Things are fairly quite still, I wasn't able to locate Channel 9 Australias Email address but did get this info
The newly appointed CEO of Prime NZ is Cameron Murray.Ph: is 64 9 414 0700.
I suggest Installers contact him and let them know Prime could gain thousands of potential viewers just by switching their Sky signal to FTA mode. This would see them Fta up there with Tv1 and Tv2 and the best bit as TV3/4 are not there FTA yet it would be Tv1 and Tv2 they have as FTA competition. I think if they did this Tv3 and TV4 would be fta there within days! You would think a channel wishing to get %10 share of the viewing audience would want to be available to as many people as possible. It wouldn't surprise me if many of these managment people had no idea they can be fta and that there is a market out there for it.
From my Emails & ICQ
Thank you for your e-mail of 23 January concerning digital satellite
transmissions by Television New Zealand (TVNZ).
In your e-mail you express concern that TVNZ may cease its present direct
transmission of TV One and TV2 on the OPTUS B1 satellite. I am advised
that TVNZ is running the direct transmissions as a technical trial, and is
not promoting them on any other basis. The future of these transmissions
will depend upon commercial decisions made by TVNZ, as it evaluates the
best way to move further into the digital future. It is not my role as
Minister to intervene in these decisions.
Aside from TVNZ's direct satellite transmissions, TV One and TV2 are also
being transmitted on the Sky network. I expect this arrangement between
TVNZ and Sky to continue for the foreseeable future. Because TV One and
TV2 are not encrypted, both Sky subscribers and other viewers with a
suitable set top box can access these channels. With a suitable set top box
TV One and TV2 are available in digital format and free-to-air. I
understand that the cost of purchasing a suitable set top box (as opposed
to leasing it from Sky) has decreased significantly in recent years.
I note that you are in the business of installing satellite receivers. It
would seem appropriate for potential purchasers of satellite receivers to
be made aware of the possibility of changes to TVNZ's direct satellite
transmissions. It would also seem desirable for viewers to be given the
flexibility to receive TV One and TV2 through Sky's network by pre-tuning
the set top box appropriately.
Finally, I note your suggestion that the Government should take an active
role in promoting free-to-air satellite television. Before making
decisions on a range of issues associated with digital television, the
Government is keen to hear the views of interested parties such as
yourself. A recent discussion document on digital television that
canvasses many of the relevant issues is available on the Ministry of
Economic Development's website, www.med.govt.nz. The closing date for
submissions is 15 April 2002. I would encourage you to make a submission
on your areas of interest.
Hon Marian L. Hobbs
Minister of Broadcasting
I am trying to get Sky digital customers to give me feed back on "rain fade"affecting their reception. How often for
how long, programs missed, what they have done to rectify the problem, what Sky have done, and any other information
people may be able to offer. As we are all aware "rain fade" is a complete load of bollocks. Its loss of signal because of Sky insists on putting up crap LNB's and as soon as a bit of cloud passes by ooppps "rain fade, unplug your receiver for 5 minutes and she'll be right"........not! Is this fraud? They are not living up to their part of the contract and mislead all their customers with the rain fade line. I believe I have firm evidence that Sky are well aware of this but still refuse to do any thing about it. Drop me a email and let me know your thoughts and experiences and Ill let you know mine, and if I can generate enough interest I'll try and get this fixed.
(Craigs comment, we don't seem to have much problem down in the South with our stronger B1 signals, Skys transponder do vary in signal strength. The one on 12518 V (has Sky Movies) is strongest some of the others are weaker, you should get some channels drop out while other stay a bit longer. As for LNBF'S they use Sharps which seem to perform ok from my experience with them. Otherwise it could be that up North they are being a bit slack with the correct size dish to use, Dish up there should be 80cm-1M in size. I would say wet weather areas should be getting 90cm and upwards size dishes. Other "rainfade" problems could be related to the software problems Sky is having. Anyone else have experience with Rainfade and Sky? I know a few Sky installers read this page daily perhaps they would like to comment Public or Otherwise.)
From Chris Pickstock
B1, 12522 H, Sr 6110, Vpid 514, Apid 670 ( Dont recall finding a feed at this frequency before)
Melbourne G.P feed
No sound being transmitted at present. People at the track are obviously getting commentary via Grand Prix FM but if anyone has any clues as to why no sound then do tell.
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 12732 V "FTV Entertainment" is still encrypted.
Telkom 1 108E 3460 H "Bloomberg TV Asia has replaced BBC World" on , Vpid 528 Apid 529.New PIDs for all channels in this mux.All channels are now encrypted.
Telkom 1 108E 3496 H All channels have left
Telkom 1 108E 3586 H All channels have left
Yamal 102 90E 3527 L "Yuzhniy Region" has left .
ST 1 88E 3632 V "A test card has started" on , Sid 214, Vpid 5665 Apid 5666, clear.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 HAll channels in the TARBS mux on are encrypted again, except the IRIB 3 info card.
PAS 10 68.5E 4064 H "Shop on the Box" has left , replaced by a test card.
Intelsat 804 64E 3669 R "The TV Africa mux" is fta.
Intelsat 804 64E 3921 R "Uganda TV" is back, Sr 4882, Fec 2/3, Vpid 33 Apid 34, West Hemi beam.
Digital TV fails to be a turn-on
A year after the introduction of digital TV, only about 12,500 set-top encoder boxes have been sold and none of the major consumer electronics manufacturers has entered the market.
Over the same period an estimated 28,000 wide-screen TVs have been sold, mostly for watching DVDs.
But despite the slow uptake of the new medium, ABC's head of digital TV, Ian Carroll, is still cautiously optimistic, claiming ABCKids, Australia's first digital channel, had already helped bring preschool and primary school viewers back to the network.
"One in three kids had been lost over the last five years [to kids pay TV channels]," said Mr Carroll, "but in the last 12 months they've been coming back."
Children represent 23 per cent of ABC viewers. Together with Fly, a second digital channel aimed at teenagers, the ABC claims to have reached an audience of 750,000 digital viewers. But with the low numbers of set-top boxes, selling for $600 to $800, access is almost totally limited to pay TV subscribers.
"[Fly] is being made by young producers who shoot with digital video cameras and edit with desktop packages," said Mr Carroll. "It's done on the cheap, but is creating a new generation of program makers for the ABC. It's an incubator for new ideas."
Judi Stack, chair of the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations (FACTS), which represents Seven, Nine and Ten, told a broadcast TV conference yesterday that digital TV is on track.
About 70 per cent of the population can now receive digital TV, assuming they have a set-top box, with commercial networks having invested over $1billion in digital programming.
In a move to overcome the set-top box bottleneck, the Minister for Communications, Richard Alston, recently supported the idea of a hybrid box that would work with both pay TV and digital free-to-air services.
But Ms Stack said there was a "risk of allowing the tail to wag the dog".
"The choice shouldn't be left to pay TV, with free-to-air networks expected to follow along," she said. "We view the set top box as the portal into a whole range of new services. We won't accept pay TV operators having control over our access," she said.
Regulating Australia's Flailing Pay TV Market
The fact Telstra owns the local loop and is a major shareholder in Foxtel poses potential regulatory challenges. That was the key message presented by Communications Minister, Senator Richard Alston, at a pay television conference last week.
Senator Alston told the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) annual conference, the motivation for Telstra and Optus entering the pay television business is not purely about attracting subscribers, "it is much more about leveraging the commercial value of those pay TV subscribers by offering bundled broadband and telephony services."
Granted, the revelation is hardly revolutionary, but the presentation provides an insight into the government's thinking on pay television regulation.
"As such," Alston continued, "Telstra's involvement in Foxtel has always, in large part been about defending its telecommunications market share (which is entirely natural) while Optus' involvement in Optus Vision similarly has been about using pay TV infrastructure to provide other telecommunications and data services in competition to Telstra."
In that regard, Telstra's hybrid incarnation as a provider of public services, the traditional 'last mile' copper telco infrastructure, and their private ventures including the 50% shareholding in Foxtel, poses potential regulatory challenges. For example, "if Telstra were to have effective control of the 'last mile' in terms of copper, cable and satellite, this could significantly reduce the possibility of facilities based competition in voice, data and pay TV."
Owen Hughes, convergent media specialist with Howorth Communications adds, "bundling does seem to have worked for Optus because consumers are offered a simple proposition - pay TV, telephony and broadband Internet access provided by one company on a single bill - and they own the pipes that provide these bundled services. The situation is complicated by the fact that Foxtel wants a guaranteed period of exclusive access to the Telstra system in exchange for spending $AU500 million on digitising the network."
He disagrees with the suggestion Optus would be provided with an unfair advantage if the government made moves to provide open access to a digitised Foxtel and insist on regulatory structures limiting Telstra in the pay television market, as hinted at in the speech.
"If you want to play devil's advocate," he explains, "Telstra has had an unfair advantage using a publicly-funded network to run the privately-owned pay TV operation it has 50 percent ownership in. At the end of the day, what consumers care about is getting services delivered in a timely, efficient manner and at the lowest cost possible. Judging by the rates of broadband and pay TV penetration in Australia - the public don't feel this is happening. Optus has invested heavily in its network to be able to offer bundled services that meet these criteria. To play devil's advocate again - shouldn't Telstra be doing the same thing and let the market decide?"
Hughes is the author of a recent report, Pay TV in Asia Pacific: Mapping the Road Ahead, commissioned by Bloomberg Television Asia Pacific and published by Howorth Communications. The report updates regulatory and consumer developments in Australia and 12 other key cable and satellite TV markets in the Asia Pacific.
Following discussion of Austar's financial and structural woes, Hughes details the leader in the report's analysis of Australian markets. "Pay TV market leader Foxtel and its three owners, Telstra (50 per cent) and News Corporation and PBL (25 per cent each) remain undecided about what to do with the system."
"Upgrading it through digitisation comes with a $US250 million pricetag that the partners in an often-uneasy alliance do not wish to make after a court ruling that opens it to competitors. Alston has suggested that the government could give Foxtel an access holiday from its rivals if the owners undertake an upgrade, although this would be certain to face challenges from other players."
In that regard, Senator Alston's speech provides an insight into the government's opinion on consolidation in the pay television market and the speculated merger of Austar with either Foxtel or CWO.
"? [A]ny rationalisation or consolidation in the pay TV industry in Australia should not reduce the potential for facilities based competition, including on different platforms, both in terms of pay TV and in other related telecommunications markets. Any regulatory consideration of potential alliances or mergers in the pay TV sector must also take into account their competitive impact in the broadband and telephony markets. Whilst some may argue that pay TV has certain monopoly characteristics in a market the size of Australia, it is not valid to use this argument to justify restricting facilities based competition in other markets."
The telephony argument was the key impediment to a proposed Australis / Foxtel merger only a few years ago.
Senator Alston continued, "in Australia, one of the traditional impediments to greater competition in telecommunications has been the lack of competing infrastructure in the last mile to the customer's home or workplace. pay TV cable and satellite platforms and DSL provide a major opportunity to overcome this problem. "Additionally, "pay TV gives providers the foot-in-the-door that they need to offer customers a wider array of bundled services that also encompass telephony and broadband."
Guy Cranswick, senior analyst GartnerIG2, agrees there appears to be an inherent contradiction in Alston's comments, expressing concern about Telstra's position on one hand, while acknowledging digitisation is a key driver of digital television and broadband.
"The position of Telstra and the government's policy to encourage competitive markets is destined to raise paradoxes," he says. "Pragmatic realities and wishful thoughts about markets cannot remain in tune."
Theoretically a digitised Foxtel "could deliver a fillip to Optus," Cranswick adds, "but there is a long way to go in drafting regulations for what is deemed appropriate for consumers and companies at that time."
"One comment that emerged repeatedly at ASTRA's annual convention," Hughes contributes, "was that Australia is a small market and there are limits to how much competition the market can handle. No matter how much open access the government mandates, the cost of providing services over the vast Australian landmass - sourcing content, setting up call centres, engineering teams, office space, advertising and marketing personnel etc. and the chance of getting a meaningful return on investment is always going to limit the number of players. But shouldn't we have a level playing field and let the market decide?"
In light of Austar's moves to reduce their Internet offerings, Cranswick concedes Optus and Telstra are the only two companies able to rollout a successful bundling strategy, creating an artificial duopoly in the pay television market.
"It is unrealistic to hope for a number of competitors in this industry as entry and capital costs are high and returns must be guaranteed by market share," he concludes.
Another key issue detailed in Senator Alston's speech was the potential digitisation of Foxtel.
"Pay TV is equipped with natural advantages in the transition to digital and consequently has the capacity to provide a significant competitive alternative to digital free-to-air services. The capacity afforded by broadband networks, the scope for interactivity, the ability to provide bundled services, together with a fairly stable subscriber base, give pay TV operators the opportunity to trial new and innovative services and to capture emerging new revenue streams."
Howorth's report also tackles the issue of interlocking regulatory, technological and content structures under the banner of convergence. However, "the expectations at the start of 2001 for the rollout of convergent technologies under which Asian homes would seamlessly switch from TV, the Internet, telephony and other forms of communication have not been met."
Deteriorating economic conditions is one factor, but a lack of suitable infrastructure and costs of integration are also key impediments.
Australia's broadband expansion has barely progressed in 2001, Hughes notes in the report, given the Foxtel shareholders' reluctance to digitise and Austar's financial position. Although Optus has announced the extension of its interactive trial, it is not saying when it will go fully commercial.
Regulators have also closely watched convergent trends with several Asia Pacific governments last year taking steps to simplify the way they regulate what has become the convergent media sector in their country.
"The imperative at the moment is to look where there is overlapping and ill-defined responsibilities and rationalise these into agencies with staff who have specialist knowledge," Hughes explains. "For example, Hong Kong TV used to be run by a government body that also looked after sports and the arts. Now TV is run by something called the Information Technology & Broadcasting Bureau."
He believes, "Australia is further down that road than most of its Asia Pacific counterparts in terms of having highly-specialised government agencies to handle policy creation and regulation - but this model could well be outdated once convergence muddies the waters about where broadcast TV, pay TV, radio, streaming media, telephony, video on demand, near video on demand, the Internet, VOIP and satellite-delivered broadband services start and end!"
On the issue of Foxtel's digitisation, Hughes notes, "the cost of accessing broadband for consumers has to come down and that means more competition is needed. The logical way of doing that is to set up a mandatory access regime to existing networks to allow newcomers to have a market presence. Each player in the Australian market has a sackful of often-contradictory qualifications and conditions they would want to have met before this happened, but essentially the answer is a simple one."
ESPN purchases telecast rights for Bangladesh cricket from the late Mark Mascarenhas' widow
Cricket rights are being bounced around like nobody's business at the moment. ESPN Star Sports today announced it has secured broadcast rights for all international cricket to be played in Bangladesh till mid-2006.
The announcement comes even before the dust has settled on Sony Entertainment's announcement that it has grabbed the Indian TV rights for the next six years to broadcast ICC (International Cricket Council) cricket championships from under the nose of ESPN Star Sports as it were.
The rights include over 90 days of international cricket from Bangladesh covering at least seven international tours by India, South Africa, West Indies, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia, an official release states.
With the Bangladesh rights, ESPN Star Sports holds rights to cricket in all test playing countries except India and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka telecast rights, which were earlier with WSG Nimbus, are now reportedly with the promoter of Sharjah cricket Abdulrahman Bukhatir through his company Taj Sports.
The tripartite agreement involving the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), WorldTel Inc. and ESPN STAR Sports, was signed by Mohammed Ali Asghar, president, BCB, Mrs. Karen Mascarenhas, representing the late Mark Mascarenhas's WorldTel and Rik Dovey, managing director, ESPN Star Sports.
BCB had earlier assigned the worldwide rights to all international cricket events to be played in Bangladesh to WorldTel for a reported $ 11.7 million covering nine home series.
WorldTel was involved in a long-running dispute with Sony which had bought the exclusive television rights for a reported $ 17 million. There was a major standoff between Sony and WorldTel subsequently as it wanted the deal renegotiated. This led to Bangladesh's maiden home series against Zimbabwe not being telecast abroad.
The next series which involved Pakistan saw an arrangement being cobbled together wherein BTV was in charge of production and Ekushey TV (the first private broadcaster in Bangladesh) teaming up with Pakistan Television (PTV) for telecast of the matches.
The million dollar question is what was paid out to secure the rights. That there were no takers for the rights at the rates that were being quoted is well known. It may well be that WorldTel has cut its losses in what appears to be a distress sale. The numbers being thrown around are somewhere in the region of $4 million.
Thank you to all that showed up in the chat though it was very quiet. I think most from NZ were watching the cricket on fta and went to bed after it. It was good to have your ideas on the possible cband programming that you would like to see. I still need more ideas especially if you are reading this in any Countrys other than Australia or NZ. Make your suggestions no matter how silly you think they might be. Sorry there is not much news around today.
DVB2000 recorder version 1.16b was released get it from
Here is the best bit from what was changed! if i read it corectly you should be able watch the satellite video stream in realtime on your pc. Including 4:2:2 streams!
"YES, it comes true!!! The Mini-TV is working now:
Live MPEG2 playback support through built in MPEG decoder (video only)
supported chroma formats: 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 supported MPEG formats: MPEG2 program- and elementary streams MPEG1 elementary streams
From my Emails & ICQ
From Mohammad Joned
World Hockey now held in Kuala Lumpur but local tv air only selected games.
Please do scanning especially for those who own Nokia branded receiver for
tracking the live feed.
It may be at Measat 1 or Measat 2
Thank's Craig and other members
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 3771 H "SBS" has left .
PAS 2 169E 12732 V "TTV, CTS and FTV Entertainment" are now FTA.
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "H&W eTV and the test card" have swapped SIDs and PIDs.
PAS 8 166E 4050 V "Fuji TV International has left" , replaced by a test card.
Optus B1 160E 12546 H "Mix 106.3" is back on , Sr 1740, Fec 3/4, Apid 4195, FTA.(strongest B1 signal?)
Koreasat 3 116E 12450 H "SkyLife mux" has started , enc., Sr 27490, Fec 3/4,
SIDs 701-712, PIDs 1808/1809-1984/1985, line-up: Ghem TV, EBS 1, Real
Estate TV Network, Movie Plus, Tooniverse, Travel & Fasion TV, Food
Channel, NTV, KTV, Arirang TV Korea, Star Sports and a test card.
Telkom 1 108E 3586 H New PIDs for Nickelodeon : 126/127.
Telkom 1 108E 3460 H "Channel NewsAsia" has left .
Telkom 1 108E 3460 H "RCTI and SCTV" are now FTA.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3708 V "Travel Channel UK" has started on ,Enc Codicrypt format? , PIDs 257/258.
PAS 10 68.5E 3863 V "SuperSport 5" has started ,Enc, SID 1003, PIDs 521/649.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3585 V "UNI Plus" has started testing on , 515/643, FTA (Asia Beam).
Austar survival wins hearts
SHARES in regional pay TV group Austar shot 15 per cent higher yesterday after its banks pledged their support.
But, while more than six million shares were traded, analysts said most of the action came from retail investors speculating on growth.
Market analysts have become increasingly disillusioned with Austar after it failed to meet subscriber growth targets.
Big institutional investors are also wary of Austar after its fall from previous highs.
Yesterday Austar began a small fightback, with the shares closing 4c higher at 35c after reaching an intraday high of 39c.
The closing price was its highest since October.
The share price boost came after Austar's syndicate of 15 banks eventually agreed to roll over its $400 million in debt, which is now not repayable until 2006. The move followed Austar's 81 per cent owner UnitedGlobalCom agreeing to place $30 million in a contingency account as back-up to the company.
After moving to cut annual costs last year by $90 million, Austar says it now has the funds to become positive at the earnings before interest, tax and depreciation level in its current financial year to December.
Meantime, Austar's manager of interactive TV services Victoria Chalom yesterday told the Digital Media World conference that pay TV's difficulty in accessing sports rights was limiting interactivity. "We have seen in Europe that sports content has been a wonderful driver in raising awareness and activating users in interactive content," she said.
The Government is reviewing the anti-siphoning list which keeps many sports off pay TV, but she said it was also inhibiting interactivity.
Ms Chalom said Austar last week launched its fourth interactive advertisement.
Of the interactive applications, she said Austar had found the use of t-mail (email received via the television) to be below expectations but people were keen users of interactive games.
Live chat tonight in the chatroom 9p.m NZ and 8.30 Syd time onwards, I will be taking notes of any suggested Cband programing. Can anyone located me an email address for management at Channel 9? I still havn't had time to fix up the satellite pages, maybe Wednesday.
From my Emails & ICQ
From MChung 26/02/02
The Hallmark& Nickeledeon clear on 3587H 17800 and the Indo
packages also clear on 3460H 28000 3/4.
From the Dish
Lyngsat update email did not show so no report for today.
Austar back in picture
BANKS reached an in-principle agreement yesterday to extend a $400 million rollover and debt facility to Austar, saving the regional pay TV group from oblivion.
Austar has been in breach of financial covenants after failing to negotiate the rollover by December 31, but the banks have now allowed Austar to trade out of its difficulties.
The news, which was announced after the close of trade, should boost Austar's beleaguered share price.
The shares yesterday closed half a cent lower at 30.5c, well below the $6 range they once enjoyed.
The renegotiation, which has taken more than a year of intense talks, was aided by Austar's parent company, UnitedGlobalCom, placing $30 million in a contingency account for Austar.
"It will sit in an account and be available if there's a significant change of circumstance, but the intention is that it's a back up rather than something we actually draw on," Austar spokesman Bruce Meagher said.
The move caps a dramatic year for Austar.
It watched subscriber growth in its regional pay TV market slow and was forced into a restructure that prompted the closure of its metropolitan microwave network and its internet backbone.
That gave Austar $90 million in annual savings as it sought to appease its banks. The company, which had $103.2 million in cash at the end of December, says it will need no extra funds to execute its business plan.
The bank deal also places Austar on a firmer footing in the event of any rationalisation within the pay TV sector.
"While we're still interested in opportunities, we have a distinct option of maintaining this business as a stand-alone operation," Mr Meagher said.
Austar chief executive John Porter said the new facility need not be repaid until 2006.
"With this issue close to finalisation, Austar can focus squarely on executing its key operational priorities, managing growth, while closely controlling costs," he said.
He said the repayment schedule matched Austar's business plan, although Austar is expected to be paying higher interest costs.
Austar's refinancing had been delayed by the failure of the Commonwealth Bank to agree to the new plan, but last week Mr Porter told reporters that 94 per cent of its banking syndicate had agreed to the deal.
The bank syndicate is led by Toronto Dominion, JP Morgan and Citibank, but comprised up to 15 lenders.
CBA's exposure is believed to total less than $30 million.
Mr Meagher reaffirmed Austar's plan to be positive at the earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) line this year and to have positive free cash flow by 2004.
Its 2001 results, due to be released next month, are expected to see Austar report an EBITDA loss of $87 million.
Bankers give Austar a second chance
Struggling regional pay TV operator Austar has been given a new lease of life after its bankers finally agreed to refinance its $400 million loan and its US parent UnitedGlobalCom put up a $30 million guarantee.
Almost two months after it was due to repay the $400 million, Austar announced yesterday that it had reached in-principle agreement with its 15-member banking syndicate to refinance the debt.
As part of the new deal, Austar's 81 per cent shareholder, UnitedGlobalCom (UGC), has provided the company with a $30 million "contingency account".
The loan agreement depends on documents being finalised.
Austar now has until 2006 to repay the debt, which originally fell due on January 1 this year. If Austar had failed to renegotiate the terms, it would have had to repay the full $400 million before the end of next month.
Losing hundreds of millions of dollars, Austar had just $103 million cash left in the bank at the end of December.
Austar chief executive John Porter said UGC's willingness to demonstrate its continuing commitment to the company was of "vital importance". An Austar spokesman said UGC's $30 million gave the company "a bit of wiggle room if we need it".
Austar said it did not need more money to meet its business plan.
It expects to be in the black at the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation line this year before becoming operating cashflow positive by 2004.
"With this issue close to finalisation, Austar can focus squarely on executing its key operational priorities - managing growth while closely controlling costs," Mr Porter said.
The move means Austar is no longer as vulnerable to predatory moves by its metropolitan pay TV counterparts, Optus and Foxtel.
"This puts them in a stronger bargaining position," one industry observer said.
Austar has been in discussions with Optus since late last year about a possible alliance which would enable both companies to slash operating costs and possibly negotiate more favourable US programming contracts.
The country's largest pay TV provider, Foxtel, is also interested in Austar, but competition issues could preclude a merger.
This made acquiring Austar's assets under a liquidation scenario a much more attractive option for Foxtel, which is owned by News Ltd, PBL and Telstra.
Austar must now focus on reversing falling subscriptions and growing revenue.
Even with a pay TV monopoly in regional Australia, Austar faces a 2001 full year loss of at least $343 million as a result of costly programming deals written in US dollars and subscriber growth which has stalled at 430,000 customers.
Austar embarked on a major restructure late last year in a bid to improve its financial position and sustain investor support.
It sacked a third of its 1200 staff, closed many regional offices and outsourced a number of business operations.
Shares, worth $9.65 at the height of the tech boom, sank to a record low of 15c in September amid solvency concerns. The shares fell 0.5c to close at 30.5c yesterday before the refinancing deal was announced.
Bank backing puts Austar back in picture
Austar now has more clout in talks with Optus on a pay TV merger.
Austar's bankers have thrown the struggling regional pay television group a much-needed lifeline and agreed to refinance a $400 million debt facility after months of tense negotiations.
The satellite broadcaster revealed yesterday it had secured an in-principle agreement with its banking syndicate to restructure the loan, nearly two months after missing the deadline to roll over the debt.
One analyst said this placed Austar in a much stronger position during discussions with Optus over a possible merger with its pay TV operations.
"To the extent that Optus thought Austar would not be able to refinance its debt and put it in a stronger bargaining position ... that is now not available to Optus," he said.
Parent UnitedGlobalCom has tipped in $30 million as a contingency to appease the banks and help finance Austar's business plans. This will also ensure it does not require extra funds.
Under the terms of the restructured loan, the repayment date has been pushed back from the beginning to the end of 2006. The payment schedule has also been adjusted to give Austar more financial flexibility and access to working capital over the next couple years.
"The payment reschedule has been rejigged, so there is a bit of relief up front," said spokesman Bruce Meagher.
Mr Meagher said talks with the 15-member syndicate, led by Toronto Dominion, J.P.Morgan and Citibank, had stalled because the banks were now exercising a lot more caution.
"In the current environment, everyone takes a conservative view on their investments," he said.
"While it was frustrating, given the way the global market is headed, it's understandable."
Commonwealth Bank is believed to have been the most reluctant member of the consortium, with an exposure of about $30million. The bank has traditionally been linked with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which has a 25 per cent holding in Austar rival Foxtel.
The bank's resistance meant that Austar breached a crucial loan covenant relating to earnings performance. This gave its lenders the right to demand immediate repayment of the debt this quarter, which would have sent the company into financial oblivion.
Austar has been struggling under a mountain of debt and slow subscriber growth, and analysts believe it will reveal a full-year loss of around $375 million on March 16. This is expected to include substantial writedowns on its spectrum licences and goodwill.
It had about $103.2 million in the bank as at December 31 but has significantly reduced its cash-burn rate. The pay TV group improved its financial position last November when it cut 400 jobs to help save $90 million a year.
PanAmSat raises $2.05 bln, reaffirms 2002 outlook
Satellite company PanAmSat Corp. (SPOT) on Monday said it has raised $2.05 billion in debt and long-term notes and reaffirmed its 2002 outlook on earnings, revenue and operating cash flow margin.
PanAmSat, a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp.(GMH), said the major financing includes $1.25 billion in bank debt, including a revolving credit facility, and $800 million in 10-year senior notes.
"This financing replaces the entire debt to Hughes of $1.725 billion that was scheduled to mature in 2003 with long-term bank debt and senior notes distributed in the capital markets," Joseph Wright, PanAmSat president and chief executive, said in a statement.
"The new revolving credit facility, together with our cash position and cash generated by our operations will provide us with liquidity to pursue growth opportunities," he said.
The company continues to expect 2002 revenues of between $790 million and $825 million, operating cash flow margin of more than 70 percent and earnings per share of 35 cents to 45 cents.
Separately, Hughes said PanAmSat will use part of the money raised to repay the loan that Hughes extended to PanAmSat in May 1997.
The payment will allow Hughes to access a credit line arranged with General Motors Acceptance Corp. that provides $500 million of new financing. Hughes is a unit of the world's largest automaker General Motors Corp. (GM)
"We are very pleased with the successful completion of these transactions, particularly PanAmSat's high-yield bond offering for which demand was far greater than anticipated," said Jack Shaw, Hughes' president and chief executive.
"With this financing, we have put in place a solid capital structure at Hughes that is expected to see us through the completion of the EchoStar (DISH) merger," he said in a news release.
Hughes also said it completed a restructuring of its existing credit facilities. Its $750 million revolving credit facility has been amended and increased in size, allowing Hughes to consolidate and extend the maturity of certain credit facilities associated with DirecTV Latin America businesses.
Its new secured credit facility's capacity is $1.2 billion and is expected to be supplemented with an institutional term loan to be placed in the next few weeks.
Shares of PanAmSat closed up 15 cents at $21.90 in Monday trading on Nasdaq while Hughes' stock closed up 11 cents at $13.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.
DD Metro privatisation gathers steam
NEW DELHI: The winds of privatisation may soon be blowing in the corridors of Mandi House that houses the broadcasting behemoth Prasar Bharati.
To begin with, plans are afoot to scout prospective partners for DD Metro. Plans include hiving off the channel through a joint venture and run it on a commercial basis just as in the case of any private satellite channel.
Also in the offing is opening up the doors of Doordarshan’s production and post-production facilities to private producers and broadcasters from across the globe.
A global tender would soon be floated to lease out facilities in 10 such centres across the country, to begin with. Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer Anil Baijal told Times News Network that a committee has been set up to examine the feasibility of entering into a joint venture with the private sector for DD Metro.
The committee is expected to submit its report over the next one month. The matter would then be taken up by the board.
"We have clearly identified the positioning of our channels in terms of their role," Baijal said. While DD National and DD Bharati would bear the public service commitment of Prasar Bharati, the Metro would be positioned as a commercial channel and its performance benchmarked against private satellite entertainment channels.
DD Metro is run both as terrestrial and satellite channel. This is not the first time that Prasar Bharati has sought private participation to shore up viewership in DD Metro. The state broadcaster had earlier leased out prime-time band to Kerry Packer-promoted Nine Broadcasting on the Metro channel.
This time, Prasar Bharati is taking a cue from British Broadcasting Corporation that runs several channels through joint ventures with private parties.
Private sector participation is also anticipated in Prasar Bharati’s digital terrestrial television project. Private satellite broadcasters would have the opportunity to go terrestrial when Prasar Bharati opens up the DTT platform.
A DTT pilot project is on at Delhi that would subsequently spread to other metros by middle of this year.
The service is accessible to viewers through a digital set-top box and offers a clutch of Doordarshan channels. Baijal said private broadcasters would be invited to join the platform at a latter date.
Nimbus bags cricket ad sales contract with DD
Close on the heels of an agreement with Prasar Bharati for TV production of international cricket in India from 2002 to 2004, Nimbus has signed another deal with the pubcaster.
This time, for exclusive handling of all ad sales on the cricket series between India and Zimbabwe currently being aired on DD. The arrangement between DD and Nimbus, which claims to be the only tenderer to make it to the financial round, visualises a minimum guarantee of Rs 70.02 million and a revenue share of 70:30 in favour of DD. Nimbus will begin with the production of the TV pictures of the India-Zimbabwe series in February 2002, ending with the Australian tour of India in 2004, as per the agreement signed earlier this month.
All five series are to be aired in India exclusively over Doordarshan. Prasar Bharati, which owns the world rights, has also licensed broadcasts over several international networks across the world, claims Nimbus. WSN won the contract, after a pre-qualification process followed by a financial tender, winning over rival bids made by TWI and WorldTel. The contract is for a sum of Rs 284 million (approx $ 5.80 million).
World Sport Nimbus, a joint venture between the UK based World Sport Group and India based Nimbus Communications, has recently acquired from World Sports Group, its 50 per cent equity in Global Cricket Corporation (GCC). GCC's other 50 per cent equity is owned by News Corporation. GCC holds the commercial rights of all ICC cricket till 2007. Claiming that the acquisition had been on the cards for quite a while, WSN director Venu Nair says, "This completes our participation not just in the management of the commercial rights of the ICC business but also in its ownership."
WSN has also been commissioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to produce and distribute a weekly global cricket show titled ICC Cricket World for worldwide distribution. The show has been licensed to Channel 4 in the UK for free TV. Negotiations for airing in India, Middle East, Australia, South Africa and several other territories are at an advanced stage for the show that premieres in late February 2002.
Satish Menon joins Sahara TV; whither Mak TV?
In the end he was out almost before he had set foot inside. Satish Menon has left the still-up-in-the-air Manoranjan Aur Kya (Mak) TV and joined Sahara TV, industry sources revealed today.
Sources say Menon is likely to be heading ad sales and marketing at Sahara. When contacted Priya Raj, Sahara TV vice-president (publicity, promotions & PR), confirmed Menon's having joined Sahara but said details regarding his designation were still awaited.
Menon joined Mak from Zee TV where his last posting there was as head of ad sales. His has been just one of the high-profile departures from the Zee Group in the last few months.
Menon's leaving Mak just a couple of months after joining the network is likely to further fuel doubts about whether the network will finally see the light of day. Mak was originally scheduled to launch on 31 December as a six-channel bouquet. Then 26 January (Republic Day) was being talked off as a launch date but there is still no word available on what is happening there.
Lots of news today in the news section, mostly from NZ I have had no replys to my emails to "The Edge Radio" or to The TAB Trackside channel. Very frustrating! It looks like I will have to try some other email addresses to get some attention! I havn't had time yet to update the satellites page they are due to be updated. I must also run the links checker over everything.
Thanks all those that sent in programming suggestions for a "hypothetical" Cband FTA channel, more suggestions are needed you can even suggest your own schedule if you like. If it was up to you what would you like to watch on cband FTA?
New Dvb2000 Beta 8 is out. I havn't had time to install it yet, hopefully it will fix a few annoying bugs such as not listing Skys channel names properly. Get it from the usual site http://www.dominance.net/overflow/
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards
Tarbs on Thaicom 3 has been FTA so Bill grabbed a load of Screenshots.
From Chris Pickstock 24/02/02
11 am SA Time
12326 H, Sr 6980, Cricket, Qld v NSW ING Cup Final. Nine Network feed, no adverts!
12356 V, Sr 6110, Ladies Masters Golf
12367 V, Sr 6110, AFL, Kangaroos v Sydney. Fox Sports feed, pre game interviews at the moment.
From the Dish
Optus B3 156E 12336 V "HRT TV 1" has left (MPEG-2), replaced by Colour Bars.
Apstar 1 134E 3860 V "MTV China" has left, replaced by a test card.
Koreasat 3 116E 12370 H A new mux has started, Sr 24090, Fec 5/6, SIDs 1-8, PIDs 80/81 and 202/200-802/800, line-up: Eduspa TV, OBC, OSB D,OSB N, Weather News, E Channel and Kids TV.
Telkom 1 108E 3460 H "Metro TV" has started on , PIDs 60/61.
Yamal 102 90E 3487 LA test card has started , Sr 10200, Fec 3/4, Vpid 111 Apid 112.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3536 V "Jain Satellite TV" is back, PAL, 6.80 MHz, Asian beam.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "Radyo D" has left.
TVNZ may cut major sport cover
Television New Zealand's hold on major sports events - such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup - is under threat as it faces massive cost-cutting.
The state broadcaster has discussed with the government the possibility of taxpayers funding future rights to the events.
A Sunday Star-Times investigation has found TVNZ must slash spending by $75 million over three years, $15m more than its target a year ago. The cuts are to offset a decline in advertising revenue that has accelerated since September 11.
"There is no magic about this," TVNZ's outgoing chief executive Rick Ellis said. "To keep your head above water, you either earn more money or you take more cost out, and the biggest cost in any television business is your programming.
"In future years we have to assess whether investing in sports rights gives an adequate return in terms of charter expectations.
"We have tended to end up being in the major event genre, so you are talking the Rugby World Cup, Winter Olympics, Summer Olympics, Commonwealth Games, the summer tennis and the golf.
"Sports rights have just become ridiculously priced."
The issue is one of many facing new chief executive Ian Fraser, who takes over in April.
A decline of 5 percent last year in TVNZ's total primetime audience.
A loss from TV2, the company's cash cow, of one in 10 viewers in the key peak-time advertising market.
The television charter which, with its increased local and minority programming, will have an unpredictable effect on ratings and revenue.
Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs said TVNZ had raised the issue of sports rights with her.
"What they have flagged is those sports are very expensive, they also attract advertisers. But if they are so expensive they distort expenditure . . . they would investigate with us as a government whether we would compensate," she said. "There is no answer to that as yet."
TVNZ has asked the government for a "modest sum" - thought to be up to $30m - to pay for the expense of the new charter.
The money is in addition to cuts TVNZ must make of $15m from its budget this year, $20m next year and $40m the year after to stay profitable. Those figures are $15m higher than the $60m revealed in leaked TVNZ documents last year. The company's revenue is being eroded by competition and a global downturn in the advertising market.
TVNZ had achieved its $15m cuts this year and would post a small profit for television in its half-year results. About 25 people had been made redundant. But Ellis said finding savings in future years was going to be "bloody difficult".
Sports rights was an area "future management are going to have to reflect on", he said.
"I'm not signalling in any way that we are about to walk away from sports but I'm giving that by way of an example."
TVNZ has already lost the rights to the rugby and cricket seasons to Sky and TV3 but has retained one-off events. The Olympics and Rugby World Cup are believed to cost up to $20m each and lose money. The broadcaster has already secured rights to sports events up to 2004, including the next Olympics and Rugby World Cup. But questions hang over events after that, particularly if TVNZ's financial position deteriorates.
A joint bid between Sky and TVNZ for the soccer World Cup is already in trouble because of the price.
TVNZ argues that its ratings loss looks worse than it is because the channels have dropped from a record year in 2000.
(Craigs comment what a JOKE, TVNZ has pitifull amount of sports nowdays. They are leaving things wide open for a BIG monoply Pay TV provider to step in unless they can find some other willing partner to help out. The B1, 12456 V service could be under threat since its officially only a "TEST". The NZ TV market is going through some big changes at the moment. Prime TV is now basically "Channel 9 NZ" full of ancient dross from across the ditch. I bet Prime 9 actually drops in the ratings!)
Rugby boss questions TVNZ's charter
Rugby Union chairman Murray McCaw has questioned Television New Zealand's commitment to local programming in the wake of reports that it could stop televising sport.
"If TVNZ is going to be true to its charter, you would have to wonder how it can do that without having mainstream sport on TV," Mr McCaw said. "There is an issue there for the Government to contemplate."
TVNZ has confirmed that it would have to look at the cost of covering big sports events as it tries to trim about $75 million from its budget during the next three years.
TVNZ has the rights to the Commonwealth Games in Manchester this year, the Rugby World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year, it covers the international rugby sevens series, and has the rights to the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Other elite sports such as international cricket and rugby's Super 12 and tri-nations series are shown live on pay broadcaster Sky, with delayed and occasionally live coverage on free-to-air TV3. Sky has the rights to the Super 12 and tri-nations till the end of 2005.
The Government has introduced a broadcasting charter that requires TVNZ to increase its local and minority programming. But what sports are included in that is uncertain.
TVNZ's outgoing chief executive, Rick Ellis, said that sport was becoming "ridiculously priced" and the costs of covering big events meant they often ran at a loss. A joint bid by TVNZ and Sky for the soccer World Cup in Korea and Japan later this year is in doubt because of the cost of the rights.
TVNZ spokesman Glen Sowry said there would be no cuts to sport in the near future.
Mr McCaw said sport was part of everyday life and TVNZ's programming should reflect that.
"When you have a commercial organisation that decides it does not want to do something, there is very little you can do to change its mind.
"But I'm not sure if that's what the Government would have wanted when it put the charter in place, and you would have to wonder where the direction of TVNZ is going."
A spokesman for Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs said cutting local sports content was one of TVNZ's options but was something for TVNZ to consider, not the minister.
"The minister has said once the charter has been introduced there would be some funding for additional costs, but that was a matter for the budget."
TVNZ has reportedly asked the Government for up to $30 million to cover the cost of the charter.
(Craigs comment, What will happen next? the Government will probably Legislate that all "Major" sporting events must be carried via a FTA channel)
TVNZ AND SKY ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR LIVE BROADCAST OF INNOVATE CONFERENCE
From Press Release
SKY Television and Television New Zealand confirmed today that agreement has been reached to broadcast the Innovate Conference to be held in Christchurch on 6-7th March 2002.
The partnership, between two of New Zealand's major broadcasters, will see TVNZ providing a full two day programme to be broadcast live on both Channel 25 on SKY's digital satellite service and on TVNZ's nzoom, one of New Zealand's top Internet sites.
Richard Harman's Front Page Film and Television will play a key role during the broadcast, adopting a similar production approach to that used during Catching the Knowledge Wave, which was also broadcast live on SKY's satellite service.
The production will include live coverage of all keynote speeches, live interviews with participants and delegates, continual conference updates and behind the scenes commentaries.
Jim Anderton, Deputy Prime Minister and conference co-chair, says the partnership approach to the broadcasting of the conference is a reflection of what can be achieved when some lateral thinking is applied to challenges.
"The joint broadcasting agreement demonstrates that on occasions cooperation within a competitive framework can achieve innovative results for the general good".
TVNZ's Chief Executive, Rick Ellis also regards the cooperative approach as continuing a relationship that is already working effectively. "The broadcasting of Parliament's question-time is conducted in a similar complementary environment, while the public reaction to TVNZ's 1 and 2 channel position on SKY's digital programme has also been very positive."
SKY Television's Chief Executive Officer, John Fellet says, "This is an excellent example of the public and private sectors working together to achieve a positive outcome for New Zealanders."
nzoom is an award winning Internet site and has been experiencing recent growth of over 230%, while SKY has 476,210 subscribers of which over 64% have the digital satellite service.
Delays in Maori TV debut possible
The Maori television channel is unlikely to be on air before July.
The Government wanted broadcasting to start in midyear, and the launch was widely expected to be on July 1.
Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia, revealing details of the channel last July, said it "will be on air from June 2002".
But the chairman of the Maori Television Service board, Derek Fox, says it may not be on air until the second half of the year. He claims there was never a set starting date.
The board, set up in October, has yet to appoint a chief executive or decide on a transmission platform.
It has called for expressions of interest from programme makers and has paid for a consultancy report on how it could run the channel, including programming and marketing.
Mr Fox defended the board's decision to call for programming ideas before a chief executive or programming manager was appointed. He said the board had skilled television people who knew what would be good programming.
The Maori broadcasting finance agency, Te Mangai Paho, has already commissioned programmes, including a $1.8 million series by former MP Tukoroirangi Morgan.
In releasing details of the service, Mr Horomia said the channel would be received by 70 per cent of the country on existing UHF frequencies. It could also be simulcast on a digital satellite service, he said.
Mr Fox said the board was considering up to four transmission options and all involved substantial sums of money.
"There's some resourcing problems in terms of what it costs to get a platform up and running."
The Government set aside $3.8 million for transmission and operational costs in 2001-2002, rising to $6 million a year in 2004-2005.
If the service chose to broadcast from existing frequencies, it would have to start from scratch and invest in a studio and equipment, said Mr Fox.
Sky television has offered a digital channel for transmission and wants to work with the service making programmes with Sky equipment.
But Mr Fox said the Sky option was not a simple answer. People would have to pay for a set-top box and the service was required to reach as big an audience as possible.
Mr Fox said the board had not been dragging its heels. It had developed a business plan, was close to appointing senior staff, and was working with the Government on legislation for the service.
(Craigs comment, "Mr Fox said the Sky option was not a simple answer. People would have to pay for a set-top box and the service was required to reach as big an audience as possible" Not sure what they mean here, no-one PAYS for Skys settop box the rental is included as part of the sub to their channels. If its is done as a FTA channel either inside Sky or in the TVNZ mux. The user would have to buy a cheap FTA receiver unless the Government supplied them. I can see what's coming then, "This piece of useless junk the Government supplied us with can't get SKY sports." There will be a huge outcry over Maori viewers being flogged cheap nasty junk. My easy to make prediction this Maori TV is doomed like the last one.
TVNZ links with Australian broadcaster
Transtasman ties have been established between Television New Zealand (TVNZ) and its state counterpart, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
As well as access to Australian news and current affairs, and the ABC's 13 foreign bureaus, the alliance would see an Australian network station correspondent based at TVNZ headquarters in Auckland.
TVNZ's Australian correspondent would move in with the ABC in Sydney, and its London-based Europe correspondent would shift into the ABC bureau, saving TVNZ money in rent on its office at Westminster.
TVNZ formerly used Channel Nine as its primary Australian news source and based its reporter at the network.
A recent alliance between Nine and Prime NZ played a part in seeking the deal with the ABC, said Heaton Dyer, TVNZ head of news and current affairs.
"The ABC is the biggest news organisation in Australia . . . so it just makes sense for them to be our partner."
Mr Dyer said he had also done a deal for news from America's major NBC network and TVNZ was planning to send a correspondent to Washington DC.
Inside TVNZ news, Mr Dyer has scrapped the positions of editor of daily news and editor of current affairs.
Trish Carter has been appointed as deputy to Mr Dyer, with overall responsibility for One News and Holmes. Melanie Jones has been appointed executive producer of One News.
Former Holmes executive producer Hunter Wells has moved to the current affairs show, Sunday. Mr Dyer takes responsibility for weekly current affairs programmes, Business and Breakfast.
TVNZ Satellite Services Wins Trade New Zealand Export Award
From Press Release
Skilled in the live delivery of television sports event and news coverage to destinations around the world, TVNZ Satellite Services has won a Trade New Zealand Export Award. Operating turnover has virtually doubled in the years 1999 to 2001 with an average of 77% in export sales achieved across the period.
(Media are invited to attend the presentation of the TVNZ Satellite Services Export Award by Trade New Zealand board member Peter Mony at 5pm, Wednesday 20 February, TVNZ, 100 Victoria Street West, Auckland. The Export Awards are sponsored by DHL Worldwide Express).
TVNZ Satellite Services, a member of the Television New Zealand Ltd Group, is an ‘occasional use’ satellite carriage provider. Its global satellite delivery network reaches from London across both the Indian and Pacific Oceans and spans territories from London, throughout the Middle East and Africa, across Australasia and Asia to North America.
TVNZ Satellite Services Marketing Director Christine Fenby says it has three main categories of customers. News agencies such as APTN and Reuters are in the business of gathering news from wherever in the world it’s happening and on-selling it to TV broadcasters. Such agencies use the TVNZ Satellite Services network for the live delivery of their news footage.
?Rights owning’ organisations such as Trans World International (TWI) pay high dollars to buy the rights to top sports events and then on-sell those rights to television broadcasters. TVNZ Satellite Services’ role is to distribute the signal from the event venue to wherever TWI’s customers are located. For example, TVNZ recently delivered the Australian Tennis Open from Melbourne to South Africa, to the UK and Asia including Japan and to several countries in South America.
The third group of customers is the broadcasters themselves, which screen live sport from venues all over the world.
Unlike most occasional use satellite service providers, TVNZ Satellite Services’ background is in television broadcast rather than telecommunications. Ms Fenby says this is a key competitive advantage for the company, noting that its broadcast knowledge enables it to provide added-value service to its customers.
?Our delivery network is built by television broadcast engineers, owned by a television broadcast company and operated by a group of people whose collective knowledge of broadcast television is difficult to match.”
Ms Fenby says TVNZ Satellite Services routinely delivers coverage of some of the world’s most prestigious sporting and news events, including the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games (eight channels simultaneously delivered to 39 territories), the Australian Summer cricket series, Wimbledon, Confederations Cup Soccer (Mexico, Japan and Korea), World Swimming Championships (Japan 2001), the America’s Cup and English Premier League Soccer. Currently, Winter Olympics coverage from Salt Lake City is being delivered globally.
TVNZ Satellite Services’ customer list reads like a who’s-who of sports rights and broadcast television industry players, including BSkyB (UK), the BBC, Fox Sports International, CNNI, ESPN Star Sports, CNBC Asia, Nine Network and WoWow (Japan).
Ms Fenby says the satellite services business began to develop in the late 1980s after TVNZ became a State Owned Enterprise. The broadcaster built its own earth station (located on the roof of the TVNZ television centre in downtown Auckland) and secured satellite capacity so that it could cost-effectively deliver its own live news and sports material. It started offering excess satellite capacity to other broadcasters, and the multi-million dollar business has grown from there.
Trade New Zealand Account Manager Dominic Cavanagh says TVNZ Satellite Services has built an international reputation by its regular delivery of high-profile events.
?Their revenue growth rate has been very good in the last three years and is on target to increase by a further 11% this year, 72% of which will comprise export sales. With new technology developments, network expansion and TVNZ Satellite Services’ position as one of a very few organisations that is a television broadcast operator as well as a satellite carrier, the future looks very secure and promising,” says Mr Cavanagh.
Christine Fenby says South East Asia currently generates 40% of TVNZ Satellite Service’s export earnings, Europe 30% and the balance to the Middle East, Africa, North Asia, the Americas, Australia and the Pacific.
The business has 26 staff, many of which are multi-lingual with international work experience. Ms Fenby says revenue growth in recent times has been boosted by having three people stationed permanently overseas in Bangkok, Sydney and Shanghai and by strong focus on providing outstanding customer service.
For further information contact:
Christine Fenby, Director of Marketing, TVNZ Satellite Services, Tel. 09 916 7711, email email@example.com
Intelsat 904 Launch Successful
From Intelsat press release
Satellite Well-Suited for Delivering Powerful Solutions to Customers in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia
Washington D.C., 23 February 2002 - Intelsat announced today that at 1:59
a.m. EST the Intelsat 904 communications satellite was successfully launched
aboard an Ariane 44L launch vehicle. The satellite is expected to be
operational at the beginning of the second quarter of this year.
The Intelsat 904 launch is the third in an aggressive campaign that is
expected to increase total customer capacity by up to 34% by mid-2003. The
904 satellite will be deployed at 60ºE over the Indian Ocean region and will
offer Internet, broadcast, telephony and corporate network solutions to
customers on its 76 C-band and 22 Ku-band transponders (measured in 36 MHz
equivalent units). The satellite will provide high power Ku-band spot beam
coverage for Europe and the Middle East and additional C-band capacity to
customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Intelsat CEO Conny Kullman stated, "We are very pleased to have had yet
another successful launch with the Intelsat 904. The IX series satellites
are well-suited for many new applications that require high power
satellites, and we look forward to bringing more solutions to our customers
in all regions as our launch campaign continues."
The Intelsat 604 currently holds the 60ºE orbital slot, but will be moved to
occupy one of Intelsat's new roles at 157ºE, expanding service to customers
in the Pacific Ocean region.
The next launch of an Intelsat IX series satellite will use a Proton K/Block
DM launch vehicle from Russia. The launch site will be the Baikonur
(Craigs comment 604 will start in inclined orbit at 157E, Footprints available from the Intelsat website other changes are, New line up , 174 =801 176= 702 178=907 180= 701. 709 @178 will become operational from March and 604@157 from August.)
T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 08/2002 24 February 2002 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition
A S I A
CHINA - HONG KONG
NDS WINS CCTV DIGITAL CONTRACT
NDS Group on February 22 announced the contract for deployment of Open
VideoGuard conditional access by CCTV. NDS's Open VideoGuard conditional access
will be used at the CCTV China Satellite Television Transmission Centre to
encrypt the four CCTV channels and broadcast to the provincial cable network
operators across the country, the key backbone of the CCTV distribution
network. NDS Open VideoGuard conditional access will replace the existing
conditional access with a DVB compliant, open standards system. CCTV 3, 5, 6
and 8 are now broadcast by CCTV to the provincial cable operators who broadcast
the unencrypted programming to their viewers. Systems integration at the CCTV
transmission centre is already in progress, and the project is scheduled to go
live in the next two months.
YES TV LAUNCHES VOD SERVICE
UK-based interactive TV operator Yes Television switched on its long-awaited
commercial video-on-demand trial in Hong Kong on February 22. The trial package
contains 6 broadcast channels plus two true VOD channels. These include, for
the first time ever in Hong Kong, Adventure One, the adventure lifestyle
channel produced by National Geographic Asia. Also telecast for the first time
in Hong Kong is China Entertainment Television Broadcast (CETV), which offers
information and entertainment in the Putonghua language. The other channels
include Star Movies, with its Hollywood blockbusters; Star World for English
language entertainment; Asian music station Channel [V]; and the Chinese
entertainment channel Phoenix Chinese Channel. The two VOD channels, where
subscribers can choose their favourite movie or TV programmes and watch any
time, are Yes Movies and Yes Entertainment. Yes Movies includes movie titles
from Buena Vista International and Mei Ah, while Yes Entertainment provides
drama, kids, lifestyle, sport, music, news from the BBC and Hallmark.
DIGITAL TV READY BY 2010
China expects to build up a digital television (DTV) broadcasting system by the
year 2010 to replace the current analogue broadcasting system. According to a
long-term plan made by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television
(SARFT), analogue broadcasting will be halted by 2015, and 8 satellite TV
channels will produce and transmit DTV programmes by 2005. Beijing, Shanghai
and Shenzhen of South China’s Guangdong Province currently have set up regional
DTV networks as part of a trial. Cable TV deliverers in Southwest China’s
Sichuan Province have also experimented to provide interactive TV programmes
for their 7 million subscribers with support from international DTV facility
manufacturers. However, the crucial problem for DTV’s development in China now
is the formulation of DTV transmission standards. China gathered a group of
experts in 1999 and organized a special committee to draw up its own DTV
broadcasting standards. Four domestic research institutions, including Tsinghua
University and Shanghai Jiaotong University, in October submitted five HDTV
schemes transmission standards, which is compatible with SDTV transmission
standards. The standard-making committee, having already put these schemes to
the test, will make the final decision on which scheme to choose by next year,
according to the SARFT timetable.
SATELLITE TV OPERATORS TO LAUNCH NEW DIGITAL SERVICES
Two communications satellite broadcasting services companies are set to launch
next-generation digital broadcasting services in March to provide viewers with
advanced data telecast and two-way functions. The two companies, Plat-One Corp.
and Sky Perfect Communications Inc., will handle the so-called platform
business, which involves transmission of programs to a satellite and management
of customer information for subscription fees, for the services allowing
viewers to do such things as retrieve information and shop using their TV.
Tokyo-based Plat-One will provide 46 different channels for seven satellite
broadcasters, including Japan MediArk Co., which operates data broadcast
services featuring news from Kyodo News. Plat-One was set up in November 2000
by a group of investors including Mitsubishi Corp. and Nippon Television
Network Corp. The company said it will begin operations March 1 and start
charging subscribers fees April 1. It hopes to have 3 million households as
subscribers by 2010. Sky Perfect Communications, a Tokyo-based operator of the
Sky PerfecTV satellite digital broadcasting service, will handle 52 channels
for 11 satellite broadcasters. The company said it will start free services in
March and begin charging fees from May to July. The satellite for the new
service is located at 110 degrees East.
LOSSES UP AT ESPN STAR SPORTS
Walt Disney and News Corp-joint venture ESPN Star Sports has reported a sharp
fall in EBITA losses from $6 million to $1 million in the quarter to December
31, according to an earnings release issued by News Corp. The Singapore-based
company which marked its fifth anniversary in November last year reported a net
loss of $3 million for the three months to December 31, compared to the $8
million it lost in the same period in 2000. Net losses for the second half of
last year were $8 million, compared to the $16 million for same period in 2000.
Revenues were also improved, rising from a $47 million total in the second part
of 2000, compared to $62 million for the same period in 2001. In the same
period viewership has grown from 141.5 million to 111.5 million.
UBC EXPECTS PROFITS
Pay-TV operator UBC expects to produce its first-ever net profit in mid 2003.
Deputy CFO Vasili Sgourdos told press that recent cost-cutting measures
combined with strong growth will lift the platform to operating breakeven will
430,000 subscribers this year. The platform had 406,000 subscribers at end of
2001, up 16,904 in the quarter.
DTT TRIALS LAUNCH IN TWO CITIES
Viet Nam Television (VTV) is about to introduce a high quality digitally
transmitted TV service on a trial basis in Ha Noi and HCM City at the end of
the month. The digital television system would be made available to viewers
across the whole country by 2004. Six new TV transmitters have already been
built in Ha Noi and the localities of Kien Giang, Tam Dao, Can Tho, Da Nang and
Quang Ninh, with forty others to be built across the country from now to 2004.
VTV first tried out the digital TV transmission system last year, using the
European standard DVB-T technology to try the system out on a very small scale.
The success of the trial encouraged VTV to conduct this year’s wider reaching
NO site update its Sunday
Say you could program a new FTA Cband "Apsattv" channel which covers a wide band of timezones. What kind of programming would you put up? For starters lets say its a 24 hour all English channel. What would you like to see? and don't be to outrageous as you would need to consider programing rights issues for such things as sports (if you wanted sports on it). Lets have your ideas please via email and I will publish them. What would you like to see News? Comedy? Movies? Sports? Music? Documentrys? Soaps? Gameshows? XXX movies? What sort of programming would breathe life into the Cband market? Lets hear your thoughts! Dealers and installers PLEASE give feedback on this what type of channel could you "sell" as a FTA service
From my Emails & ICQ
From Dave Nolan 22/02/02
Telkom 1 3460H 28000 VPID 60 APID 61 PCR PID 60 METRO TV but Reads GLOBAL-1 is FTA but Audio ratshit.
From Me 23/02/02
B1, 12357 V Sr 6110 Vpid 1160 Apid 1120 "Mediasat, Womans golf" feed 16x9
From the Dish
Palapa C2 113E 11150 V "FTV has replaced FTV Entertainment" on , Sid5, PIDs 32/34.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3480 H "NTA - National TV of Armenia has replaced Nile Drama" on SID 21, PIDs 520/648.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H All channels in the TARBS mux are FTA.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "NET 105.8 and Kanal Melodia" have started, SIDs 65 and 67, APIDs 664 and 666. New SID and APID for ERA 5: 62 and 661.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "Kanal 7 has replaced Kanal D", SID 4, PIDs 515/643.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "Pink Plus" has left, replaced by a test card.
Insat 3C 74E DD Northeast reported in Japan very weak signal
PAS 10 68.5E 4064 H NID/TID and SIDs for the mux on : 1/100 and 1-5.
Vista Will Provide Satellite Transmission for Grammy Awards Ceremony
VISTA Satellite Communications Inc., a Sunrise, Fla.-based satellite and video services company, will provide the satellite transmission of the 44th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony on Thursday from Los Angeles.
The ceremony, distributed to the international market by Alfred Haber Inc., will be broadcast to a worldwide audience of more than 1.7 billion viewers in 175 countries. The Grammy Awards, the recording industry's most prestigious awards, have used VISTA's satellite transmission services for the past 12 years.
The transmission will originate from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and use four satellites around the world to relay the three-hour program. Cossette Productions produces the show for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Inc.
MIH Technology Selected by China's Major Central Satellite Distribution Platform
MIH Ltd., the Subscriber Platforms and supporting Technologies Group, Friday announced that its subsidiary Irdeto Access has been selected by CSTTC, China's major central satellite distribution platform, to provide its latest content protection solution, Irdeto (pi)sys, to secure four of the CCTV channels in the People's Republic of China.
CSTTC (China Satellite Television Transmission Center) will broadcast the CCTV signals via C-Band.
This important milestone follows closely on the China State Administration of Radio, Film and Television announcement in February that Irdeto Access has been approved as one of the only two foreign conditional access suppliers to the Chinese market.
"Having committed ourselves over the last five years to developing our business in China, the achievement of this milestone is gratifying and opens the doors for Irdeto Access' continued expansion in this important market," commented MIHL's chief executive officer, Cobus Stofberg.
The group's activities are focussed on subscriber platforms providing subscription, television and Internet services to over 2 million paying subscribers in Africa, the Mediterranean and Asia. Fifty-nine percent of its subscriber base consists of digital subscribers.
Across its platforms MIH has secured long-term rights to premium movies, major sporting events and popular children's programming, all of which are tailored for the local market. The television platforms also provide a range of interactive services such as online games, shopping, banking and on-demand information. MIH has a holding in QQ, the most pervasive instant-messaging platform in China.
Supporting its subscriber platforms, MIH's technologies, including OpenTV, Irdeto Access and Mindport, provide interactive, encryption, customer care and billing and other related services to channel and platform operators worldwide. OpenTV builds a complete software and infrastructure platform that enables digital interactive television and brings on-demand content to other digital communications devices.
OpenTV's software has been shipped with or installed in more than 23.5 million digital set-top boxes worldwide and has been selected by 50 digital cable, satellite and terrestrial communications networks in over 50 countries.
11 subsidiaries to go as Zee board clears restructuring plan
In the end it went through 21 days later than initially announced but the pieces appear to be falling in place for a strategic investor to come on board. Subhash Chandra's Zee Telefilms Ltd (ZTL), at its board meeting today, cleared a corporate restructuring proposal whereby 11 of its subsidiaries would either be merged with ZTL or wound up.
After this exercise is completed (expected to take six to eight months) there will remain only 12 companies under the ZTL umbrella. An official statement says the revised corporate structure will result in better utilisation of resources besides being simple and efficient from the point of view of compliance of tax laws, accounting and legal compliances.
The move by Zee Telefilms to further rationalise its large number of subsidiaries follows divestment of its stake last year in three subsidiaries Buddha Films LTD, Zee Sports LTD and Zee Publishing Ltd.
ZTL currently has eight wholly-owned subsidiaries in India including Patco, EL-Zee Television LTD, Siti cable, ZIML, e-Connect India, ZILS besides two regional channel companies in Dakshin Media LTD (Tamil) and Kaveri Entertainment LTD (Kannada).
Its overseas subsidiaries include Zee Multimedia Worldwide LTD British Virgin Islands (ZMWLBVI) which is the holding company of ZMWL Mauritius and others. ZTL holds 50 per cent stake each in Winterhealth Company LTD which is the holding company for Asia Today Ltd.
Other ZTL subsidiaries functioning abroad include Expand Fast Holding BVI (which is the broadcasting company for Zee Music, Alpha and English channels) and Zee Multimedia Worldwide, Mauritius.
Companies proposed to be wound up:
1. E-Connect India Ltd
2. Programme Asia Trading Company Ltd
3. Elzee Television Ltd
4. Kaveri Entertainment Ltd
5. Dakshin Media Ltd
6. Winterhealth Company Ltd, Mauritius
7. Hokushan Trading Ltd, Hong Kong
8. Expand Fast Holdings Ltd, BVI
9. Zee Multimedia Worldwide Ltd, BVI
10. Asia TV, USA
11. Zee TV SA (Proprietary) Ltd South Africa
(Craigs comment, No mention of the of the struggling Australasian service)
Prasar Bharati seeks fresh programming for DD Metro
Viewers, used to seeing reruns of popular soaps on DD Metro for the last six months, are likely to get a dose of fresh programming shortly.
Prasar Bharati has invited proposals from television and film producers for DD Metro under the sponsored category. The programmes to be allotted span all categories, including the prime time, mid prime time and non prime time slots, according to an advertisement released by the pubcaster in a daily on Friday. This is the second time DD is inviting programme proposals from independent producers after it broke up with Channel Nine Gold in September 2001. That was the last time Prasar Bharati approached independent producers for proposals.
The details regarding the slots, genres of programmes, revised telecast fees and admissibility of FCT are to be collected from local DD kendras in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Jalandhar as also at Doordarshan Bhavan in New Delhi.
The proposals are to be submitted accompanied by the pilot episodes at the Facilitation Counter, Directorate General, Doordarshan, Doordarshan Bhavan, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi.
The deadline for applications is 5 pm on 22 March 2002.
Insat-3C declared operational
The Indian Space Research Organisation's (Isro) latest multi-purpose geostationary satellite, Insat 3C, was declared operational today, providing a boost to the satellite communication capabilities of India.
Isro satellite centre director Dr PS Goel was quoted as telling reporters that the users were utilising the payloads and already three transponders had been handed over to them.
The Isro-built spacecraft had 24 normal C-band transponders, six extended C-band transponders, two S-band broadcast satellite transponders and a mobile satellite service transponder.
Goel ruled out leasing transponders to foreign organisations like Intelsat and added that there is already a large commitment from Indian users.
The Insat-3C and Insat-3A, planned to be launched later this year, are targeted at domestic users whereas Insat-3C was mainly built for India coverage.
He said the Isro would soon discuss with Arianespace to fix a launch date for Insat-3A.
Indicating that Isro might embark on building satellites for other countries after the completion of the Insat-3E project, Dr Goel said the Department of Space's marketing agency had already initiated talks with some in this regard.
All the systems of Insat-3C have been performing as per predictions. The satellite has 488 kg fuel left on board which will be sufficient for its design life of 12 years. The satellite is intended to continue the services of Insat-2DT and Insat-2C which are nearing the end of their life besides improving and augmenting the Insat system capacity.
Moving from MPEG-4 on to VP5?
Video-compression provider On2 Technologies is taking aim at MPEG-4, releasing an update of its own technology, known as VP5, as companies wrangle over proposed licensing fees for the emerging digital video standard.
New York-based On2 said VP5 is up to a 50 percent improvement over its VP4 technology, which supports RealNetworks' RealPlayer and RealSystem iQ to enable consumers to view digital video. The company said VP5 is designed to handle real-time compression of live TV broadcasts, including sports and action footage. For instance, if viewers were to watch an ice skater on a PC, the new codec would eliminate any white splotches on the screen as well as any shadowing, or ghost-like images, the company said.
Codecs are pieces of software that are used to compress large video files into smaller ones so that they can be sent over the Web, wireless devices, set-top boxes and electronic gaming devices.
"The timing (of VP5) is significant because codecs keep getting better," said Ross Rubin, senior analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix. VP5 "may well be the best one out there, partly because it's the newest one. But I don't necessarily think it's sustainable. It's just important to be competitive...(and) we've got to ensure that the video gets the amount of bandwidth it needs all the time for a good video experience."
The launch of VP5 comes as media companies are weighing a controversial licensing plan for MPEG-4, a digital media format that is being positioned as a new industry standard. Under the plan, put forward by MPEG LA, licensees would pay 25 cents each for MPEG-4 products such as decoders and encoders, with fees capped at $1 million a year for each licensee. It also suggests charging a per-minute use fee with no cap, equivalent to 2 cents for each hour encoded.
Tech heavyweight Apple Computer, a major MPEG-4 backer, quickly rejected the proposed licensing terms, previewing but refusing to release new QuickTime products that support the standard until a new deal is reached. In addition, the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA), a standards body, is asking MPEG LA to open the proposed licensing plan to industry review and discussion. The ISMA is concerned that the royalty model MPEG LA has outlined will not foster the development of MPEG-4.
On2 also opposed the new licensing plan and sent a letter to the ISMA, proposing to make its codec an alternative to MPEG-4 and promising to make it available at no charge. Last year, On2 released an open-source version of its VP3.2 video-compression technology.
Rubin said On2 is not the first company to make claims that its codec is close to true broadcast quality. He said Microsoft, for instance, has claimed that its latest codec will be able to deliver near DVD-quality in a minimal broadband capacity. He added that the quality of service available to provide these streams is the key ingredient because "once you achieve a certain amount of Internet congestion, you have to degrade the signal or it becomes choppy."
Still, On2 is wagering that VP5 will let people watch true broadcast-quality videos. The company said VP5 is more efficient and delivers higher quality at lower bit rates than MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Real 8, Windows Media 8 and Apple QuickTime 5. On2 said the download and streaming versions of VP5 are available through the RealPlayer at its Web site.
"Other codecs make an adaptation--they actually change the video and then compress it so it doesn't look the same," said On2 CEO Douglas McIntyre. "We don't do anything to the original...(VP5) gives back full resolution to the quality of the original stuff."
(Craigs comment not satelite related but some of this technology could make its way into satellite receivers or other settop boxes)
NBC Goes for the Digital Gold in Salt Lake City
The 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City will test a challenge NBC posed to itself prior to its broadcast of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney: to build an infrastructure that can be readily repurposed for more than one Olympics broadcast. To up the ante, the 2002 Salt Lake games, to be shown on NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, and NBCOlympics.com, will provide over 300 hours worth of coverage for the network. According to the Chairman of NBC Sports & Olympics Dick Ebersol, this year's 375.5 total hours of coverage more than doubles the 179 Olympic hours broadcast by CBS from Nagano, Japan in 1998 -- without including the daily six to eight hours of HD transmissions.
"We migrated to digital when we built the Sydney plant in 1999," said David Mazza, vice president of engineering, NBC Olympics. He noted that everything was digital there, "from the remote trucks at the venues to the transmission paths to the IBC (International Broadcast Center), all throughout the IBC plant and both the satellite and fiber feeds back to the U.S. In 1995 we also got the rights for 2000 in Sydney and 2002 in Salt Lake City and, shortly thereafter, the rights to the next three cities. So we built for Sydney with the idea of a multi-game infrastructure."
According to Mazza, the immense effort of building a re-useable all-digital infrastructure for Sydney is now, "paying off big-time." The Aussie infrastructure was installed on twelve 8 x 20-foot steel, shock-mounted platforms, each one of which held 20 racks. "They were moved from Sydney to Salt Lake City and reinstalled with minimal effort," added Mazza.
NBC added some new equipment to this year's Olympic setup. Among the new gear are Sony MSW-A2000 and MSW-M2000 MPEG IMX editing recorders with Betacam/SP/SX/Digital Betacam/MPEG IMX playback, which records a 50-megabit MPEG signal, takes a three-hour tape load, offers eight channels of audio, and also switches between 525 and 625. The audio feature is "a big selling point," according to Mazza, since it helps in the stereo editing suites, and the three-hour tape load is also attractive, since NBC will go home with between 30,000 and 40,000 video tapes. The switchable broadcast standard is ideal for the Olympics, which goes back and forth from countries with PAL and NTSC. The IMX VTRs in the near future will allow data transfers to the Sony MAV-555. NBC is using over 35 of these units. Also new is the Sony MVS-8000 production switcher, which also offers multi-format switching between 525, 625, and HD.
"Sony is a huge partner of ours in all of this," said Mazza. "They're our primary broadcast equipment provider, and both Sony products and Sony support are critical to our success here."
Also of significance is the fact that the 2002 Winter Games broadcast marks the first time that NBC's nonlinear editing capacity has exceeded its linear editing capacity. In addition to 14 Avid Symphonys, NBC also has 11 Avid Media station XLs and seven Avid Unity MediaNet systems, which will allow all the systems to be tied together. The Media Station XLs will be utilized for the time-consuming input, logging, and output of footage, while the Symphonys will be reserved for editing.
"Before Avid Unity, the Symphonys were only used for feature-based work, where we had more time," explained Mazza. "Now, with Unity, we're seeing faster-turnaround items go to the Avid. It offers a higher level of polish and allows people to change their minds a lot."
For control of the Sony IMX VTRs during linear editing, NBC purchased 16 Editware DPE-551 Hybrid Editing Systems. The Editware DPE-551s are able to control the IMX recorders' eight discrete channels of audio.
Also new is a range of gear from Pinnacle Systems, including the FXDeko II 3D character generator, the Thunder XL expandable clip and stillstore, and the four-channel, 10-bit 4:4:4:4 frame-based DVEXcel digital video effects system. NBC is also using the Graham-Patten Systems D/ESAM-8000, an 8-bus audio mixer with extensive surround sound mixing and monitoring capabilities, for formats supported by DVD, DTV, and other digital delivery systems.
NBC will use the Radyne ComStream Tiernan TDR-6 Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) to receive and decode compressed HDTV signals, for distribution and programming to NBC affiliate stations nationwide. "Our goal is to get as much HD in front of the American public as possible," said Mazza.
Digital technology also enables NBC to offer unprecedented access of all footage to its entire production staff. For the first time, working with German company tecmath (recently renamed Blue Order in the U.S.), NBC is recording ten simultaneous 1.5 Mb-proxy streams, which are being put onto a 20-terrabyte EMC disk array.
"Those proxies will be available to any of our production personnel in the International Broadcast Center (IBC) production facility through a Web browser," said Mazza. "They can screen the proxies with timecode accuracy and make a rough cut edit, create a list of shots to be digitized by the Avids, or take an EDL to one of the linear edit suites."
The low-resolution proxies will also be useful in other ways. "When we make a history copy of the tape, there might be 30 people trying to get it, to pull a sequence off," commented Mazza. "Now, they'll be able to search the tape in low-resolution and they'll only need the high-res tape for a few minutes, to pull off their segment. We don't have to make 30 dubs of the tape to give everyone access to it."
Mazza noted that the ultimate goal for NBC is to have high resolution material on the servers. But in addition to the cost of storage, he said, the risk associated with storing everything on a single disk array is still too high. Though that goal might seem like a vision of a far-off future, NBC's engineering of the 2002 Winter Olympics proves that too may become a reality sooner than expected.
Very quiet today not much going on, no replys yet from Trackside Channel or The Edge Radio as to FTA plans. I will be updating all the satellite pages tonight since I have got a bit out of date with all the recent changes. Has anyone picked up anything from Insat 3C at 74E? Yes the beams say India but the services testing are analog it should be possible to see any hint of out of footprint signal
From my Emails & ICQ
BBC world is still FTA on Pas 2 at 3744v
From Bob Cooper
TechTV (Asiasat3) had PowerVu turned on for an hour or so mid afternoon and verify March
1 switchoff of FTA.
From Bill Richards 21/02/02
Pas2 3901H "BBC Channel has no Video or Audio it is not Encrypted"
(Craigs comment, today someone with a S.A power Vu unit reports the signals encrypted)
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 3850 H "Hong Kong Jockey Club and the test card on PIDs 1460/1420 are not on .
PAS 2 169E 3901 H "BBC World has left? is not encrypted.? (Current status unknown)
Palapa C2 113E 11150 V "FTV Entertainment and FTV News Channel" are back on, SIDs 5-6, PIDs 32/34 and 44/43. New PIDs for all channels.CSN has left this mux.
Insat 2B 93.5E 4170 V "DD Gyandarshan" has left, moved to Insat 3C.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3536 V "Jain Satellite TV" has left.(Moving to Insat 3C perhaps?)
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3780 V "DD North-East" has left, moved to Insat 3C.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3796 V "DD North-East" has left (MPEG-2).
Insat 3C 74E 4121 H "DD North-East" has started, PAL, 5.50 MHz.
PAS 10 68.5E 4154 H A test card has started on , PIDs 1860/1820.
PAS 10 68.5E 4064 H "Shopping on the Box" has started FTA, Vpid 1260 Apid 1220.
Football fans win in pay-TV deal
AFL matches will be shown on all three pay-TV stations this year.
Optus will carry the Fox Footy channel after signing a deal with rival Foxtel yesterday, and Austar is poised to strike a similar deal in the coming days.
The agreements will virtually double football's armchair audience, and will placate country and interstate fans concerned about coverage on free-to-air TV.
The three-year deal with Optus is expected to begin mid-March, in time for the start of the AFL premiership season.
An Optus spokeswoman said subscribers would have to pay about $10 a month extra for the footy channel.
Neither Foxtel nor Optus would disclose the value of yesterday's deal.
Optus chief executive Chris Anderson said the agreement would be welcomed by the station's football followers.
"They will have access to premium AFL programming through the Fox Footy channel, which will significantly strengthen the Optus TV line-up," he said.
The AFL's commercial operations manager, Ben Buckley, said the league was delighted with the deal.
"Our goal has been to get the widest possible distribution in Australia for our football coverage, so we're very pleased that discussions between the two parties have concluded today," Mr Buckley said.
Optus has about 260,000 subscribers, mainly in capital cities.
Foxtel chief executive Ken Williams told a conference in Sydney of a similar deal with Austar, which has nearly 450,000 subscribers in regional Australia.
"We haven't actually signed the deal but we're very close to it, in the next day or two," an Austar spokesman said late yesterday.
Irate country football fans across Australia have sent letters and e-mails to the Herald Sun this week complaining about the lack of football coverage last weekend.
The AFL has been negotiating with channels Nine and Ten and their regional affiliates over the past few days in a bid to secure optimum coverage in interstate and country football markets.
Austar edges closer to debt deal
AUSTAR United Communications is making progress on two key issues for its future, including finalising a refinancing of its loan package with a syndicate of banks.
The regional pay TV group has been negotiating with its 15-member banking consortium about restructuring its existing $400 million debt facility.
Chief executive John Porter wouldn't put any specific date on when the refinancing would likely occur but said: "We're extremely optimistic about bringing (it) to a conclusion on a reasonable timetable".
"We think there's zero likelihood of any other outcome," he told journalists at a pay TV conference in Sydney.
"We've got 94 per cent of the interest in the syndicate already in so we're working on the last six per cent."
The banking consortium includes the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Citibank and JP Morgan.
Mr Porter said Austar continued to make progress on talks with Optus about potential ways to merge parts of their respective pay TV based businesses.
A set of strategic talks has been ongoing since the start of the year and Mr Porter said progress was being made.
"We've acknowledged ongoing discussions with Optus' Consumer & Multimedia (division) and possible ways of working more closely together," he said.
"We believe there's an opportunity there, whether we can (find) a way forward or not is up in the air. It's something we're putting some effort into."
Mr Porter said there was a need for some sort of rationalisation in the pay-TV industry in Australia.
That could involve either "Foxtel shareholders, or Optus and Austar, or Austar and Foxtel, or Optus and Foxtel", he said.
Optus is owned by Singapore Telecommunications. A spokesman for Optus said he had nothing further to add on the talks.
Liberty Media Corp is the controlling shareholder of Austar's 81.3 per cent owner, UnitedGlobalCom Inc.
Austar shares closed 1.5c stronger at 32.5c, while SingTel shares finished 3c firmer at $1.72.
Chinese Digital TV to get excellent reception
China expects to build up a digital television (DTV) broadcasting system by the year 2010 to replace the current analogue broadcasting system.
According to a long-term plan made by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), analogue broadcasting will be halted by 2015, and eight satellite TV channels will produce and transmit DTV programmes by 2005.
It means that Chinese audiences can enjoy much clearer television programmes in the near future as long as they add a small facility to receive digital coding.
Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen of South China's Guangdong Province currently have set up regional DTV networks as part of a trial.
Cable TV deliverers in Southwest China's Sichuan Province have also experimented to provide interactive TV programmes for their 7 million subscribers with support from international DTV facility manufacturers.
However, the crucial problem for DTV's development in China now is the formulation of DTV transmission standards.
DTV - including High Definition Television (HDTV) and Standard Definition Television (SDTV) - means the producing, distributing, transmitting and receiving of television programmes should all use digital coding and transmission technology.
The United States, Japan and Europe have all publicized their own DTV transmission standards and are promoting them to other countries.
China gathered a group of experts in 1999 and organized a special committee to draw up its own DTV broadcasting standards.
"It is very important to have our own standards," said a researcher at Tsinghua University who declined to be named. "Otherwise, just like the cases of DVD (digital versatile discs) and CDMA (code-division multiple-access) technology, our manufacturers will have to pay a lot of money for the patent."
Four domestic research institutions, including Tsinghua University and Shanghai Jiaotong University, in October submitted five HDTV schemes transmission standards, which is compatible with SDTV transmission standards.
The standard-making committee, having already put these schemes to the test, will make the final decision on which scheme to choose by next year, according to the SARFT timetable.
Experts predict that cable television will be the first section where DTV technology is widely utilized. In fact, the sports channel of China Central Television has used DTV technology to interactively broadcast the Ninth National Games held in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province last year.
Things seem rather quiet. I have sent out Emails to "The Edge Radio" and the "TAB Trackside" Channel to encourage some feedback in hope they will consider going FTA. These services transmit inside SKY's transponders on Optus B1. If Trackside can't broadcast FTA then I have asked for them to at least make the Trackside Radio FTA afterall they are NOT a pay tv channel and the UHF FTA transmissions do not go far. They were up there FTA without audio several months back anyway so it could be very possible the only difficulty could be now they share channel space with Fashion TV. Mind you on UHF they share with Discovery channel and they seem to be able to manage that ok.
New Satellite Active! Insat 3C at 74E is now active, send in some reports please and I will add this if it can be received well in Australia.
India vs Zimbabwe Cricket anyone spot a feed?
Ever wonder what is on the encrypted AFRTS stuff on the Intelsats?
Have a look here at the program guide http://www.myafn.net/tv/schedule/
From my Emails & ICQ
Wondering if anyone has noticed that Sahara TV on Asiasat 3S seems to be on lower power since Wednesday.
Or is it just me.
I'm using a 2.7 metre or 9 foot dish hooked up to an Echostar LT 830 tuner.
Perth Western Australia.
From Bill Richards 20/2/02
Pas 2 Hong Kong Bouquet has moved from 4148v to 3850h Sr 14900 Fec 2/3
Same Ch line up.
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 3850 H "The Hong Kong Bouquet" has moved here from 4148 V, Sr 14900, Fec2/3, same line-up.
PAS 2 169E 3901 H "BBC World" is now encrypted. (Some Pacific Island's have probably lost BBC World then)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3616 V "PTV Channel 3" has left
Apstar 2R 76.5E 4045 V "The test card" has left.
Insat 3C 74E 4165 H "DD Gyandarshan" has started , PAL, 5.50 MHz Audio .
Insat 3C 74E 4121 H "A test card has started" , PAL.
PAS 10 68.5E 4154 H "Fashion TV has replaced Nickelodeon Hungary" Sid 51, Vpid 1560 Apid 1521.
Invitation to bid for the Use of the 4 BSS Transponders on the AsiaSat 4 Satellite
20 Feb 2002, On 27 June 2000, the Chief Executive in Council granted Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) a licence to provide transmission facilities on AsiaSat's satellite, AsiaSat 4, for four of the Broadcasting Satellite Service (BSS) channels that have been assigned to Hong Kong for use by the International Telecommunication Union. AsiaSat 4 will also carry other Fixed Satellite Service channels and is scheduled to be launched later this year subject to possible delays.
Holders or prospective holders of television programme service licences granted under the Broadcasting Ordinance may bid for the use of the transponders carrying the four BSS channels on AsiaSat 4 to provide television programme services for reception by the public in Hong Kong. AsiaSat is required to make available such transponders in an open, reasonable and non-discretionary manner. To ensure that this requirement is complied with, AsiaSat has established a Bidding Procedure for the leasing of the BSS transponders, which is attached to the Guidance Note issued by the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau on 20 December 2001. The Guidance Note is publicly available at the ITBB's website at http://www.info.gov.hk/itbb. Interested parties are advised to refer to such Guidance Note for further information and should contact AsiaSat for the relevant documentation at the address shown below:
Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited
Attention: Ms. Catherine Chang
23rd Floor, East Exchange Tower
38 Leighton Road
Telephone No. 2805 7310
Facsimile No. 2881 7593
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
AsiaSat will make available the relevant documentation, ie, technical specifications and bidding information, to interested parties who have signed a non-disclosure agreement and have paid a non-refundable administration fee of HK$50,000.
All bids must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on 2 April 2002.
Asia Pacific Markets Pose Profits for Direct-to-Home Satellite Providers
SAN JOSE, Calif., February 20, 2002/SatNews -- Despite having five times the number of television households of North America, the Asia-Pacific region possesses only one quarter of the direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television users, resulting in a market that has great potential yet struggles for profitability.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Asia Pacific Direct-to-Home Satellite Television Services Markets, reveals that this industry generated revenues of $1.7 billion in 2001 and is projected to surge to $6.2 billion by 2008.
"Research has failed to identify a single DTH multi-channel pay-television service provider who had yet to turn a profit for its investors. Many of the DTH providers are showing impressive growth in their subscriber numbers, but operations and other costs are growing at the same pace," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Patrick French.
The ability to offer a greater range of channel options than cable analog systems has been a driving force in expanding the market's subscriber base. In addition, DTH's independence of a wireline infrastructure has allowed it to reach customers that were previously inaccessible. These improvements resulted in increased competition for the pay-television services industry and spurred cable operators to focus on further developing their own offerings.
"The success DTH service providers have had capitalizing on these advantages has pushed the cable television industry to modernize at a rapid rate. Many areas are seeing new, digital cable systems that offer a quality of service equal to DTH," states French. "For potential subscribers who have a choice between DTH or cable services, the differences are narrowing, making it more critical for the industry participants to make their case to the customer."
In order to succeed financially, DTH service providers have focused on making a long-term commitment to their users. This includes upgrading set top equipment to support interactive television services and a movement to bundle services such as Internet access and satellite-television.
Frost & Sullivan presents the 2001 Marketing Engineering Awards to companies that have worked diligently to make a positive contribution to the direct-to-home satellite television services industry. These market specific awards are presented to: SKY Perfect Communications, Inc.
Frost & Sullivan is a global leader in strategic market consulting and training. This ongoing research is part of the Satellite Communications Subscription, which also includes market analyses on North American Direct Broadcast Satellite Pay-Television Service Markets and World Broadband Satellite Services Markets. Frost & Sullivan also offers custom consulting to a variety of national and international companies. Executive summaries and interviews are available to the press
Turning off pay-TV
From AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW
There is a sense of déjà vu pervading the Australian pay-TV industry. In some instances, the names and the players have changed, but the dynamic remains the same.
As in October 1995, when the nation's most powerful pay-TV operator, Foxtel, proposed a merger with the financially crippled Australis, today the nation's pay-TV players are awaiting the outcome of merger talks that will determine the future shape of the industry.
Nobody genuinely believes that three pay-TV companies can make money in Australia. They never have. So it's little surprise to see history repeating itself, with the debt-ridden third player in the industry, Austar, negotiating a merger or alliance with the Singapore Telecommunications-controlled Optus.
The current model of three pay-TV players struggling to reach profitability is a far cry from the dream of the early 1990s that led Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and Telstra Corp to sign an agreement to launch pay-TV in Australia.
When Kerry Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting joined the union of Australia's most powerful media and telecommunications companies three years later in the Foxtel partnership, it should have been a match made in heaven.
But gods are yet to smile upon Foxtel as the egos and agendas of the nation's most powerful media and telecommunications companies have restrained the pay-TV group's development.
When industry players gather in Sydney today for the two-day annual pay-TV and radio industry conference, ASTRA 2002, discussion will inevitably turn to the rationalisation of the sector.
The merger talks between Austar and Optus are about stemming the mounting losses that have crippled the industry.
But determining the future of pay-TV in Australia will go beyond a mere merger between the second and third players in the sector.
Instead, it is about establishing a business model for the industry that works on a reasonable cost base, one that's governed by a reasonable regulatory regime and allows the transformation to digital services.
The digital issue in Australia is wider than the future of pay-TV. It is linked to the current debate over removing foreign and cross-media restrictions, the future of datacasting and the provision by the Federal Government of broadcasting spectrum in Australia.
Standardising the type of digital set-top box that will be rolled out in Australia for use by the free-to-air networks, pay-TV and other broadcasters is fundamental to the future.
As Foxtel's new chief executive, Kim Williams, told The Australian Financial Review recently: "Digitisation must happen and we will make it happen. Foxtel will deliver that future."
And as another senior industry executive put it: "Technology dictates changes in any market. With digital, Australia has been slow to get into it. It's got to get moving. Digital will be the breakthrough for the industry in Australia."
Doubts about the transformation to digital intensified last year, when the High Court upheld a decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to "declare" Telstra's network open to competition.
The Federal Government is working on legislation regulating access to digital pay-TV services, including amendments to the Trade Practices Act, to allow Foxtel to agree on access terms with competitors before digitising its network at an estimated cost of $500 million.
In the meantime, Austar and Optus continue discussions on a potential merger of their pay-TV businesses.
Austar might not be in the same financially crippled state as Australis, but the group is facing a $343 million full-year loss this year and its bankers are yet to agree to refinance its $400 million worth of debts.
Although the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission stymied the 1995 merger between Foxtel and Australis, this time consideration of any union will be different because Optus and Austar operate in separate markets.
A Telstra source says the group - which owns 50 per cent of Foxtel, with News Corp and Publishing and Broadcasting each holding 25 per cent - is comfortable enough to sit back and let the negotiations between Optus and Austar take their course.
Having run its own numbers on an Optus-Austar union, Telstra believes a merger between the pair is fundamentally uneconomic and that SingTel would not wear the burden of Austar's $400 million debt.
Foxtel believes a merger could cost SingTel up to $1 billion, comprising Austar's debt, $220million in equity, a premium for control and a line of fresh working capital to reinvigorate the business.
Foxtel is betting that SingTel, which was already criticised for laying out too much ($14 billion) for Optus last year, will not be prepared to pay for a solution.
Optus is assessing ways to minimise the funding burden, including considering an equity injection by a third party, parental guarantees over the Austar debt, or a heavily restructured debt instrument that removes some liability from Optus.
Optus chief executive Chris Anderson told fund managers at an institutional luncheon this week at UBS Warburg that the talks were aimed at building scale in the business.
But investors are sceptical, believing that a deal would only increase the Optus footprint to include regional Australia, rather than drive economies of scale in servicing its subscriber base.
Of concern to a merged Optus-Austar would be retaliation from Foxtel in the form of a price war for customers, backed by the multibillion-dollar annual free cash flow of Telstra.
In the fight for customers in a rationalised market, it could become a fight to the death to be won by the party with the deepest pockets. There could be only one winner: Foxtel.
But in order to offer a rival national service to compete with a merged Austar-Optus or a regional service to compete with Austar, Foxtel would need to spend many hundreds of millions of dollars on satellite capacity.
That investment, on top of mounting losses and the financing of an upgrade of Telstra's broadband cable, would likely prove unpalatable to Foxtel's shareholders.
At the end of next year, Telstra's obligation to pay for the cost of customer connections to the Foxtel network expires.
At present, Foxtel, like any other customer of the telco, is paying only for access to the HFC cable, while Telstra pays the cost of hooking up viewers. Once this sunset clause sets and the cost of connection reverts to Foxtel, its costs will skyrocket and that has Foxtel's shareholders worried.
Optus's strategy of bundling pay-TV services with the internet and telephony has certainly helped it outpace Foxtel in boosting subscribers over the past year.
While Foxtel's shareholders have been haggling over plans to introduce a bundled pay TV-telephony service, Optus has lifted its customer base by nearly 17 per cent to 559,000 over the past nine months.
In the 12 months to December 31, Foxtel lifted subscribers by 10 per cent, but that growth slowed to less than 5 per cent in the second half of 2001.
But compared with pay-TV in Europe, Asia and North America, the take-up of services in Australia has occurred at half the expected rate.
Penetration rates are now less than 25 per cent, when they should be well over 40 per cent.
The industry is being crippled by high programming costs flowing from the weak Australian dollar, particularly movie contracts with the Hollywood studios that were cut in US dollars and are not set to expire until 2007.
Foxtel's losses this year are tipped to rise to between $90 million and $100 million, largely as a result of the blowout in programming costs.
"The problem this industry faces is not solvable by the rationalisation of three companies into two or whatever. The No1 problem that this industry faces is cost of content," Austar chief executive John Porter told the AFR.
"We are charging customers too much. It's an attempt to recoup high programming costs. There is a reduced incentive to invest in capital because low margins are delivering low returns on equity."
The extent of the currency hit was illustrated this week by News Ltd's deputy chief executive, Peter Macourt, who told institutions that Foxtel would break even if the $A/$US exchange rate was at 70¢.
Compared with international benchmarks such as Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB in Europe, Foxtel's programming costs as a percentage of its total cost base are significantly higher.
While sport should be a major seller for pay-TV, the Federal Government's tough stance on anti-siphoning legislation - preventing certain sports from being shown on pay-TV - has also restricted the growth of the industry.
Australia stands in stark contrast to countries like Great Britain, where pay-TV coverage of sport has thrived.
Foxtel has consistently argued that having sports on the anti-siphoning list does not guarantee free-to-air TV coverage.
What it does guarantee, it claims, is that pay-TV is hindered from offering additional sports coverage.
Not much happening today. I put a TV set in the computer room, lots of interfearance on the bunny airs as expected so need to put an amp in the roof and run 3 extra jackpoints to various rooms. Will put in a wallplate for satellite as well that way the "Sky dish" on the roof can be used in the computer room or in 2 other bedrooms rather than just the lounge. Might need some kind of amp though since it would use a 4 way splitter. Perhaps some installers out there can advise.I think I need to feed the terrestrial signal to 4 outlets and the Sky dish (B1) signals to 4 outlets I guess I need a amp that does both? or a combiner unit?
New user "TOM" added to the Userpages, anyone is welcome to send in pics and details and I will put them up. A good chance to have some pics of your setup available on the net.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Andrew Harrison
I just noticed BBC and Adhoc 1 are now
encrypted on Pas 2 3901 h !(unless my Satcruiser has lost the plot) Asia
Pacific is still FTA on Adhoc 2.
(Craigs comment, maybe they went encrypted as planned, they are still available FTA on the other Pas 2 Freq. I hope you can get the Pas 8 signal still!)
From the Dish
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3700 V "Asianet Bharathi and Asianet Kaveri have replaced Alpha TV Punjabi and Alpha TV Gujarati on" , , SIDs 5-6, PIDs 164/96-165/100.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 4135 V "Alpha TV Gujarati and Alpha TV Punjabi have replaced Asianet Kaveri and Asianet Bharathi" on , SIDs 13-14 and PIDs 32/33 and 36/37.
Insat 2E 83E 4005 V "The test card is still on" , Sid 8, Vpid 1860 Apid 1820.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 4045 V "Fashion TV has left , replaced by a test card.
No news to report
Live chat in the chatroom at 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd time onwards. I notice instead of turning it off they have added a few popups to it, not much I can do about that. They shouldn't show if you have popup blocker software. Anyway considering the chatroom works well most of the time we will stick with this one. I havn't seen anything better anyway.
Some activity on B1, NZ beams
12483 V Sr 22500 Fec 3/4 (Saturn mux) S16 (Saturn Promo) and the Radio channel labled "CODE" have encrypted, a new unnamed encrypted service loads on Vpid 515 Apid 653 Sid 71
12733 V Sr 22500 Fec 3/4 (Saturn mux) has 4 new encrypted channels loading now as "NO NAME" the channels Labled S20 etc are still there. Could be Sky starting its use of the transponders. Those with Loggers may wish to monitor..
12733 V "Unnamed" Vpid 513 Apid 651 Sid 11
12733 V "Unnamed" Vpid 514 Apid 656 Sid 12
12733 V "Unnamed" Vpid 515 Apid 653 Sid 13
12733 V "Unnamed" Vpid 516 Apid 654 Sid 15
From the Dish
Measat 2 148E 11652 H "MAC TV" has left (Don't think this was there for very long to begin with)
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V All channels in the C Sky Net mux are encrypted again, except BLTV, MAC TV and Tzu Chi TV.
Palapa C2 113E 3718 H "TPIN" has left.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3760 H "Fashion TV" has left, replaced by a test card.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3660 V "Kuwait Space Channel" has started , FTA Vpid Apid 2561.
Nine, Prime kick-start NZ venture
Nine Network Australia and Prime Television Ltd have completed due diligence on Prime's New Zealand operations, formally starting a joint venture under which Nine will provide programming, promotional support and management assistance to Prime NZ.
Nine also has an option to buy 50 per cent of the free-to-air broadcaster at any time over the next five years.
Mr John Alexander, head of PBL Media, and Mr Brett Daley, Nine's chief financial officer, have joined Prime NZ's board.
The partnership is part of a broader strategy to be involved in companies that offer cross-promotional and cross-selling opportunities while not requiring the commitment of large amounts of cash up-front, said PBL chief executive Mr Peter Yates.
Prime NZ will be relaunched on March 3.
If Nine exercises its option, it will pay Prime 50 per cent of the amount of any funding contributed between the commencement of the venture and the time of the exercise of the option, Prime said in December when the venture was first announced.
The relationship with Prime is the second PBL investment in New Zealand of recent months. In November, the company's magazine unit, Australian Consolidated Press, announced the purchase of Liberty Press, a publisher of nine real estate and six motoring titles.
PTV has something new to offer
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan State Television, PTV turned modern on Saturday with its women newsreaders appearing without the 'hijab', the traditional duppatta loosely wrapped around their head as part of the network's modernisation programme.
The move, which was editorially criticised by some newspapers as a hasty step towards modernisation discarding traditions, was implemented with newsreader in the evening news bulletin appearing without the headgear. It is considered to be a radical move in a conservative society like Pakistan.
The move coincides with commencement of traditional 'Basant' festival which began in Lahore on Saturday.
The 10-day festival, which heralds the spring season, is a big draw every year with Pakistanis from all over the country converging at Lahore to celebrate it with music, dances and kite fights.
According to official policymakers of Pakistan media, with government giving licenses to start private televisions and radio stations, the state television has to gear up for competition.
An ordinance permitting the private television has been promulgated by President Pervez Musharraf.
SABe TV to air in UK from Friday
Add one more to the list of TV channels that are trying to get the attention of viewers belonging to the Indian diaspora across the globe. Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network (SABTNL)-promoted Hindi entertainment channel SABe TV is all set to start airing in the United Kingdom from Friday, 22 February.
The move marks a major advance in the global ambitions that Markand Adhikari, vice-chairman and managing director, SABe TV, has for his channel. Adhikari said today his company had entered into a joint venture agreement by acquiring a 50 per cent stake in a UK-based channel MATV Channel 6 the only operator among Asian channels to have secured a restricted service licence (a requirement for terrestrial broadcast).
MATV is a Leicestershire based free-to-air Asian channel that was launched in 1999 as a terrestrial broadcaster. From April 2000, MATV has been broadcasting through cable networks as well. MATV has achieved cash break even so there are no liabilities that SABTNL has to take up as part of this transaction.
Elaborating on the rollout plans that he has set forth, Adhikari said that initially, as a transitionary step, the channel will have both logos (MATV and SABe TV's) displayed on-screen. The channel's coverage will be spread across the entire United Kingdom, Adhikari said, while adding that every day the channel would have a one-hour slot devoted to news and current affairs. The unique feature of this one-hour slot is that local flavour has been brought in by demarcating content that differs from one county to another. Each county will have its own half hour news show with the remaining half hour devoted to happenings in that particular county. This could be in the form of events, interviews, profiles of individuals, all with a local flavour to it, Adhikari said.
Queried as to the kind of money that had gone into the venture, Adhikari said an initial investment of $1 million had been pumped in to acquire the channel. One of the clauses in the deal that works well for Adhikari is that a major chunk of the content on the channel will be sourced through SABTNL. This means a guaranteed revenue source and Adhikari expects to garner revenues of somewhere in the region of 500,000 pounds (Rs 35 million) through providing roughly 2,000 hours of programming a year to the channel.
Adhikari said this was the first major initiative on the part of SABTNL to leverage internationally the programming that it had built up over the years. SABTNL already has joint ventures in Sri Lanka and Indonesia for providing programming but that is small change when compared to what is planned for the UK.
One area where SABe TV UK will differ from its Indian counterpart is that it will be showcasing Hindi films, something that Adhikari has avoided here.
Asked whether there were other international markets he was looking to beyond the UK, Adhikari said the US as well as Australia were possible areas where SABe TV might have a presence at some point.
*Launched on 27th May 1999 through terrestrial broadcast, MATV has started broadcast through cable networks in Leicestershire from 1st April 2000.
*The channel MATV has already achieved a cash breakeven.
*Currently MATV reaches about 50,000 homes which accounts for about 200,000 viewers.
*Joint Venture plans to expand its reach through NTL cable network in nearby counties Nottingham, Derby, Coventry Manchester, Bradford and London city during the current year.
*The expanded reach will provide for connectivity to around 250,000 to 300,000 households with around a million to 1.25 million viewers.
*MATV has an alliance with SKY Television for the broadcast of SKY News.
*MATV broadcasts about 63 hours of new content a week in Hindi and Gujarati language of which about 18 hours of content is produced inhouse.
Yes we are back with a good size update. Yes the move all went perfectly. I just setup my 76cm on B1 this afternoon and ran the cable to the Nokia in my room (yes it still has the brickmount!). In the lounge the Digisat Gwe 2100 FTA unit is setup and getting a nice signal from the 65cm Sky dish on B1 that was on the house when we moved in. Even gets Abc, and the normal feed channels. The best news is studying the yard I can put something up along the back fence 2.4M-3M solid motorised dish would see me back in business! The mesh 3.7M can stay in the box as there is not enough room for it. Now the dodgy bit the resource consent permit. Lots of $ (someone said $300??) and other nonsense. I have heard that can be bypassed by installing the dish onto a trailer. So things are getting promising!
Can someone check ChannelNews Asia, according to their website they should have Teletext, Please let me know if you find TXT on their service.
Sky Software update? suposedly on the 13th Sky reset their satellite decoders back to the default software and then downloaded a new software update. Anyone reports some changes?
Satfacts page has been updated
Program Links added for French FTA channels on I701
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards 17/02/02
Pas 2 3708 H Sr 6110 Fec 3/4 Vpid 33 Apid 34 Sid1 "NBC running 24 hours a day direct U.S feed including adverts and Winter Olympics coverage"
TV Guide here http://2002.ksl.com/program_guide/week2.php
(Craigs comment, its not often we see a live direct feed of a U.S Network.)
From Chris Pickstock 17/02/02
B1, 12326 H, Sr 6980, channel 9 feed from Adelaide, SA v Qld one day match
B1, 12356 V, Sr 6110, AFL feed, game hasn't started yet.
From John Harrison 16/02/02
B1 12367 V Sr 6110 Fec 3/4 "AFL, Geelong v Richmond" in 16:9 Format, played at Baytec stadium
This game also available on B1 12362 H SR 5424 FEC 3/4 (Imparja Uplink)
B3 12336 V Sr 30000 Fec 2/3 "AFL, Carlton v West coast" appears to be preparing for the game
From Glenn P 16/02/02
RE OPTUS Total signal outage
It was a large storm that passed through Sydney & over the Belrose area in
Sydney's Northern suburbs where Optus' main Earth station is.
All B3, B1, PAS8 signals plus others that originate from the Sydney area or
the Optus Main Satellite Earth station, were lost for a period of time due
to rain fade & thick cloud, which stopped the signal getting through to the
The local ABC Terrestrial services went off the air because the transmitters
receive their feed signals off the B1 Satellite.
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 12297 H "National Open University" has started on, Sr 3333, Fec 3/4, Vpid 33 Apid 34, Chinese beam.
Optus B3 156E All radio channels that were on 12626 H have moved to 12564 H.
Optus B3 156E 12564 H All radio channels are now encrypted.
Apstar 1A 134E 4063 V "Shandong TV" has left
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V All channels in the C Sky Net mux are FTA.
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "BNE TV has replaced Unique Satellite TV and CSMTV" on , MPEG-2/clear, SID 404, PIDs 1056/1057.
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "Rainbow Channel 1 has replaced Rainbow Channel 2" on SID 406, PIDs 1152/1153.
Palapa C2 113E 3707 H "Myawady TV" has started on , SID 5925, Fec 3/4,Vpid 4194 Apid 4195, Asian beam.
Palapa C2 113E 3880 H "A Metro TV test card" has started on, PIDs 515/653.
Palapa C2 113E 3924 H "TPIN" has left
Palapa C2 113E 11150 V "FTV Entertainment and FTV News Channel" have left.
Palapa C2 113E 11150 V "CSN is back on SID 6, PIDs 161/162." New PIDs for all channels.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3749 V "Ekushey World is FTA again.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3880 H "The Phoenix Chinese info card" has left.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3786 H "Occasional feeds" , Sr 6110, Fec3/4.
Insat 2E 83E 4005 V The test card has left.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3480 H "Tele Liban, Nile Drama, Syria Satellite Channel, SIC Internacional,
Nile Variety and Syrian Radio" have started. (Encrypted)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H "HRT TV 1" has left, replaced by a test card.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H Ant 1 97.1, ERA 5 and ERA Spor have started (Encrypted Radio) , APIDs 662, 664 and 665.
LMI 1 75E 3430 H "Radio Lanka" has left.
PAS 10 68.5E 4064 H Five test cards have started on, Sr 19850, Fec 7/8,PIDs 1160/1120-1560/1520.
PAS 10 68.5E 4064 H "Occasional feeds" on PIDs 1160/1120.
Prime TV changes focus
Good-bye Last of the Summer Wine, hello Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Prime TV made clear its change of direction on Friday February 15 at a swanky Auckland function on the Waterfront.
In the process, Prime looks set to lose the intellectual programming high-ground it has stolen from TV ONE in recent years with its documentary and drama programming.
Among the new offerings, which spring out of the channel's relationship with top-rating Australian network Channel Nine, are The Late Show with David Letterman, RPA, Water Rats, Burke's Backyard, Getaway and Entertainment Tonight. Programmes which will remain from the old Prime line-up include the BBC Wild documentary strand and The Bill.
The channel is focusing on TV ONE's target demographic of 25-54 year-olds, offering something of a mix between TV ONE and TV2's programming - as is evident by the fact that much of the programming has been screened on one of the TVNZ channels previously.
The goal for the 'new' Prime is to achieve a 10 percent audience share within the next year, with an eye on 13-15 percent. Whether this is realistic or not is a moot point - TV3, going into its thirteenth year on air, is sitting at around 20 percent in the 5+ demographic.
What cannot be denied however is Prime's increased purchasing power - demonstrated in their contract with US distributors Paramount, which supplies Prime with the likes of Entertainment Tonight, and the new Star Trek series, Enterprise.
It should be expected that Channel Nine will leverage similar deals as the relationship with Prime evolves - Survivor and Friends are two of Channel Nine's flagship shows, currently under contract to TV3 and TV2 respectively in New Zealand.
On an interesting note, Prime will be screening Channel Nine's Sunday programme when the new line-up launches on March 3 - two weeks before TV ONE launches its new flagship current affairs programme of the same name.
(Craigs comment, This is the NZ Prime TV not the Australian one, mind you by the look of the Australian programming taking over it could pass for a Australian channel. If they want a %10 audience share they get a start on that by going unencrypted via Sky surely it's in their best interest to be available to as many viewers as possible.)
SKY NZ OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday, 13 February 2002
Sky Television Releases December 31, 2001 Half Year Results
In the six months ended 31 December 2001 SKY TV of New Zealand narrowed its net loss to $13.2 million from $19.6 million in the comparable period. This is an improvement of $6.4 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was up 43.5% from $36.3 million to $52.1 million over the comparable period last year.
Highlights for the six month period included strong subscriber growth, new programming initiatives and continued development of interactive services. SKY also entered into carriage agreements with TVNZ and TelstraClear and in October SKY raised $111 million through a successful Capital Notes issue.
At 31 December 2001, SKY's subscriber base reached an all time high of 442,822, a gain of more than 12,000 for the six month period. The breakdown between digital and analogue subscribers is 300,252 (68%) and 140,622 (32%) respectively.
Churn, a measure of subscribers who disconnect their service, set a record low of 21.8%. The previous year's was 22.9%. Net churn, calculated by removing subscribers that reconnect has also fallen to 14.4% compared to 17.1% in the prior year.
Pay-per-view continues to be the flagship of our interactive services with revenue of $4.8 million for the six month period. SKY commenced the download of Open TV, SKY's interactive television operating system. Work is still on-going to resolve some outstanding software issues. Regardless of these problems, digital subscribers now have access to a new interactive program guide, weather and games, which has been well received. Over six thousand customers have signed on to the interactive games to date.
In addition to the interactive services, TV1 and TV2, J2, the Edge, Wolf Radio and 12 new audio channels became available on SKY's digital service during the period, of which 5,000 customers have signed. BBC World commenced from 1 January, 2002 and two new lifestyle channels will become available shortly.
Two significant contracts were signed during the period. A carriage agreement with TVNZ which has made TV1 and TV2 available nationwide via the digital platform. The second agreement allows for SKY to be carried on the TelstraClear cable network. This will add approximately 25,000 subscribers to our total subscriber base when the necessary equipment is installed.
Since the results both churn and subscriber growth has continued to show improvement. The subscriber count as of yesterday which would include TelstraClear customers have now reached 476,210 which is an all time high.
For further information contact:
John Fellet, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: (09) 579 9999
Fax: (09) 525 8324
Tony O'Brien, Director of Communications Chris Turner
Tel: (09) 579 9999 General Manager
(Craigs comment, I can't believe they found 6000 subscribers who actually wanted to pay for these so called "games" they look and play like somthing from the 80's)
Indonesia Plans to Sell 65% of Indosat
The Indonesian government will sell its 65 percent stake in PT Indonesia Satellite Corporation (Indosat) to raise badly needed cash for its operations this year.
The government intends to divest its holdings in two stages: the first stage would be through a tender offer in June and the second through a private placement to a strategic partner in October. No announcement was made as to the how many shares would be sold in each stage. State Enterprises Minister Laksamana Sukardi confirmed that the government would sell its entire 65 percent stake in Indosat instead of a minority stake as previously planned to meet its 2002 revenue goals.
Indosat and state-owned satellite operator, PT Satelit Palapa Indonesia (Satelindo), share a monopoly on international calls until 2004. Satelindo operates the Palapa satellite constellation and last year announced the launch of a new satellite in 2003. It will begin inviting bids for the satellite's manufacture and launch this year. Satelindo said the new and as yet unnamed satellite will help meet increasing demand from local broadcasting companies. State-owned PT Telkom, operator of the Telkom 1 satellite and the monopoly domestic long distance operator, will cede its monopoly on local calls until 2010 to support the liberalization of the Indonesian telecoms sector.
Arianespace, France's leading aerospace firm, said it is confident it would launch Indonesia's Telkom 2 satellite in 2003. In April 2001, PT Telkom, said the satellite would be launched from the Kourou launch facility in French Guyana. Telkom 1 was launched from Kourou in 1999.
Like Telkom 1, Telkom 2 will support a variety of telecommunication applications, including high-speed digital traffic compatible with Very Small Aperture Terminal applications. Telkom 2 will replace the ageing Palapa B2R satellite whose design life will end in 2004. PT Telkom's decision to launch Telkom 2 from Kourou makes Arianespace confident of winning the contract (estimated at close to US$100 million) to launch the satellite. Negotiations for the launch have been suspended since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
BBC World claims a reach of 200 million homes
BBC World says it has registered a 16 per cent growth in its reach over last year's figures following a series of distribution agreements worldwide.
The 24-hour international news and information channel is now available in over 200 million homes, a company release states. The demand for the channel has grown in the past few months, particularly in the US, according to BBC world Sales & Distribution director Jeff Hazell. "This time last year we were in 173 million households worldwide and now we can boast over 200 million, 90 million of which receive the channel 24 hours a day," he claims.
In January 2002, BBC World entered into new agreements with PBS networks in the US, enabling the channel to assert its presence in 80 per cent (nearly 80 million) of US public service TV households. The channel already has an agreement with US public television provider, WLIW and other networks in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. According to the BBC, WLIW New York is the fourth most watched public television station in the US reaching a weekly cumulative audience of nearly two million households in the New York metropolitan area.
SunTV Buys Into Taiwan-Japan Media Venture
Hong Kong-based Sun Television Cybernetworks Holdings Ltd. (SunTV) will take 60 percent ownership of Satellite Entertainment Communication Co. Ltd. (SEC) for US$5.78 million.
SEC, a joint venture between Taiwan broadcast businessmen Jerry Wu and three Japanese television channels, operates the Jet TV Channel. SEC is available to more than 99 percent of Taiwan’s cable TV households, or some 4.6 million households. Jet TV is available in the United States, Canada and Australia via local Chinese satellite networks in these countries and in Singapore via the local cable TV network. It will also appear in Malaysia in April and in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines within the year. Jet TV has limited broadcast rights in mainland China. Apart from the Jet TV channel,.
SEC runs the Taiwan-based Knowledge Channel, a documentary channel that will soon change its name to Sun Knowledge. Since 1996, SEC has focused on games, entertainment and drama programs, which have been well received in Taiwan,
After the purchase, SunTV Executive Chairman Wu Zheng will become chairman of SEC, and Wu and his team will remain in their current positions.
Sony bags 6-yr cricket rights for $375m
MUMBAI: IN A major turn of events, Sony Entertainment Television has bagged the television broadcast rights for six years of international cricket for a huge $375 million package.
In the bidding, Sony beat ESPN Star Sports by a whisker as well as Prasar Bharti Corporation. The Prasar Bharti bid was far below the SET bid, industry sources said. The $375-million payment will be made instalments between 2002 and 2007.
Though official statements from Global Cricket Corporation and World Sport Nimbus and SET allude to the deal being in an “advanced state of negotiations,” the parties also said they were confident they would successfully conclude this transaction. Industry sources said the deal was as good as done and only a formal announcement in March was awaited.
The package is for both satellite and terrestrial broadcasting rights. SET will be paying between $250m and $275m for the satellite rights, while advertising sources in touch with the arrangements estimate the terrestrial rights to be in the range of $90-100m.
The broadcasting rights cover the Indian sub-continent, but industry sources said the package also has options to extend the broadcasting footprint to other parts of South and Southeast Asia as well as the Middle East.
SET’s possible strategy in acquiring the terrestrial rights as well is to cut out Doordar-shan and therefore make international cricket exclusively with the Sony Sports channel.
Six parties initially were in the race when the bids opened in November last year. Based on financial soundness, track record and the ability to contribute to the game of cricket, three bidders ESPN Star Sports, Sony and Prasar Bharti were short-listed. By end-January the die had been cast in favour of SET, industry sources said.
The acquisition of these coveted cricket rights will now put Sony in the driver’s seat in the highly-lucrative arena of sports broadcasting. SET Max, Sony’s second channel never quite made it as a sports network having failed so far to acquire the necessary sports events and properties.
The Sony platform had also been floundering so far having too few channels in its bouquet to make a dent in pay subscription revenues. The acquisition of six years of cricket broadcasting rights will now allow the network to spin off a dedicated sports channel to match the STAR bouquet.
Sony says pitching to get India rights for Cricket World Cup
Looks like the common assumption that ESPN Star Sports will be airing the India telecast of next year's Cricket World Cup in South Africa may be proved presumptuous. And Sony Entertainment Television's MAX channel may yet have some cricket worth showcasing.
SET yesterday issued a release that it was in advanced negotiations with Global Cricket Corporation (GCC) & World Sport Nimbus (WSN) for acquiring the Indian television rights to broadcast a six-year package of ICC (International Cricket Council) cricket championships including the ICC Cricket World Cups in 2003 and 2007.
"GCC/WSN and SET are confident they will successfully conclude this transaction and hope to be in a position to make a formal announcement next month," the release says.
It may be recalled that the worldwide rights for television, Internet and sponsorship for a seven year period that includes the 2003 and 2007 cricket World Cups was won in mid-2000 by World Sports Group, along with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp through a joint bid. The combine won the rights for a minimum guarantee of $550 million after a fierce bidding war with Subhash Chandra's Zee Telefilms.
The GCC is a joint venture between WSG and News Corp and is managing the commercial programme for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003.
The main question of course is what sum will SET chief executive Kunal Dasgupta be willing to pay to secure the rights.
Doordarshan starts digital terrestrial transmission operations
Faced with increasing competition from private TV channels, Doordarshan has launched Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT) in Delhi to boost its quality of trasmission.
DD started transmission on DTT mode on an experimental basis about a week ago, Chief Engineer A S Guin told reporters here today.
Guin said the broadcaster had already set up a transmitter in Delhi and was in the process of installing three more transmitters in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai.
Each transmitter would broadcast upto six channels. The broadcaster has already acquired 25 set up boxes for installing the service in the capital.
The project, which initially will cover the four metros, is expected to cost Rs 30 crore, he said, adding the operation in other metros would be launched in three to four months.
Stating that analogue mode would not be discontinued immediately, he said it would be replaced by DTT over a span of 15 years.
DTT has been highly successful in the United Kingdom where 75 per cent population had been covered and efforts would be made to make this mode attractive in the country, he said.
Meanwhile, digital broadcasting will be discussed during a three-day international conference being organised by Broadcast Engineering Society here from tommorrow.
Beijing unveils digital TV plan
CHINA has unveiled an ambitious plan to replace its current analogue television system with digital broadcasting across the country by 2015 in a drive to catch up with advanced countries in the latest TV technology.
As part of the plan, China will transmit live broadcasts worldwide of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 using the high-definition digital television (HDTV) system.
As reported by the official Xinhua News Agency, China plans to:
Finish testing the technical standards for terrestrial transmission within 2002;
Publicise national standards for digital cable TV transmission by end of 2002;
Publicise national standards for digital terrestrial television and other related standards by the end of 2003;
Decide what digital television system the country will adopt by the end of 2003;
Strive to promote digital TV broadcasts in cities where conditions ``are ripe'' in 2005;
Transmit the Beijing Olympic Games using HDTV and to begin digital TV commercial broadcasts in major cities in 2008;
Replace the analogue system with the digital system nationwide by 2015.
According to Xinhua, the United States will popularise digital TV by 2006 and the EU by 2012.
Digital TV involves the complete digitalisation of TV production, editing, transmission, signal reception and display. Its most compelling feature is its ability to broadcast high-definition, sharp pictures.
For the new system, all TV broadcasters will have to replace almost all of their equipment used for analogue broadcasts. Consumers need either a digitalised HDTV set or converter box to view the programmes.
China started development of digital TV in the early 1990s and now ``has made remarkable achievements'', Xinhua said.
China's 1.3 billion people own 230 million TV sets, receiving programmes from 1,000 TV channels.
In December 2000, the Hong Kong government issued a consultation paper for the development of digital terrestrial broadcasting in the territory.
The government opted to wait for the mainland's decision on which digital TV system it would adopt, so it could use the same system.
Asia Television Limited (ATV) and Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), the two existing free-to-air terrestrial broadcasters in Hong Kong, earlier warned the SAR government against formulating digital TV policies without knowledge of what technology the mainland would adopt.
They also urged the government to place priority on smooth transition from analogue to digital TV.
Keeping Score At ESPN
Disney Stockholders (Or Anyone Else) Will Find A Vigorous Game Hartford isn't the Magic Kingdom. But Walt Disney Co. shareholders are being drawn here by one of the brightest stars in what is mostly a lackluster constellation of Disney companies. When they gather for their annual meeting in Hartford Tuesday, shareholders will be just 20 miles east of the headquarters of ESPN.
Few, if any, could have foreseen ESPN's phenomenal rise 23 years ago when the station set up its first office and broadcast studios in a 10,000-square-foot industrial area on the outskirts of Bristol.
Today, ESPN's campus has expanded to nearly 350,000 square feet on 60 acres. It has 2,000 employees in Connecticut and expects to add up to another 700 jobs by 2005. Its flagship ESPN station is seen in 86 million households across the country.
"ESPN has become the home for American sports on cable," said sports consultant Neal Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports. "They have one of the most powerful brands on television today."
Off the television screen, ESPN's growth is evident at its Bristol campus, where the network is in the second year of a five-year, $500 million plan that will double the space it occupies.
The centerpiece of the expansion is the 120,000-square-foot digital technology center, begun in late 2000. State-of-the-art digital technology will enhance picture quality and allow ESPN to exchange information more easily between its many outlets.
The exterior brick-and-glass shell of the three-story center is nearly complete. But the building won't be finished until 2005 because of its intricate, custom digital wiring.
The expansion is the latest chapter in the success story of a company that capitalized on cable satellite technology and built on the premise of a network aimed at the sports junkie.
ESPN also has shaped the perception of sports. In the early 1980s, for example, the network secured the rights to televise the early rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament. Viewer response was enthusiastic and is a major reason the tournament developed into the national phenomenon known as March Madness.
ESPN has evolved into a multimedia sports entertainment company, spanning television, radio, publishing and the Internet. In March, the network will air its first made-for-TV movie.
The network's financial success was more elusive, however. It wasn't until the network won a battle in the early 1980s forcing cable companies to pay for ESPN programming that the bottom line got a major boost. (In 1982, ESPN came close to liquidation because advertising alone wasn't covering costs.)
ESPN has never commented on its profits or revenues because it has always been part of a larger corporation. Disney bought its ESPN interest in 1996.
Wall Street analysts say ESPN enjoyed soaring profits in the 1990s.
At the same time, however, ESPN has shelled out big bucks to expand its programming. The latest came a month ago, when ESPN and its sister Disney company ABC agreed to pay $2.4 billion for the rights to broadcast National Basketball Association games for the next six years. ESPN outbid NBC.
The deal comes as television ratings for professional basketball are sliding - by as much as 40 percent since 1996.
"We're fully aware of the NBA ratings," said Mike Soltys, an ESPN spokesman. "But we're starting to see that a lot of young stars are emerging."
And, unlike NBC, the ESPN-ABC team will be able to broadcast more games - and ESPN will extend coverage to ESPN2, to its radio station and to video-on-demand, Soltys said.
If all goes well, that should translate into more advertising revenue, analysts said.
Last year, ESPN's ad revenue also took a hit in the economic downturn. (The erosion deepened after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.)
Even so, Disney's cable networks business - of which ESPN is a major component - reported that revenues were up 10 percent, to $3.8 billion for the year ended Sept. 30.
The programming fees paid by cable operators - among the highest in the industry - are making the difference, said Paul J. Kim, senior media analyst at Kaufman Bros. in New York.
The fees - now $1.50 a subscriber - have been rising at 20 percent a year under long-term contracts with cable operators. Analysts say cable operators aren't happy about the fees, but they still pay them, Kim said.
"That shows the powerful draw of ESPN," Kim said.
Soltys said ESPN is well worth what it is paid, giving cable operators the opportunity to sell local advertising, a major source of revenue.
"It's the single most valuable network that they have," Soltys said.
But ESPN is feeling the competition from rival Fox Sports Net. In prime time, among the target audience of males 18 to 49, ESPN viewership is down 11 percent in the last year. Fox registered a 12 percent gain in the same category.
Still, Fox failed to challenge the dominance of ESPN's "SportsCenter" national news show. A week ago, Fox dropped its "National Sports Report."
Despite the economic slowdown and competitive pressures, ESPN executives in Bristol say Disney remains committed to the expansion in Connecticut.
"They have recognized our contributions and have been supportive of our plans," said Ed Durso, an ESPN executive vice president overseeing the building project.
ESPN has had a powerful affect on Bristol.
The network has been a major force in lifting the city out of the economic doldrums of its manufacturing past. ESPN, which started with fewer than 100 employees, came on the air when major manufacturers, such as Bristol Brass, were closing down.
"We're more diversified now and less likely to fall into a cycle of high unemployment," said John Leone, president of the Greater Bristol Chamber of Commerce. "ESPN has a lot to do with that."
Middle Street in Bristol, where ESPN's main entrance is located, has undergone a transformation since ESPN started.
In the 1970s, the site was a ramshackle collection of old industrial buildings. A scrap metal junkyard was across the street.
Today, the junkyard is gone and the first thing that comes into view for approaching motorists is a bank of 25 satellite dishes.
Old buildings have been demolished and new ones erected. Trailers house employees waiting for permanent workspace. Building uses keep changing, as employees are moved around the campus to accommodate expanding operations.
ESPN is Bristol's biggest employer, with the largest slice of its workers also calling the city home.
ESPN lost about 50 employees in Bristol last year when Disney cut 4,000 jobs. All the ESPN workers took voluntary buyouts.
The company says it is still on track to bring its employment up to 2,700 by 2005.
In 2000, ESPN paid the most local taxes - $1.6 million - more than the combined total of the next four highest taxpayers, according to the Bristol tax collector's office.
"Everyone knows we're in Bristol," Durso said. "And we're not shy about mentioning that."
The state has moved aggressively to ensure that ESPN's success continues to be a Connecticut-based phenomenon.
Two years ago, legislators approved a permanent $15 million annual tax break for the sports network, cementing ESPN's Bristol roots and guaranteeing job growth through 2005.
Beyond jobs, state officials say, Connecticut is well served by the tax breaks handed out to ESPN.
"We have the ability to better market Connecticut as a high-tech state," said James Abromaitis, state economic and community development commissioner. "ESPN only helps us in those efforts."
Away moving house
This is the last site update until Monday night. Hopefully the move will go well and the new phone line wont give me any problems at the new house. No time to do much in the news section today, make use of the mailing list and you can still email me I hope to be back online Sat/Sunday. Then I will get into updating some pages as I have got behind with that
From the Dish
Optus B3 156E 12336 V New service loading in Mediasat mux "OP" on Sid 8 I had the pids written down but the papers been chucked out! but great news!!!!! it's more Maharishi!!!
Optus B3 156E 12407 V "WBU Radio" has left
Optus B3 156E 12376 H "Expo" has started testing on , Vpid 521 Apid 649.
Optus B3 156E 12658 V New VPID for the test card is 32.
Telkom 1 108E 3496 H "Global TV tests, National Geographic Adventure 1, BBC World, Bloomberg TV Asia, SCT and Indosiar" have left .
Telkom 1 108E 3460 H Metro TV has left, replaced by a Global TV info card, FTA.
Asiasat 2 100.5E The SatLink mux has moved from 3934 H to 3708 V, Sr 13021, Fec 3/4.
Sky, INL results welcomed
Shares in pay-TV operator Sky Network Television rocketed to a 12-month high today following the company's half-year result.
Sky TV shares leapt 13c to $4.33 after it announced a net loss after tax of $13.19 million for the six months to December 31.
While it's still spilling red ink, Sky's wounds were not as deep as analysts had predicted. Most had tipped Sky to lose between $14 and $16 million.
It will not pay a dividend.
And Sky's majority shareholder, Independent Newspapers Ltd, came to the party too today, announcing its first-half profit to December 31 rose 93.6 per cent to $27.1 million, above analysts' forecasts of between $20.7 and $25.6 million.
INL, which raised its stake in Sky last year from 49 per cent to 66 per cent, also saw its share price rise early today, up 2c to $3.85.
INL, 44 per cent-owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, announced an unchanged interim dividend of 4c a share payable on March 28.
The Evening Post is published by an INL subsidiary, Wellington Newspapers.
INL chief executive and Sky TV chairman Tom Mockridge said today INL was "very pleased" with Sky TV's positive result and it was on target to break even during the second half of calendar 2003.
Sky TV said it had increased subscriber numbers by 12,000 to 442,822 as at December 31, 2001.
The company reported strong growth, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) up 43 per cent to $52.1 million.
Mr Mockridge said notable achievements for Sky TV during the period had been a $111 million capital notes issue, a deal to carry TV1 and TV2 on its digital service, and plans for TelstraClear to transmit Sky's programming.
This six months was the first full period in which INL consolidated the accounts of Sky. That allowed INL to reduce its provision for taxation to $937,000 from $12.6 million. Despite this, the INL dividend was still fully imputed.
INL chairman Ken Cowley said INL's result reflected strong growth in the regions, and community newspapers, led by Auckland Suburbans, and INL Magazines.
INL's Internet business stuff.co.nz was consistently among New Zealand's top three visited news sites and halved its net losses to under $1 million, Mr Cowley said.
The Christchurch Press was steady, but most main centres did not perform as well, with Wellington Newspapers affected by a sharp decline in the city's classified and advertising spend, especially in IT. Contribution from INL's magazine distribution business also declined.
Advertising volumes recovered from the inevitable setback of September 11, with INL recording a 2.9 per cent increase in volumes over the prior comparable period.
Total newspaper circulation rose 2.8 per cent, with The Geelong Advertiser the group's best performer.
INL's operating profit before unusual items and tax fell to $26.6 million from $37.2 million, for ebitda of $111.3 million, up 16 per cent on a like-for-like basis.
The company said that despite the threat of knock-on effects from the US and Australian economies, ebitda in publishing continued at recent highs, down fractionally at $59.2 million.
Total group revenue rose to $435.2 million from $264.7 million. Earnings a share rose to 6.4c from 3.6c.
Live satellite related chat tonight 8.30pm Syd time and 9 pm NZ onwards. They don't seem to have stopped the free Parachat chatroom afterall. Tommorows site update might be the last until Monday as the moving days will be Thursday and Friday now, I may get time to put something up Sunday night.
OOPS I left out the Following in the List of Optus B1, NZ FTA posted yesterday
12483 V SR 22500 Fec 3/4 "Radio, CODE " Apid 654 (Note this is also used as the audio for the Promo channel)
Satfacts page updated
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards 11/02/02
Pas 2 4018 H Sr 6620 Fec 2/3 vpid 4160 apid 4120 sid 401 "napsa test card"
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 4018 H "Napa Card seen", Sr 6620, Fec 2/3.
Optus B1 160E 12581 V "Radio NZ National Radio and Radio NZ Concert FM" are now FTA.
Optus B1 160E 12608 V "The Wolf Radio Network" is now in FTA.
Telkom 1 108E 3586 H "TVRI, MTV Asia and TV 5 Asie" have left again.
Telkom 1 108E 3460 H "Channel NewsAsia" is encrypted again.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3934 H A Satlink mux has started, Sr 13021, Fec 3/4, PIDs 257/258-1025/1026, line-up: Musique Classique and three test cards.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 4000 H "SRI Asia" has left.
Chinese to view Telly tubbys
From Gerald Brown's e-broadcastnewsasia vol 8 no 5
CCTV has bought all 365 episodes of the hugely successful BBC children's series, Teletubbies. The BBC says the series is being dubbed into Mandarin and starts transmitting today for nine times a week with a first showing and two reruns for each episode. The award winning series is already seen by more than a billion children around the world including in all 14 time zones of the Russian Federation, and has been sold directly to 109 broadcasters in 79 territories
(Craigs comment, Remember my 2002 prediction of the Chinese screening "Here's Humphrey" and dubbing it into Mandarin?.hmmm close enough!)
World Bank Signs Long-Term Contract with Intelsat to Connect Field Offices
From Intelsat Press Release
Washington, DC - 11 February 2002- Intelsat today announced that it has
signed a 10-year contract to provide a global VSAT solution connecting the
World Bank Organization headquarters in Washington, DC to regional offices
in 64 different countries within Africa, Central America, South America and
the Middle East. Intelsat's global solution primarily provides
videoconferencing services and allows the World Bank to host nearly 700
videoconferences per month between regional offices and their headquarters.
The network also supports voice and data applications.
Intelsat has been providing corporate network services to service providers
as well as organizations like the World Bank and the United Nations for
nearly four decades. The World Bank will join the existing customers on the
Intelsat 901 satellite at 342ºE, which became operational last November.
This spacecraft was the first of a nine-satellite campaign to be launched by
Intelsat by 2003 to meet increasing customer needs.
John Stanton, President of Intelsat Global Sales and Marketing Ltd., stated,
"We are pleased to have had the opportunity to partner with the World Bank
to meet their growing communications needs and to provide them with the
customized solution they required. Our global satellite network enables us
to provide this worldwide solution seamlessly and efficiently while our
proven reputation for reliability and support continues to drive the demand
for Intelsat services and solutions."
In 2000, Intelsat received the World Bank President's "Award for Excellence"
as a member of the Network and Global Communications Information Solutions
+1 202 944 6890
+1 202 944 8223
Networks sue over new video recorder (ReplayTV 4000 skips commercials)
If television network executives are steamed enough to sue, there must be something exquisitely subversive about the latest in digital video recorders.
ABC, CBS and NBC want the ReplayTV 4000 off the market and have taken its parent company SonicBlue Inc. to court, contending that the slim silver box violates their copyrights by letting users share shows over the Internet.
But the angst in network executive suites is really more about something else: These devices allow viewers to watch what they want when they want--and skip commercials.
And that means mayhem for the networks' business model.
I asked a guy on the train who works in television if he owned a TiVo or a ReplayTV.
"I've got enough distractions," he said.
That's missing the point. These devices don't distract. They distill, filter and free up time. They're like personal TV secretaries.
And this new one networks, too.
Unlike its predecessors or its newest TiVo competitor, the RTV4000 is Internet-ready--and SonicBlue is already shipping them by the thousands.
I connected two units to our home Ethernet network. I recorded some shows on the den unit and watched one across the network in my office while the originating machine also recorded a second show to its hard drive.
But the piece de resistance in the RTV4000 is the Commercial Advance feature. If it sounds like a great leap forward, that's because it is. Multiple bounds, in fact.
The RTV4000 can be programmed to skip all commercials by default. Or you can do it manually with the remote. Careful not to bypass actual programming, it zaps most, but not all, advertising segments.
SonicBlue also sells Go-Video dual-deck VCRs that will strip commercials from a tape that you dub. So there's a strategy here.
Installation of the RTV4000 is a cinch, provided your home network, like mine, is behind a secure router and has a high-speed dedicated Internet connection (DSL, cable, T1 or ISDN).
If your network has dynamic Internet addressing, good. If you have to manually enter an Internet address it's more complicated.
But the setup routine is still easy enough. The digital recorder does most of the work. You give SonicBlue your ZIP code and it goes on the Internet and finds your cable TV program guide, which is updated daily.
Each RTV4000 has a unique identifier, so you can use the Internet to share a show with up to 15 friends who also have units. SonicBlue says the built-in software prevents the transfer of pay-per-view broadcasts and that shows received cannot be forwarded to a third person.
To test the RTV4000's Internet capabilities, I successfully swapped shows with SonicBlue. Transmission speeds will depend on your broadband connection.
Over the Internet, I was able to communicate with my RTV4000 in another fashion in a transaction that defined digital cool.
I logged on to www.myreplaytv.com, where I had registered my unit and set up a login and username.
Then I queued up a show on my RTV4000.
The following morning, the device was programmed to record. It had been updated before dawn.
So what's the price for all this convenience?
The cheapest model, offering up to 40 hours of recording, costs $699. For 320 hours worth, the price is $1,999. The company says one-third of customers have bought two units. Those folks must have weathered the recession well.
SonicBlue says it intends to release a mass-market model the second half of this year.
Good news for Optus B1 FTA viewers in NZ, after a couple of reminder Emails to Radio NZ. We now have Concert FM and National Radio FTA! also Wolf Radio is FTA as well! This is not my doing though, as when I first made contact with Radio NZ they said they had already asked Sky to unencrypt the signal. I think Robert in Te-Anau (bottom of the South Island ,NZ) had already been in contact with them and got the ball rolling in the previous months. Anyway good to see more FTA!! now to get onto TV3, 4, Prime, TAB. Those services are already up there it only takes someone at Skys end to press a few buttons on the computer and disable encryption.
The Current B1, FTA situation in NZ
12260 V SR 5026 Fec 3/4 "TV, ABC NORTHERN" Vpid 832 Apid 832
12260 V SR 5026 Fec 3/4 "Radio, ABC Classic FM Northern" Apid 836
12260 V SR 5026 Fec 3/4 "Radio, ABC Radio National Northern" Apid 838
12260 V SR 5026 Fec 3/4 "Radio, ABC Regional Northern (Alice Springs)" Apid 837
12456 V SR 22500 Fec 3/4 "TV, TVNZ TV One" Vpid 518 Apid 656
12456 V SR 22500 Fec 3/4 "TV, TVNZ TV Two" Vpid 519 Apid 657
12483 V SR 22500 Fec 3/4 "TV, Saturn Cinema Promo" Vpid 516 Apid 654
12483 V SR 22500 Fec 3/4 "Radio, CODE " Apid 654 (Note this is the audio for the Promo channel)
12581 V SR 22500 Fec 3/4 "Radio, National Radio" Apid 661
12581 V SR 22500 Fec 3/4 "Radio, Concert FM" Apid 663
12608 V SR 22500 Fec 3/4 "Radio, The Wolf Radio Network" Apid 660
12671 V SR 22500 Fec 3/4 "TV, TV One" Vpid 516 Apid 654
12671 V SR 22500 Fec 3/4 "TV, TV Two" Vpid 517 Apid 655
6 FTA TV (includes TV1/2 double up, plus Saturn Promo)
6 FTA Radio
From my Emails & ICQ
From Chris Pickstock 10/02/02
5.10 pm SA time
B1, 12397 H, Sr 7200, Vpid 308, Apid 256
C7 Sport feed of NSL Soccer, Sydney United v Perth Glory
From Bill Richards 10/02/02
Pas 2 3767 V Sr 6620 Fec 3/4 "Saltlake Winter Olympics 2002 Ski-ing" Vpid 3601 Apid 3604
From Bill Richards 11/02/02
Pas 2 3767 V Sr 6620 Fec 3/4 Vpid 1110 Apid 1211
From the Dish
Pas 2 169E 3708 H "Bonneville Testcard" , Sr 6110, Fec 3/4. (Olympics related)
Pas 2 169E 4090 V "TVBS, Sun TV, TTV, CTV, CTS, FTV Entertainment, BBC World and TVBS Newsnet" have left.
Optus B1 160E 12581 V "Radio, National Radio" is now FTA, Apid 661
Optus B1 160E 12581 V "Radio, Concert FM" is now FTA, Apid 663
Optus B1 160E 12608 V "Radio, The Wolf Radio Network" is now FTA, Apid 660
N-Sat 110 110E Test carriers seen on 12291 R, 12411 R and 12451 R. ( Have not checked the footprint of this one but doubt it comes anywhere close to Aus / NZ)
Insat 2E 83E 3525 V "Maa TV" test card is now encrypted.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3612 V "PTV 1" is back, Sr 3333, Fec 3/4, Vpid 308 Apid 256, Asian beam.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 4045 V "Fashion TV" has started, Sr 3680, Fec 3/4, Vpid 1160 Apid 1120.
Hawaii Teleport Operators Invest $10 Million in Philippine Satellite
American and Japanese teleport operators in Hawaii have invested some US$10 million since 1999 in building facilities to leverage the capabilities of Agila (“Eagle”) 2, the only Philippine satellite.
Mabuhay Philippines Satellite Corporation (MPSC), operator of Agila 2, said these investments were mostly in the form of 4.5 meter, 9-meter, 11-meter, and 13-meter communications antennas; buildings and facilities built to cope with a projected increase in transpacific communications via Hawaii. The expanded ground facilities of these teleport operators acknowledge Agila’s ability to reach any point on the US mainland, according to MPSC.
Loral Cyberstar, MPSC's biggest customer, was the first teleport operator in Kapolei to invest in Agila. It built a single 13-meter antenna pointed at Agila 2 for its Internet via satellite service. Teleports USAsia Telecom, Vision Accomplished and Transvision International have since erected dishes pointing at Agila for broadcasting, telecommunications and Internet via satellite applications.
MPSC said the expansion of facilities validates its efforts to utilize Agila's spot beam over Hawaii to provide customers with international reach to markets outside Asia. These teleports have extensive international and domestic satellite and cable networks and access any market in North America and Europe via fiber networks from Hawaii to the US mainland.
Agila 2, one of the most powerful satellites in the Asia-Pacific region, is only one of three Asian satellites that include Hawaii in its footprint. It also has the strongest EIRP signal. Hawaii is a major route for data, voice, video and IP traffic between Asia and the Americas.
Agila 2 carries 24 linearly polarized transponders operating in the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz “standard” C-band frequency range and six transponders operating in the 3.6 to 3.7 GHz “extended” C band spectrum. Its C-band transponders cover the Asia-Pacific and Hawaii.
Agila 2 provides 24 linearly polarized Ku-band transponders operating in the 12.2 to 12.7 GHz frequency range. The narrowly focused Ku band coverage beam includes the Philippines, Taiwan, northern Vietnam and eastern China.
T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 06/2002 10 February 2002 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited www.apsattv.com edition
A S I A
TALKS START BETWEEN PAY-TV OPERATORS
Pay-TV company Austar United Communications is reported to be in talks both
with its bankers and rival Optus. Optus, the country's second largest
telecommunications carrier, owned by Singapore Telecommunications, says talks
are continuing over a merger of pay-TV operations. Austar is Australia's second
largest pay-TV concern and is controlled by John Malone, the US cable investor,
whose Liberty Media owns a majority stake in UnitedGlobalCom, Austar's parent
company. The loss-making group is seeking to refinance A$400 million of debt.
Combining the Optus and Austar businesses would create a stronger competitor to
Foxtel, the market leader backed by Telstra, News Corp and the Packer family's
Publishing and Broadcasting. Alternatively Austar could merge with Foxtel.
FOXTEL TO SHARE MOVIES WITH PAY-TV RIVAL
Pay-TV operator Foxtel is negotiating a new movie deal, whereby it would share
access to movies currently shown exclusively on its channels with its smaller
rival Optus. With lower subscriber growth expected this year, Foxtel is aiming
to reduce costs. Meanwhile, Foxtel’s shareholders have cut back their funding
of the pay-TV operator. Foxtel’s 50 per cent owner Telstra Corp. and 25 per
cent shareholders, News Corp. and Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd., have baulked
at plans to inject an estimated A$100 million into the business. The partners
are now planning on subscriber growth of about 10 per cent in 2002, down from
the 20 per cent levels of a year ago.
GRANADA SEEKS TO INCREASE SEVEN NETWORK STAKE
UK-based broadcaster Granada is being tipped to increase its 10% stake in
Australian free to air commercial broadcaster Seven should the Australian
government modify existing media ownership rules. A government proposal to lift
the 15% ceiling on foreign media ownership will be tabled this month.
CHINA - HONG KONG
DISSAPOINTING FIGURES FOR PHOENIX
Chinese-language DTH channel operator Phoenix has posted interim losses of
HK$76.39 million for the first quarter of 2002, with second quarter losses of
about HK$41.5 million worse than expected. In the same period last year,
Phoenix recorded a profit of HK$97.6 million.
CONEXANT AND ALTICAST DELIVER DIGITAL BOXES TO SKYLIFE
Conexant Systems, Inc., a worldwide leader in semiconductor system solutions
for communications applications, and Alticast, a pioneer in the field of
interactive digital TV software development, on February 5 announced that the
companies have joined forces to deliver a complete DVB Multimedia Home Platform
set-top box design. In addition, the Conexant/Alticast solution has been chosen
by Korea Digital Satellite Broadcasting’s new SkyLife interactive digital TV
service. SkyLife’s iTV service will be launched at the 2002 World Cup games
held in Korea and Japan. Evaluation systems running on the Conexant satellite
reference design will begin shipping this calendar quarter.
Internet - www.conexant.com
UBC POSITIVE OVER FUTURE
Leading pay-TV operator, United Broadcasting Corp., said it will end five years
of losses this year, as anti-piracy safeguards force more viewers to pay for
what they watch. “We expect to reach break-even of 430,000 subscribers around
the second or third quarter, all factors remaining steady,” Deputy Chief
Financial Officer Vasili Sgourdos said. United Broadcasting is a third owned by
MIH Ltd., South Africa’s pay-TV group, and two-fifths by TelecomAsia Pcl,
Bangkok’s biggest fixed-line telephone operator. United Broadcasting is hoping
its new coded smart cards will increase subscription numbers. The cards,
introduced mid- 2001, prevent apartment blocks from buying a single
subscription to serve multiple users. A television give-away promotion in the
last three months of the year increased United Broadcasting subscriptions to
406,580, leading the company to forecast that 2001 losses will be a quarter
smaller than the 2 billion baht analysts have predicted. Its last profit
occurred in the second quarter of 1996.
B4U in talks with broadcasters to adopt subscription route
B4U Television Network India Pvt Ltd, which plans to launch some more channels, is in talks with the likes of Sony Entertainment TV India and Discovery India to be part of either’s bouquet of channels. The reason: garner additional revenue through subscription.
At present, the company, promoted by three UK-based non-resident Indians Kishore Lulla, L.N. Mittal and Mukul Binani, has two channels B4U Music and B4U Movies.
?We are already in talks with various broadcasters (for a distribution tie-up),” Rajnish Lall, vice president, marketing, B4U Television Network India Pvt. Ltd, told Business Standard.
Pointing out that subscription fee-based module (in addition to advertising revenue) will be the only way to boost revenue for television channels in the future, Lall said, “But we need to tie-up with such a broadcaster which does not have a music channel in its stable.”
This apart, B4U is planning to launch at least four more channels, which may include a news channel, by the end of this year.
The company claimed that B4U Music and B4U Movies have a penetration of about 12 million cable homes in India.
However, Lall said that the main markets for the two existing channels, continue to be the ‘Hindi belt and the eastern region.
?There is not much viewership for the channels in the southern markets and our endeavour would be to change this,” he admitted.
The company enjoys the maximum number of rights for both terrestrial and satellite telecast of Bollywood content.
Till early last year, the two channels were managed by B4U Multimedia International Ltd.
After the arrest of one of the promoters and diamond merchant Bharat Shah last year, the company had obtained government permission to shift its operations to B4U TV Network Ltd in which Shah did not have a shareholding.
The channels cover markets in the US, Middle East, Europe etc.
No site update today
Due to The Real Estate agents stuffing up it seems the people moving into our house want to move in Friday. We had planned all our moving for Saturday :-( #$%!%!%^! grrr it makes things very tricky for us. Not sure which days this week that I will get site updates done. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday perhaps.
China Sun TV,Asiasat 3, new Program guide added (English) P2
Big mission today take down and dismantle my big dish, all went very well. Took 2 hours 30 mins to take off the pole and pull to bits. No damage done but I notice some of the powder coating has flaked off some parts so it will need a bit of paint before it goes back up. I guess it will remain packed up for 12-18 months. Hopefully we will find a more Dish friendly location by then to move to.
Palapa C2 Indonesian Channels the TV Guide P2 links have been fixed, Program guide should be uptodate now.
Winter Olympics feeds should be up there somewhere or if you see programming coverage via a satellite channel please pass it along and I will make a Winter Olympics 2002 page.
HRT 1 Croatian channel seems to be running now on Mediasat, not sure how long it will stay FTA for.
If you have realplayer installed you can view the live video stream at
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards
Pas 2 0518 UTC
3708 H Sr 6110 Fec 3/4 Vpid33 Apid34 "Bonneville Satellite Colorbars"
(Craigs comment, some checking on the net reveals this to be a satellite uplinker in Salt Lake City, maybe the first Olympics related feed, )
About Bonneville Satelite
Bonneville Satellite is a leading provider of domestic and international satellite services. The company owns and operates a commercial teleport in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are equipped with a fixed 10-meter C band antenna and a 7.5-meter Ku band antenna for both uplinks and downlinks. We also have a Ku band mobile production truck for transmission or reception of your live or taped broadcast to any satellite in the domestic arc. We offer a full complement of services including satellite uplinks, downlinks, transponder time, turnarounds, taping, split feeds, production, editing and engineering.
Bonneville Satellite is also interconnected to a number of venues including the Delta Center, E - Center, US Satellite, KBYU - TV, KUTV -TV as well as the state wide EdNet network. Our SNG truck can deliver to you the exact service that you need, whether it's a news feed or a live production.
As part of our overall package, Bonneville Satellite Corporation can offer production and playout services via KSL-TV and Video West, which are also located in the Triad Center. We can provide a state of the art facility for business, government and education's users, non-profit agencies, and independent video producers. For those who need location based services, our Bonneville Satellite Uplink Unit can bring the studio to your site. Depending on customer requirements, we can provide simple playout services or meet the needs of more complex productions by providing live production facilities, edit suites and virtual studios.
We are dedicated to bringing the western U.S to you today, tomorrow and throughout the new century.
55 North 300 West, Box 1160, Salt Lake City, UT 84110-1160(801) 575-5970
From Chris Pickstock
A new channel loads on B3, 12376 H, Sr 29473 (Austar/Foxtel) and Video comes through FTA. I get no audio. It seems to be some sort of health/lifestyle program.
Vpid 521, Apid 649
From Chris Pickstock 8/02/02
B1, 12367 V, Boxing on now.
Seen a little while ago, and might be finished now, B1, 12397 H, sr 7200, NSL Soccer
From the Dish
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "CTS, CTV and TTV" are encrypted again.
Palapa C2 113E 3880 H "Metro TV has replaced TVRI" on , Sid 3, Vpid 514 Apid 652.
Palapa C2 113E 3880 H "Anteve" has left
Palapa C2 113E 4074 V "Radio Elsinta" is now encrypted.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3760 H "Fashion TV" has started on , Sid 3, Vpid1030 Apid 1031.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3660 V "IRIB TV 3" (not Jame-Jam TV Network 3) has left again.
Yamal 102 90E 3578 L It's Radio Rossii Tumen on , Apid 256.
ST 1 88E 3632 V CTV, FTV Entertainment and FTV News Channel are encrypted again.
PAS 10 68.5E 3974 VA Discovery India mux has started on , Sr 19850, Fec 3/4, identical to the mux on 3776 V.
NBR Personal Investor: Sky makes software firms pay
Monopoly pay television network Sky was "morally reprehensible and commercially stupid" not to communicate with its subscribers about problems with its interactive software, Consumers' Institute executive director David Russell said yesterday.
Sky Digital subscribers have been riled by "rain fade," an error when the television screen freezes, since the broadcaster secretly downloaded new software last December - and the problem is still not fixed.
Sky has defended its decision not to let subscribers know beforehand that the software was being downloaded - as well as its failure to send them information about it once the problems occurred.
Sky communications manager Tony O'Brien said the company had not written to subscribers but was broadcasting information to help subscribers.
If subscribers rang Sky they were also given help to unfreeze their screens - the decoder must be unplugged and started again.
But Mr Russell said under the Consumer Guarantees Act subscribers may have a case to opt out of Sky contracts and to get refunds of money paid in advance.
"It's morally reprehensible in terms of their relationship with their customers and commercially stupid - once the word gets out it damages the company's reputation and loses them business," Mr Russell said.
Mr Russell said Sky managed to send out bills regularly so communicating with subscribers should not be a problem.
He questioned whether as a monopoly Sky was arrogant and did not feel it needed to keep its subscribers informed.
Sky group head of technical and interactive broadcasting Brian Green said the software providers, Open Television and NDS, were covering the cost of fixing the bugs.
That may go some way towards appeasing Sky shareholders who have watched the upgrade fiasco and worried about its effect on the company's cashflow.
A team of 27 engineers, some flown in from overseas, has been working on the problems which have infuriated scores of Sky subscribers.
A Sky technician, who asked not to be named, said he had dealt with dozens of the rain fade problems among his clients.
One irate subscriber complained he was forced to listen to last Tuesday's Australia-New Zealand cricket test on a radio after the screen blacked out at a key moment.
Mr Green said Sky was planning to do a second download next week of replacement software which he claimed would fix the rain fade problem. The box may also jam at times when there is no rain fade but this was not as common.
Mr Green said all but about 12,000 of the boxes allowed the download to be done "in the background" and it was also done in the middle of the night when fewer people were watching - which is why subscribers were not told about it beforehand.
B4U cancels Australia, New Zealand plans, targets North Africa
B4U Network has cancelled plans to launch operations in Australia and New Zealand and is instead looking to North Africa as its next area of coverage.
After the launch of operations in Canada in September 2001, B4U was hoping to bring Australia and New Zealand under its ambit as well by December but has cancelled on that for the present because "it is still far too small a market to launch in the current scenario," global chief executive officer Ravi Gupta revealed.
Gupta said B4U had already identified the platform on which it would be launching but declined to give details. However, in most foreign markets B4U beams on both direct-to-home (DTH) service and cable systems. Gupta said that it would take another three months before B4U started airing there. The countries being covered are Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
Meanwhile, B4U Music which was to go pay in the UK in the beginning of the year has still to do so. Gupta said the modalities were still being worked through but expected it to become effective by March-end. According to reports B4U Music will be offered as a package with Sony Entertainment Television and B4U Movies. The combined pricing of Sony and the two B4U channels has not been decided yet and is being worked out.
Sony and B4U Movies have already entered into a joint pricing agreement in Europe. In the Middle East, B4U is being made available in three bouquets. Star, Zee TV and B4U share a common platform in the Pehla bouquet while only B4U is available in the Alawael network. Mini Pehla carries the music channel.
Once the North Africa feed is launched B4U will have a presence in the UK, US, Canada, Western Europe, Middle East, most of Africa and South Asia, Gupta said.
Next up is Insat 3A; launch rescheduled to 19 March
After the launch of Insat 3C, another homegrown satellite gets ready for launch in March this year.
Insat 3A will join the Insat family in space on 19 March. To be launched by Araine 4, the same vehicle that propelled Insat 3C into orbit, Insat 3A was initially scheduled for a 15 March launch, but will be delayed by four days, latest reports say. The satellite will take off from Kourou in French Guiana, the launch pad favoured by Isro's partner in the satellite programme, Arianespace.
Meanwhile, Insat 3C, which was launched on 24 January, reached its home in space on 1 February. According to Isro, station acquisition manoeuvres were successfully conducted from MCF, Hassan in the last four days by firing the 10 Newton Reaction Control Thrusters on board to position the satellite precisely at 74 deg East longitude. Inast-3C will be maintained in this location for the rest of its service life, officials say.
In the coming weeks, the payloads comprising 24 C-band transponders, six extended C-band transponders, two S-band transponders and the mobile satellite service transponders will be tested before Insat-3C is commissioned into service by the end of February.
Sorry no update to busy, expect something Saturday night.
Very quiet today, not much happening, guess what I am still packing 1 week to go. (Friday afternoon next week 15th) I expect the site will be not updated until after that weekend, Monday probably. I will be getting a phone line put in Saturday afternoon while we are moving in. It better be decent quality and give me a 50666 bps connection like I am used to. I hope to set the PC up on the Saturday night 16th. So if your on ICQ you may see me online then.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards
Palapa C2 3925 H Sr 5632 Fec 3/4 Vpid 308 Apid256 SID1 "TPIN Channel"
(Craigs comment, Bill supplied a picture with this I will hold it back for a day or 2 until we work out if this is a feed or a new channel testing I can't find any info about it.)
B1, 12367 V Sr 6110 "Mediasat, Golf feed" Vpid 1160 Apid 1120
B3, 12363 V Sr 6110 "Mediasat DSNG, Horse Racing"
From the Dish
Palapa C2 113E 3718 H "TPIN" is on the Asian beam.(not visable in Australia?)
Palapa C2 113E 3925 H "TPIN - Televisi Papua Indonesia Network" has started, Sr 5632, Fec 3/4, Vpid 308 Apid 256 (Unsure what this one is appears to be tests for a new channel or just feeds)
Telkom 1 108E 3496 H "BBC World has left, replaced by Global TV tests.
Telkom 1 108E 3586 H "TVRI, MTV Asia and TV 5 Asie" are back on , Sr 17800, Fec 3/4, PIDs 33/36, 49/69 and 65/68.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3749 V "Ekushey World" is now encrypted.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3660 V "Jame-Jam TV Network 3" has started , SID 13,Vpid 2688 Apid 2689. (Hey we mentioned this was coming a month or 2 ago)
Yamal 102 90E 3578 L "Radio Mayak has replaced Echo of Moscow" on , APID 256.
The launch of Insat 3A & JCSAT 8 with Ariane is delayed from 15 March to 19 March.
BBC World spreads its wings with Qantas
BBC has announced that Australian airline major Qantas will be showing a selection of its programmes on its flights. Programes will be sourced from BBC World which is the Beeb's 24-hour international news and information channel.
The programmes passengers will be able to enjoy include 'Click Online' which scrutinises the latest developments on the Net as well as keeping viewers up to speed with latest technical advances, Hardtalk with host Tim Sebastian talking to eminent personalities from various spheres of life and Simpson's World.
The last one has John Simpson analysing and meditating on the evnts that are shaping the 21st century. An official release states that in Australia BBC World can be seen on Foxhole and Optus Television.
Speaking on the agreement Channel manager BBC World Stephanie Davey made these remarks: "We are delighted to be able to offer Qantas travellers a handpicked selection of quality BBC World programming featuring topical interviews, and news analysis, relied upon by people all over the world. Never more so than in the current climate have business travellers represented such a high percentage of our core audience. So we are delighted to be able to keep them up to date and informed even when they are in the air."
BBC World claims to reach 192 million homes in 200 countries. It claims to be available to 800,000 hotel rooms all over the world.
Thanks to all those who turned up in the chatroom lastnight, room was very laggy for me, my Ihug connection was playing up HURRY UP 2 way satellite internet :-) its a holiday here in NZ today, but I am still busy packing stuff have not done the big dish yet.
Some activity on Palapa C2 , TPIN - Televisi Papua Indonesia Network has started on 3718 H, MPEG-2/clear,
SR 6000, FEC 3/4, PIDs 513/651. According to Lyngsat BUT not there when our checker looked for it we do have the goods though its now at 3924 H Sr 5632 Fec 3/4 and can be recieved in NZ so at least its on the good beam its probably only a feed service rather than a channel anyone know?
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 12460 H "Occasional feeds", Sr 6620, Fec 2/3, NE Asian beam.
Apstar 1 134E 4132 V "News 98" has left.
Palapa C2 113E 3924 H "TPIN - Televisi Papua Indonesia Network" has started Sr 5632, Fec 3/4
Palapa C2 113E 4071 H "Channel NewsAsia and Radio Singapore International" have left.
Cakrawarta 1 107.7E 2535 H "Swara and Quick Channel" are fta again.
INSAT-3C Placed in Geo-stationary Orbit
From satnews daily
Bangalore - February 5, 2002/SatNews -- Since its injection into orbit on January 24, 2002, INSAT-3C has been successfully maneuvered to move it into geo-stationary orbit. The orbit rising maneuvers were carried out in phases by firing the 440 Newton Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM).
The satellite carried about 1.5 tonne of propellant (Mono-Methyl Hydrazine -- MMH and Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen -- MON-3) for orbit raising operations as well as for station keeping and in-orbit attitude control.
The first maneuver was carried out on January 25, 2002 by firing the LAM for 59 minutes that raised the orbit from 570 km x 35,920 km to 9,350 km x 35,936 km and reducing the orbital inclination with respect to the equator from 4 deg at the time of injection to 1.75 deg. The orbital period was 13.62 hours.
The second maneuver was carried out on January 26, 2002 by firing the LAM for 30 minutes to raise the orbit to 18,340 km x 35,787 km with a period of 16.9 hours and an inclination of 0.74 deg.
The third maneuver was carried out on January 28, 2002 by firing the LAM for 26 minutes raising the orbit to 32,448 km x 35,785 km with an orbital period of 22.5 hours and reducing the inclination to 0.18 deg. Since this maneuver, the satellite has been in continuous radio visibility of MCF, Hassan.
The last maneuver was on January 30, 2002 with a 3 minute firing of LAM that brought the satellite to near geo-stationary orbit. The satellite at the end of this maneuver was at 63 deg East longitude and drifting at 2 deg per day towards its designated orbital slot at 74 deg East longitude.
The deployment of the appendages of INSAT-3C was completed on January 31, 2002. First the solar array on the south side of the satellite was deployed at 9:46 am [0446 UTC] which was followed by the deployment of the antenna on the west side at 10:35 am [0535 UTC].
The solar array on the north side of the satellite was deployed at 11:47 am [0647 UTC] and finally the antenna on the east side was deployed at 12:21 pm [0721 UTC]. INSAT-3C has since been put in its final three axis stabilised mode on February 1, 2002.
All the systems of INSAT-3C have been performing as per predictions. The satellite has 488 kg fuel left on board which will be sufficient for its design life of 12 years.
The testing of the individual transponders will commence soon. INSAT-3C is expected to be commissioned by end of February 2002.
Entire Middle East Aaj Tak's target for 2002
Aaj Tak, the Hindi news channel that has forayed into the UAE with a tie-up with a cable operator late last year, plans to cover the entire Middle East in the near future.
Aaj Tak signed a deal with E Vision, a leading UAE cable company in November 2001 offering the channel on a free to air window to all subscribers of the cable op, spread in Dubai and parts of UAE. According to CEO G Krishnan, the channel will shift to 'a la carte mode' from mid-February. In effect, the channel will be available to subscribers for a nominal payment after that. The deal, says Krishnan, was struck to explore the international market within the footprint area of its existing carrier satellite Insat 2 E. Aaj Tak is currently targeting Asian homes through E Vision, owned by ETISALAT.
No English news channel this year - Aaj Tak CEO G Krishnan
The channel is also rationalising its rate card from 1 April 2002 in order to make it more attractive to advertisers. "Our ad revenues have consistently grown from the time we launched", he says. The channel's only source of revenue is advertising and Krishnan hopes to exceed revenue targets of Rs 400 million for the current fiscal. One big success that Aaj Tak has chalked up is in managing to mop up a wide range of ads from players who were traditionally not known to set aside budgets for television.
In India, Aaj Tak is currently available to 100 per cent of the cable homes while the current Cable & Satellite connectivity is over 85 per cent, claims Krishnan.
Krishnan says the company is also in touch with existing DTH players in the UAE and will be signing a deal shortly to attract all DTH homes as well in UAE. He hopes to acquire an additional 60,000 to 70,000 homes by the end of 2002 if a deal with any of the three DTH players in the region works out. Only two of the three existing DTH players in the region, he says, are interested in Hindi content.
Aaj Tak, which was rated as one of the most popular news channels by the time it completed a year of operation in December 2001, has however shelved its plans of launching an English news channel for the time being. Krishnan however is confident that the channel will have a better share of the international market by the end of next year.
At the time of inception, the Living Media group, TV Today's parent had decided to offload up to 25 per cent in the new entity. While the Bharati group picked up a 10 per cent stake in the company recently, ICICI Venture Funds holds another 10 per cent. Krishnan says the company does not plan to offload any more equity in the near future.
(Craigs comment, the Zee service on B3 should grab this channel looks to be very popular)
Wanna surf? Log on to a satellite
Hughes Escorts Communications Ltd (HECL) has launched its satellite-based broadband Internet access service in India. This is more expensive than the normal delivery via cable, but will be at higher speeds and will cover a much wider footprint.
The access through satellite will stream down to a maximum of 200 kbps in India, while in the US Hughes offers a throughput of 400 kbps that can be utilised for direct-to-home (DTH) users. “We have launched DirecPC in India. We do not require sppeds higher than 200 kbps. Moreover DTH has not been kicked off in the country,” said a senior official in HECL.
The users of DirecPC will be cyber cafes, companies looking at high speed browsing and organisations needing access in the remote places. The company, however, will not introduce DirecPC in the home segment, as the bandwidth prices are still high.
Though the official did not disclose the actual prices for the product, he said the MRP costing of hardware would be Rs 1.60 lakh. The bandwidth price will vary between Rs 10,000-20,000 per kbps, depending on usage.
HECL is using a foreign satellite. The GE-1A (GE Americon) satellite has a higher element of reliability and is more powerful. The uplinking is being done by a hub at Gurgaon near Delhi.
Broadband Internet on KU band will increase speed through small satellite dishes. The Internet access will be blasted to the PC through the satellite. An official announcement of the launch of DirecPC, however, will be made within a month.
Internet via satellite has several advantages over Internet access via cable. It can reach the most remotest areas in the country and the operations can be scalable.
Now, out-of-range satellites can be tracked
BANGALORE: The Indian Space Research Organisation scientists have developed a new software to automatically monitor Indian satellites going out of range of Master Control Facility at Hassan in Karnataka.
The software would cut down costs on monitoring of the out-of-range satellites by foreign ground control stations, Geosat Project Director Dr V R Katti told PTI here.
The new software named Autonomous Control Mode (ACM) enables monitoring and tracking satellites which were out of MCF's range. At present, such satellites required monitoring by ground control stations in other countries, he said.
MCF continuously monitors operational Indian satellites throughout their service lives.
The recently launched INSAT-3C had to be tracked from ground control stations in Beijing, Fucino in Italy and Lake Cowichan in Canada when it went out of MCF's range before reaching close to its geo-stationary orbit from its initially highly elliptical one.
"The tracking and monitoring of satellites by foreign agencies incurs expenditure, but the installation and commissioning of the ACM will eliminate these costs while tracking existing and future satellites," Katti said.
The software was uploaded on to the experimental satellite GSAT-1 launched by India's first Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) in April last year.
"The software will be used on an expertimental basis for two years on GSAT-1 before being commissioned into regular service for other satellites," he said.
The software was performing well on the satellite and showed promise of successfully tracking other satellties in the future on being commissioned.
Katti said the software would be uploaded in a phased manner on to many other other Indian satellites already in operation, and could be in complete operation in another three years.
Satellite Television "Pirate" Pays $20,000 and Receives Ten Year Sentence
MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Feb. 05, 2002 -- As a part of its continuing battle against satellite signal piracy, Pegasus Satellite Television worked with state and local law enforcement agencies in the arrest and conviction of a Dallas, GA, man on several piracy-related charges.
The man had been going door-to-door, disguised as a DIRECTV employee, switching out subscribers' access cards. The valid access cards were then reprogrammed and sold as hacked cards. The man targeted subscribers throughout the rural areas of Georgia during his campaign.
The man was charged in two Georgia courts on a total of 19 counts, consisting of financial transaction card theft, computer forgery, and theft by deception. The courts sentenced him to ten years' probation and to make a $20,000 payment. The payment was paid on the date of sentencing and will be used to compensate the victims of the crime spree and to pay various fines and surcharges.
Pegasus has hired a team of private investigators to track leads, build cases and aid local law enforcement and state law enforcement in the ongoing battle against satellite signal theft in the satellite industry. Pegasus periodically conducts advertising campaigns designed to educate consumers on the legal ramifications of purchasing and/or using illegally modified access cards.
"Consumers should be made aware that neither Pegasus nor DIRECTV have representatives that go door-to-door to switch out access cards," said Scott Blank, Pegasus General Counsel. "Our team of investigators and state and local law enforcement are working hard to put an end to satellite signal theft."
Livechat tonight usual time 8.30 Syd time and 9.PM NZ onwards.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Tony Drexel
I spoke to my contact at Panamsat Napa Valley 2am this morning, and found out the following information re the Middle Eastern BQ.
Reason for the problem last week: Tanberg who are responsible for delivering the Mux from Rome Italy to Napa Valley, had a computer failure (the hard drive crashed), and they were caught without a 'ghost' unit at the ready. So up went the Mux using any means possible, hence the pids were all over the place like a dogs breakfast.
Thanks should go to Tanberg for getting the signal up so quick, even if it did mean that some receivers were unable to lock onto the new pids.
A request has been sent to Tanberg from myself though Panamsat, to have the BQ pids brought back to the way they were, explaining that "if we were talking about a couple of headends then don't worry about changing, but because the signal is reaching a very large number of people, over a very large geographic area, it would be a very big task to get everybody back on line".
See what happens over the next few days. Hopefully the people in Italy will come to the party.
Will keep your readers posted.
BTW. If someone wants a step by step instruction of how to put RAI into a Satcruiser or Prosat receiver because they can not wait, please look at www.senet.com.au/~ftass and click on Customer Support.
Tony Drexel. FTASS
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 12732 V Service here have New SIDs : 301-309.
Optus B1 160E 12488 H "9 Network" has left
Optus B3 156E 12336 V "HRT TV 1" has started, Sid 2, Vpid 1260 Apid 1220 (This will be a pay channel from Croatia, no picture currently running tests)
Telkom 1 108E 3460 H "Channel NewsAsia is FTA again."
Asiasat 3 105.5E 12595 H "Business and Finance Channel" is now in FTA.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3951 H "Business and Finance Channel" is now FTA.
Measat 1 91.5E 4154 H "VTV 4" has started, Sr 3124, Fec 1/2, Vpid 308 Apid 256. (Nice FEC anyone in Northern Australia lock onto this one?)
ST 1 88E 3632 V "FTV News Channel" has started on , Sid 213, Vpid 4657 Apid 4641. CTV and FTV Entertainment are now FTA.The test card has left this mux.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3612 V "PTV Channel 1 and Radio Pakistan" have left
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H "HRT TV 1" has started on , Vpid 1537 Apid 1538.
Insat 3C 74E Insat 3C is now geostationary at 74 East.
PAS 10 68.5E 3863 V "BVN TV" has left
Australia tunes in for pay-TV shake-up
Australia's pay-television industry, bogged down by high programming costs and weak subscriber numbers, may soon be reshaped by the potential sale or merger of Austar United Communications.
Talks are expected to intensify this week between cash-strapped Austar, which has the franchise for rural areas, and its two city-based rivals Foxtel and Optus amid a belief Australia cannot support three pay-TV companies.
An Austar sale would streamline the loss-making industry and potentially narrow the difference between the two remaining players as they face mounting pressure to cut costs ahead of the expected introduction of digital broadcasting.
"We have been predicting a rationalisation of the pay-TV industry as soon as the ego-wars are over so business sense can start to take over again," independent telecommunications analyst Paul Budde said.
Australian media companies have struggled to match the pay-TV boom in the United States and UK. Only about 20 percent of local households have pay-TV compared with estimates of 80 percent in the United States and well over 25 percent in the UK.
Profits are being kept at bay by the steep prices local operators must pay Hollywood studios to air key content such as movies, compounded last year by a weak Australian dollar.
Foxtel is pushing Hollywood to renegotiate its current contracts, which are fixed in US dollars and not due to expire until 2006, to cut programming costs and drive up volumes.
Optus faces a different problem. Its programming contract is based on a minimum guaranteed subscriber base, which means it is paying for a far higher number of customers than it actually has.
Industry estimates suggest about AU$8 billion has been spent on Australia's pay-TV industry, with little return.
The industry is dominated by Foxtel, which has 770,000 subscribers and posted a AU$62 million pre-tax loss in 2000/01.
Half owned by dominant telco Telstra, with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd each holding a 25 percent stake, its losses are expected to widen this year.
Foxtel competes with Singapore Telecommunications-owned Optus, which had 260,000 pay-TV subscribers at last count. Austar, also running at a loss, has 435,000.
Austar has been in talks with Optus in recent months on an alliance or asset purchase. Local media have reported that Optus chief Chris Anderson is scheduled to meet US cable king John Malone this week to advance discussions. Malone owns a controlling stake in Austar's parent UnitedGlobalCom . A link-up could give the combined entity a similar number of subscribers to Foxtel and has implications for Foxtel content sales to Austar.
Scott Maddock, a director of Australian equities with fund manager Rothschild Australia Asset Management, said any deal would help Optus address its lagging market share and high costs, but taking on Austar's regional subscribers would not threaten Foxtel's dominance over the city market.
"It does also bring a satellite offering to Optus and allows them to expand this offering beyond cable networks if it wishes, and notably that is where Foxtel subscriber growth is at the moment," Maddock said.
But Foxtel is also keenly eyeing potential opportunities with Austar, particularly the possibility of picking up assets such as the other half stake of programming group XYZ Entertainment it does not already own.
Australia's regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, has launched an investigation into the implications of any deal, but commissioner Ross Jones hinted there would be few competition issues.
"At the moment Foxtel and Austar are geographically separate and they don't compete directly with each other, and that is of course the same with Optus and Austar," Ross told Reuters.
Many observers believe Optus's cautious parent, SingTel, is not willing to take on board Austar's AU$400 million debt, a facility currently under negotiation with banks.
Optus's pay-TV arm is only viable because it relies on bundling the service with other telecommunications products.
"What is the market going to say if Optus buys Austar and puts two losing (pay-TV) groups together?" said an industry executive close to the telco sector.
Also in Foxtel's favour may be the influence of Malone, who is a major shareholder in News Corp.
The site will probably go up late each evening this week while I get more packing done. I need to pull my big dish to pieces and pack it up later this week :-(
This report from Alex just to hand before I upload the page.
B3 12336 V Mediasat mux "HRT 1" Croatian TV, Vpid 1260 Apid 1220, no pictures yet
From my Emails & ICQ
From John Harrison 4/02/02
B1 12397 H sr 7200 fec 3/4 ATN Digital showing fox channel with superbowl
From Chris Pickstock 2/02/02
On B1, 12367 V , Sr 5632 there is some fancy wedding on. Foreign language. Certainly a different feed to come across.
(Craigs comment, this was the Dutch Royal wedding)
From Chris Pickstock 3/02/02
B1, 12397 H, Sr 7200 is currently showing Rugby. Fiji v Argentina. It is obviously not live as it is night time and in Queensland. Don't really follow Rugby so I can not say whether it is last night or last year !
5.45 pm SA time
B1, 12397, Sr 7200, NSL Soccer, Sydney Olympic v Northern Spirit
Looks like they are playing Strip Twister at the moment, from Big Day Out in Perth.
B1, 12367 V, Sr 6110, Channel V feed
(Craigs comment, this feed was one of the most unusual I have ever seen, full frontal male nudity, topless body painted woman, and some of the foulest crudest language I have ever seen on satellite. Was anyone actually watching it on Channel V? I wonder how much of it they actually showed?)
From Me 3/02/02
Golf on the following at 1.50p.m Syd time
B1 12357 V sr 6108 "globecast golf"
B3 12363V usual setting same golf! but mediasat i.d
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E The muxes on 4090 V and 12732 Vare now encrypted in Viaccess and Nagravision. New SIDs for all channels on 4090 V: 301-309. All channels are now encrypted
PAS 2 169E 12448 V "DirecPC" has left, replaced by occasional feeds.
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "H&W eTV and the test card" have swapped SIDs and PIDs.
PAS 8 166E 12606 H Tarbs Mux changes, Arirang TV World 2, Phoenix Chinese, Beijing TV, TFC, Cinema One and DZMM - Radyo Patrol have started in this mux. TGRT, NITV, Video Italia, MKTV Sat and Pink Plus have left.
PAS 8 166E 12526 H "News Talk Country" has started, APID 669.
Apstar 1A 134E 3840 H The test cards have left.
Cakrawarta 1 107.7E 2535 H "Swara and Quick Channel" are now encrypted.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3880 H "Phoenix Chinese" has left, replaced by an info card.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3760 H "H&W eTV" has left.
Measat 1 91.5E 4047 H PIDs for TV 3 (Malaysia) 308/256.
ST 1 88E 3632 V Scholar Movie Channel and CASA have replaced BTS and Scholar Business
Network. FTV News Channel has left this mux. All channels are now in clear, and many of them have new PIDs.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3616 V "PTV Channel 3" has started , Sr 3333, Fec 3/4, Vpid 308 Apid 256.
Optus confirms Austar talks
OPTUS has confirmed it is in talks with Austar United Communications about the future of the companies' pay television operations.
Reports today said Optus chief executive Chris Anderson was to discuss a merger of the pay-TV concerns with cable television investor John Malone.
It was reported Mr Anderson would travel to the United States to meet Mr Malone, whose Liberty Media Corp is the controlling shareholder of Austar's 81.3 per cent owner, UnitedGlobalCom.
A spokesman for Optus would not confirm Mr Anderson would be travelling to the US but said: "I am able to confirm as an Optus spokesman is that talks are underway with Austar about the future."
Austar head of corporate affairs Bruce Meagher said he couldn't comment on the reports and whether company executives would be involved.
However, he confirmed that Austar and Optus remained in talks as previously stated.
"UnitedGlobalCom is certainly aware of all of those activities but beyond that I really can't comment," he said.
Mr Meagher said Austar was still negotiating with its 15-member banking consortium - including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Citibank and JP Morgan - about restructuring its existing $400 million debt facility.
He said the banks had yet to respond to a request by Austar late last month to a waiver of defaults on the facility. "We haven't heard back from the banks yet - so they're obviously considering that waiver application," he said.
"Again it it's one of those things where there isn't actually a date when something has to happen so I assume they will respond to us in due course."
Toyota, DoCoMo To Build High-End Satellite Network
Twenty Japanese corporations plan to build a high-quality satellite communications network for cellular phones and other mobile communications services at a cost of some US$1 billion.
The partners, who include JSAT Corporation, NTT DoCoMo Inc., Hitachi Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation and Tokyo Electric Power Company, plan to orbit a constellation of three satellites beginning 2005 with commercial services to begin by 2008. A joint study team organized by the partners will seek financial assistance from Japanese government in order to raise the necessary capital for the project. The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications will negotiate with its foreign counterparts to obtain the necessary satellite orbits and radio wave frequencies beginning 2003.
The satellites will attempt to solve a problem peculiar to Japan’s geographical location. Tall buildings often block signals sent from communications satellites to Japan because the satellites remain above the equator, which is 45 degrees above the horizon from Japan. This limitation forces cellular phone companies such as NTT DoCoMo to install a host of relay antennas throughout Japan at huge cost.
The solution the group intends to provide will be a “quasi-zenithal satellite communications system” in which one of the three communications satellites is directly over Japan at any given time. The three satellites will orbit over Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand for some 16 hours a day when they are not over Japan, and can be used by companies or governments in these countries. The quasi-zenithal method will reduce the size of antennas and communications terminals and facilitate the broadcast of high-resolution programs and broadband communications.
An interview with New Skies' Dr Eui Koh
"Our strategy for 2001 and 2002 is more China-oriented"
To get the views of key satellite executives on the Asian market, Satnews Asia Associate Editor, Virgil Labrador interview Dr. Eui Koh, Vice-President for Asia-Pacific of New Skies Satellites N.V. (NSS) during the recently-concluded PTC 2002 conference in Hawaii. Dr. Koh has over 30 years experience in the telecommunications industry. He actively participates in various international and regional telecommunications organizations such as the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC), Asia-Pacific Tele-Comunity and Asia Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC). Prior to joining NSS, Dr. Koh was managing director, Asia-Pacific, of INTELSAT. At INTELSAT, Dr. Koh held several senior technical positions in the Engineering Division and played a significant role in the design of future INTELSAT satellite systems. Prior to INTELSAT, he worked with the American Satellite Corporation and Hughes Network Systems. He also acted as an advisor to the Electronics Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI) of Korea on the early system design of KoreaSat.
Excerpts of the interview:
Q. What are your thoughts on the prospects of the Asian market for 2002 and how has 9/11 affected the Asian market?
A. Definitely 9/11 was a big setback and shock to the Asian community. As you can imagine, the Asian economy is so dependent on the U.S. economy, so much so that when the US coughs, Asia gets pneumonia. And the telecommunications industry is no exception.. There is a slowdown in the economy and business development. However, the interesting part is that in the last two years, the major development in telecommunications and broadcasting in Asia is largely in India and China. China was basically immune from 9/11 because their domestic market was growing exponentially and their market development is not dependent on the US economy and therefore 9/11in essence has no impact on that market.
NSS-6 is a high-powered Ku- and Ka-band satellite for broadband content delivery to Asian markets.
As for New Skies, our strategy for 2001 and 2002 is more China-oriented, because our satellite NSS-6 has many capacity like Ku Band transponders which China needed. Thus, in a sense we were impacted but we feel hardly the impact because we offer a DVB-IP platform which was very well accepted by the user-community. So we immediately became a major DVB-IP platform service provider to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia. We now have six DVB-IP platforms. We are growing and doing great. So overall, we are not impacted by 9/11.
Q. Is China is major market for New Skies?
A. Yes, I think in the next two years China is a major market for us. And we will put a lot of effort into the Chinese market. But we are not only concentrating on China--we are also active in the Southeast Asian market and the Northern Asia market. I think that the Asia-Pacific market is really from the point-to-point to the real point-to-multipoint. And NSS-6 is really ideal for these type of services.
Q. Are there regulatory barriers to the Chinese market?
A. The Chinese market is more or less a domestic-oriented market. And we plan to provide more domestic services to the Chinese community.
Q. And your next satellite is going to be launched in 2002?
A. For the Asia-Pacific region, n NSS-6 will be launched in the September-October time frame and will be available for service in December.
Q. How will NSS-6 be different from all the other satellites that are already up there?
A. There are two major differences. The satellite will be very versatile and flexible. If you look at the footprint map, all six separate beams are interconnected. Each beam can have from 0 to maximum 15 transponders--meaning if the market is not there in one beam, transponders could be transferred to another beam.
It is also very high powered satellite and it can provide voice, data, internet, Voice over IP, DTH and content delivery service, distance learning, VSAT application. It is basically completely comprehensive satellite. More importantly, it will be the first satellite to provide a Pan-Asian coverage due to its strategic orbital location at 95 degrees east.
Another significant feature of the satellite is its high receiving sensitivity (G/T). This means that you would need a smaller antenna to uplink to the satellite. This makes it ideal for corporate users and distance learning applications.
Q. Do you think there too many satellites serving the Asian market?
A. Not at the time when NSS will be in service. NSS-6 is a unique satellite, which is very high-powered and it covers the entire Asian region and designed in such with maximum flexibility--no other satellite will be providing such coverage and service flexibility.
What we are seeing is that everyone in Asia has had a reality check from the recession of '97-98 and 9/11. And the dot.com shakeout has left basically companies with a solid business plan not only in the internet industries, but also in the satellite and broadcasting industries. So Asia has had essentially two shocks and now is really the right time for recovery.
Dr. Eui Koh can be reached at email@example.com or phone at +65-6238-0400
(Craigs comment, NSS 6 at 95E will have a big KU signal over Australia and in some very lucky locations in NZ that can see that low)
T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 05/2002 3 February 2002 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited apsattv.com edition
A S I A
DOORDARSHAN TV LAUNCHES CULTURE CHANNEL
State broadcaster Doordarshan on January 29 launched its new around-the-clock
channel, DD Bharati. The new channel will showcase programmes on India’s
heritage and culture and have three broad segments - health, children’s
programme, and art and culture. Indian news agency Press Trust of India (PTI)
on January 26 reported that DD Bharati would be replacing DD News Channel.
NBC DELAYS LAUNCH OF DTH SERVICE
A leading media group announced the delay of the rollout of a DTH satellite TV
platform as it waits for its cable operation to merge with another of the
country's leading operators. Nation Broadcasting Corp, an affiliate of the
Philippines Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) company will have its plans to
operate a DTH service on hold until PLDT has merged its Home Cable operation
with that of the Lopez Group's SkyCable. Although the merger valued at €324
million was announced in mid-2001, the two sides have made slow progress
towards combining the two platforms. Nation Broadcasting Corp was set to offer
subscribers a basic platform of channels, telephony and Internet services for
around €116 a month. PLDT is unable to operate a DTH service on its own because
of cross media ownership laws.
TV POOL CHANGES DECISION ON WORLD CUP
TV Pool on February 1 said it would not broadcast any of this year’s World Cup
football matches, but added it would allow individual pool members to make
bilateral deals with DhoSpaak Communication Agency, the holder of broadcasting
rights for the tournament. Gen Sunthorn Sophonsiri, president of TV Pool of
Thailand, said it was his group’s “principle not to broadcast any international
programme for which an outsider is the rights owner.” TV Pool comprises
channels 3, 5, 7, 9 and Itv. He said TV Pool’s earlier intention to join
Channel 11 in broadcasting matches only applied if TV Pool was the main body to
arrange match schedules for all members equally. TV Pool decided to withdraw
from the project since the government-owned station insisted on being the core
station, he said. ITV said it reached an agreement with DhoSpaak to air some of
the matches. The channel also won permission from DhoSpaak to show highlights
and analysis of World Cup matches for 90 minutes every day during the
tournament. Channels 9 and 5 said they would join DhoSpaak in broadcasting
matches if ordered by the government, since they were state-run stations. The
management of Channels 3 and 7 made it clear they would not broadcast any of
A F R I C A
SUPERSPORT TO CARRY FORMULA 1 RACES
Multichoice-owned SuperSport has officially won the satellite rights to screen
all the Formula One Grand Prix action for the next three years - live, to
almost the 50 African countries in which the channel is beamed. The races will
be telecast on SuperSport 2 and fans should be set to catch every pit-stop,
corner and chequered flag when the 2002 season accelerates into action.
Back Monday Evening
No time for anything up here, No site tommorow more packing to be done 2 weeks to go now. Channel 9 Epal has suposedly left B1 to be replaced by 8 channels in Qam 16? unconfirmed.
Satfacts page updated
From my Emails & ICQ
From John Harrison
Optus B3 12438h sr 29473 fec 3/4 am getting cartoon network fta sound only no pic anyone else getting this?
From Ng wee meng
JCSAT 3 - 3960V ,SR 30000 CAN RECEIVE TAIWAN MAC CTS, CTV & TTV
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 3836 V "LBC Australia" is encrypted again.
Measat 2 148E 11652 H "MAC TV" has started on , Sr 4340, Fec 3/4.
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "CTS, CTV and TTV" are FTA
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "MAC TV has replaced BNE TV" on, Sid 403, Vpid 1104 Apid 1105.
Palapa C2 113E 11132 V "The Global TV tests, Metro TV, TVRI and Anteve" have left.
Telkom 1 108E 3460 H "Metro TV, Channel NewsAsia and Fashion TV"are now encrypted.
Telkom 1 108E 3586 H "TVRI, MTV Asia and TV 5 Asie" have left.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3791 V MAC TV has left
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3720 H "National Geographic Adventure 1" has left.
Sahara TV looking to encrypt by May
No pay no gain. That could well sum up the general sentiment in the industry that in the long run it is only the pay mode that is viable.
Subrata Roy Sahara, managing worker & chairman, Sahara India Pariwar, announced today that Sahara TV would be relaunched in May after a total revamp as a fully encrypted free to air channel. But hinting at a long term plan, Roy said that he saw two revenue streams - advertising and subscription - as the only way a channel could sustain itself in the long term. This appears to indicate that the channel will ultimately become a pay channel.
On the question of whether Sahara would join a bigger platform as a distribution strategy, Roy ruled it out as an option. His argument being that once the bouquet of 38 news channels are launched, the bouquet would be strong enough in itself.
Roy said that there were no plans to uplink from India at this stage and added that Asiasat would continue to be Sahara's satellite partner.
Roy made these comments on the sidelines of a major media briefing in Lucknow announcing the group's plans for a massive expansion in print media. Among the initiatives that Sahara will be undertaking are:
i) A 60-page weekly Hindi news magazine in broadsheet that would have 32 editions spanning the whole Hindi speaking belt.
ii) An English news magazine that will have three editions - Delhi, Mumbai and an all-India one.
iii) Sahara's Urdu daily, Urdu Rozana will have five new editions published out of Mumbai, Patna, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Kharagpur.
iv) A weekly Urdu magazine that would be published out of New Delhi as well as an international edition.
On the issue of the entry of foreign media into the print sector, Roy echoed the line the dominant print media houses have been flogging - that it should not be allowed under any circumstances.
Meanwhile, Netaji, Sahara's first foray into the movie business - a project focussing on the life and work of freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose - will be seeing a major expansion in its budget, Roy announced.
Netaji was originally envisaged as a Rs 100 million project, that would comprise a five-hour teleseries besides a three-hour feature film. Roy said the scale on which this movie would be made has considerably expanded but would not go into the actual costing. The film is slated for worldwide theatrical release in January 2003.
INSAT 3C will be ready for use by month-end: ISRO
HASSAN, FEB. 1. India's latest multi-purpose geostationary satellite, INSAT 3C, will be ready for use by month-end, the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, K. Kasturirangan, has said. And 30 more transponders would be added to the existing capacity.
The satellite, launched on January 24 by the French Ariane 42L launch vehicle from Kourou, French Guyana, has been brought to a ``near-geostationary orbit'' after firing four shots of the onboard 440 N Liquid Apojee Motors, from January 25 to 30. It will be placed in its designated orbital slot of 74 degrees East longitude by February 7 or 8, Dr. Kasturirangan and senior officials of ISRO told presspersons at the Master Control Facility here today. The INSAT 3C would be co-located with INSAT 1D.
Once this ``station acquisition'' or ``earth acquisition'' phase was completed - by the end of the month - the payload testing activities would commence and the satellite would be ready for use. It was carrying 24 C band, six extended C band and two S band transponders and a Mobile Satellite Service Transponder operating in S band uplink and C band downlink, an ISRO release said.
On the possibility of commercial exploitation of the transponders of 3C, Sridharmurthy, Executive Director of Antrix Corporation, a commercial activity spinoff of ISRO, said a pricing mechanism was yet to be established, but ``we would certainly be competitive.''
``With better India-U.S. relations, America would be a major source of components for our projects,'' Dr. Kasturirangan said. The ISRO would also be looking at greater cooperation with organisations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The ISRO and the European Space Agency were making efforts to get the Indian and the European scientists to work together. India recently became the fourth signatory to an international disaster management charter using space technologies, after the French space agency, CNES, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. The signatories would cooperate in acquiring and sharing data in the event of natural disasters. India had used the help of Canadian and European satellites during the Orissa supercyclone.
Over the next five years, the ISRO, Dr. Kasturirangan said, would broadly focus on ``consolidating our strength in remote sensing.'' A dedicated satellite for meteorological applications would be launched in the third quarter of the year. The capability of India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle to put this satellite in a ``geostationary transfer orbit'' was being evaluated.
A dedicated astronomical satellite working in X-ray, gamma ray and ultra violet frequencies would also be launched. Technology to go on a KA band transponder to be part of the GSAT 3 series of satellites was being evaluated. The transponders from INSAT 3C would fill the vacuum created by the phasing-out of the 2C transponders, which were nearing the end of their lifespan.
`No defence applications for IRS'
On the possibility of military applications for the Indian Remote Sensing satellites, Dr. Kasturirangan said the Ministry of Defence and policy-makers at the highest level would have to address the issue. The ISRO already had its hands full with civilian uses of these satellites. Denying that India was running a ``spy'' IRS satellite programme, he said the satellites were being used for advanced high-resolution data gathering. There were no military applications for them for the time-being.
Asked about the impact of the lifting of the U.S. sanctions on the Indian space programme, he said the critical components needed for the programme were now available. The ISRO had worked on a policy of indigenisation and created value-added products from local components. Easy availability of critical components had helped cut costs.
Dr. Kasturirangan said there were no plans to send a human being to the moon. The top space experts were working on a ``mission to the moon'' to study lunar chemistry and geology.
Al-Jazeera to sue CNN for airing Laden interview
OHA: Qatar's Al-Jazeera satellite channel on Friday said that it would sue CNN for airing without its consent an interview with suspected terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden conducted by one of its reporters.
"Al-Jazeera's board of directors is upset, and we will sue CNN," Al-Jazeera chief executive Mohammad Jassem al-Ali said.
"The tape (of the interview) is a property of Al-Jazeera" and CNN, which obtained a copy "by illegal means," did not have the right to air it, Ali said.
However, Al-Jazeera would not sever links with the Atlanta-based international network, which was owned by AOL Time Warner, he said.
The interview, excerpts of which were aired late on Thursday, had been conducted by an Al-Jazeera correspondent in Kabul last October, but the Qatar-based station did not broadcast it.
In the interview, Bin Laden, chief suspect in the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington, vowed to pursue to the death his battle with the US.
More packing today, sorry the sites a bit late the next two weeks the site will only be done in the evenings NZ time. So may not be online until 8 p.m Syd. I did some more testing with the Digisat GWE2100 unit and it works fine with Teletext on B1. Not sure why I couldn't get it to work before.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Tony Drexel
As you know there were some changes on PAS2 last night.............
The changes were totally unexpected by everyone including World Media Int in Sydney who I spoke to this morning.
Routine maintenance with LBC encryption should have gone smoothly, but when they re-encrypted the signal, all hell broke loose. The pids on three services on 3836Vt went out the window, and they are currently working on fixing it as I type this email. Would refrain from reloading the channels (unless they must) until Monday, as by then the pids should revert back to the original ones. (Hopefully)
Good news first.....Rai International will remain free on PAS2 until at least the end of this year.
The bad news for some.....LBC, ART & ALJAZZER are scheduled to all be encrypted in approx 3 to 4 weeks.
***Information courteous of WMI Sydney.....Nice bunch of people to talk to, and pleasing to be able to get some answers from some-one locally.
Free To Air Satellite Services, S.A.
From Keith Browning (NZ)
Re: Worldnet off Intelsat 1701
Several channels now, + radio with some duplication.
3m solid, also using Horizontal lnb
(Craigs comment, Lyngsat has not listed this yet! Because he won't list it until he has the pids! I can't seem to get through to Christian that most won't be aware the service is there so how can they supply pids for it. Have told him that most receivers in out part of the world have autopids so he should list it and he is sure to have someone supply the missing pids data within a day of posting it. It makes you wonder what else he isn't listing because he dosn't have the pids for.?)
From Chris Pickstock
B3, 12363 V Mediasat has the golf again today. 16:9 format and poor quality sound.
B1, 12367 V, sr 5632 has a card up saying "Globalvision Test". 10 minutes ago it was showing the golf as well.
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 12315 V The occasional GlobeCast feeds have left (MPEG-2).
PAS 2 169E 3836 VNew PIDs for LBC Australia, ART Australia and RAI International on .LBC Australia is in clear again.
Sinosat 1 110.5E 4088 V "Chinese TV Guide" has started regular transmissions on, Sid 2, Vpid 350 Apid 351.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3980 V National Geographic Adventure 1 has replaced Fox News Channel on , Sid 1777, Vpid 513 Apid 644.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3799 H "APTN Asia" is FTA.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 12221 V "CCTV World News" is FTA.
PAS 10 68.5E 3863 V "Fashion TV" is FTA.
Remainder of NASA Satellite Falls Into Atlantic East of Brazil
NASA's unmanned astronomy satellite completed its uncontrolled descent toward Earth with remaining pieces falling into the Atlantic Ocean east of Brazil, an Australian government body monitoring the descent said.
``It's all down,'' Brian Flanagan of Emergency Management Australia said. ``The Explorer came down at 3:25 p.m. Sydney time.''
The organization was observing the descent of the 3,000- metric-ton (7,000-pound) Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer because there were concerns that parts weighing as much as 45 kilograms (100 pounds) may survive the re-entry and fall to Earth. The satellite's final orbits crossed over three Australian states.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellite, which had been in space for nine years, didn't have on-board rockets to control its descent.
Fragments of the U.S. Skylab hit a deserted area of Western Australia state after its uncontrolled descent in 1979, killing a cow. Emergency Management Australia was on full alert during the controlled descent of Russia's Mir space station last March. Surviving Mir fragments crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Fiji.
While the satellite's life was originally expected to be three years, NASA twice extended its mission and it was operational for eight of its nine years in space. The spacecraft was used to observe objects outside the galaxy and to help understand the ultraviolet spectrum.
Broadcaster pulls plug on Wellington sport
Wellington sport has received the red card from TelstraClear with the pay-television operator tomorrow pulling the plug on its sports channel, leaving no one screening local sport.
Sports officials say the broadcaster, formerly TelstraSaturn till its merger with Clear Communications late last year, filled a gap in sports coverage left by Sky TV, TVNZ, TV3 and Prime.
Saturn Sport broadcast locally played sports at school and club level such as softball, bowls, tennis, cricket, rugby, league and netball.
TelstraClear's decision to drop its sports channel follows an agreement it signed with Sky at Christmas that will see Sky supplying programming and channels to the company from Sunday. Coming in are ESPN, Juice, J2 and Sky 1 which will replace Saturn Sport, Channel V, WorldNet BBC Radio, TCM, Music Country and CNNfn.
From March, TelstraClear subscribers, of which there are about 26,000 in Wellington, will also have the option of subscribing to Sky's sports and movie channels.
TelstraClear spokesman Quentin Bright said today there were two reasons for the sports channel being taken off air: Research found customers would prefer to watch ESPN rather than local sport and it was costly to produce.
College Sport regional director John Hornal said it had a relationship with the company for three years and last year 40 hours of school sport was broadcast.
"I'm disappointed because a lot of people bought into it to support and watch local sport. The kids are going from getting quite extensive coverage to nothing."
Wellington Rugby Football League deputy-chairman Rodney Moore and Capital Shakers netball chairwoman Kathy Doyle also said they were disappointed by the decision. The pay-TV company had broadcast Shakers home games that TV One didn't televise.
Cricket Wellington chief executive Erv McSweeney said TelstraClear had broadcast a club day-night, one-day series at Hutt Recreational Park with commentary from former international John Morrison. However, no matches were shown this summer and Morrison no longer works for the company.
Softball New Zealand chief executive Hayden Smith wouldn't comment but The Evening Post understands the organisation is talking with TelstraClear about having next month's international series against Japan in New Zealand broadcast on one of its channels or on Sky.
Regional TV station Wellington TV, formerly Channel 7, says it wants to cover Wellington sport. Station manager Pete Jackson said yesterday it was hoping to have the resources to do that in the near future.
PRESS RELEASE AUSTAR
Statement of cash flows & update on bank financing Cash flows and cash position
Austar United Communications Limited today released its Appendix 4C statement of cash flows for the three months ended 31 December.
As previously disclosed on 22 January, Austar confirms that at 31 December it had $103.2 million in cash on hand, a reduction of $24.3 million from 30 September 2001.
The net cash out flow for the quarter was made up of:
$3.5 million in operating cash flows, compared to $47.5 million in the previous quarter; and
$19 million in capital expenditure as against $20.5 million in the previous quarter.
As disclosed on 22 January the Company estimates that its full year EBITDA loss will be approximately $87 million, that depreciation and amortisation will be approximately $217 million and that net interest expenses will be approximately $24 million.
In addition to these amounts there will be:
one off charges associated with the restructuring of the business including redundancies and the cost of exiting certain leases;
the Company’s share of the profits and losses of associates; and possible write downs in the carrying values of certain assets, including spectrum licences and goodwill, yet to be considered by the directors.
The Company notes that the majority of these items are non cash in nature and will not recur in 2002.
It is also emphasised that any numbers stated here are preliminary and are yet to be audited.
Renegotiation of bank facility
On 30 January 2002, as part of the ordinary operation of the existing Austar Entertainment bank facility the company was required to advise its banks of the existence of certain defaults or potential events of default under that facility. At the same time the company requested a waiver of those defaults from the banks.
The Company has made a scheduled interest repayment and continues to negotiate with the banking syndicate. The Company remains confident that it will conclude negotiations with the banking syndicate on satisfactory terms.