Cable viewers will have to check with their service provider. The company in Seoul's Yongsan district said yesterday that subscribers with an HDTV set-top box and receiver can see the KBS broadcasts via cable. Not all providers are so equipped, though.
Broadband looks set for massive growth experts
Information and Communica-tion Technology Minister Surapong Suebwonglee predicted yesterday that there would be one million broadband Internet users in Thailand by the end the year a 4,900-per-cent jump from 20,000 last year.
Internet use will boom largely due to his policy of coaxing all Internet service providers and state telecom agencies to offer budget broadband Internet services, said Surapong, speaking at the ongoing Bangkok International Expo 2004 as a panellist on a forum on how ICT improves lifestyles.
He also said the hi-tech revolution in Thailand was set to take off as more people would own computers. He predicted that one in five people would own computers by 2008. Today the rate among primary-school students is one computer per 100 students.
In addition Thais’ lives will improve significantly in 2008 when all citizens will have smart ID cards to access state services at home via the Internet, according to Surapong.
“At that time the broadband Internet network is expected to cover the whole country to serve the data-access demands of the people,” he said.
If his expectations hold true it should also benefit Shin Corp Plc’s satellite subsidiary, which is ready to launch its broadband satellite service iPSTAR to cover a large area in Southeast Asia by the end of the year. Boonklee Plangsiri, chief executive of Shin Corp, which owns, Shin Satellite Plc, said iPStar’s technology could solve the ongoing problem of the lack of fixed-line phone services in remote areas of Thailand and other parts of Asia, which kept people from accessing the Internet. “I’m not here to sell our service, but iPStar broadband satellite can address the problem,” Boonklee said.
Another panellist, Dennis Lui, group managing director of Hong Kong’s Hutchison Telecom International, said government and the private sector should try to ensure that telecom service prices were made affordable to everybody.
Besides price, the sufficiency of the nation’s bandwidth network should also be guaranteed to serve growing demand, Boonklee said.
His concern with bandwidth stems from his observations of children, who log on to the Internet to chat online and download music.
Equal and easy Internet access is vital to enable people to leverage the power of information technology to improve their lives, said Will Poole, Microsoft Corp’s senior vice president of Windows Client. He said this would result in “digital inclusion”, as would the promotion of locally produced technology.
Next week the US software giant will announce the launch of the pure Thai version of its Window XP Starter Edition operating system for first-time computer-users.
THAILAND: Probe into Channel 5's 1.8 billion baht debt
An investigative committee of the prime minister has found irregularities in the running of army-owned Channel 5.
The television station has accumulated debts of more than 1.8 billion baht despite making a profit of up to 300 million baht a year. Its listing on the stock exchange is likely to be delayed.
The committee chaired by Gen Wattanachai Wuthisiri, former supreme commander and former deputy defence minister, found Channel 5 owes 216 million baht to Tor Tor Bor 5 Co, a firm created to run the channel.
The figure was calculated as Tor Tor Bor 5 Co plans to seek the listing under the new name of RTA Entertainment Co.
Gen Kasemchart Naresseni, secretary to the committee, said shareholdings in the company looked suspicious.
Jak Chamikorn, former executive of Tor Tor Bor 5 Co, alone held 33 million shares worth 330 million baht.
Tor Tor Bor 5 Co was created in 1997 to help manage Channel 5 but the company eventually caused the channel to run up debt, he said.
"What we suspect most is the finding that Jak Chamikorn, an executive of Tor Tor Bor 5 Co, has obtained as many as 33 million shares (priced at 10 baht per share) in the company. We will call him for questioning on Aug 10," Gen Kasemchart said.
The probe committee is also looking into why Channel 5 happened to owe the Thai Military Bank 1.6 billion baht.
According to Gen Kasemchart, Tor Tor Bor 5 Co spent 1.4 billion baht of Channel 5's money on buying the bank's shares to help the bank raise its capital. Later Tor Tor Bor 5 Co sought a loan from the bank to expand its business but the request was rejected.
Tor Tor Bor 5 Co then asked Channel 5 to act as its guarantor and managed to get the loan approved. At present, the television station bears the debt which has reached 1.6 billion baht.
"The money and the figure are confusing. Debts and loans are cross-connected," Gen Kasemchart said. As a result, the committee was likely to oppose the planned listing of the television station.
Gen Wattanachai had discussed the matter with army commander-in-chief Gen Chaisit Shinawatra, who agreed to shelve the listing for the time being.
Issues at Channel 5 were complicated, so the panel would extend its probe. A conclusion would be reached this month or by Sept 6 at the latest, he said.
Friends To Debut On CCTV Pay TV Channel
It was reported that China’s CCTV is to open the first batch of six pay TV channels starting from August 9 and scheduled to open another four channels by the end of this year to bring the total up to 15. The American comedy “Friends” will be debutted in the “Movie Theatre” channel.
The first group of pay TV channels are: Musicals, No.l Theatre, Movie Theater, World Geography, Olympic 1 and Olympic 2. No. 1 Theater is mainly devoted to TV strip, including those originally scheduled for CCTV1 and CCTV8. Movie Theatre channel is mainly devoted to productions made in Europe, the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan and some Chinese comedies. It broadcast 18 hours a day. The music channel will feature mainly popular music from Europe and the Americas and best concerts from the Republic of Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.
World Geography channel will mainly feature documentaries mainly provided by the American magazine “National Geography”, including the latest.
Olympic 1 is devoted to football, basketball, volleyball, table tennis and badminton while Olympic 2 mainly features track and field and boxing.
The two Olympic channels will start to collect fees on August 9 while the rest four channels will start collecting fees beginning from September 1. The standards are: 30 yuan per month for two Olympic channels plus World Geography channel or plus the Musical channel.
China's CCTV to launch pay-TV channels
BEIJING - State broadcaster China Central Television will launch six pay-TV channels this month, an executive said yesterday, as part of an ambitious national plan to take its cable networks digital.
Timed to take advantage of the Athens Olympics and set up with an investment of 300 million yuan (S$62.3 million) from CCTV, the service will eventually reach 50 major cities, said Mr Sun Yusheng, president of CCTV's China DTV Media Co Ltd.
Two of the six channels to be launched on Monday will feature coverage of the Athens Games, he said, while two others will show movies and drama series.
Other channels on the service, which costs 58 yuan a month, will show documentaries and music videos.
State media said the stations would enjoy more freedom than regular, tightly controlled networks and can even show popular Western police dramas that are currently banned due to their 'violent content'.
'We won't include adult content as part of our programming,' Mr Sun said.
'But we will show some content that cannot be seen on normal networks.'
Chinese officials strictly censor what the country's 1.3 billion people can see on television. Programmes with violence, with the exception of martial arts, are restricted. Religious and political themes are under tight leash.
Analysts will be watching closely to see if CCTV's pay service can break new ground.
'If the government loosens controls slightly for pay-TV, there may be an opportunity there,' said Mr Paul Wang, managing director of Beijing-based TV ratings agency CVSC-Sofres Media.
'Viewers have clearly expressed a willingness to pay.'
Mr Sun said he was confident audiences would pay for the digital TV service, which targets at least 150,000 subscribers by the end of this year. The stations will not air advertising. China now has more than 100 million cable TV subscribers. -- Reuters
CCTV Pay-Channels Make Debut in September
Pay-channels launched by Chinese Central Television (CCTV) this September initially include a movie channel, a TV drama channel and a Beijing opera channel.
It is understood that these pay-TV channels, which do not carry any advertising, are launched on a trial basis. Viewers with set-top boxes can receive the programmes. However, as CCTV has yet to finalise the mode of cooperation with the various provincial cable TV networks, there is no agreement on standardising the subscription fees. And since set-top boxes are far from being common in many provinces, the majority of people still cannot watch the programmes. At present, the price of a set-top box is around Rmb1,000.
After pay-channels, CCTV will follow with view-on-demand (VOD) channels where viewers can select their favourite programmes at home. However, as certain technical issues remain to be solved, pay-channels will take some time before they are widely popular.
It will be a long and winding road for CCTV's pay-channels to reach the level of popularity as that of cable TV. First, CCTV has to solve the issue of terrestrial reception with local TV stations in various provinces, regions and cities. The channels launched in September can only access a limited number of locations. To achieve nationwide coverage, the prerequisite is to establish a transparent management mechanism with the local stations whereby CCTV can obtain information on customer profile, viewership and subscription etc via a common platform.
The price of set-top boxes is also a deciding factor for the success of pay-channels. The current price of a set-top box in certain local markets is about Rmb1,000, but models at this price level are not equipped with the functions for the new channels. To watch CCTV's pay-channels, a set-top box must have the functions for digital descrambling, accessing the pay-channels as well as programme selection. At present, such new set-top boxes still have to overcome certain technical problems and no price has yet been fixed. Without these set-top boxes, programmes cannot reach the viewers.
Once the issues of the set-top box and management mechanism are resolved, CCTV will be able to transmit over 100 channels. These pay-channels can focus on very specialised topics such as a particular profession or sport. As such, they will need the backup of an enormous amount of programmes and are bound to attract many programme providers to this arena. Many private companies are already vying this opportunity. To attract more quality providers to the pay-channel sector, China will liberalise policy in this respect
(Craigs comment, on Asiasat 4 4100V and 4020V)
BSkyB to offer Freeview alternative in bid to stop falling shares
BSKYB’s profits and share price were like two Red Arrows hurtling in opposite directions last week as the satellite operator announced a change of strategy to turn around another disappointing set of subscriber growth figures.
Despite a profits hike of 65% to £600 million the company’s shares plunged by more than a pound to 488p on the news that Sky attracted just 81,000 new customers in the second quarter of the year. This means that the combined total growth for the first half was lower than any individual quarter last year. Investors who have questioned the appointment of James Murdoch as chief executive since he arrived last November seem to be gathering support.
So what is going on? Is Sky, conqueror of BSB, ITV Digital and digital cable running out of steam? In terms of current strategy, the cautious answer seems to be yes. Sky has attracted 147,000 new subscribers in the first half of the year, compared with more than 500,000 in the same period last year. If Sky believed this was a blip, it’s unlikely it would undergo a shift in strategy.
The main reason for the slowdown is probably Freeview. The digital terrestrial platform, which is backed by the BBC and supported by Sky and the transmitter company Crown Castle, has taken the UK by storm since it emerged in autumn 2002.
Customers can get access to 26 digital channels and numerous radio stations by buying a £50 decoder on the high street. In under two years, they have found their way into around four million homes, and if the rate of growth continues Freeview will be in more homes than Sky (currently 7.4 million) by 2007.
As Ben McOwen Wilson, partner at Spectrum Strategy, said, Freeview is becoming a major fly in Sky’s ointment. “The growth of Freeview has surprised everybody, including Sky, and their concern is that a house that goes Freeview will see no need to turn to Sky in the medium or long term.” The recent subscriber figures suggest this is happening already.
From October, Sky will be responding by marketing a free satellite service, with the working title of Freesat. For £150, customers will get a dish, encryption card and installation of the service, consisting of more than 100 TV channels, including most of the Freeview offering. There is also a raft of radio channels and inter active services, and, like Freeview, once people make the initial purchase there will be nothing else to pay.
What you won’t read in the marketing bumf is that this is mostly old rope. If you buy a dish, which Sky currently sells and installs for £120, you can already get most of the TV and radio channels that will comprise Freesat, with no obligation to pay a monthly subscription to any additional Sky packages.
The main differences with the new deal will be the interactive services and access to the digital versions of ITV, Channel 4 and Five, which are only available on digital satellite if you take a Sky package. Otherwise, this is just a sales push.
McOwen Wilson says that Sky’s logic is twofold. “First, it will slow the growth of Freeview. Second, it gives [Sky] a new potential entry level product for a new group of customers.”
Sky has said that at first, it will only market Freesat to areas where Freeview is either not available (25% of homes) or requires a new aerial (another 25%). In other words, Sky’s very un-Sky-like strategy is to avoid going head to head with the competition.
Sky spokesman Robert Fraser said: “We think that a focused roll-out will enable us to assess the attractiveness of the product to consumers and manage our supply chain effectivity.”
At first sight, this seems an odd decision. Most of the 25% of the country in which Freeview is not available will stay out of range until analogue switch-off, planned for 2012. Surely Sky would be better to sell Freesat to potential Freeview customers and then hoover up the rest at a later date?
Maybe so, but the City is in no mood for a war of attrition. “I think what they want is a strong success story early on,” said McOwen Wilson. “Going head to head with Freeview is an expensive and difficult way to get those subscribers. Going elsewhere means you are going to get that growth very quickly.”
But remember this is only half the battle. Assuming the marketing strategy is right, it will only be a success if Sky can persuade enough customers to migrate to its pay-TV packages.
Sky predicts that 80% of homes will have moved to pay-TV of one sort or another by the time the market matures in 15 years. It points out that this has happened in the US, and that a far higher proportion of younger consumers subscribe to packages than the over-55s. The hope is that the 20 and 30-somethings will stay with pay-TV as they get older and the market will expand.
Sky sees Freesat as a Trojan horse that can help bring this about. If it is wrong, there will be more bad days at the stock exchange to come, and James Murdoch might end up wishing his father had assigned him to a different part of the NewsCorp empire.
(Craigs comment, take note TVNZ ..A FREEVIEW type of service would hit Sky hard)
China to launch two satellites next month
China will send two satellites next month using the indigenously made 'Long March IV' carrier rocket, the state media reported.
The satellites and the rocket, manufactured by the Shanghai Space Administration have left for the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in north China's Shanxi province, the report said. The single rocket will launch the two satellites into orbit.
China has successfully launched satellites in the past using the Long March series of carrier rockets.
Meanwhile, a Chinese satellite, currently in orbit has been beaming back data on space storms threatening the safety of spacecraft, the state media said.
Magnetic and high-energy-particle disruptions account for 40 per cent of the 6,000 glitches in satellite operations recorded so far.
The Probe-2 Satellite, which was launched 11 days ago, is orbiting from pole to pole. Five of the eight instruments it carries have already started to send back information.
Chinese and European scientists will analyse the collected data in November.
The information would help in the research of the unpredictable climate in space, such as space storms, and would protect satellites and manned spacecraft. Probe-2 comes under the Double Star Programme - the first such joint Sino-European project.
DD’s DTH means Direct to Office
NEW DELHI, AUGUST 6: DTH or Direct to Home has a new name Direct to Office. Doordarshan has launched its DTH operations where it matters most Shastri Bhavan which houses I&B Minister Jaipal Reddy and senior officials of the Government.
To begin with, the free-to-air DTH operation was meant for remote areas of the Northeast not accessed by cable or Doordarshan. With nearly Rs 500 crore set aside for DTH, the Prasar Bharati Corporation was keen on launching the services in the Northeast first.
The services were announced with much fanfare last year after the government gave its approval to the Corporation. For now, the channels available on DTH are DD’s 26 channels including the regional ones.
As Doordarshan negotiates with private satellite channels Star, ZEE and a host of other free-to-air channels like Sahara and Sun, no deals have been signed yet. Some like Eenadu backed off from getting into any arrangement with Doordarshan.
Unlike other Direct-To-Home operators, notably ZEE which launched its services in October last and Star, which is yet to get the ministry’s clearance, the Prasar Bharati Corporation’s DTH is free-to-air meaning the viewer does not have to pay for the services.
Star’s recently rehashed Star Plus, recast as Star Utsav was being wooed by Doordarshan.
CEO Peter Mukherjea had said, the commercial arrangements had not been finalised. He has to pay only for the receiver/set-top box which has been priced at Rs 3,500. For the channels they are free.
DD’s DTH comes in the wake of the Government still mulling over Star’s proposal. And with the Ministry of Finance raising objections on the huge sum that DD was required to pay to get on Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB, Direct to Office seems to be right step forward.
Zee business channel plans still unclear
A fresh round of controversy may be brewing in the broadcasting sector with the Zee Group firming up plans to launch a business news channel on the direct-to-home (DTH) platform shortly.
While sources in the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry said that companies planning to launch news channels uplinking from India whether on cable or DTH need prior Government clearance, Zee has not yet applied for any such clearance for its proposed channel on the DTH platform.
Company officials said that there was no need to seek Government permission for launching a news channel on the DTH platform, but reiterated that they would not violate any law.
"Whether the platform is cable or DTH, news channels wishing to uplink from India must get clearance from the Government and must adhere to the norms," said the Government sources.
The I&B Ministry has already spelt out detailed guidelines for news channels with foreign equity which includes a 26 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) cap and makes it mandatory for management and editorial control to remain with Indians.
Under the existing DTH norms also, it is necessary for an operator to use an Indian satellite to uplink the channels. "If the channels do not comply with the DTH guidelines, the Government has the power to switch them off," said sources.
Meanwhile, a Zee official said, "As far as we understand we do not need Government clearance to launch a channel on a DTH platform. We feel that the uplinking norms and the DTH norms are different and there is no linkage. According to the DTH guidelines, we only have to adhere to the programming code. Our application for the news channel on cable is still pending." Zee Business channel is being soft launched on sister-concern ASC Enterprises' Dish TV platform. The broadcaster had planned to start operations by having eight hours of live content and then extend it to 24-hours.
The Government has once-again extended the deadline given to Zee Telefilms, TV 18 and some others to restructure its operations to comply with the revised uplinking guidelines. Both Zee News and CNBC-TV 18 have been uplinking from India even before the Government had come out with norms for foreign news channels.
No Update Sunday
No update Saturday
Jon's Asia Weekly hasn't turned up. Perhaps we should call it Jon's Asia Monthly...Just kidding Jon I know you're busy with things.
You can always tell when the Olympics are nearly here by the large increase in junk mail selling tv's in your letterbox
With the Olympics not far away now may be a good time to grab a blindsearch receiver.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Steve Hume
Kablevision is back on PalapaC2
Freq:3500H SR: 27000
E! Entertainment VPID: 191 APID: 192 PCR: 191
Cinemax VPID: 211 APID: 212 PCR: 211
The Family Channel VPID: 201 APID: 202 PCR: 201
ESPN VPID: 181 APID: 182 PCR: 181
Star Sports VPID: 171 APID: 172 PCR: 171
Cartoon Network VPID: 161 APID: 162 PCR: 161
Disney Channel VPID: 151 APID: 152 PCR: 151
Star World VPID: 141 APID: 142 PCR: 141
AXN VPID: 131 APID: 132 PCR: 131
CNN VPID: 121 APID: 122 PCR: 121
National Geographic VPID: 111 APID: 112 PCR: 111
HBO VPID: 221 APID: 222 PCR: 221
All Encrypted Nagra version 1 encryption Except for CNN which is FTA
Cnn is actually The Family channel despite what the tag says.
From David Ackroyd (NZ)
Have been following this subject with interest.
With being out of the country I have a couple of questions.
1. Can you receive this in NZ?
2. What size dish (Mesh/Solid)?
3. What is a circular LNB?
(Craigs comment, Firstly yes you can receive it in NZ
IS 701 is a multifunctional C and Ku Band communications Satellite designed for use at virtually any orbital location. Being a communications satellite it features several different Beam coverage patterns.
1: global Beam
2: Hemispheric beam
3: Zone beam
4: C Band Spot beam
5: Ku spot beam.
Each of these transponders can provide Services using full transponders or parts there of. Depending on the actual service you want to receive and its broadcast parameters this will determine what size of receive system you will need to effect reception.
Whilst this satellite is capable of providing C band reception to 2m dish size normally you are looking at approximately 4.5m to provide reception on all the C band transponders whether they use SCPC or MCPC formats, and a full or partial transponder with its associated power output.
Intelsat and Intersputnik both used circular polarization the reasons are many and varied, one was due to them being communications satellites using global beams Circular polarized signals do not suffer polarity changes like Linear signals do.
Your question 3 , since Intelsat uses a Circular polarization (for the Cband) a regular Linear Horizontal/Vertical type LNBF will not work correctly without modification. The easiest fix is to create a teflon wafer to fit inside the feed to modify it. Since there is some interest in this expect an Apsattv article on how to do this soon)
From the Dish
Optus B3 152E 12525 V "Sun TV" is now encrypted.
AsiaSat 4 122E 3881 H "CBN, OTV News & Entertainment Channel, OTV Arts & Entertainment Channel,OTV Music Channel and OTV Folk Opera Channel" have left .
AsiaSat 4 122E 3900 V "The Fish video" has left .
Palapa C2 113E 3580 H New PIDs for Family Channel on : 121/122.
NSS 6 95E 11456 H "The New Skies promo" has left .
NSS 6 95E 12534 H "Ten DD test cards" have started on , SR 27500, FEC 3/4, Fta,PIDs 531/631-540/640, Indian beam.
Intelsat 709 85.2E 11486 V "TVB Jade, ATV Home Channel, TVB Pearl and ATV World Channel" are FTA
Insat 2E 83E 3525 V One of the test cards and the Tharasu TV tests have left .
Thaicom 3 78.5E Updates on 3480 H, 3520 H and 3640 H, Fta: TVK and Radio Cambodia have replaced WPT on PIDs 517/645. Tara is back on PIDs 513/641. ATN Bangla has left, replaced by an Apna test card.
PAS 7 68.5E 11050 V "Sun TV (India), NDTV 24x7 and KTV (India)" have started on , Irdeto, PIDs 1634/1633, 1637/1636 and 1591/1590.
PAS 10 68.5E 12641 H "Telly Track" is FTA,on /off on off etc.
Shin's next generation satellite service for Probe revealed
Satellite launch expected next month
Details of the ICONZ and Shin Satellite broadband service for schools in remote areas under the government's Project PROBE were revealed yesterday.
John Scott Russell, ICONZ research and development manager, says each school will have a fully bi-directional satellite link to ICONZ, with no other return path required. He says that the dishes will be small: "no larger than 1.2m, tops, and possibly smaller" with easy installation.
In terms of performance, it appears that the service runs faster than what was earlier quoted to Computerworld Online. According to IPstar New Zealand, the satellite provides 8Mbit/s downstream and 4Mbit/s upstream. IPstar1 has an aggregate bandwidth capacity of 40Gbit/s.
However, the actual amount of bandwidth that schools will use depends on their requirements, says Russell.
"There is no point in giving the full bandwidth to a school that just wants to use the connection for email and basic web research," he says. Schools wanting to full interactive video conferencing and media-on-demand services will need to consider high bandwidth connections, Russell adds.
Declaring himself "very impressed" with Shin's next-generation satellite service, Russell says the latency measured as round-trips for packets varies between 400 to 600ms, which "is as good as it'll get with satellite".
"Once the satellite connection is up," Russell says, "ICONZ can deliver any kind of IP-based solution to the school ADSL-style NAT, static IP addresses, full VPN services, anything." According to Russell, the network has full Quality of Service capability for traffic prioritisations of applications like Voice over IP and video conferencing. Russell says ICONZ has a large number of services that can be delivered to the schools over the network and believes they will be immensely valuable resources for the schools involved.
IPstar1 was scheduled to launch in 2003 by the troubled French Ariane 5 rocket in French Guyana, but Russell says it will instead be put into orbit next month. The satellite weighs 6,700kg and has a 12-year design life with 14MW power, and is designed to carry a mix of 80 Ku-band and 10 Ka-band transponders.
(Craigs comment, launched next month?? that's not right...)
Telstra overpaid for '3': Optus
INCOMING Optus chief executive Paul O'Sullivan yesterday launched a blistering attack on the $450million deal announced this week between mobile rivals Telstra and Hutchison to share infrastructure on a third-generation mobile phone network.
Three weeks before he officially takes over from Chris Anderson as the head of Australia's No 2 telecoms company, Mr O'Sullivan claimed Telstra had overpaid for the deal. It will see the mobile market leader take 50percent of a joint venture holding Hutchison's operational "3" video phone network.
"It's a good deal for Hutchison but its not totally obvious what the benefit is to Telstra," he said. "We wouldn't have done the Hutch deal."
Optus has also been in talks with Telstra and Hutchison, as well as Vodafone, about a network-sharing deal.
According to Mr O'Sullivan, Telstra paid double the replacement value for the infrastructure currently operated by Hutchison.
"One good thing is that Telstra has tremendous experience with writedowns ... so they will be well equipped to handle this if that turns out to be an issue," he said.
To get into 3G services, Optus must now strike a deal with Vodafone on network sharing, buy capacity from the Telstra/Hutchison/Telecom New Zealand group or go it alone on 3G.
Mr O'Sullivan's comments came as Optus released results for its first quarter, which show that the group's revenues are slowing.
Excluding a one-off deal on the C1 satellite with the Australian Defence Department, Optus's revenues were $1.62 billion for the quarter compared with $1.49 billion for the same period last year.
Its net profit after tax for the quarter was $151 million, up from $80 million.
Optus parent company SingTel saw its net profit slump 41per cent to $S700 million ($577 million) in the quarter due to a one-off sale of its Yellow Pages business last year. Its underlying profit rose 16 per cent to $S696 million on sales of $S3.02 billion.
Mr O'Sullivan said that the Optus result was "respectable" and still "several times" industry growth. He was referring to comparisons between Optus's results for the June quarter and those for the same period last year.
The comparison between the June quarter and the March quarter is less flattering. Here, Optus revenues rose less than 1per cent, a result Mr O'Sullivan put down to seasonality.
Analysts were less sure. Citigroup Smith Barney analyst Tim Smeallie said: "The challenge for Optus remains to grow mobile revenues, which have been flat for the past three quarters, in the face of aggressive mobile marketing competition."
Optus's revenues for its business and wholesale division went backwards compared with the March quarter. "The business performance reflects the price squeeze across the market," Mr Smeallie said. "This is great for the end-user but not necessarily the telcos."
In an attempt to counter the slowdown in its mobile business, Optus will increase its focus on DSL (digital subscriber line) broadband infrastructure to provide high-speed net services to consumers not on the Optus cable network.
Net income at SingTel slides 42%
Singapore Telecommunications, the largest phone company in Southeast Asia, said Thursday that its profit fell 42 percent in the first quarter, reflecting one-time gains a year earlier, falling domestic sales and slowing growth in Australia. Net income fell to 700 million Singapore dollars, or $407 million, in the three months ended June 30 from 1.2 billion Singapore dollars a year earlier, when it sold its yellow pages operations and most of its postal services unit. Sales rose 2.1 percent, to 3.02 billion dollars. The company is seeking to increase growth by marketing high-speed Internet services at its Optus unit in Australia, where the company earns two-thirds of its revenue, and in Singapore, where sales have declined for three years. Profit rose 63 percent at Optus. (Bloomberg)
Playboy TV launches NVoD in Australia
Playboy TV, is set to launch a two-hour block on Foxtel Digital and New Austar Digital's 24-hour Adults Only Select Channels, beginning August 6th.
The Adults Only Select Channels are part of the Foxtel Box Office NVoD service which was launched in March as part of Foxtel's new digital cable and satellite platform, and in May on the New Austar Digital service.
Playboy TV NVoD programming will be available 24/7, with customers able to purchase in two-hour blocks. Each week, two hours of premier programming will be added on the channel.
(Craigs comment, pretty much the same as on Sky NZ)
PanAmSat Bird Failure May Impact Sale
PanAmSat said its Galaxy 10R satellite experienced a failure
Tuesday with its xenon ion propulsion system (XIPS), an
electronic propulsion system that maintains the satellite's
PanAmSat and parent DirecTV said the anomaly has not affected
service to customers, and the satellite is operating on a
back-up bi-propellant propulsion system, which it can do for
But the system failure does speed up replacement of the
satellite, and PanAmSat said it's working on getting a new
spacecraft in place. Construction has started on Galaxy 17 as
an on-ground spare for Galaxy 16, and after the launch of
Galaxy 16, Galaxy 17 will be available as a replacement for
Galaxy 10R, the company said.
While the immediate impact of the satellite anomaly has been
minimized, PanAmSat and DirecTV said the satellite trouble
could impact PanAmSat's pending sale to a group led by Kohlberg
Kravis Roberts and Co. The permanent XIPS failure on Galaxy 10R
allows the purchasers to exit the transaction. DirecTV and
PanAmSat said all sides of the deal are evaluating the impact
of the failure and are working to address the effect of the
satellite anomaly on the pending transaction.
PanAmSat Suitors Review Sale After Satellite Failure
Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- PanAmSat Corp., the satellite operator being acquired by three leveraged-buyout companies, said the suitors are reviewing the $3.53 billion purchase after the propulsion system failed on one of its satellites.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners are evaluating the failure of the satellite's propulsion system, which occurred Tuesday, Wilton, Connecticut- based PanAmSat said in a statement. The purchase had been scheduled to be completed Aug. 20, PanAmSat Chief Executive Joseph Wright and other executives said during a conference call. They declined to comment on the status of the sale.
The purchase, announced in April, allows the buyers to walk away if the satellite fails, PanAmSat said. Replacing the satellite will cost less than $200 million and accelerate capital spending in the next three years, the company said. Service to customers and revenue won't be affected, PanAmSat said.
David Lilly, a spokesman for KKR with Kekst & Co., declined to comment on PanAmSat's announcement. Elizabeth Hanahan, a spokeswoman for Providence with Citigate Sard Verbinnen, and Chris Ullman at Carlyle didn't immediately return calls.
PanAmSat shares fell $1.15, or 4.9 percent, to $22.15 at 12:36 p.m. in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading, below the $23.50 a share the buyout firms agreed to pay. The stock earlier touched $21.63.
The satellite is operating on backup power, which can last more than three years, after the primary and secondary propulsion systems failed, the company said. The broken satellite is one of 24 owned by PanAmSat, said spokeswoman, Kathryn Lancioni. She declined to say how much revenue the satellite generates.
DirecTV Group Inc., the biggest U.S. satellite-television service, owns an 80.5 percent stake in PanAmSat. DirecTV, based in El Segundo, California, agreed to sell PanAmSat to the buyout firms to raise cash to invest in its main satellite-TV business.
Insurance proceeds will partially offset the replacement cost of the Boeing Co. Galaxy 10R satellite, PanAmSat said. The company's forecast for capital spending of $165 million to $195 million this year will remain unchanged, the executives said.
The broken satellite was supposed to operate for another seven years, PanAmSat executives said on the conference call.
PanAmSat's 9 percent notes maturing in 2014, which were sold Friday to fund the takeover, fell 1 cent on the dollar to 100.75 cents, traders said. The yield rose to 8.89 percent from 8.73 percent.
DD to put a lone channel on UK's BSkyB platform
NEW DELHI: Even as the Doordarshan director-general and information and broadcasting ministry secretary are in London to formally set up the European arm of Prasar Bharati, back home the organisation officials are reworking the economics to shave off expenses for taking DD channels on BSkyB platform in the UK.
The compromise formula now is to take just one channel to the UK, which would reduce the expenses.
Speaking to indiantelevision.com today, an official of Prasar Bharati, which manages DD and All India Radio, said the finance ministry had raised some objections on the expenses involved on going on to a digital platform. "But now we are reworking the proposal to cut down on the finances involved and would approach the finance ministry again next week," the official added.
Incidentally, paring down of DD’s international forays, along with some other issues like money that is owed to the organisation by superstar Amitabh Bachchan, is likely to figure in a board meet of Prasar Bharati, which is scheduled for early next week.
The proposal of two DD channels, DD News and DD International, to be on the BskyB platform would have cost Prasar Bharati Rs. 80 million annually. Plus, there were some other expenses to complete the formalities in the UK.
The Rupert Murdoch-controlled British Sky Broadcasting is the operator of the UK’s largest digital television platform and a leading broadcaster of sports, movies, entertainment and news.
The original proposal to take DD channels to the UK had been cleared by the Prime Minister’s Office during the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government.
However, some Prasar Bharati officials have also said that finance ministry’s objections look trivial considering other national broadcasters from the region, like Pakistan TV, are already in markets like the US and the UK catering to people of their respective country’s origin.
Dish TV forays into urban market
NEW DELHI: A public interest litigation (PIL) on direct-to-home TV services that clouds the sector with uncertianities notwithstanding, Dish TV has said it would now target the urban market, while offering customised package for region-specific markets.
This step has been taken in view of the enhanced offering on Dish TV of about 100 channels. Till now, Dish TV was concentrating on the rural markets more aggressively.
Backing this channel offering is a range of finance options available throughout Dish TV’s range of dealer outlets, the statement said.
An introductory offer let's a customer bring home the Dish TV excitement for as low as Rs 3,999. The monthly installment scheme works out to Rs 150 (payable quarterly) for three and a half years. Another scheme, called Dish Royale, envisages payment of subscription charges of required bouquets of channels for two years collectively at the time of purchase and the hardware comes free of cost, Dish TV has claimed in the statement.
Dish TV, promoted by the Subhash Chandra-controlled Essel Group, has claimed that all of India’s regional languages are represented in terms of channel options and customised packages. Viewers from the Hindi heartland, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Orissa, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat are offered distinct packages that combine the essence of local viewing with a range of pan-Indian and international entertainment.
Commenting on the enhanced offering, Essel Group additional vice-chairman Jawahar Goel today said in a statement, "Dish TV has the power to revolutionise India’s TV experience. Our ability to offer a superior solution in rural and semi-rural markets made us stupendously successful. Now, with this bouquet of 100 channels, we’re looking forward to this urban foray."
The Dish TV bouquet encapsulates channels from 32 Indian and international broadcasters that cover genres like news, soaps, sports, music, movies, cartoons, regional-languages, plus a range of niche channels. Broadcasters include Turner, ESPN, Star Sports, NDTV, TV Today, India TV, ETV, and Asianet. Besides these, Dish TV also provides channels from the Doordarshan stable.
Besides TV channels, Dish TV provides eight radio channels, teletext, dual audio for channels, parental control and electronic programme guide (EPG). Viewers will soon be able to access the Internet too through this service, apart from getting to record favourite programmes with personal video recorder and accessing certain channels for a limited period with pay-per-view.
Ten Sports inks $50-million deal with Lanka
DUBAI - The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) and Dubai-based Taj Television have inked a $50-million television and broadband broadcasting deal for all international cricket matches to be played in Sri Lanka for the next four years.
Ten Sports, the holding company of Taj Television will pay the BCCSL the money for the period January 2005 to 2008.
According market analysts, the Indian cricket team's three visits to Sri Lanka during these years had paved the way for the bonanza deal for the BCCSL.
Tenders for the TV rights were fielded in June. Among those coming in, the highest bid was $48-million by Dubai-based digital satellite broadcaster ARY. The next highest bids were by sports marketing agency World Sport Group with $46.6-million and ESPN/Star Sports with $40.6-million.
Taj Television, the current rights holders, had a matching rights clause in their current contract which allowed them to outbid any competitor providing they upped the bid by an agreed percentage.
The final amount that will be paid to the board, assuming it can deliver on its promised tours, is approximately $50-million.
The new deal represents a substantial jump in income for the Sri Lanka board, which has been facing financial difficulties during the past two years because of a legal wrangle with WSG Nimbus.
The stiff competition for the rights - which include television, radio, Internet, wireless and title-sponsorship rights - follows the announcement that the four-year period, from January 2005, will include three tours by India.
India are due to play in a triangular series in 2005 and 2006, as well as undertake a full Test and one-day tour in 2008. England and Australia, the two other most lucrative visitors, will also tour during the contract period.
A point of note is that Ten Sports also holds the broadcasting rights to Pakistan cricket till 2008 for which it is paying the Pakistan Cricket Board $42.6 million.
Arirang tv is staying on Asiasat 3 but this feed will have Arabic subtitles.
Jon's Asia Weekly will appear tomorrow
From My Email & ICQ
From Mr X
Some more info about Tarb's / UBI
COMPANY EXTRACT 04/08/2004 15:38 PAGE: 1
110 092 049 UNITED BROADCASTING INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD
This extract has been prepared by the Australian Securities
& Investments Commission from information it obtained,
by using a data processor, from the national database.
If you believe that this extract contains any error or omission
please advise the A.S.I.C. promptly.
The Information Division of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission
is certified under the Australian Quality Standard AS 3901
(International Standard ISO 9001).
------------------------------- IDENTIFICATION -------------------------------
Australian Company Number 110 092 049 -----------
Current Company Name UNITED BROADCASTING INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD
Registered in VICTORIA
Registration Date 19/07/2004
Review Date 19/07/2005
------------------------------ CURRENT DETAILS -------------------------------
Period from 19/07/2004
Name UNITED BROADCASTING INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD 1E0 094 962
Name Start 19/07/2004
Type AUSTRALIAN PROPRIETARY COMPANY
Class LIMITED BY SHARES
Subclass PROPRIETARY COMPANY
Disclosing Entity NO
---------------------------------- ADDRESSES ---------------------------------
Type CURRENT REGISTERED OFFICE 1E0 094 962
Start Date 19/07/2004
Address 55 PYRMONT BRIDGE ROAD PYRMONT NSW 2009
Type CURRENT PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS 1E0 094 962
Start Date 19/07/2004
Address 55 PYRMONT BRIDGE ROAD PYRMONT NSW 2009
------------------------------------ ROLES -----------------------------------
NOTE: A date or address shown as UNKNOWN has not been updated since the ASIC
took over the records in 1991. For details, order the appropriate historical
state or territory documents, available in microfiche or paper format.
* Check documents listed under ASIC Documents Received for recent changes.
Role CURRENT DIRECTOR 1E0 094 962
Name MARIA REGINA BOULOS
Born 25/05/1957 MANILLA PHILIPPINES
Address (number removed) OLD NORTHERN ROAD DURAL NSW 2158
Role CURRENT SECRETARY 1E0 094 962
Name MARIA REGINA BOULOS
Born 25/05/1957 MANILLA PHILIPPINES
Address (number removed) OLD NORTHERN ROAD DURAL NSW 2158
-------------------------- CURRENT SHARES/INTERESTS --------------------------
COMPANY EXTRACT 04/08/2004 15:38 PAGE: 2
110 092 049 UNITED BROADCASTING INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD
NOTE: Check documents listed under ASIC Documents Received for recent changes.
Class ORD 1E0 094 962
Number of Shares/Interests Issued 1
Total Amount Paid/Taken to be Paid 1.00
Total Amount Due and Payable 0.00
NOTE: For each class of shares issued by a company, ASIC records the details
of the twenty members of the class (based on shareholdings). The details of
any other members holding the same number of shares as the twentieth ranked
member will also by recorded by ASIC on the database. Where available,
historical records show that a member has ceased to be ranked amongst the
twenty members. This may, but does not necessarily mean, that they have
ceased to be a member of the company.
----------------------- CURRENT SHARE/INTEREST HOLDERS -----------------------
NOTE: Check documents listed under ASIC Documents Received for recent changes.
Class ORD Number Held 1 1E0 094 962
Paid FULLY Beneficial Held YES
Name MARIA REGINA BOULOS
Address (number removed) OLD NORTHERN ROAD DURAL NSW 2158
----------------------------- REGISTERED CHARGES -----------------------------
There are no current charges recorded in the ASIC’s Australian Register of
Charges for this corporation.
* This extract may not contain all charges registered prior to the start of
* the Corporations Law. Please check STATE/TERRITORY records held by the ASIC.
* This extract may not contain provisional charges which lapsed prior to 1991.
* For details of provisional charges deleted after 1991, order the relevant
DOCIMAGE documents. These details will NOT appear in a Charges Extract.
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documents for Satisfactions,Assignments or Changes, print a CHARGES EXTRACT.
* Check documents listed under ASIC Documents Received for recent changes.
-------------------------- ASIC DOCUMENTS RECEIVED ---------------------------
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via DOCIMAGE. Imaging takes approximately 2 weeks from date of lodgement.
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COMPANY EXTRACT 04/08/2004 15:38 PAGE: 3
110 092 049 UNITED BROADCASTING INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD
Form Type Date Received Date Processed Effective Date Pages Docimage No
--------- ------------- -------------- -------------- ----- -----------
201 19/07/2004 19/07/2004 19/07/2004 3 1E0 094 962
-201C APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION AS A PROPRIETARY COMPANY
*** END OF REPORT ***
Asiasat 2 had Nasa TV feed on Tuesday
3704H Sr 4167 Fec 5/6
Screenshot of the Nasa TV feed that was on Asiasat2
From the Dish
Superbird 6 has arrived at 158 East.
Insat 3A 93.5E Major changes in DISH TV.
Insat 3A 93.5E 11501 H "Occasional feeds" on , SR 1500, FEC 7/8.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 12479 H "Thai TV Global Network" is FTA.
Iconz wins Probe funding for satellite service
Ministry quiet on identity of other bidders
Iconz has gained the 15th Probe contract, for satellite coverage of remote areas out of reach of terrestrial network technologies.
Sales manager Toni Laurson says the company beat off 15 rivals including Telecom, but the Ministry of Education is offering no comment about the identity of the unsuccessful bidders.
The main strength of its bid, say Laurson and other Iconz sources, was the two-way nature of the link, offering broadband in both directions by satellite with uplink and downlink capable of running at the same time (full duplex). Other satellite offerings such as Ihug's Ultra typically have a return link operating much more slowly, by terrestrial connection. Ihug claims its Connect service, where the uplink is by satellite, can also run full duplex, but reception is currently limited to the Auckland area.
“The kind of business we are”, with extensive “community” wireless links, was another factor in Iconz’s success, Laurson says. Each termination at a school can act as the centre of an 802.11g wireless network that will bring broadband to the wider community provided the terrain is suitable, she says.
Community links are not part of the core contract, but Iconz has built in the capacity to serve such an anticipated need.
Initially, the link will use an Optus satellite, but at about the beginning of the year, the service will be transferred to the IPstar satellite operated by Asian company Shin Satellite. Iconz is the local agent for Shin Satellite.
Bandwidth will be adjustable to cope with brief period of higher demand. The Ministry’s announcement characterises typical “broadband” as ranging from 1Mb/s (which it calls a “domestic” service) to 5Mb/s (“business service”). It does not quote those actual figures, but compares the time to transmit “a typical X-ray image”, as 58 minutes over dial-up, “less than three minutes” by residential broadband and “less than 40 seconds” with business broadband.
Laurson says the bandwidth from Shin's IPstar1 satellite ranged from 64 to 512Kbit/s symmetrically, but it was up to schools to decide the speed they want.
However, even if the schools go for the low-speed alternatives, the service will be usable for videoconferencing as it will burst to higher speeds, she says. Schools are expected to use video over IP for remote learning and communicationg with each other. The ability to provide videoconferencing a feature that previously hasn't worked well over satellite connections was a deciding factor for ICONZ being selected as the PROBE supplier, Laurson says.
More TV likely for Fiji
Fiji television viewers are likely to get more channels to choose from in the near future.
Information Minister Simione Kaitani has says Government wants to open up the TV market.
Kaitani says opening up the television market will be beneficial to the public.
“The focus right now is opening up of the market competition I am myself is a very strong advocator of that because I believe in the final analysis the general public will become winners and it will be opportunity also to give more variety of programs and may also help address the discontent right now on the current program,” says Kaitani.
Likely beneficiary of this is Chinese company Fu Shun Television which has shown interest in providing television service in the Northern Division
BigPond cuts satellite prices for some regions
Telstra BigPond has cut prices for satellite internet connections for those who are beyond the reach of other broadband services, with the help of the Federal Government's Higher Bandwidth Incentive Scheme.
A media release said Broadband 2-way satellite would provide HiBIS customers a 256 kilobits per second (kbps) download speed service for $69.95 per month, once installed.
A 512kbps service was available for $89.95 a month, once installed. Both offered a 500MB monthly download allowance with each additional megabyte billed at 15 cents.
Installation and equipment cost $129 for both types of connections.
HiBIS is a $107.8 million initiative to provide access to higher bandwidth services to people in regional, rural and remote areas at prices which are to some extent comparable to metropolitan Australia.
BigPond has also reduced prices for Broadband Regional Connect, a service that combines one-way satellite with an ISDN uplink. With a 256kbps download and 128kbps upload, Broadband Regional Connect is available under HiBIS for $89.95 a month, once installed. There are no ISDN data charges when connecting to the internet via BigPond Broadband Regional Connect.
Channel NewsAsia extends its reach to Malaysia
From Press Release
Channel NewsAsia (International) marks its inaugural presence in Malaysia with the signing of an agreement with pay TV operator MiTV today. Channel NewsAsia, a news and information channel of MediaCorp, will be part of the news bouquet on offer by MiTV’s pay-television service, to be launched at the end of 2004.
Singapore, Singapore, 4 August, 2004 (Xtvworld) -- This agreement was signed in Kuala Lumpur by Mr Woon Tai Ho, Chief Executive Officer of MediaCorp News, and Mr Jonathan Chan, Executive Director of MiTV.
“This partnership with MiTV is a very significant one for Channel NewsAsia. It opens up a key market that we have been pursuing since the launch of our international feed four years ago. Malaysian viewers are widely exposed to global trends and news, and getting the right reading on these issues would be of paramount importance. Channel NewsAsia hopes to provide another choice of information and programmes that are relevant for today’s very sophisticated viewers,” said Mr Woon.
“We are pleased to announce the signing of Channel NewsAsia to our basic bouquet of channels. MiTV Corporation has devised and implemented a combination of home-grown technologies entirely unique to Malaysia, utilising ultra high frequencies (UHF) to transmit content to our subscribers. By combining and effectively utilising Internet and transmission technologies and infrastructures, namely Internet protocol over ultra high frequencies (IP-o-UHF), MiTV Corporation’s business plan has evolved to address the ever-increasing demands and a wider cross-section of the Malaysian market,” said Mr Chan.
MiTV’s entrance will end Astro All Asia Networks’s monopoly of Malaysia's pay TV market. It would launch with at least 50 pay TV channels, with a majority of these being new to the Malaysian market. MiTV is co-owned by Malaysia tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, who has a stake of over 40% in the company. Tan Sri Vincent also controls the Berjaya Group of companies.
Mr Woon added, “We are impressed by MiTV’s commitment to using cost-effective technology to bring quality programmes to its viewers. As Channel NewsAsia forges ahead to expand further in the region, we are pleased to tie-up with a company like MiTV that is ambitious and strategic in its plans for the pay TV market in Malaysia.”
Channel NewsAsia would be exploring content that is customised for the Malaysian viewers. This would certainly boost the array of programmes on offer. The channel devotes close to 90% of its programming to Asia. With correspondents in more than 10 key Asian cities, including Kuala Lumpur, Channel NewsAsia provides Asian perspectives on regional and global events.
About Channel NewsAsia
Established in March 1999, Channel NewsAsia positions itself as an Asian TV News channel that provides news and information on global developments with Asian perspectives. Channel NewsAsia brings viewers not only the latest news but also the stories behind the headlines. Headquartered in Singapore, Channel NewsAsia reports from the major Asian and key Western cities, including New York, Washington D.C, 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 is now viewed in 16.3 million homes and hotels in 19 territories across Asia. Its programming is Pan-Asian in content and style, going beyond the headlines to analyse key developments. It aims to be the channel of choice for Asian professionals who want objective, balanced information.
Channel NewsAsia is available on-line at www.channelnewsasia.com in English and at www.cna.tv in Chinese, premier resource hubs for professionals and executives working, living and investing in Asia.
MediaCorp News Pte Ltd owns and manages Channel NewsAsia. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, MCN International Pte Ltd, positions itself as a regional business, consolidating the television and internet operations of MediaCorp News.
MediaCorp News is the television news arm of MediaCorp Pte Ltd (MediaCorp), the largest and most established broadcaster in Singapore with a complete range of media businesses spanning TV, Radio, Entertainment Productions, Movie Productions, Newspapers, Magazines, Electronic Media and other broadcasting services.
MediaCorp features prominently in the development of Singapore’s broadcasting history. With more than 68 years of radio and 41 years of television experience, MediaCorp is Singapore’s largest and most established broadcaster with a complete range of media businesses spanning TV, Radio, Entertainment Productions, Movie Productions, Newspapers, Magazines, Electronic Media and other broadcasting services. We are committed to service excellence and leadership in the media industry and to remain as The Choice in Singapore and the region.
Currently, MediaCorp programmes command the highest ratings and dominate the Top Ten TV Programmes in Singapore each week. MediaCorp also reaches out to 89% of the population in Singapore every week with MediaCorp Channels 5 and 8 being the most-watched English and Chinese channels. MediaCorp’s Channel NewsAsia is Singapore’s most-watched news channel (both Free To Air and cable). Furthermore, MediaCorp’s radio stations are listened to by 97% of radio listeners with 8 out of the top 10 radio stations in Singapore belonging to MediaCorp Radio. MediaCorp’s TODAY newspaper is the second largest circulating daily newspaper while our “8 DAYS” and “i-weekly” are the most widely-read entertainment magazines in Singapore.
About MiTV Corporation Sdn. Bhd.
The reality of digital broadcasting has been imminent in Malaysia, offering numerous opportunities to the user through sheer abundance of choice. No longer exclusive to traditional content, such as television, UHF bandwidth serves as an optimal digital delivery medium for content such as video, audio and data transmissions.
MiTV’s Internet Protocol enabled Set Top Box (IP-STB) is the first of its kind, effectively combining Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) and Internet Protocol technologies and standards. The IP-STB enables fast and efficient delivery of Internet Protocol services over digital terrestrial broadcast.
Issued by MediaCorp News
For more information, please contact:
Han Chuan Quee
Senior Assistant Vice President
Tel: 6350 3493
Fax: 6253 0861
Viacom, News Corp. Bet on Digital TV for China's `Vast' Needs
Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Chen Zhentong, a retired coal-boat engineer who lives on a $217 monthly pension, is among China's first television viewers to receive digital broadcasts. He's an unlikely pioneer.
``There are too many channels to watch,'' says Chen, 62, struggling with the remote control in the living room of his apartment in the eastern city of Qingdao. He and his wife get 60 government stations showing news, movies, sports and dramas as one of 600,000 households in a pilot project converting to digital all television broadcasts in Qingdao.
The spread of digital TV will boost demand for programming from Viacom Inc., News Corp. and other international media companies in China, a market with more than 1 billion viewers. For now, they can broadcast only in parts of Guangdong province bordering Hong Kong and in select hotels and foreign residential compounds nationwide.
In a first move toward boosting overseas companies' share of the TV market, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, China's broadcasting regulator, said earlier this year it would let them partner local broadcasters and producers to form production companies. New York-based Viacom became the first to do so in March, announcing plans to produce Chinese- language children's programs with Shanghai Media Group.
``Production joint ventures create a huge opportunity,'' said Charles Chau, managing director for North Asia at Viacom's MTV Networks, whose Nickelodeon unit is teaming up with Shanghai Media Group. ``The government has committed to upgrading the quality of programming and made a commitment to gradually liberalize the market.''
30 Million Subscribers?
China's broadcasting regulator has targeted 30 million digital-TV subscribers by 2005 and plans to move all broadcasts to digital by 2015. Only 280,000 have signed up so far, said Terry Lui, chief executive officer of Hong Kong-based DVN Holdings, the leading manufacturer of digital set-top boxes in China.
Digital technology uses bandwidth more efficiently than standard definition television, delivering better visual quality. The technology also allows for data transmission and the simultaneous broadcast of multiple channels, enabling interactive services such as pay-per-view movies, home shopping and stock trading.
Chinese government leaders are betting that putting television on a more commercial footing will generate more revenue, taxes and jobs. Unemployment may be as high as 7 percent, according to Yu Faming, head of China's Labor Ministry.
Rising Ad Spending
The world's biggest media companies can't afford to ignore China's TV market. Advertising spending before discounts, based on published rates, rose 45 percent in 2003 to $18.2 billion, according to New York-based market researcher Nielsen Media Research. That puts China among the world's top five TV markets, and second in Asia after Japan.
Non-Chinese broadcasters face plenty of obstacles. TV producers, for example, must adhere to state censorship guidelines that control everything from program content to hair- dye color used by entertainers. In January, China Central Television, the main government broadcaster, said it was putting on hold plans to broadcast the American comedy ``Friends,'' because of the show's sexual content.
Such censorship may limit the potential for growth in China, said David Wolf, managing director and media specialist at communications consulting firm Burson-Marsteller in Beijing.
``The government is extraordinarily sensitive to the direction of the media industry because of media's traditional role as a political tool for the Communist Party,'' Wolf said.
Last month, regulators ordered a crackdown on the illegal manufacture and installation of satellite-TV equipment to stop people from watching foreign programs deemed ``reactionary, violent and pornographic,'' the official Xinhua news agency reported on July 18.
International media companies also are restricted in the number and kinds of shows they can sell to Chinese broadcasters. The regulator eased rules this year by letting overseas broadcasters form local production ventures. The companies still won't be allowed to transmit nationwide on their own and will be limited to minority stakes in the ventures, MTV Networks' Chau said.
New York-based Time Warner Inc., the world's biggest media company, already has failed once in China's TV market: It sold a majority stake in its unprofitable Chinese TV station last year.
Overseas companies will have a better chance of profiting from digital TV because it requires more and higher-quality programming than state broadcasters can provide, said Jamie Davis, president of Star China, Sydney-based News Corp.'s China television unit, based in Shanghai.
``Digital creates needs for content that are so vast there will be many opportunities,'' Davis said. Star, which currently broadcasts channels including Star Movies and the Channel V music station in Guangdong, plans to form two to three ``solid joint ventures'' in China in the next year, Davis said, without giving details.
China Central Television plans to roll out the first nationwide pay-TV service next week, said Sun Yusheng, president of the broadcaster's digital-TV unit.
The service will debut with a package of six premium channels costing 60 yuan ($7.25) a month and including Athens Olympics coverage and channels airing Chinese drama series, foreign dramas and music.
Cable television, which now has more than 100 million subscribers in China, costs a maximum of 30 yuan a month for basic service. There are 56 free-to-air channels in Shanghai and 57 in Beijing.
Viewers won't pay double for digital TV unless they get better and exclusive programming, said Li Ruigang, president of state-owned Shanghai Media Group, which produces and broadcasts television programs in China's financial capital.
``We must work with international media companies to get content,'' he said. ``You cannot launch this business unless you can give people more choices than before.''
Chen, the former coal-boat engineer, said he watches news and Chinese opera from his digital options. His neighbor, Wang Huaiyun, a retired merchant seaman in his 60s, said he likes news and movies.
Younger generations have different tastes. Wang's college- age daughter tries to persuade her parents to watch music and variety shows. ``She wants to get a separate set-top box in her room,'' Wang said.
Besides Viacom, Shanghai Media has partnered with Discovery Communications Inc. to produce six half-hour documentaries by first-time filmmakers, along with a separate series of professional documentaries, ``Asian Masterpiece,'' being broadcast by Discovery across the Asia-Pacific region.
The company also has separate program-swapping and development arrangements with New York-based CNBC, a joint venture of National Broadcasting Co. and Dow Jones & Co., Japan Broadcasting Corp., and CJ Corp., a Seoul-based food and entertainment group.
Discovery, which has sold programs to more than 100 local cable stations over the last nine years, plans to start its own local production company.
``The ultimate goal that we're working towards is a broadcast channel,'' said Kevin Dickie, Discovery's Singapore- based Asia marketing director.
The only imported content most Chinese viewers now see are syndicated programs bought and aired by government broadcasters. Star China distributes about 625 hours of syndicated programs a year, including content from ESPN sports and National Geographic. Encore International, a unit of Englewood, Colorado-based Liberty Media Corp., sells 500 hours of programming a year to China Central Television, including the U.S. sitcom ``Mad About You.''
Viacom initially will produce 25 hours a week of children's programming at its joint venture with Shanghai Media, with the intention of developing the enterprise into a 24 hour-a-day broadcast channel, Chau said.
Equipment providers such as Motorola Inc. also aim to profit from China's switch to digital TV. The Schaumburg, Illinois-based company's broadband division agreed in June to invest as much as $33 million to take a 34 percent stake in DVN Holdings. DVN has supplied 46 percent of the 280,000 digital set-top boxes installed under the government's pilot program in Qingdao and other cities.
Profits in China's TV market are elusive even for the biggest media companies, as Time Warner's unsuccessful foray into the market shows.
Double the Cost
Time Warner's China Entertainment Television Broadcast Ltd. unit -- a Mandarin-language channel that aired a mix of local programs and overseas shows such as ``ER'' in Guangdong -- had combined losses of about $31 million in 2001 and 2002, according to a stock-exchange filing by Tom Group Ltd. Tom Group is a Hong Kong-based media company controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing that bought Time Warner's majority stake in the unit in July 2003.
Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting unit assumed $49 million in China Entertainment Television debt as part of the transaction, while reducing its shareholding from 80 percent to 36 percent. China Entertainment's audited net revenue in 2002 amounted to $450,000.
In December 2003, Time Warner withdrew from a $50 million, 2- year-old Internet venture with Lenovo Group Ltd., China's biggest computer maker.
China's digital-TV experiment may be hampered by the relatively high cost of getting the service started. The set-top box that's needed to receive digital channels costs $100, an unaffordable sum for many in a country where urban incomes average about $1,000. With 100 million cable households nationwide, the upfront costs for digital could reach $10 billion.
Only 26 percent of city residents are willing to pay more than 21 yuan a month for TV services, according to a 2003 survey by Beijing-based CVSC-Sofres Media (CSM), a joint-venture between Beijing's CTR Market Research and London-based market researcher Taylor Nelson Sofres Plc.
``It's going to depend on the programming and what value- added services can be offered,'' said Xu Zhaohui, an official at Qingdao Cable, which is organizing that city's trial digital program.
Qingdao has opted to switch entire neighborhoods, one at a time, in order to ensure the entire city is converted to digital by the end of 2005.
To get the job done, the cable operator is providing customers with set-top boxes free of charge; subscription fees have been bumped $1.20 a month to $2.65. Total investment for the city's digital roll-out will approach $50 million and may require eight years to recover, Xu said.
Chen, the Qingdao viewer, says the new fees are acceptable. ``I'd have to think about them if it was more.''
PIL filed in Delhi HC seeks probe into porn on DTH
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today heard a public interest litigation seeking that direct-to-home (DTH) services available in the country be probed --- in the absence of any regulatory framework --- over what was termed easy availability and accessability of channels with pornographic content on DTH platforms and the implications of such a service on national security.
The petitioner, noted media expert Dr N Bhaskara Rao, however, submitted before the court that DTH should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a national media policy on broadcasting.
On hearing the case today, the Chief Justice of the Delhi HC gave the government four weeks time to respond to the petition. Apart from the government of India (as the responsible authority for framing policies and issuing licences), the country's first DTH service, Dish TV, has also been made a party to the case. Two Subhash Chandra companies, ASC Enterprises Ltd and Zee Telefilms promote Dish TV.
Interestingly, Rao, who also heads the Delhi-based media watchdog Centre for Media Studies (CMS), filed the PIL in his individual capacity.
In his petition Rao has submitted the following:
* The need for a national media policy, particularly with regard to broadcasting
* The need for an independent regulator for broadcasting, going by the spirit of the 1995 Supreme Court judgment (that said that airwaves are public property)
* Setting up of a committee of experts, including those from the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), to look into ways of containing pornographic channels/programmes with (KU-band) DTH coming into the country as also its implications on national security
Outcome notwithstanding, the case is likely to have a bearing on any prospective entrant into the DTH arena, which includes the Tata-Star combine with Space TV and Indian pubcaster Doordarshan.
When contacted, Zee Telefilms refused comment on the issue, saying the matter was sub-judice. On the other hand, a spokesperson for Star India, the Indian arm of Rupert Murdoch's pan-Asian venture Star Group, said, "We are still studying the case as we are not a direct party to it." Prasar Bharati, which manages DD and All India Radio, also refused to make any comments on the PIL.
The Tata-Star combine is still awaiting a nod from information and broadcasting ministry for its Rs 1.6 billion proposed DTH venture, while DD is slated to formally launch its DTH service sometime later this month for which subscription charges would not be charged from customers.
DD's DTH platform, named DD Direct, is still hunting around for popular entertainment channels that are pre-dominantly in the private sector. Except Star Utsav, no other Hindi entertainment channel has agreed to come on board, including the free to air ones like Sahara Manoranjan and Sab TV. But some popular channels from the Sun TV group would be on DD Direct.
Tarb's returning on B3? things just keep getting more and more interesting by the day. It all seems a bit bizzare. There has been rumours of a new service via NSS6 as well. Considering NSS6 has a hopeless look angle for DTH in Eastern Australia. Could they be planning to use Optus B3 for those that can't get Nss6? and besides that how can they start up a new service while owing millions of dollars to various people. I see from the PWCrecovery website that very few assets were up for grabs. My Comments in brackets.
The Receivers sought offers in respect of any or all of the assets of TARBS, which include:
Subscription Customer List (Not worth anything unless you also have the channels the subscribers were subscribing to, I'm sure Tarb's have other copys of this anyway)
TARBS’ interest in Radiocommunications Apparatus Licences: four Space Licences, five Earth Licences and one Earth Receive Licence (Of little value, non transferable?)
TARBS’ interest in channel and program agreements (Private contractual arrangements probably non transferable)
TARBS’s interest in set top units, subscriber satellite dishes, remote controls and smartcards (Outdated obsolete junk receiver/card as for the dishes a dish on the wrong satellite is worth -$50 due to repoint costs)
Arirang is back on Pas 2 same details as before signal as weak as ever.
B3 12690 H gone
B3 12524 V SUN TV has encrypted
I804 Best TV mux is gone again, still on Nss5 at 177W though
Top 20 Fixed Satellite Operators from 2004
Satellites in Orbit
Satellites on Order
SES has partial
Includes $143.6 million from satellites purchased from Loral.
Revenues are for two six-month periods ending Dec. 31, 2003.
Satellites on order include one from Loral.
Revenues are for fiscal year ending March 31.
Figures include $22.9 million in consulting revenues.
|Space Communications Corp.||
Superbird 6/A-2 satellite, launched in April, is not yet operational.
|New Skies Satellites N.V.||
Company is considering buy-out offers from private-equity firms.
|Loral Space and Communications||
Revenues are for satellites Loral is retaining after Intelsat sale.
The iPSTAR satellite is set for launch late in 2004 or early 2005.
2003 figures are estimates pending final 2003 financial data.
SES Global owns 19.99 percent of the company.
Eutelsat owns 27.7 percent of the company.
SES Global owns 34.1 percent of the company.
Koreasat 5 under construction is hybrid military/commercial.
Company ordered two satellites from Orbital Sciences Corp.
|Telenor Satellite Networks||
Satellite on order part-owned by Intelsat, called Intelsat 10-02.
Satmex 6 in storage at launch site awaiting launch financing.
|Broadcast Satellite System Corp.||
Figures are for fiscal year ending March 31, 2003.
|Nordic Satellite (NSAB)||
SES Global owns 75 percent of the company.
|Russian Satellite Communications Co.||
Company expects to double its transponder supply by 2005.
|APT Satellite Holdings||
Company will lease Apstar 5 capacity from Loral.
|Measat Global Bhd.||
Firm says initial pre-launch marketing of Measat 3 is encouraging.
SES Global owns 28.75 percent of the company.
1 Figures are for calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2003, unless otherwise indicated.
2 Chart includes data for companies providing fixed satellite services, defined as leasing transponders for television broadcasting, data transmission, telephony and other services.
3 Non-U.S. currencies converted into U.S. dollars using interbank exchange rate on Dec. 31, 2003 for 2003 figures and Dec. 31, 2002 for year-2001 figures.
4 Figures may differ from last years chart following companies restatement of revenues, or a reorganization of company accounts.
5 Intelsat leases two satellites from Insat of India.
Source: Company reports and Space News research
From my Emails & ICQ
TARBS are set to start up a new service on Optus B3 called:
"UBI" United Broadcasting international. registered on 27th of July.
They are in final discussions with OPTUS in regards to securing capacity. (This has been confirmed by Optus)
Arirang TV back on Pas2
It's back at the same old spot. Pas2 12402V sr4410 3/4. Signal as weak as ever. Presently 29% and fluctuating on a 1.2m solid - Mackay.
From Warren S
Intelsat 701/NASA TV
Can you please advise about NASA TV on Intelsat 701
I have lined it up with a 1.8m solid dish but only manage one transponder (Worldnet). I am in Brisbane area and wonder if anybody else near here can load more transponders and what is dish size needed.
(Craigs comment, the dish is to small and for Intelsat 701 you will need a circular type feed. Don't go to to much trouble just yet, perhaps we may see this one on KU soon?)
I’m thinking about purchasing satellite antenna to watch Serbian FTA channels, which are apparently listed on the THAICOM 3 satellite on your website (RTS Sat, RTV PINK, BKTV).
However, I checked the satellite’s own list of programs and could not find these channels listed there. Would you be able to advise whether they are on this or any other satellite visible in Melbourne.
(Craigs comment, oops! with all the recent activity I have not got around to updating some of the pages. Sorry Tin but all those Ex Tarb's channels have gone.)
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "BLTV - Buddhism Light TV" has started on , Fta, PIDs 450/451.
PAS 8 166E 4080 V All channels in the TAS mux are now encrypted.
PAS 8 166E 12360 V "Hwazan Satellite TV" has started on , Fta, PIDs 910/911.
Optus C1 156E 12305 H "Expo Channel" is now encrypted.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3880 H "Syria Satellite Channel has replaced Yemen Satellite TV" on , Fta, PIDs 1121/1122.
NSS 6 95E The New Skies/SatLink info card has left 12647 V and 12688 H.
Measat 1 91.5E Updates in Astro, Mediguard:
Astro SuperSport 2 has started on 11044 V, PIDs 172/128.
Astro SuperSport 3 has started on 11106 V, PIDs 161/84.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "Thai TV Global Network, an Apna test card, Sur Sangeet, KTN, ATN Bangla, WPT and Bangkok Radio 94 FM" have started on , Fta, SR 29800, FEC 3/4, PIDs 512/640-517/645 and 650. The RR Sat promo, Hellas TV and Cosmoradio 95.1 have left this mux.
Thaicom 3 78.5E Tara has left 3480 H and 3520 H, replaced by an Apna test card.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3671 H "Hellas TV" has started on , Fta, PIDs 4865/4866.
Thaicom 3: 78.5E 3671 H "Q Radio and Cosmoradio 95.1" have started on , Fta APIDs 529 and 4867.
Telstar 10 76.5E 3652 H "TV Lanka Channel 2-3" is encrypted again.
NSS 703 57E 3980 R "Udaya TV and Ushe TV" are now encrypted.
Iconz wins net tender
Auckland internet provider Iconz is believed to have won the last of the Project Probe broadband internet tenders.
Probe, the Provincial Broadband Extension project, is the Government's attempt to encourage broadband network rollout in rural and remote New Zealand.
Probe divided the country into 15 regions, 14 geographical districts and a final satellite region. It is this last region that has been awarded to Iconz.
Iconz has already signed a deal with Thai-based Shin Satellite, which has said it will invest $15 million to build an earth station in Albany to support its local services.
The company will launch its own satellite, IPStar-1, in the coming months but is trialling internet services using capacity on another satellite.
The Ministry of Education, which runs the tendering process, would not confirm the tender win, but said an announcement was due shortly.
Seven starts pay-TV appeal
THE Seven Network's next legal stoush in the pay-TV sector kicks off this week, with its appeal to the Australian Competition Tribunal on digital access terms to Foxtel and Telstra's infrastructure beginning in Melbourne.
Seven lodged an appeal against the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's decision on the access arrangements in January, the hearings for which begin in Melbourne on Thursday.
The access agreements were accepted by the ACCC in December last year after a 16-month inquiry process.
The agreements enable Foxtel (25 per cent owned and managed by The Australian and NEWS.com.au's owner, News Limited) to be exempted from the ACCC's usual access provisions and are used by pay-TV channels wanting access to Foxtel's set-top boxes or to Telstra's cable.
Seven is separately pursuing a multi-billion-dollar legal claim against Foxtel, its owners and others in relation to the demise of its pay-TV sports channel, C7.
The first company attempting to use the access agreements is ThoroughVision. TVN was created when the Victorian horseracing clubs and the two metropolitan Sydney clubs failed to agree broadcast rights with Tabcorp's Sky Channel.
Sky is Foxtel's exclusive horseracing channel, so TVN can gain access to the Foxtel platform but cannot be marketed under the Foxtel brand.
"We have started the process by talking to Foxtel and will commence discussions with Telstra about access to have our racing channel shown on the pay-TV platform," said TVN's chairman, media buyer Harold Mitchell.
Seven is expected to try to vary the terms of access to Foxtel Digital, but the tribunal can only hear the same evidence that has already been put to the ACCC.
But if the tribunal sets aside the ACCC's decision to give Foxtel an exemption to the usual access rules, the pay-TV group could be open to the threat of its service being "declared" if another access dispute erupts. A declaration would see Foxtel and Telstra's access prices regulated by the ACCC.
Austar turns on share rise
THE resurrection of regional pay-TV group Austar gathered pace yesterday, with its shares jumping 10 per cent to their highest level in more than three years after it reported strong first-half earnings and a record 467,000 subscribers.
Having endured a near-death experience in 2001 after massive writedowns pushed the annual loss to $682 million, Austar is regaining market appeal after refocusing on its core pay-TV business.
In its darkest days, Austar's banks placed onerous restrictions on company finances.
But chief executive John Porter said it now hoped to renegotiate its $359 million in gross debt on a more flexible basis before the end of December.
"The benefits we would derive would be focused on flexibility, having a more conventional package to give the company access to all its cash and to enable us to manage in a more dynamic growth environment," he said.
In the half to June, Austar reported a 68.5 per cent increase in earnings, before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to $46.5 million, but growing subscriber numbers led to higher depreciation charges, which prompted a $4.9 million bottom line loss.
The result pushed Austar's shares 9c higher to 99c - a level not reached since March 2001.
Austar relaunched its digital service with a new programming line-up in April, pushing the 12.9 per cent increase in pay-TV subscribers to 459,810 at the end of June, compared with the same time last year.
But new additions in July took the final total to 467,000 subscribers.
Of the 32,523 new subscribers gained since January, the majority, or 18,586, were added after the relaunch.
The subscriber growth for the half also included the growing number of Austar's commercial customers - mostly pubs and clubs - which increased 36.5 per cent from the same time a year ago, to 52,982.
But Mr Porter was cautious when asked if such growth rates could be maintained.
"I don't know, but this quarter was exceptionally strong ... the keys to even come close to this kind of growth will be to maintain the low churn and to continue to acquire quality customers," he said.
Mr Porter said the 16 per cent increase in revenue to $184.5 million was due to the growing subscriber base and record low disconnections.
He said 49 per cent of subscribers were now taking the new Austar digital package and 30 per cent of New Austar Digital customers were purchasing a Foxtel Box Office movie once a month.
Daily installations were 50 per cent above those at the same time last year.
Mr Porter also believed the growth of flat-screen TV sales was driving growth of digital pay-TV. "If you are going to spend $5000 on a home entertainment system, do you really want to watch three channels that have a ghostly analog picture, or do you want something that has 100 channels and digital picture quality?
"The take-up of this equipment is helping improve the value proposition of pay-TV."
Mr Porter said the first half of this year represented "a significant inflection point for Austar and the entire category of subscription pay-TV".
Tabcorp gees up Sydney gallops
NSW punters will now be able to watch Sydney thoroughbred racing in the state's 313 TAB agencies, after Tabcorp agreed to roll out the rebel telecast service through its newly acquired betting shops.
Victoria's Tabcorp is in the throes of wrapping up its $2 billion takeover of the NSW-based TAB.
But the ongoing dispute between the Sydney racing clubs and Sky Channel, which is owned by the TAB, has prevented TAB agencies from receiving Sydney race telecasts.
The Sydney Turf Club and the Australian Jockey Club, which control Sydney racing broadcasting rights, have refused to sign a new deal with Sky and are instead allowing the broadcasting arm of Racing Victoria, ThoroughVision (TVN), to telecast their races.
The TVN service, however, has only been available in pubs and clubs.
Pending a resolution of the dispute between Sky and the racing clubs, Tabcorp said yesterday it would provide technology at the TAB agencies to take the TVN telecast.
The move, believed to be costing Tabcorp about $250,000 to implement, appears to be designed to stave off revenue losses as Sydney punters bet away from the TAB agencies.
The move is seen as an interim measure, and Tabcorp managing director Matthew Slatter is due to meet again today with TVN's negotiating team over ways to reinstate the Sydney pictures on Sky. Mr Slatter is understood to be under some pressure from his board to get the matter resolved.
Getting the Sydney clubs back on side is one thing, but come May, the Sky contract with the Victorian clubs expires, and TVN has indicated it also will have its pictures broadcast elsewhere.
Tabcorp has promised to be more conciliatory, compared with the alleged bullying tactics of former TAB management. It has also pledged to pay more for the rights to telecast the races.
But TVN has so far been unhappy with negotiations. While it has said the door remains open, its objective of creating a thoroughbred-only channel - which would not include greyhound and harness racing - remains firm.
Details of the TAB agency roll-out are sketchy, but it is likely to involve the agencies receiving the service for free for a period.
About 2200 pubs and clubs in NSW and Victoria currently receive the Sydney service through set-top boxes, and the service remains free-of-charge until the end of 2005.
TVN is about two months off having its service beamed into homes through Foxtel's digital service.
However, it appears Sky has exclusivity on race telecasts under the old analogue system, which is another issue TVN is seeking to work out with Tabcorp.
Tabcorp shares closed up 8c, to $14.15.
CCTV to launch six new channels
China Central Television is set to launch six digital channels on August 9. The channels, to be introduced for $7 a month, include Fengyun Olympics 1 and Fengyun Olympics 2 for the forthcoming Athens Olympic Games.
The new channels will be launched in Shanghai, Guizhou, Chongqing and Sichuan initially. Following the first phase of the launch, another 33 cities are also reportedly making technological preparation to connect with the network.
According the company, two other channels, First Theatre and Fengyun Theatre, will show TV series from ancient martial art dramas to romantic love stories. The channel World Geography will feature classic documentaries.
GMA acts to save Olympic coverage
President Arroyo yesterday ordered the Department of Budget and Management to guarantee the payment of past obligations that would enable the state-run NBN-4 to cover the Olympic Games kicking off Aug. 13 in Athens, Greece.
The President ordered yesterday DBM Secretary Emilia Boncodin to issue the official Philippine government guarantee required by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to allow the state-run Nation Broadcasting Corp. (NBN) Channel 4 the rights as official Philippine carrier station for the live satellite coverage of the Olympic Games beamed from Athens.
Acting on orders of the President, the DBM Secretary transmitted yesterday to Michael Payne, IOC vice president for international marketing, the Philippine government official guarantee for the payment of the $1.2 million arrears the previous management of Channel 4 owed the IOC for the airing of the 1992 Olympic Games in Sydney.
Press Secretary Milton Alingod told The STAR yesterday they would call a press conference to announce the details of the payment scheme, including the possible filing of criminal charges against the previous management responsible for the multi-million dollar debt.
Alingod said President Arroyo yesterday called to an emergency meeting Boncodin and other key Cabinet members and top sports officials along with NBN-4 board of directors led by chairman Mia Concio and NBN general manager Jose Isabelo.
Emerging after the meeting yesterday, Isabelo told The STAR President Arroyo came to the rescue of NBN-4 to ensure sports-loving Filipinos would not miss watching the Olympic Games, particularly the participation of Filipino athletes, on their television sets.
"The President acted swiftly and what remains our problem is now the timelines for us to meet our obligations," Isabelo said.
As worked out with the IOC, Isabelo explained, the NBN would have to pay in installment basis the total arrears, half of which or $600,000 would have to be paid to the IOC within this week.
Half of this $600,000, Isabelo said, would be frontloaded by Jemah Television of Mark Roces which is the NBN partner in this Olympic undertaking.
The other half of this amount, he said, would be sourced by the DBM through the various contributions of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).
In the meantime, he said, to meet the IOC deadline, the DBM would "advance" the amount needed.
Isabelo said the NBN-4, on the other hand, had already put up $225,000 to pay for the "technical expenses" to bring the satellite feed of the Olympics through the Asian Broadcasting Union (ABU).
Once paid these amounts, he said, the ABU would deliver the "decoder boxes" to the NBN to allow it access to the satellite of the Olympic Games from Athens.
The remaining balance of $600,000, Isabelo said, would be paid in installment basis to the OIC over a 24-month basis or a two-year payment scheme to be settled by NBN-4 out of the proceeds and earnings from this venture.
Hence, he explained, there was a need for the official guarantee of the Philippine government.
The NBN-4 won the rights to air the Olympic Games but almost did not make it after the IOC found out its unpaid arrears in the past
Animax signs deal with Hong Kong Cable
Continuing with its expansion of operations for Animax in Asia, Sony Pictures Entertainment has launched its animation channel Animax on Hong Kong Cable, a pay television service provider, which has subscription base of 540,000 subscribers.
The launch in Hong Kong follows Animax's recently introduced South Asian feed. Apart from India, the launch of the Animax South Asia service will also make the channel available in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. In January, Animax Asia was launched with three dedicated services for Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
In a separate development, Hong Kong Cable Television has signed carriage agreements for two Pakistan channels, infotainment channel I-Plus and general entertainment channel Indus Vision - from Pakistan's three-year-old independent satellite operator, Indus TV Network. The channels will be carried as premium services from 15 August 2004.
Intelsat at 40: revenues up, staff down
Global satellite communications provider Intelsat reported a seven per cent increase in revenues to $261.7 million and net income of $18.5 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2004. The company also reported EBITDA of $174.7 million for the quarter. Total revenue rose $17.2 million, primarily attributable to a net increase in lease services revenue of $17.9 million. The results were revealed shortly before the operator marks its 40th anniversary.
"Intelsat got off to a good start in our first full quarter with the Intelsat Americas satellites, generating improved revenue performance as compared to 2003," commented Intelsat chief executive officer Conny Kullman. "Our enhanced North American reach is resulting in expanded opportunities with our international customer base."
Intelsat also reported that the integration of the Intelsat Americas satellites, acquired from Loral in March 2004, is ahead of schedule. Intelsat is leveraging the enhanced North American coverage provided by the Intelsat Americas satellites to expand relationships with existing customers.
In late June, Intelsat completed a staff reduction exercise "to align its cost structure in response to continued competitive pressure." According to the company, the reduction of approximately 50 full-time employees is expected to reduce costs in certain operations and marketing and sales functions.
The second quarter also saw the withdrawal of Intelsat's previously planned IPO, and confirmation that it is exploring the possibility of third party investment in or acquisition of the company. According to Intelsat, discussions are proceeding. Until Intelsat has completed an IPO in accordance with the requirements of the ORBIT Act, the FCC has restricted Intelsat's ability to sell capacity on the Intelsat Americas satellites that would be used for the provision of DTH or direct broadcast satellite video or Ka- or V-band services.
Taj TV secures Lanka cricket rights for $50 million
MUMBAI: Taj Television, holding company of Dubai-based sports broadcaster Ten Sports, has signed with Sri Lanka Cricket a broadcast rights deal that runs from January 2005 to 2008. The cost of the acquisition --- a whopping $ 50 million.
According to reports in the Sri Lanka media, Taj Television officials were supposed to have met SLC officials last evening to finalise the deal.
It was in June that SLC called for tenders for the TV rights. Taj Television, as the incumbent rights holder, had been allowed to match the best offer after the tenders closed. Among the international tenders that came in, the highest bid was $ 48 million, reportedly put in by Dubai-based digital satellite broadcaster ARY. The next highest bids were by sports marketing agency World Sport Group with $46.6 million and ESPN Star Sports with $40.6 million.
A point of note is that Taj Television and ARY, which broadcasts mainly in the Middle East and Europe, jointly hold the contract to broadcast Pakistan's home cricket matches in a $42.6-million deal that began last year and runs until 2008.
At $ 50 million, this is by far the highest ever amount Sri Lanka Cricket has obtained for broadcast rights. Even Taj TV's initial bid of $35 million was higher than any the SLC had ever received, which puts in perspective the size of the final sale. While Taj TV officials were unavailable for comment, it is to be assumed that the additional $ 2 million it paid out was to lock in subsidiary rights like broadband.
According to information available with indiantelevision.com, there were a total of 12 bidders that threw their hats in the ring for rights ranging from broadband telecast to in-stadia hoardings. Willow TV (broadband), Madison Outdoor Media Services (Moms), and even CBFS (the Sharjah event company that is also promoted by Taj TV owner Abdurrahman Bukhatir) were among those that bid.
The reason the rights went for such a high cost was largely because of one thing --- the guarantee of visits by India to the island nation. The SLC has managed to get the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to confirm three tours (which includes two triangulars) for the period the contract runs.
An immediate problem the $ 50-million "windfall" will allow the SLC to resolve is the compensation suite that World Sport Nimbus, the agency that held the international television rights to Sri Lankan cricket until 2001, won against it in a Singapore court of arbitration.
WSN reportedly won damages worth $ 7 million from the Singapore court over the premature termination of its contract.
Zee to 'keep pushing' Zee Cinema for Singapore
MUMBAI: Zee Network, which launched a dedicated beam of Zee TV for Singapore on 1 June, is now concentrating on getting Zee Cinema launched in the market.
"We will keep pushing zee Cinema and as and when it is possible we will put the channel on," Zee Network president international business Abhijit Saxena told Indiantelevision.com.
Explaining the issues the network faces to get distributed in the Singapore market Saxena elaborates: "Singapore is a very controlled market. There, introducing any new channel becomes very difficult because the cable service provider's capacity is limited at the moment. Also, there are certain restrictions in providing the number of Indian channels to the limited Indian audiences there. Hence, at the moment, it is only Zee TV."
Zee has been engaged in negotiations with its Singapore's local cable service provider StarHub to carry more Zee family channels in the country. Reportedly, Zee is also waiting for StarHub to launch its digital service so that the service provider will have the capacity to accommodate more channels. At the moment, Zee TV has 25,000 paid subscribers in Singapore at the rate of Singapore $8.
Zee Network has Zee TV and Zee Cinema presently available in the US while in the UK Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee Music and Alpha Punjabi are available. The Middle East markets have Zee channels Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee News, Zee Music and Alpha Gujarati. In Africa Zee TV is available.
Live chat tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd time onwards.
NZLSAT, another Great Dream, to launch NZ’s very own domestic Satellite, nothing said here that hasn’t been said before. Biggest problem facing them is customers, and infrastructure, and no good launching a satellite without the appropriate on ground facilities. NZ to NZ is one thing, but being a regional operator requires teleports throughout the coverage area. Its surprising given the trends for small countries to just focus on internal communications, that they want to be a communications carrier like Intelsat and PanAmSat. The NZ Satellite Opportunities Discussion Paper at the MED website mentions this.
28. In combination, the NZLSAT filings and the FSS and BSS allotments in the planned bands to some extent "reserve" the 158°East orbital position for New Zealand, as any person who subsequently proposes an incompatible satellite must seek to co-ordinate with these filings and allotments. Similarly, New Zealand must coordinate the NZLSAT1-4 filings with 10 other satellites (existing or proposed) at 158°East before a satellite can be brought into service. Satellite filings expire if a satellite is not launched within seven years.
That may take years to sort out. Paper satellite initiatives come and they go. Only time will tell.
From my Emails & ICQ
Pas2 12689H 6625 1/2 has returned this morning. Scans in as FTA but
shows "service not running or scrambled" message again. Signal is
weaker and fluctuating between 14% - 38% 1.2m steel solid Mackay.
Also picking it up on the new 1.2m 15 segment wood dish on the
homebrew rotator 14%.
(Craigs comment, I did it pick it up for a while here last night on 76cm but gone now)
Pas2 Ku signal wont load at all on Humax, but ok on the Nokia,on 1.2 steel offset
pids V164 A163 not encrypted, nok reads no data in either pid
Would anybody there be able to help us, please?
We live in Perth and we are trying to find out what kind of
encryption is used for the Brazilian TV channel, "TV Globo
International", on the Intelsat 804 (176deg E).
All the information is available at
We appreciate very much, if anybody could please point the dish to
the Intelsat 804 and try to find out what is the encryption used by
I only found the information that is at the link above, which only
says TV-DIG-CRYPT which is not an encryption type (I believe). My
best guess is that it is, maybe, PowerVu, which is used by them on
other satellites. We (desperately) need the information before we
buy the equipment.
Thanking all those helpful good souls.
(Craigs comment, before you worry about the decoder you should check can you actually receive it over there?)
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "Videoland Sports, Pili Satellite TV and CTI TV Asia" are now encrypted.
PAS 8 166E 4050 V "Occasional TVBS" feeds on , PIDs 1360/1320.
NSS 6 95E 11543 V "The Free-XTV info card" is fta again.
NSS 6 95E 11595 V New SR and FEC for FalconStream on : 28000 and 5/6.
Yamal 201 90E 3674 L "Radio Kultura" has started on , Fta, APID 515.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3520 H "Thai TV Global Network, Tara, Sur Sangeet, KTN, ATN Bangla, WPT and Bangkok Radio 94 FM" have started on , Fta, SR 29800, FEC 3/4, PIDs 512/640-517/647 and 650. The RR Sat promo has left.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H "Hellas TV and Cosmosradio 95.1" have started on , Fta, PIDs 1793/1794 and 33.
Telstar 10 76.5E 3652 H "TV Lanka Channel 2-3" are fta.
PAS 10 68.5E 3808 V The KTN info card has left .
Some news for LyngSat Address and LyngSat Logo:
* Sat-Address has changed name to LyngSat Address.
New domain name: http://www.lyngsat-address.com/
New email address: email@example.com
* Satlogo has changed name to LyngSat Logo.
New domain namee: http://www.lyngsat-logo.com/
New email address: firstname.lastname@example.org/
* The US states have been added as countries in North America.
The US local channels are now shown in their states on the country pages.
* LyngSat Logo has undergone major layout changes, to make it easier and
faster to find the logotypes you are looking for. Notice that you can
click on the logotypes at LyngSat, LyngSat Address and UplinkStation
to see the logotypes in bigger sizes at LyngSat Logo.
NZ experts vie for satellite slot
A New Zealand company wants the Government to let it use the country's geostationary satellite slot 35,000km above the equator at 158 degrees east, rather than hand it over to foreign companies.
NZLSAT Ltd director Katharine Moody said there was local demand for more capacity to cope with applications such as digital television, broadband internet and long-haul telephone services, but that the Government would lose the opportunity if it did not move fast.
Moody and a team of satellite experts have put together a business plan to set up a satellite service - something that would cost more than $100 million.
"This is a new industry with huge potential," said Moody, a former Ministry of Economic Development spectrum group manager.
"The problem is, the ministry seems to want to throw regulatory barriers in front of a New Zealand initiative, while letting foreign companies in."
A discussion paper on satellite opportunities indicates the Ministry of Economic Development is considering allowing the new SingTel Optus D2 satellite at 156 degrees east to use broadcasting satellite service (BSS) download frequencies granted to New Zealand by the International Telecommunications Union.
Moody said that would put the viability of a New Zealand-controlled satellite at risk, while unfairly strengthening SingTel Optus' position in the Australasian satellite transmission market.
By the same token, those frequency rights could allow a local satellite company to attract an international investment partner.
Sky currently operates its satellite pay TV service via Optus satellites and TVNZ has space reserved on Optus satellites.
A number of other satellites also cover the region.
BSS frequencies are typically used for broadcasting to small dish antennas.
Moody said a decision needed to be made in the next couple of months, because any New Zealand satellite would need to compete for customers with Optus D2, which is due to be launched in 2007.
"We must enter the market in competition with Optus," Moody said.
Submissions on the paper closed on Friday, but ministry radio spectrum policy and planning manager Brian Miller would not say when decisions would be made.
"We will work through the submissions as quickly as possible," Miller said.
Apart from the BSS plan, which is permanent, New Zealand has filed for four slots in the fixed satellite service (FSS) allotments which are used for point-to-point transmission. These are unplanned frequencies, which means they must be coordinated with other satellite operators on a first come, first served basis.
Moody said NZLSAT would operate in both the BSS and FSS bands.
"We have done a feasibility study showing a satellite is viable and we have costings from two satellite manufacturers," she said.
"What we need from the ministry is provisional access to the allocation for three to six months to do due diligence and get letters of intent from local customers and international partners. Then we can commercialise the business."
The other directors of NZLSAT are satellite expert Dr Alan Jamieson and lawyer Paul Hannah-Jones.
Satellites are typically funded with a mixture of equity and debt. "What we need is competition, because there are not many choices. Optus has a monopoly on direct-to-home broadcast, and its service is optimised for small dish applications," Moody said.
The new satellite would be at a 35-degree angle to New Zealand, which would allow stronger signals than existing satellites.
While the orbital slot is optimised for New Zealand use, it covers a third of the globe, most of it ocean, but including Australia, south-east China, the Philippines, Japan, and Pacific Island states. It has potential for Antarctica.
Moody said it could handle trunking applications carrying voice and data traffic over that region.
"The majority of revenue we want to earn will come from New Zealand use, but there could be a third from international use," she said.
While the ministry has so far expressed little enthusiasm for the NZLSAT plan, it has issued a licence to Thai company Shin Sat to allow its yet to be launched IP Star satellite to broadcast here.
Shin Sat is a bidder for the Government's Probe region 15 subsidies to offer satellite broadband internet to remote schools. It is negotiating a deal with Telecom and is also partnering with internet provider Iconz.
Moody said other parties might be interested in launching a satellite. But she said: "We believe it should be a New Zealand operator, so the ground facility and control is under the control of the New Zealand Government, in the event it causes harmful interference to other satellites."
Putting Kiwis in orbit
* NZLSAT wants the satellite slot reserved for New Zealand by the United Nations
* If it gets approval soon, it plans to sell capacity, raise at least $100 million and launch by Christmas 2006
* If the Ministry of Economic Development drags its feet, it could be stymied by two new SingTel Optus satellites
* The ministry is considering giving away New Zealand's satellite frequencies to Singapore-owned Singtel Optus
* The ministry has also given the thumbs up for Thai-owned Shin Sat satellite which will be used by Telecom and Iconz
No case for Foxtel selloff: Coonan
Communications Minister Helen Coonan has dismissed calls for Telstra to divest itself of its interests in pay television provider Foxtel.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) chairman Graeme Samuel last month reignited calls for Telstra to sell its 50 per cent shareholding in Foxtel because of its dominance in the pay TV and telephone markets.
Telstra owns 50 per cent of Foxtel, with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd each holding a 25 per cent share.
Kate Lundy (ALP, ACT) asked Senator Coonan in parliament whether she agreed with the ACCC.
Senator Coonan said she did not believe a case had been made for the divestment.
"My view is that at this stage it's difficult to see that there is any compelling case that would warrant Telstra divesting itself of its interest in Foxtel," Senator Coonan said.
"As far as I've been able to tell, there's been no cost benefit analysis that actually indicates that there would be any net benefit if Telstra was required to divest itself of its interest in Foxtel."
Senator Coonan said there were no indications that the move would increase competition in pay TV.
She said there were also question marks over calls for Telstra to spin off other parts of its business.
"There are many people around who do advocate structural separation, vertical separation, spin-offs from Telstra, hollowing out Telstra ... none of that really addresses what kind of industry you would have if you actually did that," she said.
When asked whether she supported Telstra splitting itself into wholesale and retail divisions, Senator Coonan said: "Obviously the government is not in the business of regulating the structure of industries - the government is in the business of regulating the industry so there can be appropriate access for other players."
BSkyB Announces Free-To-Air and High Definition Television Initiatives (2/8/2004)
British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) today announced plans to drive sustained demand for digital satellite television through separate initiatives that will address the premium pay-TV and free-to-air (FTA) audiences. Speaking at an investor conference in London, James Murdoch, Chief Executive of BSkyB, said that the Company would introduce a new FTA satellite proposition later this year and had begun developing a premium package of services in the High Definition Television (HDTV) format for launch in 2006.
Later this year, BSkyB will introduce a FTA satellite proposition offering access to almost 200 television and radio channels and interactive services which are available without a monthly subscription fee. Consumers will be able to purchase a package of reception equipment (including a Sky digibox, minidish and initial viewing card) direct from BSkyB for a one-off cost of GBP150.00 including standard professional installation.
There is no obligation to subscribe to a pay-TV service and FTA satellite viewers pay no monthly fee. However, the FTA satellite proposition offers an easy upgrade path for viewers who choose subsequently to add a pay-TV service to their viewing options. There is no requirement for additional equipment and viewing cards can be enabled remotely for the reception of pay-TV services.
It is anticipated that the new FTA satellite proposition will support the Government's proposed switchover to digital-only broadcasting by providing an additional subscription-free option for viewers not currently attracted to pay-TV. In particular, FTA satellite will provide an accessible and attractive means of 'going digital' for the 27 per cent(1) of UK households which are currently unable to receive the full range of digital terrestrial television services and for the additional number of households which require an aerial upgrade in order to receive digital terrestrial services.
The extensive line-up of channels available to FTA digital satellite viewers includes the BBC's portfolio of digital television and radio services and digital versions of the five analogue terrestrial television channels, including all national and regional variants of BBC One and BBC Two. Access to the encrypted signals of ITV1, Channel 4 and five will be available as a result of the provision of a digital satellite viewing card, which will also enable automatic reception of the relevant variant of regionalised FTA channels.
All FTA satellite viewers enjoy access to Sky's comprehensive electronic programme guide (EPG) featuring seven-day listings of forthcoming programmes on all channels. In addition to a wide choice of FTA television and radio channels, interactive services such as Sky Active, BBCi, ITVi and Channel 4's Big Brother Interactive are available to digital satellite viewers without any monthly subscription fee. All Sky digiboxes contain an integrated modem and therefore are capable of accessing online services including e-mail, SMS text messaging and public service information from Directgov.
China To Cooperate With Brazil On Satellite Launches
China, Ukraine, the United States and Russia will participate in a new phase of satellite launching at Brazil's Alcantara launch center, Chairman of the Brazilian Space Agency, Sergioi Gaudenzi, said last Wednesday (July 28).
In an interview with the National Radio of Amazonia, Gaudenzi said that the cleaning of the debris resulting from the rocket explosion that killed 21 civilians on Aug. 22, 2003 will soon be completed in Alcantara.
The first launching of satellites is set for 2006, through the lift-off of a Satellite-Launching Vehicle (VLS) with a capacity "for lighter cargo."
The launching of a heavier satellite aimed at a higher orbit will occur before 2008, said the official, who took office on July 6.
An agreement signed between Brazil and Ukraine still awaits ratification by congresses of both countries, which Gaudenzi considers will come in August. The satellite Ciclone-IV will demand the construction of a base by Ukraine, he said.
"Each launcher demands a specific launching platform," he said.
Gaudenzi also said that "there are good signs" for Brazil to reach a similar agreement with the United States.
Another country interested in Alcantara's satellite launches is Russia, with which "there exists a great and concrete possibility "for a space agreement.
According to Gaudenzi, the Alcantara center is "large, with several sections, thus we can have cooperation with several countries."
With respect to China, a country with which Brazil has already launched two satellites of the series CBERS (Sino-Brazilian Land-Resources Satellite), Gaudenzi said a third CBERS will be launched in 2007 or 2008.
Government plans downlinking policy to rein in channels
NEW DELHI: The I&B ministry is giving finishing touches to a ‘downlinking’ policy that makes it mandatory for television companies downlinking channels into the country to be registered in India.
The law, which is to be taken to the Cabinet for approval, also provides for heavy penalty (by way of a fine) for violations.
The move comes on the heels of instances where the lack of a policy on downlinking has been sorely felt. In the Indo-Pak cricket telecast spat between Ten Sports and Doordarshan, Ten Sports’ holding company, the Dubai-based Taj TV, had claimed that the channel’s office in India was merely a marketing unit.
Thus, it was argued that the signals belonged to the foreign TV company and existing Indian laws or court directives could not force them to part with it.
With the advent of direct-to-home (DTH) services, some regulation is required even for downlinking channels. Some time ago the country’s lone DTH provider Dish TV had to block unauthorised downlinking of pornographic channels by subscribers.
Dish TV has now opted to run Zee’s business news channel on KU-band in the absence of uplinking permission on C-band. In the absence of downlinking laws, such practices are likely to recur.
The I&B ministry is now working on a holistic approach to address all broadcasting issues. Since the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is also looking into these issues, the immediate concerns are being addressed in tandem. With things turning contentious in every segment of broadcasting, the country is expected to move towards a more structured broadcast regulatory environment after the Budget session of Parliament.
Karnataka cable operators vote to ban Udaya channels
BANGALORE: The decision by the Sun Network to turn four of its local channels -- three Kannada and one Telugu -- into pay channels from 1 August is threatening to snowball into a major confrontation with the southern state's cable operators.
Sun Network's market leader Udaya TV, along with Udaya News and Ushe, became dearer by Rs 18 as of yesterday. Udaya TV became encrypted from 1 August while the other two channels were already running as encrypted feeds.
A state level meeting organized yesterday by the Karnataka State Cable Operators Welfare Association at Kumte (Shimoga) and attended by cable operators from all districts across Karnataka, passed two key resolutions --- the first to ban Udaya channels across the entire state unless they were made free to air again, and the second was to strongly oppose conversion of any popular regional or any other free to air to a pay mode channel unless addressability via conditional access system (CAS) is implemented throughout the state.
As already reported by indiantelevision.com earlier, the Cable TV Operators' Associations of Hassan, Chikamagalur and Shimoga districts have decided to ban all Udaya channels in protest against the decision of converting Udaya into a pay channel. They claim that it is a gross injustice to the Kannada-speaking people and to Kannada culture.
"This is just a ploy to extract more money from us", says a subscriber. "When they come for collecting subscription, they'll make us pay more if we want to watch the Udaya channels."
What a busy last few days!
Nasa TV has arrived!! via I701 @ 180E just in time for the Live Space Walk on Tuesday? Earlier this week I was in discussions to get Nasa shown on Palapa C2 Cband as they actually have it, but out of reach to us as it's on the ku North beam. They were asking Nasa if they could do it. It still may start there, keep an eye on 4080 H Satelindo mux transponder 10H.
Now that this channel is available in our skys it would be great if TVNZ were to add it to their mux on B1. It would be of more interest than Dwelle and CCTV it may even help to sell FTA systems.
The other major news is of course the capacity on B1 12483V being available. Despite what the Herald article says about it being up for grabs to whoever offers the most money. I expect TVNZ would have final say in the matter as their contract with Telstra surely has clauses as to who operates the other half of the transponder.
Asiasat 4 NEW Chinese service started there, See Emails section for more info.
TVSN has ended broadcasts on SKY NZ.
Pas 2 KU band Arirang TV no signal??
From my Emails & ICQ
From Steve Hume
NASA TV comes our way
Intelsat 701 3854R SR: 2000 Fec 3/4 "NASA TV" FTA VPID: 308 APID: 256 PCR: 8190
From Shenzhen Michael (China)
About the new Asiasat 4 service
only tests at the moment.
Service provider is Chinese Govt
More than 30 Digital tv channel to begin broadcast from August
as pay TV service. Also for channels to pay tv operators.
To use 3 encryptions, NDS , Irdeto and Chinacrypt
From Jon C (Thailand)
Channels listing on Asiasat 4 new mux
(Craigs comment, no I.D's as yet confirmed though one I think is CCTV 11)
RE Asiasat 4
4100V sr 27500 Fec 3/4
4020V sr 27500 Fec 3/4
14 channel package with 3 encrypted
but doesnt say what encryption....
very strong signal here
From Bill Richards
Thaicom 3 3551 Horz S/R13331 FEC 3/4 "Hellas TV" FTA Greek Vpid 4129 Apid 4130 SID5
Thaicom 3 3520Horz S/R 29800 FEC 3/4
Vpid512 Apid640 SID1 TGN
Vpid513 Apid641 SID2 TARA-BANGLA
Vpid514 Apid642 SID3 SURSANGEET
Vpid515 Apid643 SID4 KTN
Vpid516 Apid644 SID5 ATN Bangla
Vpid517 Apid645 SID6 WPT
Apid650 SID7 TGN RADIO
From David Leach NSW
official turn on for apstar5 or telstar18 is august 30 to 31
Dear apsattv craig sutton etc I'm just announcing I spoke to apt hk on the phone they tell me Apstar or Telstar18 will be switched on August 30 to 31. Traffic will be moved from Apstar 1 to Apstar5 Apt1 has developed a slight inclination about 0.2 to 0.5 degrees at this stage ,
thankyou david nsw australia
From Mike Hammond (NZ)
Pas8 ku phillipino channels in NZ
wouldn't quite kick in on 3.5 metre in Auckland only 4db carrier noise must need 5metre plus
From Steve H
Some feeds seen recently
Asiasat 2 4050V SR: 6666 DSNG2 A-MEDALYNX (4.2.2.)
Some 41 lap race from Germany maybe. Watching it on the sat card
Also, 4094v @6666. Signal comes up as BT TES27. The signal is all over
the place. Maybe British Telecom testing something.
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E 3854 R "NASA TV" has started on , Fta, SR 2000, FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256,West hemi beam.
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "The Soundtrack Channel Pacific" is now encrypted.
PAS 8 166E 4080 V "Z Channel" is Fta.
PAS 8 166E 12575 H New PIDs for Pinoy Central TV and Cinema One on : 34/33 and 308/256.
AsiaSat 4 122E 3900 VA Fish video has started on , Fta, SR 26687, FEC 3/4, VPID 33.
AsiaSat 4 122E 4000 H "SpeedCast" has started on , SR 20000, FEC 3/4.
AsiaSat 4 122E 4020 V Sr 27500 Fec 3/4 New Chinese mux started
AsiaSat 4 122E 4100 V Sr 27500 Fec 3/4 New Chinese mux started
Palapa C2 113E 3765 H "Occasional feed" on , SR 5632, FEC 3/4.
Palapa C2 113E 11472 V "Fashion TV India" is now encrypted.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3860 V "ESS Radio" has left .
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3880 H "Yemen Satellite TV" has started on , Fta, PIDs 1121/1122.New PIDs for Jamahirya Satellite Channel: 1211/1212.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3920 H "ESPN Hong Kong and Star Sports Hong Kong" have started on , Videoguard,PIDs 515/652 and 516/656.
NSS 6 95E 11543 V "The Free-XTV info card" is now encrypted.
Measat 1 91.5E 4147 H "TV 3 (Malaysia)" is now Fta.
ST 1 88E 12537 H All channels in the Chungwa Telecom mux are now encrypted, except Hakka TV.
Telstar 10 76.5E 3652 H "TV Lanka Channel 3" has encrypted again.
LMI 1 75E 12518 V "O2 has started "on , Fta, PIDs 801/802.
PAS 10 68.5E 3744 V "M-Net" has left .
PAS 10 68.5E 3744 V "SuperSport 3" has started on , Irdeto, PIDs 3003/4003.
PAS 10 68.5E 3863 V "The History Channel info card" has left .
PAS 10 68.5E 3974 V "A Discovery Lifestyle promo" has started on , Fta, PIDs 1560/1520, no SID.
PAS 10 68.5E 12641 H "Telly Track" is encrypted again.(Perhasp fta by the time your read this)
Bigger choice in free satellite TV
Up to eight new free-to-air television channels could be available shortly.
TelstraClear has put up for sale its half of a transponder on the Optus B1 satellite, raising the prospect of digital television broadcasts from a range of small would-be broadcasters hoping to break into the television market.
Secret talks are already underway with a range of large and small broadcasters. An announcement of which company or companies are the successful bidders could come as early as next week.
State-owned Television New Zealand and transmission company BCL, along with private companies TV3 (CanWest) and Sky TV are all believed to be interested, along with smaller players such as Mai TV of Auckland, City TV in Wellington and the Christian channel Shine, which screens on Sky's satellite network.
The attraction for the smaller players is that many have struggled to get bandwidth on the crowded VHF and UHF frequencies.
But there are concerns that one of the big players, such as TVNZ, or Sky, might try to buy the lot to keep out competitors for viewers and advertisers.
Satellite television offers the opportunity to get national coverage to anyone willing to spend about $500 on a small satellite dish and a set-top box, which converts the digital signal to analogue for TV sets.
Industry observers reckon that within a decade analogue television broadcasts will disappear, ushering in an era of high-quality, interactive viewing.
Unlike pay television, the set-up cost to receive free-to-air satellite broadcasts is one-off.
Already Television New Zealand is using the other half of the same transponder on the satellite to broadcast TV1 and TV2 but only an estimated 6000 homes are equipped to receive the satellite signal other than through the Sky decoders. Industry sources say the sale could raise between $3 million and $4 million, or up to $500,000 for each channel.
There would be an ongoing cost for each broadcaster of several thousand dollars a year to get the broadcast up to the satellite because the only link is at TVNZ's Avalon studios in Lower Hutt.
TelstraClear took over ownership of the transponder when TelstraSaturn, a telecommunications and cable TV company, merged with the telco Clear.
Spokesman Mathew Bolland said it had decided to sell now because television broadcasting was not the company's core business.
The company was interested in getting the best price it could for a surplus asset, not which broadcaster should get access to the satellite.
All parties involved have been asked to sign confidentiality agreements.
City TV managing director Jim Cross, who plans to set up a cable channel in the Wellington region next year, said "we're interested and we're in negotiations".
Fiji TV sues over Sky Pacific
FIJI TV has begun legal proceedings for breach of contract against New Skies Satellites NV of Netherlands with whom it entered into a 10-year contract for the provision of satellite transponder services.
The contract was to support Sky Pacific, its new satellite-driven television service for Fiji and other South Pacific countries.
Fiji TV said it didn't succeed in its first attempt last month to obtain interim orders to compel New Skies to deliver the service.
However, on legal advice, it had taken its application to a higher level in the Netherlands court system. Its application is now expected to be heard on August 20.
Fiji TV chief executive Kenneth Clark said they would pursue their rights aggressively.
He said as a result of the litigation, testing of the satellite-based service was delayed for a short period and would now begin on August 9.
"We are a few weeks behind on testing, but our expectation remains that while there are many details to be worked through, we will start the broadcasting of the service as close to the originally scheduled time as possible."
Fiji Television completed technical installation of equipment on July 24.
Mr Clark says testing will begin August 9 when technical specialists return to the country.
As well, the technical specialists will continue training Fiji Television people who will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Sky Pacific.
"Our testing plan might have begun earlier," Mr Clark said, "but one of the lead technical people was recalled to England to commission an uplink facility which is to be used for the Olympics coverage to be broadcast from Greece. The earliest time we can have him return to Fiji is the second week in August."
He said in the meantime arrangements were being made with Intelsat for the use of their transponder on Intelsat 701.
"While the uplink facilities and internal broadcast equipment are being tested, it is also the right time to test the quality of the signals being delivered on the ground in Fiji. So we will also expect them to do that then as well," he said.
The business of delivery of Sky Pacific was expected to begin in September.
Mr Clark said exact content and pricing details will be available in a few weeks.
Coonan downplays new TV licence
The hopes of Australian television addicts being able to tune into a fourth commercial TV network appear to have been dashed by Communications Minister Helen Coonan.
Senator Coonan has revealed the federal government would be unlikely to grant a fourth commercial TV licence in the future.
"I don't mind signalling now that I can't see a great need for a fourth network and, indeed, I think the sort of niche markets being talked about are largely being fulfilled through the Foxtel (pay TV) network," she told The Age newspaper.
Senator Coonan's comments come as the government continues its inquiry into a host of reforms to the TV industry, including digital services and how a new commercial licence should be issued.
The current moratorium on having just three commercial broadcasters in Australia expires in 2006.
The prospect of a new commercial TV station has attracted wide interest, with advertising guru John Singleton expressing an interest in running the new network and screening only Australian-made programs.
The government has previously stressed its review is not aimed at determining whether a fourth licence should be issued.
However, it has raised the prospect of the tough local content rules being relaxed for a new entrant into the market.
Senator Coonan said she believed there was no need to make commercial networks show even more locally made programs.
"We've already got 55 per cent (Australian content rules) and there wouldn't be anything stopping anybody from doing any more if they wish to do that now," she said.
"So I just don't think anyone has really come up with what you would say is a really good reason for a fourth one."
Free TV Australia, which represents the three existing commercial TV networks, welcomed Senator Coonan's comments.
"We believe a new licence will have significant negative effects on the Australian production industry and most importantly on Australian viewers," Free TV's chief executive Julie Flynn said.
"The minister's comments are in line with the government's earlier announcement that the current arrangements are working well."
Labor is believed to have postponed making up its mind on whether it would allow a fourth TV network if it wins government until after the election.
Digital TV revolution rolls on
INSTANT opinion polling, an encyclopaedia of cricket statistics and post code-based weather reports will be available to pay-TV viewers from this month.
Foxtel will roll out the second phase of its interactive digital network now received by more than 280,000 subscribers.
It starts a continuing upgrade which will soon let viewers pause and replay any program up to 30 minutes after it is broadcast.
Foxtel Digital chief Patrick Delaney said: "The technological infrastructure is all there now. There are so many ways the technology can be used, and the various Foxtel channel partners will now apply creativity to provide more digital services."
The $600 million digital network was launched six months ago, offering movies on demand, more than 40 extra TV and radio channels plus enhanced news and sport coverage.
Four new features debut this month, with instant daily opinion polling on Sky news the most obvious a 55c-per-vote call fee activated by the remote. Cricket coverage of the upcoming ICC tournament and Australian tour of India will be digitally-loaded.
That means playback of highlights, wickets and stats while live coverage continues on the left-hand side of the screen.
The Weather Channel will be massively upgraded. It will feature post code-based reports, seven-day forecasts, radar maps, surf reports, tide times, warnings, moon, international reports and more.
The Nikelodeon children's channel was first to unveil the new application at the weekend.
It allows young viewers to vote in 12 categories for the Kid's Choice Awards to be be aired on September 14 for 55c.
Mr Delany added: "Digital allows viewers to personalise what they wantand the ongoing rollout will make that more and more possible."
Eventually digital subscribers will search the on-screen TV guide a week and record programs directly to the set-top box.
Tabcorp partnership under cloud
It goes without saying that the legalising of off-course betting through the various TABs, the first of which was in Victoria in March 1961, stands as the most important development in the history of Australian racing.
The rivers of money harnessed through the TAB and re-routed back to the racing industry exceeded even the most optimistic predictions.
The Victorian TAB, initially funded by the metropolitan race clubs, became Tabcorp after it was privatised by the Kennett Government, in what was regarded as a win-win deal for the industry in 1994.
Although the industry lost control of the TAB, it formed a joint venture with Tabcorp and gained a 25 per cent share of its revenue from gaming machines, which was then a booming market.
Now, Tabcorp is well on the way to securing a monopoly of the Australian wagering business after its recent takeover of the NSW TAB and is regarded as one of the biggest gambling companies in the world.
Yet, as unlikely as it might seem, Racing Victoria Ltd, the independent ruling body of Victorian Racing, is seriously considering the prospect of life without Tabcorp.
The joint venture between Tabcorp and the racing industry expires in 2012 and RVL chief executive Robert Nason made it clear this week that it was by no means certain to be renewed.
Nason said RVL was investigating options for the future of the wagering business and a continuing partnership with Tabcorp was just one of them. He emphasised that negotiations between RVL, through its media company Thoroughvision (TVN), and Tabcorp over the Sky Channel deal on Sydney racing were critical to the long-term future of any joint venture with Tabcorp.
Nason said if TVN, through its alliance with the Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club, went ahead with its development of a separate thoroughbred channel, there was every chance RVL and the Sydney clubs could "go it alone" and look for another partner other than Tabcorp to handle their wagering business. He said the options included Tatts, the New Zealand tote or Queensland's Unitab.
Nason and TVN had further discussions on Thursday with Tabcorp on Sky Channel's issue with Sydney racing. He said it was hoped that TVN, whether or not Sky Channel was involved, would have a second thoroughbred channel up and running through Foxtel in time for the Sydney spring carnival, which starts in a few weeks.
Nason this week also met for the first time with representatives of Betfair, the British-based betting exchange. While vehemently opposed to the licensing of Betfair in Australia to bet on racing, he conceded the possibility of Betfair being allowed to operate on sports betting on tennis, cricket, AFL and National Rugby League.
Nason felt Betfair had no adequate answers as far as the integrity issues with racing were concerned and was unaware of the funding and taxation regimes involved with racing. "They would need to come up with a new funding scheme (for racing) and I don't see how they can overcome the integrity concerns," he said
PamAmSat's junk bond sale meets cautious market
NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) - A downturn in the U.S. junk bond market turned investors cautious on a $1.01 billion note sale expected from PanAmSat Corp.(SPOT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) on Friday to help fund the satellite operator's leveraged buyout.
The company boosted expected yields to as high as 9 percent, from an original ceiling of about 8.5 percent, amid a recent weak patch in the junk bond market and a heavy calendar of competing bond sales.
"It (PanAmSat) is going to be a big, liquid, bellwether name, so if the high-yield market sells off, we think these are going to sell off in concert," said Peter de Caprio, telecommunications analyst at Evergreen Investments.
One of the world's top three satellite operators, PanAmSat is selling the high-yielding debt to help pay for its $4.6 billion leveraged buyout from DirecTV Group Inc.(DTV.N: Quote, Profile, Research) . The remainder of the purchase will be funded by new bank loans, existing debt and equity from buyout firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Carlyle Group and Providence Equity Partners.
Credit Suisse First Boston and Citigroup are lead managers for the Rule 144a private sale with a 10-year maturity.
PanAmSat's bond sale, in competition with about $5.5 billion other high-yield bonds slated for pricing in coming weeks, has created a glut in issuance and sent junk bond prices mostly lower for a week and a half.
DEBT TO MORE THAN DOUBLE
"With the (issuance) calendar as large as it is, that will keep the market in check," said Tom Haag, portfolio manager at Seneca Capital Management in San Francisco. "It might stabilize, but it seems there's enough supply that it will prevent the market from rallying."
PamAmSat, which delivers signals for broadcasters, entertainment companies and news agencies on 29 satellites, has battled an excess of capacity in the satellite leasing business, although that should begin to change, said Phelps Hoyt, analyst for high-yield bond research firm KDP Investment Advisors.
"Supply is stabilizing, and I think demand will continue to grow," Hoyt said. "More and more people want to send information and video pictures all around the world. And these are the guys you hire to do it."
PamAmSat's total debt is expected to more than double, to about $4.1 billion from $1.7 billion, as a result of the leveraged buyout, according to Hoyt.
RATINGS REFLECT LEVERAGE, RISKS
Citing high leverage, Moody's Investors Service rated the notes "B1," its fourth-highest junk rating, while Standard & Poor's rated them a roughly comparable "B-plus.
PanAmSat should be able to generate $100 million to $150 million a year in free cash flow, allowing it to cut debt by about $100 million a year starting next year, said KDP's Hoyt in a research note.
The company's strong market position is another plus, said Mark Durbiano, high-yield portfolio manager for Federated Investors, who was looking at the offering.
"We're interested in it, at the right price," said Durbiano, who was still undecided on the deal. "One needs to consider the stability of the business and free cash flow generating potential of the business, as opposed to just looking at the leverage numbers."
PanAmSat Corp. sells $1.01 bln of senior notes
NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) - PanAmSat Corp. (SPOT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) tapped the U.S. corporate bond market with a $1.01 billion sale of senior notes on Friday, a market source said.
The satellite operator issued 9 percent senior notes due 2014 at par to yield 4.51 percentage points over U.S. Treasuries, the source said. The notes, callable after five years, are rated 'B1' by Moody's Investors Service and 'B+' by Standard & Poor's.
Satellite multimedia broadcasts set for launch in Japan, South Korea
TOKYO A new satellite TV service to be launched here and in South Korea in October promises to deliver programming along with radio and data broadcasting to mobile terminals.
Both countries will use the same satellite to provide national coverage. Using new, compact receivers, backers of the mobile TV scheme are touting it as a new lifestyle of ubiquitous TV reception.
Japan's Mobile Broadcasting Corp. (MBCO), which is backed by Toshiba Corp., will begin regular service here in the fall. TU Media Corp., whose largest shareholder is SK Telecom, is also preparing to launch the service focusing on TV reception by mobile phones in South Korea.
The broadcasts will be carried over the Mbsat broadcast satellite launched in March.
Satellite radio broadcasting using S-band has been offered in the United States for several years by XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. "Mbco will start multimedia broadcasting, including TV, radio and data programs, which should be the first in the world," said Masashi Suenaga, MBCO's vice president. "MBCO has built up the system," said Suenaga, Toshiba's chief engineer for satellite development and the original proponent of the broadcast system.
Mbsat offers a several-fold increase in power output to enable signal reception by a small antenna embedded in mobile devices. The broadcast network uses a hybrid system consisting of direct reception and gap-fillers that allow reception in the "shadow" of tall buildings. Both techniques use the same 2.6-GHz frequency.
MBCO was established in 1998 by primary shareholders Toshiba Corp., Toyota Motors, Fujitsu Ltd. and Nippon Television Network Corp. Since then, a total 85 companies including SK Telecom and major electronics companies such as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. have invested in the mobile TV venture.
The service to be launched in October will include seven TV channels, 30 radio channels and one data channel, all in a 25 MHz of bandwidth. Video will be QVGA with 320-by-240 pixels resolution using MPEG-4 video coding and MPEG-2 AAC audio coding. MBCO is considering a shift to a H.264 video codec.
Toshiba is supplying the receiver chip set consisting of six components, one pair of orthogonal detection ICs and a twin PLL for tuning, demodulation, authentication and AV decoding. Samsung is also producing chips for the Korean services.
A dedicated receiver is planned, with some car navigation and reception features at the start. "Various forms of reception are possible," said Suenaga. "The reception function can be incorporated into other equipment."
Channeling Asia's Kid Power
Children's programming is exploding as TV operators vie for new subscribers
When Sony Pictures Entertainment (SNE ) rolled out its Japanese animation channel, Animax, in much of Asia in January, the company simply wanted to expand from its home base: It didn't expect a big hit. Six months later, Animax is the top-rated pay-TV channel in Indonesia and is catching on in Taiwan and India. "We knew Japanese animation would be popular across Asia," says Sony Pictures TV Asia CEO Todd Miller, "but we've been surprised at how well it has done." Advertisement
Crash! Bang! Pow! Look out, Asia, here come the Powerpuff Girls, Astro Boy, and SpongeBob Square Pants. This year alone four children's channels have launched in the region -- Animax and Playhouse Disney (DIS ) across Asia, Nick Jr. in Australia, and a new Time Warner Inc. (TWX ) offering in India called Pogo. A fifth, Hungama, makes its debut in India in August. Those join four kids' channels -- Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network (TWX ), and Tooniverse -- already broadcasting in a half-dozen languages in the region. "Kids' programming is now an important part of our total TV revenue stream," says Sandie Lee, vice-president of StarHub, Singapore's cable operator.
The reason for the explosion: Cable and satellite operators from Seoul to Surabaya are looking to pull in new subscribers as competition heats up. A third of households with a TV set in Asia, excluding Japan -- 190 million in total -- subscribe to pay-TV, nearly double the number five years ago, when few viewers had a choice of operator. Now Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Indonesia boast two or more providers of pay-TV programming. "Competition is forcing existing operators to add value, and that means more niche programming like kids' channels," says Ian Diamond, vice-president of Turner Entertainment Network Asia. Media Partners Asia, a Hong Kong research house, estimates that programming providers took in some $2.7 billion from subscription fees and ad sales in developing Asia last year, up 18% from 2002. This year, ad revenue is expected to grow 15% while subscription income jumps 24%, Media Partners says.
The shift to digital technology is also driving the trend. Until late 2002, most pay-TV operators in the region used analog systems with a maximum of about 40 channels. Now many of them are rolling out digital networks that can handle three or four times as many signals, which is pushing up demand for all sorts of specialized programming. "With 100 channels you might want to have 10 children's channels and you might choose golf, tennis, and cricket as well," says Richard Cunningham, CEO of Nickelodeon Asia, a unit of Viacom International Inc (VIA ).
Some analysts fear the cartoon boom might not have legs because Asian kids don't have as much access to TV as their U.S. counterparts. American families usually have more than one TV -- which means the kids can be glued to the Cartoon Network in the den while Mom and Dad watch CSI: Miami in the living room. In Asia, few homes have more than one set, so parents may be less willing to let Junior click to cartoons while the big cricket match is on. Yet such concerns are tempered by cultural differences. Simon Twiston Davies, CEO of Cable & Satellite Broadcasters Association Asia, says middle-class children in Asia enjoy enough influence at home to watch almost anything they want.
To make sure kids keep coming back to their channels, the programming providers are starting to beef up their local offerings. This year, roughly 20% of the children's programming in Asia will be homemade, up from 10% four years ago. That trend is sure to continue, though much of what's offered will come from the same global giants that dominate the business today. In China, for example, Nickelodeon is buying programs from local production houses and has set up joint ventures to help train local programmers. And Disney recently hired local companies to create customized programming in a half-dozen Asian countries. For now, though, the content providers are doing just fine supplying Asian kids with the likes of SpongeBob and Powerpuff Girls -- and Asian children are happy to watch.
New broadcast rules to aid consumers
NEW DELHI: Bringing much needed relief to consumers, broadcast regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will make it mandatory for broadcasters to provide channels to DTH service providers and cable operators on a non-discriminatory basis.
In turn, cable and DTH service providers will be required to provide all channels to consumers. Trai will also come out with carriage rules that would end the present system of cable networks demanding fees to route new channels to cable homes. I&B minister Jaipal Reddy met Trai chairman Pradeep Baijal last week to discuss these issues.
So, there will be steep competition between DTH and cable networks, ensuring better service among neighbourhood cable networks.
Moreover, geographical monopoly of cable operators will end as consumer will have the option to choose between DTH service providers and cable operators. "We will soon come out with interoperability rules for the broadcast sector," says Trai chairman Pradeep Baijal.
Earlier this week, I&B ministry has sent a note to Trai to come out with interoperability rules and examine "must provide" framework to address this issue. Cable operators have brought up the issue before the government that broadcasters deny content to networks which are directly competing with broadcaster-owned networks. Star has stake in Hathway, while Siticable is owned by Zee.
At present, Cable Network Act and DTH policy don't have clear rules to make broadcasters provide content to DTH service providers and to end monopoly of cable networks while taking carriage fees from free-to-air broadcasters.
Expert say DTH will open up a new technology option for TV viewers, who will be able to bypass local cable operators and benefit from a tablefan-sizedsatellite dish, a digital decoder and a SIM card for below Rs 4,000 and monthly subscription ranging from Rs 100-500. There is no monthly subscription for DD's DTH and consumers buy satellite and decoder once but can watch only DD and free-to-air channels. Public broadcaster DD will launch DTH services of DD channels and free-to-air private channels from August 15. Currently DD is testing this service and distributed over 10,000 decoders. Another applicant, Tata-Star's DTH venture Space TV is waiting for government clearance. Subhash Chandra's Dish TV DTH service has 130,000 subscribers mostly non-cable rural homes. Everyday Dish TV adds 800 subscribers.
Foreign broadcasters like Sony and Star have refused to provide content to Chandra's Dish TV. While Sony is yet to reach a workable commercial agreement with Dish TV, Star is buying time and waiting for DTH licence.
Zee to launch business channel on DTH
NEW DELHI: In what can be construed as circumvention of the country’s uplinking norms and is definitely exploitation of loopholes in broadcast policies Zee Telefilms is launching Zee Business a business news channel on its Direct-To-Home platform.
Dry runs of the channel have already started with content being uplinked from its Noida facility , GalaxZee which was initially set up to cater to CAS.
Speaking to ET, Laxmi N Goel, director -News Group, ZTL said, “We are starting the channel on trial basis from Monday for our Dish TV subscribers. And to my knowledge there is no violation of DTH norms.”
The DTH norms indeed do not mention anything about the kind of channels or content of channels, save the fact that they should adhere to the programming and advertising code.
The uplinking norms on the other hand specify that uplinking of channels can be done only on C-band and any news and current affairs channel needs clearance from the I&B ministry.
The company is citing the arrangement between ZTL and ASC Enterprises as the fool-proof route to airing the Hindi business channel. While the details are not known, it could pertain to ‘downlinking’ of the channel to individual dish antennae of Dish TV subscribers. There are no clear norms on downlinking.
When asked sources in the ministry were of the opinion that the KU-band transmission still required uplinking from Indian soil and therefore the airing of Zee Business channel would amount to flouting of norms. “Permission has not been sought either” the sources pointed out.
However ZTL vice-chairman, Jawahar Goel said that under the DTH norms, it was enough to inform the Wireless Planning Commission and that ASC Enterprises (the DTH provider) had done so.
According to him since ASC has paid up Rs 10 crore licence fee, it is ‘privileged’ to carry a news channel on KU-band. The government does not get anything while granting uplinking permission he adds.
Mr Goel said that ZTL decided to go ahead with the launch of the Business channel after waiting interminably for permission to launch the channel in place of a regional channel.
“Our application for the business channel is still pending both as replacement of the regional channel as well as under the newly-structured Zee Sports Company. Once we get either, the business channel would be offered over cable too.”
With strong echoes of the International Herald Tribune case which has prompted to take a relook into the print media norms, the Zee Business channel case is likely to force the UPA government to take a hard look at the DTH norms as well.
While the Telecom Regulatory Authority has been entrusted with regulation of broadcasting issues including DTH, it is yet to finalise recommendations on any issue be it radio, DTH or cable. I&B minister Jaipal Reddy has made public his preference for a standalone broadcast regulatory authority.
Doordarshan's Direct-To-Home service to be launched in mid-August
Mumbai, July 31 (UNI) In a move that will revolutionise public broadcasting in the country, Doordarshan will launch its Direct-to-Home service in mid-August by which 40 satellite television channels and 213 All India Radio bands would be available free of cost.
Prasar Bharati CEO K S Sarma told a press conference at the Doordarshan office that 23 private channels would be accomodated in the DD DTH platform along with 17 DD channels.
So far, 13 private channels have confirmed joining the DTH band.
He said Aajtak, Raj TV, Sun TV, Alpha Bengali, Headlines today, Star Utsav and Kairali (Malayalam) would be part of the DTH.
The news and entertainment channels which are ready to join would be put on the DTH platform free of cost.
DD's DTH would be available with a dish antenna and a set-top box at a cost of Rs 3500. Mr Sarma said the 40 channels would be augmented to 80 soon.
There are 200 million viewers in the country who have no access to a television terrestrial signal. Doordarshan has covered 80 per cent of the area and 90 per cent of the population so far, he said.
The set-top boxes are being imported at the moment but will later be marketed by Bharat Electronics, the Prasar Bharati CEO said.
New Era To Invest Rs 100 Cr In DTH
BANGALORE: New Era Entertainment, part of Zee Network promoted by Subhash Chandra is planning to invest over Rs 100 crore in the next one year in its Dish TV direct-to-home (DTH) venture.
The company, which started to offer DTH service under Dish TV brand in October 2003, has 1,50,000 subscribers across the country. “Under Dish TV, currently we offer 104 channels. By end of the year 2005, we would be offering a total of about 250 channels,” said Ashish Kaul, vice-president - corporate brand development group, Essel Corporate Group.
In the DTH business, service is highly customised and “subscribers ask for very niche channels of their interest,” he said. For instance, in the sports category, the provider needs to provide channels specific to aqua sports and golf.
“Similarly, in the movie category, we need to offer classic movies, latest movies or action movies, etc. So for each category, we are offering different channels,” he added.
The company is expecting to reach 20 million subscribers by the end of next year. Unlike other products, the company did not target major cities and metros to launch Dish TV.
Instead, based on an internal survey that showed that there were a lot of villages in India, where cable TV had not still penetrated, the company tapped the rural opportunity first. “We started Dish TV in rural areas and today 90 per cent of our subscribers are from rural India,” Mr Kaul said.
In sparsely populated regions, cable television operators are reluctant to offer services as the costs are too high, he said.
The company is now turning attention to major cities and metros for Dish TV. “We are planning to increase our marketing activity towards this shortly,” added Mr Kaul.
So far, New Era is the only operator present in the DTH segment. Star TV and the Tatas are jointly planning to launch Space TV - a DTH service - by the end of this year.
There is enough room for both, Mr Kaul said. “Television penetration itself is too low in India. Less than five crore households have cable TV in India.
There is a huge potential for us to address the rest of the market,” he added.
In India, Dish TV needs an initial investment of Rs 7,000. Zee offers basic package of 38 channels for Rs 100, excluding taxes every month while the complete bouquet cost is Rs 200 every month.
Raj TV asked to discontinue broadcast of two channels
CHENNAI, JULY 31 . The Ministry of Communications has sent a notice to Raj Television Network to discontinue transmission of two of its channels - Raj Music and Raj Vissa - with immediate effect.
In a communication to the television network dated July 28, the Ministry indicated that it was allowed to uplink two satellite channels - Raj TV and Raj Digital Plus - as per its licence P4790/1 (through THAICOM -3 satellite with a transponder bandwith of 9 MHz).
However, it had been observed that Raj Television Network was uplinking four channels - Raj TV, Raj Digital Plus, Raj Music and Raj Vissa (Telugu). Vissa channel was launched on June 23, 2003.
Violation of terms
"Terms and conditions annexed to the decision letter... dated 30.4.2001 (which is part of the licence) clearly stipulate that M/S.Raj Television Network Ltd has to obtain separate Wireless Planning and Co-ordination (WPC) licence for every Satellite TV channel utilising the teleport facility in addition to appropriate clearances from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It is observed that no permission has been taken from the I and B Ministry for those additional two channels," it said. The WPC Wing of the Ministry of Communications grants operating licence for establishment, maintenance and operation of uplinking facility.
Apparently, the notice was sent after receipt of letters from a complainant from Andhra Pradesh about a week ago.
Consequent to the discontinuation of uplinking of the two channels, the Communications Ministry officials have also asked for a compliance report from the Network.
10-day time for reply
In addition, the note also requests the Network to explain "within 10 days from the date of the notice, why penal action should not be taken against them under sections 20 and 20 A of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 for the violations."
In case the reply is not received within the stipulated period, action under the relevant sections of the Act may be initiated against the company, it added.
Representatives of Raj Television Network confirmed that the two channels had been taken off air, but denied that it was because of licencing issues. "The channels could not be aired because of technical problems with the teleport. It has not got anything to do with licences. Transmission will be resumed on Monday," a representative explained
TELE-satellite News - Number 31/2004 1 August 2004 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition
A S I A & P A C I F I C
ANIMAX EXPANDS IN ASIA
Sony Pictures Entertainment's anime channel Animax has
launched on Hong Kong Cable and has become the leading
international channel on Kabelvision in Indonesia. The
Hong Kong Cable launch follows the January rollout on
Hong Kong Broadband, now Broadband TV and Ex TV. The
dedicated Animax South Asia service, meanwhile, can
now be seen in 8 million homes in India. In total,
Animax is seen in more than 14 million homes across
Asia on five dedicated services: Taiwan, Hong Kong,
South Asia, South East Asia and Japan.
ASIAVISION TO LAUNCH SECOND SATELLITE FEED
The ABU's news exchange, Asiavision, is to launch a
second daily satellite feed of news stories from
around the region. The new 15-minute feed, to begin
within the next few months, will take place from 1215
GMT each day, nearly four hours after the existing
daily half-hour feed. Asiavision brings together 13
national broadcasters. This will be the first time in
its 20-year history that member stations contribute to
two feeds a day. The news exchange also provides news
flashes for important, breaking stories. The decision
to go ahead with a second feed, for one year initially
follows a month-long trial feed last August-September,
which went off successfully. Before the end of the
one-year period, members will review the feed and
decide whether to make it permanent.
SEVEN NETWORK OPTS FOR FRONT PORCH DIGITAL
Front Porch Digital Inc. on July 28 announced that
Seven Network has selected DIVArchive to manage both
short and long form material across multiple data
storage systems, including disk and tape, within its
state-of-the-art Melbourne Broadcast Centre. Seven is
one of Australia's leading media companies and the
country's largest commercial television network
reaching more than nine in ten Australians. Seven has
established itself as a leader and innovator in the
deployment of digital television, and is a regional
pioneer in High Definition and Interactive Television.
To win this deal, Front Porch teamed with Thomson, the
world leader in integrated solutions for the
entertainment and media industries, and with Magna
Systems & Engineering, a group of senior broadcast
NEWS AND SPORTS TOP TV COSTS
News, current affairs and sports accounted for more
than half the money spent on Australian television
production in 2002-03, according to figures released
July 28 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The
report also estimated that film and video production
services generated an income of AUS$1.6 billion and
incurred AUS$1.5 billion in expenses. The ABS figures
-- from July 1, 2002 to June 30, 2003 -- showed those
three categories accounted for 58% of the AUS$1.1
billion spent overall on television production. Drama
productions incurred the highest average cost per hour
at AUS$247,000, followed by situation and sketch
comedy at AUS$223,000 per hour. Sports had the lowest
average cost per hour at AUS$13,000, followed by news
and current affairs at AUS$20,000 per hour.
MGH TO DISTRIBUTE STAR TV CHANNELS
MGH Infocomm Limited (MIL), a sister concern of MGH
Group, will distribute and transmit 11 STAR Television
channels in Bangladesh. Asian Broadcasting FZC (ABF),
a subsidiary of STAR Group, terminated STAR Group's
previous contract with the Asian Securities and
Investment Limited (ASIL), owner of the majority share
of local distributor Nationwide Communications
Limited, because of its alleged defaulted subscription
fees. The MIL managing director said all agreements
that ASIL might have with sub-distributors stand
terminated automatically. The channels up for
distribution include STAR Plus, STAR Movies
International, STAR News, STAR Gold, STAR World,
Channel (V) International, National Geographic Channel
and Fox News ("STAR Channels"). The annual turnover
from the television channel business in Bangladesh is
estimated at about Tk 30 crore. STAR Group has been
broadcasting over 40 services in seven languages for
more than 300 million viewers in 53 countries across
CHINA HONG KONG
I-CABLE TO EXPAND COVERAGE VIA SATELLITE
i-Cable Communications, Hong Kong's dominant pay-TV
operator, is leasing two transponders from APT
Satellite Holdings to extend its network coverage to
30,000 blind-spot households over the next three
years. The multi-channel television operating arm of
conglomerate Wharf Holdings now beams signals via its
underground cable and microwave transmission networks,
to 2 million households in Hong Kong, or 95 per cent
of the city's population. A free trial run of services
targeting the blind-spot households in Sai Kung, outer
islands and some other remote areas will start early
in August, offering 20 channels. But the service,
which would begin charging subscribers from late
August, would be more expensive than the basic monthly
package of HK$308. Subscribers also would need to pay
between HK$2,000 and HK$6,000 up-front to lease a
satellite dish and decoding equipment.
INTELSAT COULD EXIT TVB
The South China Morning Post reports that Intelsat may
pull out of Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting, in which it
holds a 51 per cent stake it bought in February last
year. Local brokers said investors would welcome a
change at the loss-making venture, either through
TVB's exit or the introduction of another strategic
partner. Slow subscriber uptake of Galaxy's exTV
service had prompted concerns that Intelsat lacked the
experience to run a local pay-TV operation. ExTV has
attracted less than 5,000 customers since its launch
in February, compared with 670,000 at dominant player
Hong Kong Cable Television and 300,000 at NOW
Broadband TV. ExTV has reportedly faced difficulties
acquiring approval from building owners to put dishes
on roofs. Some industry observers expect TVB to strike
a deal with Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) to
deliver its pay-television programming over HGC's
network. Another possibility is a tie-up with
Malaysia-based Astro Broadcasting.
NOW BROADBAND TV ADDS TV
PCCW's now Broadband TV says it has reached an
agreement to receive 24-hour news channels from Asia
Television Limited (ATV), the South China Morning Post
has reported. The agreement provides now Broadband TV
with an important piece in its content puzzle. ATV
will receive a much needed cash injection that will
help finance its debts and expand its workforce.
DOORDARSHAN INVITES PRIVATE CHANNELS TO DTH PLATFORM
Doordarshan, which is set to launch its DTH (direct to
home) platform early next month, has invited private
channels to join the platform as a part of the
40-channel free to air offering. The Union Information
Minister, S. Jaipal Reddy, said that the DTH platform
would offer 40 free-to-air channels. These include 14
channels from Doordarshan, three channels from the
Human Resource Development Ministry and 12 more
private channels. "We invite other private channels to
be part of this platform, or they might find it is too
late to be part of this major DTH initiative." Reddy
also said, "The DD DTH has four transponders with each
having the capability to offer 10 channels. These 40
channels would be offered free to the DD viewers for
the first two years of use. However, they need to
install a dish antenna at their home, which costs
about Rs 3,000. Thus far, Kairali (Malayalam), Care TV
(Health), Sun TV, Jain TV, Alpha TV, MH 1 TV, Raj TV
(Tamil and Telugu), Aaj Tak, Headlines Today, Surya TV
(Tamil) and Star Utsav, have agreed to be part of the
DD DTH." "This DTH project is being rolled out with an
outlay of Rs 165 crore and about 10,000 DTH kits would
be provided in eight States.
AMRITA TO LAUNCH TV CHANNEL
Mata Amritanadamayi Devi, popularly known as Amma, is
all set to start her own television channel. The
channel to be called Amrita is likely to be
commissioned on September 27 this year on the occasion
of Amma's 51st birthday. A company, Amrita Enterprises
Pvt Ltd has been floated to run the channel. It is
promoted by a group of Amma's devotees, and the total
investment in the channel is likely to be around Rs 50
crore. "It's not going to be a religious channel,"
says S M C Pillai, CEO, Amrita. "It'll be a 24-hour
commercial channel with programmes based on Indian
traditions and values. Besides serials, yoga, travel
shows, Amma's teachings, the channel will also have
around five hours of news programming." Most of the
programming would be done in-house. The language of
the programmes will be Malayalam though officials of
Amrita Enterprises say that there are plans to have
programmes in Hindi and English as well. News will be
outsourced from wire agencies, which will later be
supplemented by inputs from the channel's own bureaus.
The company has leased a transponder on the Intelsat
satellite. For distribution of the channel, Amrita
Enterprises officials say that talks with local cable
operators in south India have been finalised. In north
India, Siti Cable is most likely to distribute the
channel. For distribution in Europe and US, where Amma
has a sizeable following, talks with cable operators
will begin soon. Pillai says that he is confident that
the channel will break even within a year of starting
ESPN AND DD TO FIGHT FOR BCCI RIGHTS
When BCCI's telecast rights go up for sale in a couple
of months, it is likely to trigger a bidding war among
channels. But Doordarshan and Rupert Murdoch's Star
Sports/ESPN (ESS) have made a headstart and they may
submit a joint bid. At stake are 30-odd days of
international cricket, including 10 one-day
internationals (ODIs), which are likely to fetch the
BCCI around Rs 700 crore for the full term. On May 14,
ESS made a presentation expressing its intention to
collaborate with DD for the rights. It offers DD live
telecast of all ODIs played under the BCCI contract at
a fee of Rs 1 crore per match, and Rs 5 lakh per hour
for daily highlights of Test matches.
ALL-NEWS CHANNEL LICENSED CANCELLED
The Council for Cable and Satellite Television
Broadcasting has canceled the license for a proposed
news channel that would feature 24-hour, CNN-style
broadcasts. About one month ago, the council ruled
Israel News would lose its broadcast license unless it
made major progress to air by the end of July. Yoram
Globus' GG Studios, which holds a 65 per cent stake in
Israel News, appealed this week for another extension.
However Globus’s presentation of progress did not
convince the council, which revoked the license. Igor
Malashenko and Zvi Heifitz's Heifetz group, which has
a 35 per cent stake in the channel, and the Globus
group are embroiled in a dispute and are negotiating a
buyout of one side by the other. Over the past two
years, the two have bought out all the other partners
in the enterprise, but are engaged in mediation
regarding a mechanism for injecting capital and
diluting the holdings of the ousted partners. The
ongoing dispute paralyzed the channel and prevented
its launch. To date, $7 million has been invested in
creating the channel, all of which has essentially
gone down the drain. The news channel was one of five
channels that the government decided to create as part
of its "Open Skies" television policy. Other channels
include one devoted to Israeli music videos (Music 24)
and the Russian-language Israel Plus, both of which
are already broadcasting. An Arabic-language channel
isn't on the air yet, and a tender has not yet been
released for a new heritage channel.
KLIKA CHANNEL STARTS BROADCASTING
The Klika Channel is the first in Israel to attempt to
find subscribers a groom, or a bride. The Klika
Channel, which began full broadcasting on cable and
satellite television last week, deserves special
attention, because it is the first among many new
channel ventures to provide something really
innovative - the first station in Israel to live up to
its definition as a "service channel." Additional
service channels are expected to air in the future,
for example, including one that will prepare students
for the bagrut matriculation exam. The channel, open
only to subscribers who pay a NIS 39 monthly fee, airs
"video Klikas" throughout the day, a taped discussion
with the channel's female interviewer. The candidate
describes himself or herself, and what he or she is
looking for in a partner. The 24-hour broadcast day is
divided into time slots devoted to age and education
groups. For example, one time slot features people age
55 to 64 with more than 12 years of education.
Additional time slots will soon be devoted to
religious and homosexual singles as well. Interested
viewers can leave telephone or SMS messages for
candidates who pique their interest. To date, 1,500
have subscribed to the channel, but the channel is
hoping to add 50,000 subscribers in the first year.
PHILIPS TO PRODUCE ASTRO DECODERS
Astro All Asia Networks expects its expenditure on
programming to increase to RM600 million in the next
three years, said chief operating officer David
Butorac. Butorac said the country's sole satellite
television station had installed about 370,000
decoders in 2003. He said Astro had installed 103,000
decoders in the first quarter of this year and
expected to install more than 370,000 decoders
throughout the year. "For the next three to four
years, our target is to install 250,000 to 300,000
decoders annually,'' he said, adding that Astro had
previously spent RM460mil on programming. Butorac was
speaking at a memorandum of understanding (MoU)
signing between Philips Malaysia and Sanmina-SCI
System (M) (SSCI) to appoint SSCI as the manufacturer
of Philips' Astro decoders. Philips chief executive
officer Rajah Kumar said the company had invested
about RM 2million to transfer the technology to SSCI
to produce the decoder at its plant in Bukit Tengah
Industrial Park, Penang. He said SSCI, capable of
producing 500,000 decoders yearly, had recently
undertaken the task to produce an enhanced version of
Philips decoders. Astro will soon introduce a new
anti-cloning access smart card to its 1.383 million
subscribers soon to fight the growing access card
cloning racket. Astro chief operating officer, David
Butorac said subscribers will be informed to change
their access card soon when the new smart card was
ready for distribution. He said this was to ensure
that the cloning access card became obsolete.
Meanwhile, thanks to Astro, Malaysian viewers will
have the option of viewing live action from the Summer
Olympics in Athens via the interactive service
featuring six screens.
MITV SOFT LAUNCH IN OCTOBER
MITV Corporation, the country's second pay-TV, is on
track for a soft launch in October and has signed up
with enough content providers to roll out more than
half of its targeted 50 channels. Its chief operating
officer Jonathan Chan said the monthly subscription
rates and the price for the MiTV set-top box - an
Internet Protocol-enabled unit required for programme
reception, would be announced soon. MiTV signed a
re-transmission deal with Indonesia-based PT Overseas
Korean Television Network (OKTN) in Kuala Lumpur on
July 28. OKTN will provide television content from
three Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) channels - KBS
TV1, KBS TV2 and KBS Korea. Chan said the soft launch
would be limited to the Klang Valley and expects MiTV
set-top boxes to be fully taken up during the soft
launch. The network will go for a full-scale launch in
December. MiTV chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun
has a 40% stake in the company. Its founder and deputy
chairman, Datuk Rosman Ridzwan and his management team
hold another 40% stake. The remaining shares are held
by private investors. Using the Internet Protocol
technology, a subscriber can receive MiTV channels by
just plugging an MiTV set-top box into an indoor UHF
antenna. The technology cost is said to be one-tenth
of what Astro spends for its satellite technology.
MiTV had said it would need only 13% of Astro's
subscriber base of 1.4 million to break even. It had
also said it would set up 20 transmission towers for
national coverage within 18 months after its launch.
CANWEST COMPLETES SALE OF LOCAL OPERATIONS
CanWest Global Communications Corp. announced on July
28 that it has received NZ$300.0 million in cash
proceeds from the sale of its New Zealand media
operations to CanWest MediaWorks Limited, a company in
which CanWest now has a 70% share interest. To fund
the acquisition of CanWest's New Zealand operations,
CanWest MediaWorks issued 68.0 million shares to the
public by way of an IPO, and borrowed NZ$200.0 million
from a New Zealand financial institution. CanWest
MediaWorks issued its shares to the public at a final
price of NZ$1.53 per share. CanWest will use the cash
proceeds from the sale of its New Zealand operations
to strengthen its balance sheet.
GOVERNMENT PROVIDES ADDITIONAL GRANT FOR PTV
The National Assembly was informed that the government
has taken various steps to redress financial crises of
PTV. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sheikh
Rashid Ahmed said that a supplementary grant of 200
million rupees [$3.43 million has been sanctioned
during the financial year 2003-04 as a short term
measure to overcome the financial crises. The decision
to collect TV licence fee with the domestic
electricity consumer bills on monthly basis is to
improve upon the revenues from licence fee collection
on long term basis, he added. He said new programming
and marketing strategy is being drawn by the new
MCOT TO LAUNCH ENGLISH-LANGUAGE CHANNEL
The Mass Communication Organisation of Thailand (MCOT)
will broaden its role in the broadcasting industry not
only at home but also abroad, after listing on the
Stock Exchange of Thailand in September, with its
first-ever English-language channel, MCOT Television.
The around-the-clock channel, to cost more than a
billion baht, would be the ``window to the East'' with
worldwide coverage, according to director-general
Mingkwan Sangsuwan. The channel will also serve the
government's policy of tightening trade ties with
other countries by creating better understanding of
Thailand. Even with big players such as NHK, CNN and
BBC dominating the market, Mr Mingkwan said the
channel would secure a place of its own by clearly
positioning itself as the channel of the East.
Programmes on the channel will partly be produced by
Panorama Co, MCOT's 90%-controlled subsidiary, with a
focus on documentaries. New production companies will
be added in the future through acquisitions. The MCOT
currently operates television Channel 9, and also owns
the concessions for Channel 3, and UBC pay-TV, as well
as 62 radio stations. In the nine months to June this
year, its net profit rose 81.8% to 1.01 billion baht
on total sales of 1.97 billion baht.
A F R I C A
NDTV 24X7 ARRIVES IN AFRICA
THE Prannoy-Roy promoted English news channel, NDTV
24x7 will now be available in Africa as well. The news
broadcaster has signed up with MultiChoice Africa
(MCA), a pay-TV platform which has over one million
subscribers in over 50 countries in the African
continent and the adjacent Indian Ocean islands
through it DStv bouquet. NDTV, through this tie-up is
targeting the large Indian diaspora present in the
continent. Besides NDTV, MultiChoice will carry both
North and South Indian content. It has two different
bouquets for North and South Indian channels and NDTV
will be part of both these bouquets.
MULTICHOICE LAUNCHES INITIATIVE FOR SCHOOLS
Digital Satellite Television (DStv) provider,
MultiChoice Nigeria, celebrated its 10th anniversary
recently, with the launch of a new educational
television bouquet for schools. The project is being
piloted in collaboration with a non-profit
organisation, SchoolNet Nigeria, comprising seven
premium channels (National Geographic, Discovery
Channel, History Channel, SABC Africa, BBC World,
Animal Planet and Activate), hence combining the sound
and imagery of television to support teaching and
learning, digitally. The initiative is part of a broad
community development strategy to leverage MultiChoice
assets and expertise for development and growth of
African communities. Public Relations Officer,
MultiChoice Nigeria, Segun Fayose, said the programme
is currently being piloted in seven Nigerian schools
in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education.
These schools, he said, were provided with satellite
decoders required to access the bouquet and training
for teachers on how to integrate television into their
lesson plans. MultiChoice in corporation with
SchoolNet, has established the programme in a number
of other African countries, including Zambia, Kenya
DTH AND CABLE OPERATORS WIN CONTENT WAR
After years of consistent pressure, cable TV operators
have won their biggest battle when the regulatory
authority, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)
finally accepted a demand to put local programmes on
only one channel instead of all the channels across
board. The Commission also removed some channels from
open or terrestrial television for the purpose of
piracy and also to protect the populace from
pornographic and offensive materials. Since the
industry began in 1992, operators have always argued
that the practice to put local programmes on all their
channels is clumsy and obstructive and does not give
room for professional practice.
SENTECH LOOKS AT DIGITAL BROADCASTING
State-owned commercial signal distributor Sentech is
taking a good look at digital broadcasting in an
attempt to deal with the high cost of staying on the
ageing analogue television broadcasting network, South
Africa's Business Report has reported. Last month,
Sentech informed the parliamentary communications
committee that total user digitalisation would cost
the country about US$626 million. New digital national
transmitters would cost about US$43 million. Sentech
asked the committee to formulate a national digital
migration digitalisation policy framework. A move to
digital broadcasting would mean the 7,000,000
households with television sets would have to spend
about US$80 on a dedicated decoder and US$16 for an
antenna. Digitisation is expected to provide the
national broadcaster with the capability for multiple
language channel capability. The Independent
Communications Authority of South Africa could also
license more broadcasters.
No update Sunday