Next update Monday
Some good shots from VK4bkp for the satellite pages today. Not a lot else to report.
Some changes in B3 Globecast mux. Try a reload
From my Emails & ICQ
Free XTV, Nile Culture, Future TV USA, ESC 2
Leonardo, Kanal D Fun, Tele Liban
From SiamGlobal Thailand
INTELSAT 709 NEW BOUQUET HONG KONG/ NE ASIA BEAM
NOT A DICKEYBIRD FROM THIS BEAM IN BANGKOK
HOWEVER LOOKING AT THE INTELSAT FOOTPRINT CHART IT SEEMS THAT APSATTERS IN NORTHERN THAILAND ON THE SAME LATITUDE SHOULD BE ABLE TO PICK UP THE SIGNAL.
REPORTS PLEASE !
I'm a celeb
Official website for I'm a celebrity, get me out of here.
From the Dish
NSS 6 95E 12688 H "Playlist Italia has replaced Video Italia" , Fta, PIDs 273/274.Two test cards have started on PIDs 289/290 and 417/418, Fta. New PIDs for SIC Internacional: 1026/1027.
Insat 2E 83E 3809 V "DD Podhigai and the AIR channels" have left (PAL Analog).
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3585 V "Sur Sangeet" has left , replaced by an info card. (Asia beam)
PAS 10 68.5E 3864 H "ARY Digital UK and ARY Digital Mideast"are Fta.
INTERNATIONAL: Arianespace Scores JSAT Deal
From Satellite today
At the Pacific Telecommunications Council's 2004 meeting in
Honolulu earlier this month, Arianespace announced that JSAT
Corporation booked two more of its satellites for Ariane
launches. The new order covers the JCSAT-9 satellite - which
will fly towards the end of 2005 on an Ariane 5 - and a future
satellite. JCSAT-9 is the fifth JSAT satellite to be signed up
for an Arianespace launch.
Koptev: Satellite Deal Will Be Signed Soon With India
Staff Writer Moscow and New Delhi will sign an agreement this year for India to help Russia develop its Glonass satellite navigation system, which needs more satellites to have a global reach, Russian Aviation and Space Agency chief Yury Koptev said Thursday.
"Over the next two to three months we will arrive at a very serious agreement with India," Koptev told reporters.
He did not elaborate on the details of the planned agreement. The Russian space agency and the Indian Space Research Organization signed a memorandum of understanding in November for India to assist in designing and producing the satellites.
A new modification of the Glonass satellite, dubbed the Glonass-K, is currently being worked on at the Scientific Research Institute of Applied Mechanics in the city of Zheleznogorsk in the Krasnoyarsk region.
The Glonass-K is to have an orbit lifespan of 10 years, compared to five to seven years for most modern Glonass satellites in orbit, the Glonass-M.
Russian and Indian officials have refused to disclose whether India will sink funds into the multibillion-dollar navigation system, which the Soviet Union started putting into place in 1982.
The system, which is designed to provide coordinates for navigation and targeting, currently has eight functioning satellites, according to the web site of the Defense Ministry's Coordination Scientific Information Center.
Koptev said India would help boost the number of satellites in orbit to 18 and give Russia a hand in starting the mass production of ground terminals and hand-held receivers by 2008.
Eighteen satellites are the minimum needed to beam Glonass signals to most of the world, whereas a total of 24 would enable the system to provide global coverage, a space agency official said by telephone Thursday.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said the expected deal with India will become part of a framework space cooperation agreement.
Looks like ABC are pulling the plug on listeners of some of the various regional ABC services, no longer will viewers be allowed access to all the versions of ABC due to "legal reasons"
From my Emails & ICQ
Please find below information regarding your ABC Radio and Television satellite services.
As you may be aware, in 2002 temporary restrictions were placed on satellite transmissions of interstate ABC TV programs.
On occasions, the ABC is obliged by law to restrict cross-border television transmissions so that information provided by interstate news bulletins does not compromise court proceedings in your state. This means that during these periods you will only have access to your own state based ABC TV broadcasts.
The ABC expects that at some time in the future we may again have to restrict cross-border television transmissions because of State Court suppression orders. Any restrictions to interstate TV programs will be temporary and will be in place for the duration of the court case only.
Unfortunately, because of the high volume of state-based news, current affairs and information programs on ABC Local Radio and Radio National, and the technical difficulties involved in placing temporary restrictions on these radio services, the ABC has no alternative but to permanently block access to interstate ABC Local Radio and Radio National satellite transmissions. Consequently access will be restricted to your own state broadcasts of ABC Local Radio and Radio National from 2 February.
These changes will not affect your current access to other ABC radio satellite services or to SBS and commercial radio and television satellite services.
The ABC apologises for any inconvenience that these arrangements may cause. However, we hope that you understand that these matters are outside our control.
Due to time zone differences between states, interstate satellite transmissions of 'PG', 'M' and 'MA' rated television programs can be received outside their intended classification time period. The ABC would like to inform you that your satellite receiver has a "parental lock" which enables you to prevent access to 'PG', 'M' and 'MA' programs. This allows you to ensure that these programs can only be watched during their recommended times. For further information about the "parental lock", please refer to your satellite decoder instruction manual or contact your decoder provider.
If you require further information regarding any of these issues please contact the ABC's Reception Advice Line on 1300 13 9994 (local call rate) during business hours. Thank you for your support of ABC Radio and Television.
Head, Audience and Consumer Affairs
From the Dish
Optus B1 160E 12456 V "NHK World TV" has started , Fta, PIDs 513/651.
NSS 6 95E The TARBS World TV mux has moved from 12593 V to 12688 H, Fta, SR 21000,FEC 3/4, Australian beam.
NSS 6 95E 12729 V A Sexz TV promo, a Free-XTV promo and a Back Room promo have started , Fta, 833/834, PIDs 1281/1282 and 1537/1538.
ST 1 88E 3582 H All channels in the TBL TV mux are encyrpted again.
ST 1 88E 3632 VAll channels in the Space TV mux on are encrypted again, except Da-Ai TV.
Intelsat 709 85.2E ExTV has started with 35 TV channels on 11486 V, 11542 V and 11610 V,Videoguard, SR 36000, FEC 1/2.
(Craigs comment, looks a good DX target with beam over Hong Kong)
Fox gets its digit out
Were there a measure for hyperbole, it would have flown off the register when Foxtel finally unveiled the details of its long-awaited digital television service last week.
The "totally new service" (their words) marked "the most significant change (in Australian television) since the launch of Foxtel and, before that, colour TV," proclaimed Foxtel boss Kim Williams.
"Today, we sow the seeds of a genuinely liberating digital television revolution for consumers in Australia," he said.
Foxtel Digital is expected to become available in the next few months, when existing subscribers will be asked to pay a "modest" though as-yet-undisclosed fee to move to the enhanced service. The 50-channel analog service will continue to run for 21/2 years. Use it or lose it is the unspoken message.
More than 130 channels have been promised for the launch, including interactive sport and news channels, movie-on-demand, games, audio music channels and an array of "time-shift" channels - select popular channels on a two-hour delay.
Increasingly, programs will air in widescreen with improved picture and sound quality.
Sky News Active will feature multiple screens and offer viewers the opportunity to customise news stories, while interactive applications on sport broadcasts will enable viewers to select camera angles, replays, statistics and choose alternative commentaries.
Foxtel Box Office will offer 30 recent blockbuster movies, starting every 15 to 30 minutes, though this near-video-on-demand service extends only to movies six months after they have been released in video shops, and six months before they are scheduled to air on premium movie channels such as Showtime and Movie One.
It is not clear which studios will make their movies available on this service or the cost.
Ten channels will be dedicated to time-shifts of established and popular channels (including Fox8, Arena, Lifestyle and UKTV) and another 30 will carry audio music channels. Of the new channels, most are extensions of well-known and established television brands.
Discovery will launch its Health, Science, and Travel and Adventure sister channels, Lifestyle has a channel dedicated to food and cooking programs, children's channel Nickelodeon has the pre-schooler Nick Jnr to complement Cartoon Network's ankle-biting sibling Boomerang (classic cartoons from the Hanna-Barbera library), National Geographic's Adventure One (which is already on Optus) moves to the digital service, while three new music channels, including MTV offshoot VH1, will make their debut.
Gossip and entertainment news finds a new home with the arrival of E! Entertainment, there will be extra documentaries with the Biography Channel (much of whose programming is on the History Channel), while LA-based Tech TV, a 24-hour channel dedicated to technology and cutting-edge news and entertainment, will be beamed into Australia.
New sports channels include FUEL, devoted to freestyle action and extreme sports, and Eurosportnews.
Missing from the announcement was the significant question of how much subscribers will pay for this so-called liberation. The entry package is pegged at $48.95 for the next two years, which is the cost of a basic package for satellite customers (though a sharp increase for cable homes) but the line-up of channels included in this, and how much customers will have to shell out for add-ons such as movies, sport, documentary and general entertainment channels is yet to be announced.
Williams, who hopes to increase penetration from its 23 per cent of Australia's 7 million households to 35 to 40 per cent by 2008, clearly hopes to emulate the success of Britain's BSkyB. BSkyB's 7 million subscribers pay on average 25 per cent more each year than they did before the digital conversion. Sky earns an average of $880 a customer each year. Sky's initial offering of 140 channels mushroomed to 400, and Foxtel aims to continue adding channels and expanding its video-on-demand service as the digital service takes up.
Significantly, Williams's revolutionary vision applies less to innovation in programming and content than it does to handing viewers choice, convenience and appealing add-ons, for which he hopes customers will pay a premium.
However, beyond the hard sell and hype - apart from bringing primetime in Western Australia in line with the rest of the country, a program on a "time shift" channel is in reality a repeat; four Discovery channels will certainly not amount to four times more content - there is one trump card in the Foxtel armoury.
Mid-year will see a review of the anti-siphoning list and Foxtel will predictably be aggressively lobbying to gain the rights to the many sporting events that can't be accommodated on the networks' crowded schedules. Like BSkyB's controversial grab of British football, subscription channels will be hoping to pick up sought-after sports events.
Like most consumer propositions, Foxtel Digital's future may rest less in innovative and original content and more in what the market will be prepared to pay for.
Telstra, Shin Satellite in deal
Australia's Telstra Corp said yesterday that it had finalised a deal with Thailand's Shin Satellite Plc to build two earth stations in the Outback to provide broadband Internet service across Australia.
Telstra did not say how much its Telstra Wholesale subsidiary would be paid to design and construct the earth stations at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and Broken Hill in New South Wales.
It said the earth stations would be used by Shin's iPSTAR satellite, which Telstra described as the largest satellite ever built.
Telstra said it hoped to act as an agent for the broadband network the earth stations would deliver but it was likely Shin would also use other companies.
A Shin Satellite executive said there was strong possibility that the company would co-operate with Telstra in the near future in joint marketing ventures.
While the marketing model of Shin Satellite focused mainly on wholesaling in China and India, marketing co-operation in Australia and New Zealand would be different.
Shin Satellite shares closed yesterday at 36.75 baht, down one baht, in trade worth 305.56 million baht.
Tandberg unveils nCompass 3.0
Tandberg Television launched nCompass 3.0, an advanced network-monitoring system developed exclusively for the broadcast and video distribution market. The principal new feature of nCompass 3.0 is that, unlike other systems, it goes beyond monitoring the health of individual units by monitoring the health of the actual MPEG services across the entire video network.
The system, which will have its public debut at NAB 2004, improves upon traditional MPEG syntax checking through inspection of actual service provision at probe points and comparison with the required transmission structure. "In contrast to others," the company explains, "this system is not reliant on the health checking capability of the units themselves, i.e. by comparing scheduled events with actual MPEG services, nCompass Monitoring highlights service related problems that other systems miss."
NDS reports mixed results
NDS, the digital pay-TV technology subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, posted a second-quarter net profit of E7million almost identical to the same period a year ago. Revenues for the quarter were E65 million and E138 million for the half year to December 31. This is 17 per cent lower and 18 per cent lower, respectively, than the equivalent periods in the previous year.
The company said that the fall on its first-half revenues was in part due to the expiry of its contract to supply smart cards for DirecTV, the US's largest satellite TV operator. "Last year, we shipped substantial volumes of smart cards to DirecTV for their card changeover; since the expiration of our contract with DirecTV in August, there have been no card sales," the company said.
The company also attributed the decline in overall revenues to the current weakness in the US Dollar, as approximately 49 per cent of its revenues in the period were denominated in US Dollars.
Net subscriber additions were up over the six months by 3.6 million, making a total subscriber base of 38 million, including over 1 million in Korea. Commenting on NDS's performance, Dr. Abe Peled, President and CEO, said: "I am pleased to be able to report that we have maintained the momentum from Q1 and have continued to deliver solid growth in Q2. North America is now beginning to show results and this quarter we are happy to announce wins with America's largest over-builder, RCN, that includes both our middleware, NDS Core, and our conditional access. Cablevision, launched a new high-definition service, VOOM, last year, and NDS is providing conditional access and certain other key technologies".
In December 2003 the company completed the acquisition of the MediaHighway business from Thomson and it is in the process of integrating this business into its organisation. Additionally NDS said it is planning the evolution of the MediaHighway product to increase the range and depth of functionality in set-top box middleware which it offers to broadcast platform operators around the world.
CFO Rick Medlock, said: "NDS is currently in a phase of investment; the acquisition of MediaHighway brings great technology and talent into NDS, further strengthening our product portfolio. At the same time, we are making further significant investments to support our existing customers and prospects. It is extremely encouraging that we have been able to make these investments with minimal impact on our financial performance, and out of existing cash resources".
HBO guns for the top grossers
CABLE Network HBO is looking forward to a big year this year as it launches a new program that promises to feature Hollywood’s top grossing films. Dubbed “The Big One,” the program airs just once a month on Sundays at 8 p.m. and will feature recent blockbusters.”The Big One” premiered last Sunday night with 2002’s top-grossing movie Spider-Man.
During its initial release in the US, Spider-Man tallied over $400 million in box office receipts. It took an almost the same amount worldwide. In a media briefing, HBO Asia’s director for marketing communications Caroline Wong said that “The Big One” would air a select group of films that form part of the “$200-million club.”
“That’s the criteria a movie must meet to be chosen for ‘The Big One.’ During its initial release, the movie had to have grossed at least $200 million worldwide,” she said.
To fully complement “The Big One” movie each month, HBO will showcase am exclusive “HBO Sneak Peek” that will take viewers behind the rolling cameras of each movie.
For his part, HBO’s director for programming Andrew Chin explained that “The Big One” aims to “push the envelope further on HBO’s promise of delivering topnotch films that have garnered mega viewership from a wide range of audiences and therefore enjoyed popular success.”
He added, “We believe that this program will enhance HBO’s leading position and strengthen the loyalty of its viewers, especially in Asia.”
Also in the pipeline are Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, which stars Tom Cruise and Men In Black II. Both movies will premiere on Asian television during the first quarter of the year. Wong noted that HBO’s exclusive output licensing deals include some of the biggest Hollywood studios, including Columbia, DreamWorks, Paramount, Universal and Warner. “With these affiliations, HBO is able to bring television premiere showings of ‘megablockbuster’ movies right into the living rooms of our Asian viewers,” she said.
HBO is headquartered at New Tech Park, Singapore. Here, HBO and Cinemax are programmed and packaged and uplinked to the Apstar satellite.
Sorry anyone who turned up in the chatroom between 9pm and 10.30pm NZ time I was a little late as I was having a bit of a sleep due to a headache.
Nss6 12593 V Tarbs stuff has moved to 12688H same settings as before Sr 21000 Fec 3/4
From my Emails & ICQ
From Steve Hume
Measat2 C-Band Analog
Was playing with the Satlook (Pseudo Spectrum analyzer) I found a weak
analog tv station on there.
Due to it not having a scale, I can't tell you much. Pretty sure it was
horizontal pole, and somewhere in the middle of C-Band.
From Alan Simpson
I'm a Celeb screenshot
Scaled down and Aspect corrected.
(Craigs comment, mmmm nice, good screenshot also!)
From the Dish
Optus B3 152E 12552 V Sr 5630 fec 3/4 "feeds"
Agila 2 146E 12541 V "NTD TV" has left again, replaced by a test card.
Agila 2 146E Updates in Dream Satellite TV:
NOW has left 12301 H.
Fashion TV has left 12541 H.
Studio 23 has replaced E! Philippines on 12581 H, enc., PIDs 163/92.
WorldNet has left 12661 H.
Apstar2R 76.5E 3880 Disney FTA?? Sr 28125 Fec 5/6
Telstra teams with satellite group
TELSTRA has signed a deal with a Thailand-based satellite company to build two satellite earth stations in Australia that would provide for a low-cost broadband internet service.
Telstra Wholesale signed the deal with Shin Satellite Public Company to design and construct the multi-million dollar satellite earth station facilities for its ipstar satellite.
Telstra said the facilities, to be built at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and Broken Hill in NSW, would house the advanced ground systems for Shin's ipstar.
The ipstar is the largest satellite ever built and is one of the most advanced broadband satellite solutions being developed in Australia.
Telstra said the ipstar Shin venture would offer Australian's a low-cost, two-way satellite broadband sservice that was cheaper than the current ADSL network.
"We are really pleased to begin work with Shin on developing this unique satellite offering, one that will significantly boost the range of broadband solution available in Australia," Telstra Wholesale managing director Deena Shiff said.
A Telstra spokesman said the telco was hoping to act as an agent in Australia for the broadband service, but said it was likely they would use other companies as well as Telstra to market the network.
Construction of the ipstar satellite at Kalgoorlie and Broken Hill will commence in the first quarter of 2004.
Satellite Newspaper Kiosk Takes Australian Open By Storm
From Press Release
Players from Russia, Switzerland, Columbia, France, Argentina, Spain and the USA are able to get home city newspapers daily at their fingertips while waiting for tennis matches
NORTH HAVEN, CT, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Satellite Enterprises Corp's (OTCBB: SENR - News) Australian Distributor, Adam Watt, President of Newspoint, Inc., has put Satellite Newspaper Kiosks at the Australian Open Tennis Tournament in Melbourne, and has met with resounding success and comments from players and visitors alike, who wish to get an instant daily edition of their home city's newspaper on demand.
Mr. Watt has purchased the rights to the Satellite Newspaper Kiosk for all of Australia and New Zealand from Satellite Newspapers Suisse and is rolling out the Kiosks to major sites in those countries.
Adam Watt stated: "Once the tennis players at the Open saw that they could obtain over 141 Major Newspapers, instantaneously and complete, they no longer felt homesick. All the news is as if you were at home. The lines are long and full of whoops and hollers. It is quite impressive. The spectrum of interest is vast. Even Royalty uses the Satellite Newspaper Kiosk. Dutch Queen Beatrix purchased 15 copies of her favorite newspapers at her recent stop over at the Singapore Airport."
About the Company
Satellite Enterprises Corp. is a NASDAQ OTCBB Company. With the acquisition of Satellite Newspapers Suisse, it now has added World Wide Rights to its previously held, North, Central, and South American rights for Automated Digital Kiosks. The Satellite Newspaper Kiosk prints on demand the latest edition of 141 (and growing) major syndicated newspaper titles from around the world.
After selection of the desired newspaper through the user friendly touch screen, the user will be entertained by targeted advertising videos displayed on the Kiosk screen, while the Digital Kiosk quickly prints and delivers through a slot, the completed newspaper.
Tata-Murdoch satellite deal to spur Indian pay-TV
BOMBAY: Indian homes are getting a new feature: tiny satellite dishes.
Tata Sons, the country's largest conglomerate, and the Star Group of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Ltd have agreed a satellite broadcasting joint venture that could signal a fresh spurt of growth in India's pay-TV industry.
Last week's deal is a bid to replicate the success of News Corp's 35-per cent-owned subsidiary British Sky Broadcasting , which beams hundreds of channels into small dishes on the homes of more than seven million subscribers in Britain and Ireland.
Pay-TV is almost exclusively distributed via cable in India, reaching 54 per cent of TV-owning households.
The only company currently offering direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV is Essel Group's ASC Enterprises, which launched Dish TV last October and has signed up 60,000 subscribers.
The service costs about 100 rupees ($NZ3.31) a month on top of equipment costs of 4000 rupees.
According to research firm Media Partners Asia, India's DTH satellite market could grow to 1.8 million subscribers by 2008, compared with a forecast 68 million on cable.
Average monthly revenue per satellite user would rise to $US7 ($NZ10.55) as people sign up for more premium channels, from the current $US3, it said.
"There would be two distinct markets: the rural areas, which lack cable and satellite infrastructure, and premium urban households which desire specialist content," said Atul Phadnis, a vice-president at TAM Media Research, a unit of AC Nielsen.
Tata, with interests ranging from tea to textiles, will hold an 80 per cent stake in the satellite service, its first foray into broadcasting.
BOUQUET OF TV CHANNELS TO BE OFFERED
The service will provide a bouquet of TV channels, interactive features and other premium services, but Tata and Star are saying little else about their plans, other than that they aim to build India's largest digital television system.
Star has the biggest share of viewers and revenue in the country's 48-million-strong cable TV market, the world's third largest.
It is a fierce rival of the Essel Group, which owns a majority stake in the country's largest listed media firm, Zee Telefilms Ltd.
Zee TV is the third most widely viewed channel, after Star Plus and Sony Entertainment Television , but Star and Sony are not among the 48 channels offered by Dish TV.
The issue of broadcasters refusing to provide their channels to satellite systems run by rivals has proven a hurdle to the industry's take-off.
The Indian government opened the DTH market to private firms in 2000, with a 49 per cent cap on foreign direct investment, after cable took off in a big way in 1991.
Several players initially expressed interest, but high infrastructure costs, the inability of broadcasters to agree on content sharing and regulatory yo-yoing hamstrung the industry.
"DTH is certainly a priority for the broadcasters, but they will have to agree on content and revenue sharing, and price it competitively," said Amol Dhariya, analyst at Karvy Stockbroking.
With the recent appointment of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to look after broadcasting, greater clarity on satellite broadcasting regulation is expected.
And with two of India's three major broadcasters involved in DTH, experts said the pace of growth would quicken.
"It won't be an easy road ahead because you cannot assume a consumer's appetite for technology," Phadnis said. "But we are at the beginning of an exciting phase of growth."
I'm a Celebrity... is back with a bang
Celebs go to work: ITV rakes in nearly 11 million viewers
The return of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! proved an instant hit for ITV with nearly 11 million viewers.
The unlikely combination of Jordan, Johnny Rotten and Neil Ruddock gave the show its biggest opening audience yet, 100,000 up on the second series and around 4 million more than its debut run two years ago.
At its peak last night, 10.9 million viewers - just under half the TV audience - watched as spiders, cockroaches, beetles and a snake were poured over the heads of Jordan and former football star Ruddock in the first "bushtucker" trial.
The show received blanket coverage in today's tabloids, with pictures of a scantily clad Jordan dominating the front pages of the Sun, the Mirror and the Star. It was extensively previewed in the weekend papers and can expect plenty more coverage to come in the papers and celebrity magazines like Heat.
Winning the support of tabloid editors is crucial to the success of reality TV shows, as Big Brother proved and BBC1's Fame Academy found out to its cost.
Jordan's inclusion has guaranteed acres of coverage in the tabloids, particularly her unofficial home, the Daily Star, and footage of her last night heroically enduring cockroaches, stick insects and a snake crawling round her face, will have endeared her to editors even further.
Reports have suggested she is being paid more than the other contestants by programme makers Granada, but whatever they shelled out she will be worth every penny - provided she isn't the first to be voted out by viewers.
Last night's opening episode averaged 10.1 million across its 90-minute run from 9pm, 100,000 up on the unofficial figure for the second series' opening episode. It easily beat BBC1's Martin Shaw drama, Judge John Deed, which could only manage an average of 6.2 million. The news, which followed it on BBC1, had 5.2 million.
Another million viewers watched the live update from the Australian outback just after midnight. The show, which continued until the early hours, had a million viewers, more than a fifth of the TV audience.
The challenge now for the show will be to maintain its viewers during the run. The last series, which was won by Phil Tufnell, lost 1.5 million viewers on its second outing. But by the final it had bounced back with more than 12 million viewers. The first series, won by Tony Blackburn, finished with 10.5 million.
The cast assembled by Granada for the new series, hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, is arguably the most interesting yet. Alongside Jordan, Ruddock and the ex-Sex Pistol are George Best's estranged wife, Alex, the insurance fraudster aristocrat, Lord Brocket, and the ex-BBC royal reporter, Jennie Bond.
They are joined by DJ Mike Read, one-time pop star Peter Andre, former athlete Diane Modahl and TV presenter and the former Atomic Kitten singer, Kerry McFadden. Of all the contestants, she looks least comfortable with the prospect of spending three weeks in the jungle and is most likely to "do a Daniella Westbrook" and leave the show before she is voted out.
Live satellite chat tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd onwards.
FreeXTV promo is running, SexZ.tv is also there as well!
NSS 6 95E 12729V SR 27500 Fec 7/8
My look angle calculator says NSS6 @ 0.5 degree look angle at my place...hmmmmmmmmmm
NHK has started in the TVNZ mux on B1 (12456V sr 22500 Fec 3/4 NZ beam) While it good to have another fta on B1 something fully in English would be a better use of the transponder space.
New Foxtel Satellite box shown on the site yesterday, link below
Foxtel box link http://www.pace.co.uk/paceproducts/Specs/Sat/DS420_spec.pdf
From my Emails & ICQ
NHK has started broadcasting FTA on B1, 12456V sr 22500 Fec 3/4 TVNZ mux (NZ only)
Re:freextv is on nss6 now
12 729 MHz
Symbol Rate: 27500
From MR Humax
12552 V 5632 3/4, I'm a Celeb feed
From the Dish
Apstar 1A 134E 3757 H The Nei Monggol TV mux has left .
(Craigs comment, Not any local reports lately have a look see what you can find?? and report to Lyngsat)
Malone makes Foxtel deal
DAYS after revealing himself as a major owner of The News Corporation Ltd's voting stock, Liberty Media chairman John Malone has scored another deal with News's local operations.
Mr Malone's 35 per cent owned technology group OpenTV has announced a deal with pay-TV group Foxtel, which is 25 per cent owned by News's Australian subsidiary News Limited, publisher of The Australian.
OpenTV has licensed its middleware technology the operating system within pay-TV set-top boxes and interactive TV applications to Foxtel for use in its new $600 million digital TV service.
But Foxtel is also using interactive TV technology provided by NDS, a rival to OpenTV. NDS is 78 per cent owned by News.
NDS general manager Peter Iles said News's UK pay-TV business BSkyB also used both OpenTV and NDS technologies. "Foxtel will use both technologies to come up with the best interactive TV system that you can get," he said.
OpenTV said its applications would facilitate Foxtel's Sky News Active, Sports Active and Foxtel Gamesworld services.
Foxtel director of digital Patrick Delaney said OpenTV was a key supplier that would "enable Foxtel to show Australia what interactivity is all about".
Mr Iles said NDS was also providing Foxtel with a conditional access system, a broadcast management system and its electronic program guide.
Liberty revealed last week it swapped some of its non-voting News shares for voting shares, while also buying more voting shares on market to give it 9.15 per cent of the voting stock. That makes it the only large voting shareholder after Rupert Murdoch, the founder and chairman of News, whose companies control News with 30.6 per cent of the voting stock.
Australia sells satellite broadband into Iraq
It may still be the world's most dangerous place, but Iraq will soon be hooked up to a more affordable satellite broadband system than Australia following a $5 million deal between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Melbourne firm Multiemedia.
The deal covers the establishment of new communications infrastructure in Iraq to service the needs of US personnel, the local community, schools and what the company describes as "those helping establish law and order under local governance provisions".
With Iraqi civilian bandwidth archaic prior to the entry of the coalition forces, then "deconstructed" during their arrival, Web-starved US personnel will be also given access to the system for personal rather than military use
“There is only one service provider in the region providing any form of satellite service, and that is quite old. The US military will now be able to set up sites across Iraq and simply, by pointing their dish in the right direction, will have Internet and communication service equivalent to anywhere in the world," said Multiemedia CEO Adrian Ballintine - presumably referring to civilian capacity.
According to Multiemedia, the rollout will create around a dozen technical jobs for Australians.
While the company is not giving out technical specifications on the rollout, a maritime offering from the company in Australia through US provider Sea Tel offers a two-way data and phone transfer rate of 2Mbps
"A lot of companies want to conduct business in the Middle East but can’t because of the lack of IT services," Ballintine said.
Locally, Multiemedia has also inked a deal with retailer Woolworths to supply satellite broadband and associated hardware to around 700 locations through its NewSat service.
The company cites a portfolio of clients including eight sites for the Central Bank of Iran in addition to the Iranian Embassy in Kabul.
Trade Minister Mark Vaile hailed the deals as a boost for exports, adding that the government had been "actively assisting" Australian companies trying gain a foothold in Iraq.
Alcatel Space Integrates Apstar VI Satellite Modules
From Satellite Today
French satellite manufacturer Alcatel Space announced that it had successfully mated the communications and service modules of the Apstar IV satellite at its integration rooms in Cannes, France. Based on the Spacebus 4100C1 platform, the Apstar IV satellite will enable the Chinese company, Aptsat, to offer broadband multimedia and digital broadcasting services to operators in the Asia-Pacific, along with conventional telecom services.
HONG KONG: Galaxy TV to reach 25pc of homes
Only a quarter of Hong Kong's 2.2 million households will be in the broadcast area of TVB's new pay-television service when it debuts next month
Rivals Hong Kong Cable TV and PCCW's NOW Broadband TV, which offers pay-television content on an internet platform, already boast coverage across 90 per cent of households.
However, the limited coverage of exTV, also known as Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting, is in line with the company's expectations, according to chief executive Jim Blomfield.
"We are very happy with the progress. It is going very well," said Mr Blomfield.
The 25 per cent coverage will be across the city, including government and private housing estates, old buildings and village houses. Building owners need to install a satellite dish which costs about $3,000.
The new service will start a full trial broadcast today.
The company said it would announce pricing details on Monday. Industry watchers expect the monthly charge will be between $150 and $200.
The service will be formally launched on February 18. The rollout of 23 channels will include five provided by TVB.
Mr Blomfield said exTV targeted a market penetration of 20 per cent, but declined to give a timetable.
Hong Kong Cable TV dominates the pay-television scene and secures a 30 per cent market share with a monthly fee of $298.
(Craigs comment, how can they not be in the broadcast area? its an overhead satellite at 85.2E...)
Full Dishes:Wilton firm's satellites bring us TV, assist U.S. military
When most people press the buttons on their television remote control, they have no idea that four out of 10 shows they see wouldn't arrive on the screen without the help of a Wilton company.
Watching those programs is possible thanks to 31 multi-million-dollar satellites floating 22,300 miles over viewers' heads in space and managed or owned by PanAmSat Corp.
It's even less apparent for most of us that PanAmSat is playing a growing role in homeland security as a carrier of government and military data and messages.
The company's satellites were used by the military during the U.S. invasion of Iraq and its occupation to support surveillance by Predator and Global Hawk unmanned observation aircraft, and to assist mobile communications, data transmission and weapons guidance. Its satellites also have been used for troops to communicate with their families back home.
The company, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is playing a growing role in the war against terrorism, according to Joseph R. Wright Jr., PanAmSat's president who also became the company's chief executive officer in August 2001.
"I don't see how they can do it without PanAmSat," said Wright, who is working actively to expand this segment of the company's business.
Partner with government
It's true that much of PanAmSat's revenue comes from providing a way for television networks including Bristol-based ESPN Inc., CNN and Home Box Office to distribute their shows to local TV stations, cable operators and direct broadcast satellite services like DirecTV.
But PanAmSat satellites also transmit "distance learning" for institutions and businesses around the world, data for private business networks and service for telecom carriers.
PanAmSat which has about 700 employees, including about 140 in Wilton and 180 in Atlanta and others scattered around the world expanded its capacity to serve the U.S. government with the launch in March of G2 Satellite Solutions Co. The new division offers satellites and services to support the global requirements of federal agencies.
"Whether it's battlefield communications, surveillance systems, guidance systems or the secure transmission of data," Wright said, "the communications requirements of the U.S. government are growing by the minute.
"Future homeland security communication requirements are only likely to be met through expanded use of these satellites. The U.S. government has made it clear that they will be using commercial satellite and communications companies to a greater extent to supplement their needs."
What's good for the nation happens to be very good for PanAmSat, which operates in a competitive environment for commercial transmission services that has already sent at least one competitor into bankruptcy. There is an overcapacity of satellites more than 300 in "geosynchronous" orbit, staying in the same spot over the Earth fighting for pieces of the same communications pie. Wright acknowledges that government contracts are gaining in importance as the satellite transmission industry experiences a drop in television broadcast sales.
To complement G2 Satellite Solutions, PanAmSat early this year acquired Hughes Global Services from their common parent, El Segundo, Calif.-based Hughes Electronics Corp., providing additional opportunities for federal contracts. Hughes Global Services is the largest contributor of satellite-based distance learning to the U.S. government and is a major provider to the U.S. Department of State, the military and a preferred provider to the president's office.
PanAmSat sees this government market as a strategic growth opportunity and will work to capture business in that segment, said Wright, director of the federal Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan and deputy secretary of commerce from 1981 to 1982.
Vigilant on budget
Wright's efforts seem to be having some effect. In its third-quarter 2003 report, PanAmSat reported that G2 Satellite Solutions garnered $21.2 million in lease revenue for transponders on its satellites from the federal government, compared with $6.3 million during the same period in 2002.
The jump in government income was a major contributor to an overall increase in operating lease revenue to $206 million for the quarter from $194.4 million the previous year.
Overall, PanAmSat's fourth-quarter revenue jumped 5 percent to $210.1 million from $199.1 million last year. Profits barely budged however, coming in at $21 million, up from $20.7 million in the 2002 quarter. First nine-months profits look much healthier, with the company recording $82.2 million versus $61.5 million through the first nine months of last year.
Despite the improvement, PanAmSat, traded on the Nasdaq with the ticker symbol SPOT, wants to enhance its margins. It announced plans Nov. 7 to cut 45 employees, about 6 percent of its work force, as part of a restructuring program.
The job cuts are not surprising because the company has made two acquisitions in the past 12 months, said Thomas Watts, an analyst who covers the company for SG Cowen Securities Corp., and some duplication of responsibilities was expected.
And the quarterly results can be misleading at first glance, Watts said, noting that the revenue increase can be attributed to acquisitions of the Hughes division and Esatel Communications.
"If you back out their revenues from their acquisitions, they would have had experienced a revenue decline in their most recent quarter," he said.
Wright has shown that he keeps a close watch on his budget, Watts said. "Joe Wright has insisted that he will manage the business at current revenue levels. On the earnings side, they've done well managing costs."
PanAmSat appears to be on the right track in the effort to acquire government contracts, said Paul Dykewicz senior editor and senior analyst of Satellite News, a division of PBI Media.
"That's a good growth opportunity," said Dykewicz, noting that PanAmSat controls about 40 percent of the broadcast market. "They are a big player."
Acquisition brings questions
PanAmSat must be a big player, making acquisitions when possible to expand the company's presence, to stay ahead of the competition, Dykewicz said. He noted that competitor IntelSat in Washington, D.C., is negotiating to buy Loral Space & Communications, which is in bankruptcy proceedings. Loral has its own satellite manufacturing operation.
PanAmSat itself, 81 percent owned by Hughes Electronics, is in the process of being acquired, but not because of any weakness. Rupert Murdoch's media giant News Corp. will take possession of PanAmSat as part of Murdoch's purchase of Hughes, pending government approval. The deal could be completed by early this year, Dykewicz said. There is a question of whether Murdoch, a big player in satellite communications in Europe, will keep PanAmSat or sell it, he added.
The concerns of running a successful company aside, satellite communications can be a pretty sexy business. PanAmSat's satellites are catapulted into space by rockets such as the Ariane 5, which carried the company's Galaxy XII aloft on April 9 from Kourou, French Guiana, a launch site near the equator. Another company, SeaLaunch, sends PanAmSat satellites aloft from a rebuilt oil rig in the mid-Pacific Ocean.
Costing between $150 million and $300 million to build, launch and insure, the satellites are tracked and controlled by the company's facility and its 180 employees in Long Beach, Calif. The typical lifespan of a satellite is 15 years, although some last more than 20 years. Futurist Arthur C. Clarke generally is credited for developing the concept of geosynchronous satellite communications, based on an article he wrote in 1945.
Clarke hypothesized that at an altitude of 22,300 miles, a satellite would travel at the same rotation rate as the earth, appearing to remain over a location on earth, providing a stationary platform for the continuous relay of communications signals.
Hughes Space and Communications Co. launched the first geosynchronous satellite, Syncom, in 1963. Today, PanAmSat's craft share space with about 300 others at the 22,237-mile level, where they are precisely maneuvered by the ignition of xenon gas or a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen that power small thrusters.
Powered by solar batteries, the satellites built for PanAmSat by Orbital Sciences, Boeing Space Systems and Loral receive programming or data from a ground station, amplify the signals, and re-transmit them over a designated geographic area.
Maintaining the 22,300-mile altitude in a locked position is crucial to the work of a satellite. Since the satellite stays in place in relation to the earth below, users can aim their signals at a single spot with confidence that the satellite is there.
"That's where gravity equals centrifugal force exactly over the equator. On the ground, you could have a million dishes focused at that spot," Wright said.
India to launch Brazilian satellite
BANGALORE: India will launch a Brazilian micro-satellite for atmospheric studies and the two countries will embark on joint research projects in space and atmospheric sciences soon.
On Sunday the two countries signed a framework agreement to this effect. They will further exchange proposals for remote sensing applications, and set up a ground station in Brazil for receiving remote sensing data from ISRO's remote sensing satellite, Resourcesat-1.
India and Brazil signed the framework agreement at New Delhi for cooperation "in the field of outer space", says an ISRO release.
The agreement was signed by India's external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, and Brazil's minister of external relations Celso Amorim, in the presence of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and the Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Besides the framework agreement, an agreement on the programme of cooperation between the space agencies of the two countries was also signed by ISRO chairman G.Madhavan Nair and Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) president Luiz Bevilacqua.
ISRO and AEB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in March 2002 to provide an umbrella for cooperation between the two countries in the area of space. Several discussions have been held for identifying areas of mutual interest.
The framework agreement is expected to strengthen the ties already established under the MOU and demonstrate the support of both governments.
Been up and down the ladder today trying to setup the motor mount. Have I804 now to tweak it all so I can get 804,Pas2, B1, C1,B3 and anything else .
From my Emails & ICQ
B1 Big Day Out Feed
B1 Bike Race feed
Optus B3 missing Screenshots for the Gallerys
Abu Dhabi, HRT, Mac TV, AL-Manar
RE: nss6 abc ap
I got this info from an inside source that wishes to remain anonymous.
"NSS-6 ABC-AP is used as a backup to the terrestrial optical fibre.
ABC does not want content to be transmitted on NSS-6 unless the
terrestrial is crook. So there is only carrier but not content. It
should have been removed Thursday morning."
For those that never saw a legit Foxtel card...Note NDS...
From Steve Hume
For those who may be interested.
I found on the spectrum analyzer, that there are 4 carriers on Intelsat
804 C-Band. All too week to get a lock on. I did a blind scan, and
nothing locked. Three are around mid-way up c-band on Right Hand
polarity. And there is a very, very week one on Left hand around the
This is on a 3.8m mesh in North QLD.
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 12391 H "Dhammakaya" has started regular transmissions Fta,PIDs 2417/2418.(Asian Beam)
Agila 2 146E 12541 V "TCT World" has left , replaced by a test card.
Agila 2 146E 12541 V "NTD TV" has started on , Fta, PIDs 48/49.
Palapa C2 113E 11132 V "Japan X" has started on , Viaccess 2, PIDs 74/75, 23-05 HKT.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3660 V "MTA International" has left .
Insat 3A 93.5E 3889 V Occasional feeds on SR 3000, FEC 3/4.
Insat 3A 93.5E 4120 V "DD Gujarati" has started on , Fta, PIDs 512/650.
Insat 3A 93.5E 11550 H "ETV 2" has started, Conax, PIDs 702/703.
Sky TV drops CNN news for Maori service on UHF
A lack of interest has prompted Sky TV to can its UHF broadcasts of CNN news and the channel will instead become home to Maori Television.
Sky spokesman Tony O'Brien said of around 100,000 subscribers to the UHF service only 1.5 per cent were avid CNN watchers, which was "incredibly low".
"Consequently it's uneconomic for us to continue operating a whole UHF network for a very small number of viewers."
He said the CNN review coincided with the Maori Television Service quest for a platform from which to broadcast its free-to-air programme.
UHF users will be able to tune into a Maori Television Service test signal from March 1.
Sky digital viewers have a Maori Television promo on channel 33.
Mr O'Brien said the move was a "win-win situation" for Maori Television and Sky TV.
But canning CNN was not a ploy to entice people to the more expensive and extensive digital service.
"UHF is a very good business for SKY, a good low-cost entry business for people to sample our wares.
"The last thing we want to do is move subscribers from UHF to digital."
Mr O'Brien said refunds for the absence of CNN would depend on each subscriber's package.
The refunds would range from $3 to $7.
The date for the Maori Television Service to go to air was expected to be announced in March. Construction and refit of the channel's Auckland studio was nearing completion.
10-year agreement PanAmSat and ABS-CBN
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. recently signed a 10-year agreement with American satellite operator PanAmSat to further increase the reach of its international programming. The contract to use the PanAmSat 8-166E would aid it in the expansion of its international business through subsidiary ABS-CBN Global Ltd.
ABS-CBN Global broadcasts The Filipino Channel (TFC), which carries all Filipino programs seven days a week via direct-to-home satellite service all around the world. TFC has 176,830 subscribers worldwide as of end-2003. ABS-CBN has had a contract with the American satellite service provider since 1993. The company was then the first Asian broadcasting network to sign a pre-launch agreement for the PanAmSat 2 satellite.
PanAmSat's relationship with the country's biggest broadcasting firm would remain a major focus' of its Asia-Pacific business.
The PanAmSat 8 satellite is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on 166 East position (ABS-CBN broadcasting on C Band on 3,880V encrypted in PowerVu). It covers the United States West Coast all the way to Asia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and a little bit out to the islands in the Pacific.
The reach of the PanAmSat 8 gave ABS-CBN Global the needed connectivity to span the globe for the distribution of its programs here and abroad.
THAILAND: Channel 5 unit's listing delayed
Army wants to hold on to its 50% stake
The satellite broadcasting division of Royal Thai Army Radio and Television, the operator of TV Channel 5, has delayed a plan to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
The delay comes after Royal Thai Army Radio and Television said it wanted to maintain a 50% stake in the operator, Tor Tor Bor 5 Plc, instead of the 30% previously announced. The majority stake would allow the armed forces to maintain effective operational control over programming.
The company announced in September that it planned to float 44 million shares at a price of around 18 baht each in an initial public offering. The share par value would be 10 baht each. Kim Eng Securities is the financial adviser.
Gen Pricha Premaswad, director of Royal Thai Army Radio and Television, said that assuming a full agreement on the shareholding and listing plans could be reached, the IPO and listing would take place in the second quarter.
Before listing, the company would increase its registered capital to 1.1 billion baht from 660 million baht.
Under the plan, the funds raised would be spent to expand the satellite footprint of the Thai TV Global Network (TGN) to 170 countries from 155, and to improve its around-the-clock programming.
Last year, TGN generated an estimated 570 million baht in total sales with a net profit of about 120 million baht.
Gen Pricha said TGN would be developed as a bridge for Thai expats with their homeland, as well as for disseminating information about the country worldwide, highlighting the One Tambon, One Product (Otop) programme being one example.
Channel 5, which celebrated its 46th anniversary yesterday, said it would step up efforts to strengthen programming by working more closely with producers in order to ensure that the results are popular with audiences.
As well, the channel plans to approach more veteran producers to create sports, children's and family programmes.
Last year, Channel 5 posted a 38% increase in net profit to about 700 million baht on revenue estimated at 1.2 billion baht. The improved profitability was attributed in part to a cost-saving programme
SCHOOLS IT PROJECT: No bids as Shin gets CAT contract
Satellite provider to sell parts to state telecom for use in education project
The prime minister's family company Shin Satellite Plc will be a patron of the Education Ministry's Bt2-billion project promoting communications links and IT in schools countrywide.
The board of CAT Telecom last week approved a plan to award a Bt39-million contract to Shin Sat to procure its iPSTAR multimedia satellite signal-receivers and spare parts to support the first phase of the Education Ministry's One Amphur One Dream School project.
The ministry initiated the project, which is worth a total of Bt2 billion, to promote IT in schools as a means of upgrading their educational facilities.
CAT won a bid in the first-phase project from the ministry on December 17 last year, involving the provision of high-speed data-voice transmission and leased lines to link the Education Ministry's Office of the Permanent Secretary with schools nationwide.
Later, without inviting bids, CAT selected iPSTAR equipment to provide the high-speed communications links for the project.
A source at CAT said that CAT had to conduct the procurement process without a bidding process because it had to meet an April 15 deadline to complete the project.
"We need a satellite signal to quickly provide the communications link, and there's only one satellite-operator in Thailand, which is Shin Sat," he said.
Shin Sat has used its Thaicom 3 satellite to provide high-speed satellite signals through its iPSTAR gateway. Its multimedia satellite iPSTAR will be up and running by the middle of this year.
Under the procurement deal, CAT will buy 530 iPSTAR signal-receivers and spare parts, the source added. CAT will also provide its own high-speed network to support the project in addition to the satellite signal.
Education Vice Minister Piyabutr Cholvijarn told The Nation that the One Amphoe, One Dream School project covered 921 schools countrywide.
Of the total, Bt1.2 billion is for training school staff and another Bt700 million is to provide computers and Internet access for schools and set up labs to enable the schools to create their own homepages and access knowledge from around the world. The first phase of the project will cover 253 schools.
Next year the ministry will seek an additional Bt350 million for the project, he added.
New 'plug-in' movie channel Cine World set for February launch
MUMBAI: A wider choice of English films is what is promised when new movie channel Cine World makes its debut in the first week of February (the launch date is still being finalised).
Cine World is promoted by Channel Guide India Ltd, which already runs what it says is India's first and only FTA digital info TV channel catering to the promotional needs of the entire entertainment industry - television, films, music and events.
Speaking on the new "plug-in" English movie channel was Channel Guide COO Ravi Deshmukh. Says Deshmukh, "We will be providing quality English films that have not been seen before by most viewers." Cine World has sourced its movies from Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong as well as from the smaller Hollywood studio offerings, says Deshmukh. This will have kept acquisition costs low no doubt but Deshmukh assures that the films are of good quality.
Cine World is not planning to take on the big boys of the business like HBO, Star Movies or Zee MGM but will operate as an English cable movie channel on the lines of INCableNet's CVO or Hathway's CCC. Additionally, Cine World will be showcasing one blockbuster Hindi film a week, says Deshmukh.
Cine World is beaming of the Insat 3A satellite in C band and will become encrypted from Day 1 of official launch unlike its sibling Channel Guide which is an FTA channel.
Channel Guide is currently showcasing a film a day at 11 pm so that viewers get an idea of the kind of films that will be on offer, says Deshmukh.
TELE SATELLITE NEWS - Number 04/2004 25 January 2004 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition
A S I A & P A C I F I C
FOXTEL TO ROLL-OUT NEW DIGITAL TV SERVICE
Australian pay TV provider Foxtel announced on January 21 it will roll out digital services to subscribers over the next two and a half years offering more than 130 channels and a range of interactive features. The company, which currently offers up to 47 channels, previously has given documents to Australia's competition watchdog saying that the price of a basic package would not be above the current standard subscription of 48.95 Australian dollars (US$37.69) per month. Included in the new offering will 30 CD quality audio music channels and 30 channels dedicated to providing the video on demand - Foxtel Box Office movie service - seen as essential to the success of the digital offering. In addition there will be eight sports channels, five childrens channels and seven news channels and six music video channels. Foxtel said its new service would also feature 10 TimeShift channels, which broadcast a single service on two different channels with a two hour time difference. Foxtel has just over 1 million subscribers to its services, which are delivered by cable in some areas and by satellite in others. Customers will need a set-top box and new remote control to see the digital service, both of which would be included in the new digital package. Some free-to-air networks in Australia already offer some digital programming but the new format has been slow to take off among viewers. Foxtel is 50 per cent owned by Australian telecommunications giant Telstra while Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Kerry Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd each own 25 per cent stakes.
TECHTV SIGNS CARRIAGE DEAL
US science cable channel TechTV is set to increase its international penetration following a carriage deal with a new digital platform in Australia. Foxtel has picked up the thematic channel for its digital service, which launches in the first half of this year. Under the terms of the agreement, programming for TechTV Australia will be obtained through TechTV's International Network distributed via AsiaSAT 3. TechTV is currently available in more than 43 million homes in the US, where it logs a monthly average of 1.6 million viewers. TechTV showcases factual programming about technology, science and innovation.
BOOMERANG TO LAUNCH ON FOXTEL AND AUSTAR
Cartoon Network's vintage animation channel Boomerang is set to launch in Australia this year, as part of the new digital offerings from pay-TV platforms Foxtel and Austar. Boomerang, which airs classic animated series like The Jetsons and Popeye, launched in the U.S. and the U.K. in 2000, and now reaches more than 11 million homes in those two markets. Cartoon Network currently reaches about 1.4 million homes in Australia, with carriage on Austar, FOXTEL and Optus.
THOROUGHBRED TV CHANNEL ON THE CARDS
A separate thoroughbred racing channel is on the cards after presentations from five parties vying for the lucrative broadcast rights to Sydney's major racing clubs ended on January 21. Advertising and racing identity John Singleton was the fifth and last party to make a presentation to ThoroughVisioN (TVN), a company set up by Racing Victoria which holds all of Victoria's thoroughbred racing media rights as well as those of the Australian Jockey Club (AJC) and NSW's Sydney Turf Club (STC). TVN is negotiating on behalf of the clubs to try and improve their media rights deals, which currently are held by Sky Channel, owned by NSW's Tab. Presentations last week were made by Perrin Legal, Telstra Media, British company tenten Digital, and Sky. The lobbying has been prompted by the imminent expiry of Sky's broadcast rights for the NSW clubs on March 4, while Victoria is contracted to Sky for another 12 months.
OPENTV TO PROVIDE INTERACTIVE SERVICES TO FOXTEL
OpenTV has signed a definitive agreement to provide Foxtel with middleware technology and interactive applications that will be integrated into the Foxtel Digital product offering. In a press release, OpenTV said it has licensed its products and software to Foxtel under the arrangement, and also expects to provide related support services through the life of the agreement. Foxtel will use OpenTV's technologies and applications to provide subscribers with access to several interactive services, such as: Sky News Active, Sports Active and Foxtel Gamesworld.
CHINA HONG KONG
TVB 2003 REVENUE TO REACH HK$4.05 BILLION
Television Broadcasts recorded total advertising revenue of HK$4.05 billion in 2003, taking a 28% share of Hong Kong's advertising market, according to advertising research firm admanGo.com. In its research report released on January 20, admanGo said advertising revenue of TVB's Jade channel rose about 6% on year to HK$3.82 billion in 2003, accounting for 26% of the market. TVB's Pearl channel recorded a 38% rise in advertising revenue to HK$231.1 million, equivalent to a market share of about 2%. Hong Kong's other free-to-air television broadcaster, Asia Television Ltd., posted total advertising revenue of HK$1.27 billion last year and took a 9% share of the market. However, ATV's Home channel booked a 9% on-year slide in advertising revenue to HK$1.20 billion. Its World channel advertising revenue rose 30% on year to HK$67.4 million. Pay-television operator i-Cable Communications Ltd. recorded the highest on-year gain in percentage terms, adman Go said. Its advertising revenue surged 94% on-year to HK$657.7 million last year.
PLAYBOY TV AND GALAXY SIGN DISTRIBUTION DEAL
Playboy TV International (PTVI) and Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting Limited, have concluded a distribution agreement for Playboy TV to be carried on Galaxy's new, all-digital pay-TV platform - exTV - to be launched in Hong Kong in February. Playboy TV will be available 24-hours a day to exTV's subscriber base as a monthly subscription service. The premium channel broadcasts branded programming with Chinese subtitles and features sensual programming tailored towards the viewer preferences of region. PTVI, wholly owned by Playboy Entertainment Group, a division of Playboy Enterprises, develops and operates quality adult entertainment television networks worldwide under the Playboy TV and Spice brands.
GALAXY SIGNS UP NICKELODEON AND BBC WORLD
Hong Kong's Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting (GSB) has announced partnerships with Nickelodeon Asia channel and BBC World for inclusion of two channels in the DTH platform exTV. GSB, a joint venture of United States-based Intelsat and Television Broadcasts (TVB), is set to launch exTV in February. The deal with Nickelodeon is part of two Viacom deals, the other being Nickelodeon Asia's partnership agreement with China's national television station CCTV to air its shows on the recently launched 24-hour Children's Channel. In all, Galaxy will broadcast 30 channels, including TVB and ATV's terrestrial channels, which will continue to be free-to-air to non-subscribers. TVB will air a 24-hour news channel via Galaxy, competing with news channels from Cable and newcomer Hong Kong Broadband. Four other new TVB channels are in the line-up, offering entertainment, drama and children's programmes. Other Galaxy channels will include E! Entertainment Television, Cartoon Network, MTV Southeast Asia, HBO and news outlets such as CNBC, Bloomberg and BBC World.
STAR AND TATA SONS TO LAUNCH DTH PLATFORM
Rupert Murdoch may soon be adding yet another platform to his global network of satellite operators, with the STAR Group, News Corp.'s Hong Kong-based arm, inking a joint venture deal to launch a DTH service in the country. According to local reports, STAR has teamed with Indian conglomerate Tata Sons, and the two companies are said to be planning a $300 million investment. Tata will hold 80 per cent of the venture, with STAR holding 20 per cent. The platform is expected to launch within the next four to six months. The deal is still subject to government approval, and there is no indication yet as to how many channels the platform will carry. However, the companies are billing it as what will be the country's "largest digital television platform," with a range of interactive services. STAR's long-awaited entrance to India's DTH market follows the launch of rival Zee Telefilm's platform, Dish TV, which began operations in October 2003.
ZEE NETWORK LAUNCHE RELIGIOUS CHANNEL
Zee Network has launched India's first religious entertainment channel Jagran. The 24-hour free-to-air satellite channel attempts to entertain the audience with mythological movies, serials, alternate living and alternate healing programmes, interactive astro solutions and spiritual content. The channel is being launched via Asiasat 3S and INSAT satellites.
GOVERNMENT PREPARES DTH SERVICE
State-owned broadcaster Prasar Bharati's direct-to-home venture will be launched on April 2, becoming the second company after Agrani Satellite Communication (ASC) Enterprises‚ Dish TV to introduce the service. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), has already sanctioned $105 million to be used over a five-year period to Prasar Bharati's direct-to-home (DTH) services using KU band. The transponders are being made available by the Indian Space Research Organisation for the proposed DTH service. Prasar Bharati is considering the launch of the DTH service with about 30 channels - including 20 Prasar Bharati channels and 10 private channels.
POGO OPTS FOR CONAX
Turner Broadcasting System is to use the Conax CAS5 conditional access technology for broadcasting the new 24-hour kids channel Pogo for Indian cable networks. Pogo, which launched earlier this month, is being broadcast via the Panamsat PAS-10 satellite, and is part of the Zee Telefilms and Turner International's distribution alliance.
BROADCASTER BUYS CONTENT FROM BUENA VISTA
Indonesian terrestrial Indosiar Visual Mandiri (IVM) has acquired feature films, drama series, kids' programming and assorted television specials as part of a multiyear agreement with Buena Vista International TelevisionAsia Pacific (BVITV-AP). In addition to blockbuster titles like Pearl Harbor and Kiss of the Dragon, IVM has signed on for the second season of the acclaimed drama series Alias. In addition, under a new agreement for the branded block Klab Disney, IVM has acquired Kim Possible, House of Mouse and Teamo Supremo, all of which make their free-TV premieres in Indonesia on IVM.
NHK TO COMBINE DIGITAL TV AND INTERNET
Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) will by summer launch a broadcasting service that combines digital terrestrial broadcasts and the Internet. Because there is a limit to the volume of data that can be transmitted via data broadcasts using radio waves, most of the information supplied via the digital broadcasts will be related to the regions where subscribers live. Information on regions nationwide will be available over the Net. When subscribers select other regions from the menus on the data broadcast screens, the information will be pulled from the Internet automatically. This will enable users to look up, for example, detailed weather information on remote areas to which they plan to travel. The service will initially be available in the Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka metropolitan areas. It will later be expanded nationwide in conjunction with the rollout of digital terrestrial broadcasts. The current plan is for broadcasts to be available in all prefectures by 2006. NHK is appropriating 60 million yen (US$559,000) of its fiscal 2004 budget to start the new service.
SKY PERFECT AND NTT DISCUSS BROADBAND
SKY Perfect Communications said on January 22 it's in talks with Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. on a possible alliance in broadband broadcasting services. The satellite broadcaster said it and NTT have been discussing business opportunities in offering SKY's broadcasting to NTT's Internet service subscribers, but they haven't yet discussed commercialization. A SKY Perfect spokesman said the two companies haven't made any decisions in the course of their discussions, but the tie-up between Japan's largest pay-TV company and the telecommunication giant is sure to accelerate the expansion of Internet broadcasting in Japan. Some four million users of NTT's optic fiber and asymmetric digital subscriber line, or ADSL, services could potentially bolster SKY Perfect's subscriber base. As of the end of December, Sky Perfect had 3.1 million individual subscribers. The new broadband service will be available only in areas covered by the high-speed asymmetric digital subscriber line Internet service of NTT's two regional telephone units - NTT East Corp. and NTT West Corp. The service will require special receivers to hook television sets up to the broadband networks. The two firms plan initially to offer more than 100 channels and eventually all 300 channels transmitted by Sky Perfect's satellite service, with a movie-on-demand feature being eyed for the future. The number of broadband subscribers is growing strongly in Japan as fierce competition between Internet access providers has lowered ADSL service fees to the most competitive in the world.
STAR MOVIES SIGNS DISTRIBUTION DEAL
STAR Group has secured carriage for its Star Chinese Movies channel on Singapore's StarHub CableTV, beginning January 21. The Mandarin-language channel will be carried on StarHub's premium Asia Tier for S$8 ($4.70) a month. Star Chinese Movies, which features over 100 movies including at least 20 exclusive premieres a month, is aired in Mandarin and the movies are commercial-free. The channel will be offered as free-to-air till February 22. Star's other channels available on StarHub Cable TV include Star Movies, Star World, Star Sports, ESPN, National Geographic Channel and Phoenix Chinese Channel.
CHANNEL 5 UNIT LISTING DELAYED
The satellite broadcasting division of Royal Thai Army Radio and Television, the operator of TV Channel 5, has delayed a plan to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The delay comes after Royal Thai Army Radio and Television said it wanted to maintain a 50% stake in the operator, Tor Tor Bor 5, instead of the 30% previously announced. The majority stake would allow the armed forces to maintain effective operational control over programming. The company announced in September that it planned to float 44 million shares at a price of around 18 baht each in an initial public offering. Under the plan, the funds raised would be spent to expand the satellite footprint of the Thai TV Global Network (TGN) to 170 countries from 155, and to improve its around-the-clock programming. Last year, TGN generated an estimated 570 million baht in total sales with a net profit of about 120 million baht.
Lawns and other stuff to be done, back Monday
All pretty quiet today
Tarbs have added Mad TV (Greek music channel) might be listed on Thaicom 3 as well now?
Changes on NSS6 some services on and off, Abc Asia Pacific off? flakey signal
Tip for Tomorrow, CNN at 2pm Syd / 4P.M NZ News will be in 3D! for showing the mar lander pics. If you don't have the red and blue type 3d glasses heres a link how to make some.
From my Emails & ICQ
Nothing to report
From the Dish
Nothing to report from Lyngsat
TV's remote revolution
LOSING the remote is one of life's irritations but in future it could become a full-blown crisis as digital television begins to work its way into the lives of Australians.
The launch by Foxtel this week of Australia's first digital pay-TV service is being heralded as a revolution in which viewers will soon be able to run bank accounts, order movies, tape multiple shows at the same time and play games - all through the humble remote.
Foxtel is basing its digital offer strongly on the increased number of channels viewers will receive and the manner in which they will be able to manipulate them, but it is the interactivity of the digital medium that promises to transform Australians from TV viewers to TV users.
Digital TV has long promised to give sporting viewers a seat in the director's chair at major sporting events, but live chat, polls, email and even altering programming schedules from the comfort of your lounge will soon be seen as standard.
On Wednesday, Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams unveiled digital, promising a revolution - hundreds of channels, interactivity and crystal-clear sound and vision. Williams sees the introduction of Foxtel Digital as the carrot that will drive growth in the number of subscribers to Foxtel.
One million people subscribe to Foxtel. In 2 1/2 years, Williams wants more of them, and all viewing digital.
Australians have had access to digital broadcasting since the beginning of 2001 when the free-to-air networks were required to start broadcasting in both digital and analogue. But sales of set-top conversion boxes have been sluggish and many consumers have baulked at the high costs of digital-ready TVs.
What Williams is offering is to give every one of his subscribers a free set-top box that will deliver Foxtel's digital signal.
Consumer advocates say although some people may ask why they should switch to digital from analogue, the scenario is like a car company retiring a superseded model and bringing in a new, improved car. It's just another car, but a better one.
To understand what the future may hold, Australians need look no further than Britain, where digital pay TV has been running for more than five years.
BSkyB launched its digital service in 1998, but existing and new subscribers were wary of the high cost of the set-top box (a mistake Foxtel's strategy does not repeat). After just a few months in the market, Sky offered the boxes for free and subscriptions took off.
Five years later, more than 7 million Britons have signed up for Sky Digital, ahead of the broadcaster's expectations.
At the time of the launch, Sky boasted 140 channels, which has now grown to more than 400. These include 67 radio channels, 26 news and documentary channels and 76 movie channels.
Sky viewers can choose their own camera angles during sports broadcasts and can select news and movies on demand. They can do their banking, send emails, vote in polls and chat live with other viewers on-screen during their favourite shows.
For Australians, though, such revolutionary interaction remains a long way away. Foxtel will begin installing boxes in the homes of its 1million customers later this year and expects to complete the roll-out within 2 1/2 years.
Initially, Foxtel will offer access to multiple-camera-angle sports broadcasts, news on demand and movies on demand, but executives say viewers will not be overwhelmed with digital applications in the early days of the new medium.
Duane Varan, director of the Interactive Television Institute at Murdoch University in Perth, says although Foxtel is clearly using Sky's world-leading service as a template, the Australian experience of digital pay-TV will be different. And even then, Varan views the UK market as relatively conservative when it comes to innovation in digital TV.
"The UK on the whole is a relatively conservative market and BSkyB in particular has adopted very strong control over technical stability, and that is a good thing in many ways. It is an important thing to understand about the UK. It is the global leader, but that does not mean that you see all of the innovation in that market," he says.
Varan says Foxtel's cautious approach to the development of its digital platform is a wise one, adding that many of the sorts of innovation people might expect will come not from platform owners such as Foxtel, but from the individual channels.
"What we are seeing in the UK is that in the initial stages it was BSkyB driving it, and as they achieved a certain critical mass then the channels began to drive it," he says.
"So you get a lot more innovative content when it's the channels that are coming up with applications."
Williams, holding a giant replica remote control at the Foxtel launch, said that for all the technology being invested in the Foxtel launch, it's content that would be king on digital.
Foxtel's Brendan Moo agrees that it is increased channel choice allied with greater viewing flexibility that will set Foxtel Digital apart in the early days. Initially subscribers will be offered more than 130 channels. Of these, 10 will be time shifted (duplicate channels running two hours behind the originals), 30 will be audio-only channels and 30 will comprise Foxtel Box Office, enabling viewers to order movies playing every 30 minutes.
Digital TV will boast an electronic guide to help keep track of the new choices, reminding viewers when their favourite shows are starting and able to search TV guides by genre, channel or time slot.
The big question on everyone's lips is: How much? Williams will say only that Foxtel will abide by an agreement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for entry-level subscriptions to not exceed the basic satellite package of $48.95 a month. Full pricing structures are expected to be released in coming weeks.
In Britain, Sky Digital's cheapest package starts at $32 a month. The top of the range package costs $95.
But Foxtel is not just counting subscriptions to drive its revenue. The digital TV till will tick over as viewers order movies on demand, pay for games sessions on gaming channels, and order other special events. In the UK, Sky gets an average revenue per user of more than $860 each year and has set a target of $950 for 2005.
Varan says the rise of digital pay TV and the technological innovation that supports it will be like making popcorn.
"It will just cook away for a while, not appearing to do much, then it will reach (critical mass) and the whole area of digital and interactive will just explode," he says.
OpenTV/Foxtel: Financial Terms Weren't Disclosed >OPTV
From Press Release
SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones)--OpenTV Corp. (OPTV) has signed a definitive agreement to provide FOXTEL with middleware technology and interactive applications that will be integrated into the FOXTEL Digital product offering.
In a press release, OpenTV said it has licensed its products and software to FOXTEL under the arrangement, and also expects to provide related support services through the life of the agreement. It said FOXTEL is Australia's leading subscription television service, and is a joint venture of Telstra Corp. (TLS), News Corp. (NWS) and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. (PBL.AU).
It said FOXTEL will use OpenTV's technologies and applications to provide subscribers with access to several interactive services, such as:
Sky News Active, an interactive service allowing viewers to control and choose the news they want to view from eight live video and five live text screens;
Sports Active, an interactive sports application, which enables viewers to select multiple camera angles and match replays together with game statistics, player profiles and even different audio feeds on selected sports broadcasts;
FOXTEL Gamesworld, a portal offering subscribers access to two games channels with ten different games with both easy to play titles and games that test the mind.
Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.
OpenTV provides technology, content, games, tools, applications, and professional services for cable and satellite network operators, programmers and advertisers.
Company Web Site: http://www.opentv.com
OpenTV To Provide Interactive Service Suite To Australia's Foxtel
From Satellite today
OpenTV [Nasdaq: OPTV] has signed a definitive agreement to provide Australian satellite and cable TV provider Foxtel with middleware technology and interactive applications that will be integrated into the Foxtel digital product offering. OpenTV has licensed its products and software to Foxtel under the arrangement, and also expects to provide related support services through the life of the agreement.
Foxtel, a joint venture of Telstra Corp. [NYSE: TLS], News Corp [NYSE: NWS] and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd., has invested A$600 million (US$467 million) in upgrading its digital technology to enable the delivery of new channels, programming, digital picture and sound, as well as interactive and enhanced services.
NTT, Sky Perfect plan to launch broadband Internet TV service
TOKYO: Satellite broadcaster Sky Perfect Communications and Japan's top telecoms company NTT are planning to launch a broadband Internet television service.
"Broadband TV is a new service and we are considering entering the market with NTT," said Yoshihide Tou, a spokesman for Sky Perfect. "We expect the broadband market to grow in the future."
A spokesman for Nippon Telegraph and Telephone was not available for comment.
Broadband technology has enabled delivery of large amounts of data at a high speed, prompting the emergence of Internet television.
KDDI, NTT's rival, already offers an Internet TV service on its fiber optic cable network in Japan.
The Sky Perfect spokesman declined to confirm details reported Thursday in the business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
NTT and Sky Perfect, according to the daily, will set up a joint venture to kick off the broadband TV service. NTT's stake in the venture is not likely to exceed three percent due to government regulations banning NTT, a former telecoms monopoly, from owning more than a three-percent stake in a broadcaster.
The broadband TV service will offer more than 100 programs on movies, cartoons and music and trial runs are scheduled to start in February, the daily said.
NTT hopes the new TV service will help increase the number of its broadband Internet subscribers, which currently stands at four million households, the report said.
Sorry things a little late today, lots of Foxtel news items and I had to go through and try and filter out the ones containing any actual "new" info.
Correction from yesterday,RE: piece about Foxtel shares/Austar shares
"Foxtel quarter-owner Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd fell nine cents to $12.22 and half-owner telco Telstra shed two cents at $4.96.
News Corp, which owns the other quarter, was steady at $12.27 while its preferred scrip lifted six cents to $10.64.
Regional pay-TV company Austar added three cents to 60 cents as it said it planned to enhance its digital satellite television service."
Fuel channel website http://www.fuel.tv/
From my Emails & ICQ
From Average Guy
Yesterdays Foxtel announcement seems to be a joke of some kind? what we want is better content, less repeats, better package choices and lower prices.
What we got was a load of rubbish and hype.For example Where is the Sci-Fi channel? Reality tv? Nasa channel? new sports channels etc?
As for Interactive, well big deal , for Games I have an Xbox, If i want Movies I have DVD's from the local shop which has a far bigger selection than Foxtel can ever offer. If they were to offer the new service at %50 off the current prices. Then I may be interested in getting it.
From the Dish
Optus B3 152E 12525 V "Sigaram" has started regular transmssions , enc., PIDs 1160/1120.
Cakrawarta 1 107.7E 2565 H "Animax South East Asia" has started, Videoguard, PIDs 514/642.
NSS 6 95E 11677 V "Al-Islah TV" has started, Fta, SR 2000, FEC 2/3, PIDs 4194/4195. Middel east beam
ST 1 88E 3582 H All channels in the TBL TV mux on are now Fta, except TBL Movies and TBL Xxx.
ST 1 88E 3632 V All channels in the Star TV mux are Fta, except Rainbow Channel 1.
Insat 2E 83E 3830 V "DD Bangla" has started Fta PIDs 512/650.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3585 V "Sur Sangeet" has started, Fta, PIDs 517/645.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3920 H "Animax South East Asia and Animax Hong Kong" have started on ,PowerVu, PIDs 810/800 and 1010/1000.
Banks back digital for Foxtel
About $1 billion has been spent at Foxtel since its inception in 1995 to create a business that still loses money at a rate of about $60 million a year.
In that respect, the decision of Foxtel's three owners - Telstra (50 per cent), News Corp (25 per cent) and Publishing and Broadcasting (25 per cent) to borrow $550 million more to convert Foxtel's program lineup to a digital, interactive format service was a no-brainer. Foxtel will stagnate if it doesn't go down the digital path.
And there is now solid evidence that the risk involved is acceptable, which is one reason the $550 million ABN Amro and Commonwealth Bank have lent Foxtel has only limited recourse back to Foxtel's big shareholders.
The promising template for the digital era previewed by Foxtel yesterday is Britain's BSkyB pay TV franchise, which is 35 per cent owned and controlled by News.
BSkyB was earning solid profits out of 3.5 million subscribers in 1998 when it decided to switch to the digital, interactive format.
The British group initially tried to charge existing and new subscribers for the hardware needed for the conversion, but the response was not good. BSkyB then decided to bear the cost of the conversions itself. The marketing strategy was aggressive, and expensive: BSkyB ultimately outlaid about £1.25 billion, or almost $A3 billion, to convert itself.
But it has paid off brilliantly. BSkyB is now the dominant British pay TV provider, with more than 7 million subscribers. On average, they are paying 25 per cent more a year for the service than they were before the digital changeover, for additional, and mainly optional, interactive features.
They are also more loyal than the non-digital subscribers were. BSkyB's churn rate, which measures the percentage of departing subscribers, has fallen from about 16 per cent to 9.4 per cent.
BSkyB posted big losses during the transformation, but its expanded, bigger-spending and more stable customer base is now generating super profits off what is essentially a fixed cost base. The group will earn upwards of £200 million this year, and is expected to be earning around £800 million in three years.
The promising template for the digital era previewed by Foxtel yesterday is Britain's BSkyB pay TV franchise, which is 35 per cent owned and controlled by News.
BSkyB is not identical to Foxtel. It offers wagering, which Foxtel cannot do. And its set-top box hardware allows users to record programs, something Foxtel won't initially offer.
But there are key common features. Like BSkyB, Foxtel will foot the bill for the new hardware to speed up customer uptake. Its core digital service will include the addictive digital program guide, and interactive news and sports services.
Subscription costs are pegged to the analogue one for two years, as a condition of Foxtel's acquisition of key Optus pay TV programming in 2002. But Foxtel can and will charge for add-ons, including an expanded slate of movies, and, later this year, digital program recording.
Another boost will come at some point this year when the Federal Government frees up its anti-siphoning rules, to allow Foxtel to schedule top-line sports including overseas cricket, basketball and tennis that the free-to-air networks at present control but rarely televise.
Foxtel may not replicate BSkyB's stunning success. But in Britain, digital pay TV clearly offers something that viewers like, and value: if Australians react the same way, Foxtel is home free.
Foxtel unveils its digital dream
PAY-TV group Foxtel is looking to its new $550 million digital service to more than treble the number of subscribers signing up each month, enabling it to reach into more than 35 per cent of homes by 2008.
Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams revealed the new suite of services it hopes will lure a new wave of pay-TV viewers, while reiterating his hope that Foxtel would be profitable by 2006.
"This (upgrade) will contribute to enormous growth in our business," he said. "More subscribers will join us and we are confident it will enhance subscriber retention markedly."
To achieve the forecasts, analysts said Foxtel must lift its net subscriber acquisition rate to between 10,000 and 15,000 a month from today's rate of about 3000.
But broking firm CommSec said in a recent report that Foxtel had recently reduced the incentives designed to encourage subscriptions ahead of its digitisation because analogue set-top boxes would eventually be replaced with digital boxes.
Before Foxtel can break even in 2006, the extra capital expenditure required for the digital upgrade will hit Foxtel's bottom line.
UBS media analyst Nola Hodgson estimates Foxtel will report a pre-tax loss of $110 million this fiscal year, up from $92 million last year.
The increase was due to the cost of subsidising the new digital set-top boxes and a large increase in marketing costs before the fiscal year-end.
However, most of Foxtel's programming is bought in US dollars, which means the rising Australian dollar is expected to offset some of the digital-related costs. Foxtel's digitisation should also lift the value ascribed to the Foxtel business by analysts.
ABN Amro media analyst Peter Shorthouse places a $3.1 billion value on Foxtel Digital compared to a current "best case" value of $2.1 billion for the analogue business.
Foxtel's regional rival, Austar, also launched its revamped digital offer yesterday - but chief executive John Porter said it would not incur the same costs as Foxtel because its service was already digital.
But its subscriber packages would be upgraded with the inclusion of some of the new Foxtel channels and new programming tiers.
Mr Porter said the cost of Austar's service would not markedly increase and Austar expected to retain existing profit margins. "It's our intention to deliver substantially more value for approximately the same price," he said.
Foxtel and Austar will launch the new services on the same day, but that date will not be revealed until next month.
Foxtel secured the $550 million required for its digital upgrade from ABN Amro and the Commonwealth Bank earlier this month.
Agents covet interactive digital
AUSTRALIAN advertisers keen to get a taste of the interactive offerings of digital television will be forced to wait more than a year before they will have a chance to make use of the new medium.
Advertising agency executives say they want to start trialling digital television for clients as soon as possible.
But Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams says the pay-TV network will not consider using the interactive aspects of digital for advertising for "a year to 18 months".
At the same time, the Multi Channel Network, which handles advertising sales for Foxtel's channels, is yet to finalise how stations will be packaged during the digital set-top-box rollout.
James Parkinson, investment and development director with media-buying company Carat, says interactive advertising would not suit all advertisers, but there will be some who want to get in early and become accustomed to the offerings before digital TV reaches a critical mass.
Mr Parkinson, who has been monitoring the rise of digital TV in the UK for the past year, said many advertisers would use the interactivity of the medium to allow viewers to order samples, get further information and book test drives.
But he said the potential of the medium was limitless: "It will bring to TV a level of accountability we have never seen before."
Zenith Media trading director Henry Tajer said there were advertisers already aligned with Foxtel that were considering how to utilise interactive when it became available.
"There is a lot to be unveiled in terms of which channels will broaden through additional digital television. But I am sure that there are clients that are considering using interactive as we speak," he said. "Within the mass of clients in the advertising market there are early adopters in there."
Foxtel flogs a digital revolution - any buyers?
At Foxtel, they're talking about a revolution.
It's a revolution of "unparallelled choice", one that will "change Australian television forever" with an "amazing" array of channels, and technology that will make us all masters, if not of the universe, then certainly of the box.
At least, that's what Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams was telling people gathered yesterday for the launch of the pay TV group's digital service.
"Today, we sow the seed of a genuinely liberating digital television revolution for consumers in Australia," he said.
Mr Williams certainly cannot be accused of underselling his product.
But perhaps he can be charged with excessive zeal about what difference the new digital service will make to pay TV's static market penetration of 23 per cent of Australian households.
Foxtel - owned by Telstra, Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting, and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp - is predicting that penetration will rise to between 35 per cent and 40 per cent by 2008. That's without any change to the Federal Government's onerous anti-siphoning laws that confine most major sporting events - including tennis at Wimbledon, Test cricket and World Cup rugby - to free-to-air channels.
In the UK, where pay has 42 per cent penetration, subscriptions were initially driven by BSkyB's exclusive rights to Premier League Soccer, and only later by digital services. In the US, a desire for better reception and pay TV's development of new programs were the main attraction for viewers.
Media analyst at UBS Warburg Nola Hodgson said Foxtel's growth figures were double what she was expecting.
"I think their growth figures are quite aggressive," she said.
However, she said some digital TV services could make a difference. "For example, people will find video-on-demand attractive and I have heard some of the interactive news offerings are looking interesting."
Ms Hodgson agreed with Foxtel that it was likely to break even in the second half of 2006 but she is expecting lower losses for 2004 and 2005 because her subscription forecasts are lower. New subscribers initially cost more than they bring in.
Foxtel lost $61 million in 2002-03.
Foxtel primes clients for interactive TV
The digital revolution will arrive in more than 850,000 homes over the next 2½ years as Foxtel converts subscribers to its new service offering interactive TV and more than 130 channels.
Subscribers will receive new digital set top boxes and more elaborate remote controls, but will not need to buy new televisions.
Programs will increasingly be broadcast in widescreen, appearing in smaller "letterbox" mode on older sets - but even on older sets sound and picture quality should be substantially improved, Foxtel said yesterday.
Launching the service in Melbourne, Foxtel's chief executive Kim Williams described the move as "the biggest change in Australian television since the introduction of colour".
He expected "an exponential" increase in customers as a result of the new channels and the introduction of interactivity, mainly on sports and shopping channels.
Interactivity, allowing viewers - via their remote control - to change camera angles, switch commentators, get player and game statistics or view other matches on a split screen, or, in future, do their shopping online, will be through a "back channel" installed by Foxtel over the subscriber's telephone line.
The launch date, expected to be in the first half of this year, and subscription rates will be announced next month. After the launch, the analogue service will not be available.
Mr Williams said the subscription rate for the basic Foxtel service would be pegged at the present satellite basic package rate of $48.95 a month for the next three years, although programming would be considerably increased.
Upgrading to the new service will involve a "modest" fee. Choice of packages would be much wider than those now offered, Mr Williams said.
Of the 130 channels to be provided, 30 will transmit CD quality music and 30 will give access to pay-per-view movies.
"It will be the video shop in your lounge room, open 24 hours a day," Mr Williams said.
A separate on-screen program guide will allow viewers to choose their entertainment in advance and get an on-screen reminder as the time and date of each choice arrives.
Optus, which now carries Foxtel programming, declined to say whether it would join the Foxtel digital service, saying it would for the moment "watch with interest" subscriber take-up.
Foxtel now broadcasts to 1.6 million Australian households. Of these, 860,000 are direct subscribers.
Foxtel leaps into digital
Reporter MAXINE McKEW:
Welcome to the program.And if you're watching tonight, you're in good company.According to the latest census television is the most popular leisure activity in the country, with the average Australian watching more than 20 hours each week.Tonight, we'll examine two major developments in the television world.Later, we'll look at the tussle to control the river of gold from the racing industry's monopoly television outlet. But first tonight, pay television's $500 million digital gamble.Since its launch eight years ago, pay television has been taken up by less than a quarter of Australian households, and is yet to post a profit.Now, the country's biggest pay TV provider, Foxtel, has launched a new digital service which will offer consumers more than 100 channels -- movies on demand and even video games.If overseas experience is any guide digital is the path to profitability, but will Australian consumers take the bait?
This report from Emma Alberici.
SHANNON WALKER: We got rid of Foxtel about three months ago.Just the quality of the shows that were on and also the pricing was really affecting us.
EMMA ALBERICI: Dianne and Shannon Walker are among the 18 per cent of Australians who each year disconnect their pay TV service.It's this churn rate which has frustrated the likes of Foxtel, which has paid a lot to get subscribers on board and can't afford to have so many of them walk away.
SHANNON WALKER: I reckon we used three channels maximum regularly.We'd flick through the others but most of the time -- DIANNE WALKER: It sounded appealing initially to have an extra 47 channels but we found we were just doing a lot of channel flicking and that became very annoying.
SHANNON WALKER: The selection wasn't there from night to night.
DIANNE WALKER: Really, other than sport and the Arena channel, we didn't find the movies anything to write home about.
EMMA ALBERICI: In the eight years since its launch in Australia, pay TV has become a fixture in just 22 per cent of homes.Last year, the biggest player, Foxtel, recorded a $92 million loss.It added another $27 million in losses in the September quarter.Its 1 million subscribers pay between $43 and $100 a month for 47 channels.
KIM WILLIAMS: Ladies and gentlemen, good morning.Welcome to the future of Australian television.
EMMA ALBERICI: The advent of digital will lift the offering to 130 channels and provide viewers with the ability to interact with their programs, order movies on demand, play video games and personalise the screen, allowing them to bring up match statistics and change camera angles during sports telecasts.Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams is confident the digital revolution will be the engine that drives the growth in pay TV penetration throughout Australian households.
KIM WILLIAMS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, FOXTEL: We aim to achieve a penetration of between 35 per cent and 40 per cent by 2008.
EMMA ALBERICI: So far, in eight years, you've only managed to get just over 22 per cent.What makes you so convinced that you might be able to double that in five years?
KIM WILLIAMS: Well, we've seen it in other markets and we've seen how they have rolled out digital services in other markets and we've learned from their successes and we've learned probably, more importantly, from things that didn't go well for them and we're not doing those things.We think the time has come.
PAUL BUDDE, TELECOMMUNICATIONS ANALYST: Digital is not going to make the difference.Digital has lots of interesting elements in it that people will like.You know, there are different angles, there is more content, there is video on demand, there are lots of good services that can be offered.But, if your basic price is not around between $15 and $25 a month, people are not going to take up the basic service and therefore are also not willing to then move into all sorts of other services that Foxtel wants to introduce.
EMMA ALBERICI: While Foxtel says it will provide the digital set-top boxes free of charge to its subscribers, the rest of the pricing structure of the offer is something neither Foxtel nor regional pay TV provider, Austar, and it's boss, John Porter, are willing to reveal just yet.
JOHN PORTER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, AUSTAR: Our pricing will be very similar to what it is today.Customers won't see a major change in the pricing.What they will have is a much broader range of choice.There will be transactional service such as on-demand services, on-demand movies, interactive features such as sports active and news active, so a whole wide range of features that will available to them for no additional charge.
EMMA ALBERICI: The overseas experience is encouraging for Foxtel and Austar, which also unveiled its suite of digital services today.British free-to-air networks have collectively lost 33 per cent of their commercial audiences to pay TV.It's a similar story in the US, where viewing of pay TV has now surpassed that of free TV.
Stockbroker ABN Amro together with the Commonwealth Bank provided Foxtel with $550 million to fund its digital service.
PETER SHORTHOUSE, MEDIA ANALYST, ABN AMRO: The UK market reached around 3.5 million subscribers or 23 per cent, 24 per cent penetration as a result of getting English Premier League soccer, exclusively, but then stalled.Digital, which was introduced in 1999, has since driven the subscriber level to over 7 million or penetration of mid-40 per cent.So the overseas experience is that it's been a very profound driver of subscriber take-up.
EMMA ALBERICI: The Lemon family has been hooked up to Foxtel since 1999 on the basic service.Parents Bob and Karine say there are certainly some things about the digital era that look appealing.
BOB LEMON: I think movies on demand just means you don't have to get into your car and drive around to a video store and or DVD store and hire what you want to see.It's obviously the modern way of doing it and probably the end of video stores to have that movie on demand.We would use that if it was available and just pay for it as we pay for a video.
EMMA ALBERICI: Again, it's the issue of affordability that will dictate whether or not this family decides to sign up to the new TV world.
BOB LEMON: Severe frustration, especially from the woman of the household and I agree with her entirely, that too much television has turned us to mindless idiots so let's do a few other things in our free time.It would suggest that we would probably not be candidates for any more, certainly not paying for any more.If they offer more things, we can always turn them off.
EMMA ALBERICI: What Foxtel is pinning its hopes on is that the bells and whistles of digital will reduce churn and entice the likes of the Walker family back to the fold.What would convince you to rejoin Foxtel?
SHANNON WALKER: Probably a package that would have the channels that we wanted, say the free channels that we wanted at a reduced price.
DIANNE WALKER: At a good price.
SHANNON WALKER: You would get sport.You'd get your Arena channel and the packages that we wanted, if we could select what we wanted at a certain price.
DIANNE WALKER: It's cost again.
EMMA ALBERICI: So would digital per se convince you to rejoin?
SHANNON WALKER: No, no, I wouldn't think so.
EMMA ALBERICI: Foxtel is predicting its digital gamble will help deliver the company to profit in 2006.
But analyst Paul Budde insists digital is not the panacea for Foxtel's financial problems.
PAUL BUDDE: Price is the key issue.If Foxtel does not address that one, we are not seeing any improvement in pay television, with or without digital television.
EMMA ALBERICI: Many analysts say part of the problem about penetration so far has simply been a matter of economics.
It's too expensive and consumers want it cheaper.
KIM WILLIAMS: Our product is not an expensive product.Our product is less than the cost of a cappuccino a day.We don't believe price is an issue.
And I've certainly done a lot more consumer research than any analyst or any broadcaster.Foxtel constantly researches the attitudes of consumers and price is not an issue that comes up in our research at all.
EMMA ALBERICI: What comes up in your research that would explain those low levels of pay TV penetration in Australia?
KIM WILLIAMS: We haven't communicated the benefits of subscription television sufficiently well.A lot of that is the legacy of the history of the establishment of subscription television.We're not making those mistakes this time.
(Craigs comment, are they dreaming or what?? RIGHT at the top of their list of why people are not getting pay tv should be "OVERPRICED"
TechTV to Launch on FOXTEL Digital in Australia
From Press release
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- TechTV, the cable and satellite network that showcases the smart, edgy, and unexpected side of technology, has
secured a distribution deal with FOXTEL, Australia's leading subscription TV provider. TechTV will be a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week channel on the new
FOXTEL Digital service when it launches in the first half of 2004. The announcement was made today by Peter Gochis, senior vice president of worldwide distribution and Brian Walsh, FOXTEL director of television.
"TechTV boasts a comprehensive collection of programmes which feature the
latest in cutting-edge technology, new inventions and fascinating
documentaries and magazine shows. It is a welcome addition to FOXTEL
Digital," FOXTEL Director of Television, Mr. Brian Walsh, said.
"As a lifestyle channel for the digital generation, TechTV's programming
is complementary to FOXTEL's channel lineup and we're thrilled to be a part of
it," said Gochis. "Because of our help and information shows as well as
documentaries that are as cool and entertaining as they are informative,
Australian viewers will now be able to see specials and series they won't see
TechTV Australia will feature help and information series, documentaries,
outrageous fun, and specials -- all viewed through the prism of technology. A
sampling of TechTV's popular series includes:
Help and Information -
* "The Screen Savers" -- TechTV's daily variety show hosted by Leo Laporte and Patrick Norton that features guest interviews, celebrity appearances, field reports, product demonstrations and software reviews.
* "Tech Live" -- TechTV's daily news program that provides viewers with extensive coverage and in-depth analysis as it relates to industry trends, entertainment and consumer products.
* "Fresh Gear" -- A look at the coolest new products, from graphics cards and tablet PCs to personal hovercraft and virtual operating rooms. Fresh Gear features the latest products, advice on what to buy and what to bypass and a look into the technologies of tomorrow.
* "The Tech of ..." -- From the food we eat to the sports we play to the buildings where we work, technology has a profound impact on the way we live. This series goes behind the scenes of modern life and shows you the technology that makes it tick.
* "Frontiers of Construction" -- This series takes viewers into the heart of the science and technology revolution to the places where our future is being conceived. Exploring everything from the deepest tunnel to the tallest skyscraper; from the ocean floor to the earth's orbit and from the Arctic to the model suburb, this series features the innovations that offer people the safety and comfort of modern living.
* "Exhibit A" -- Each episode follows real detectives and forensic scientists as they unravel the mysteries of a chilling criminal case.Exhibit A explores the science that has the power to put suspects behind bars or set them free.
* "Nerd Nation" -- Misfits, mavericks, renegades and rebels unite in Nerd Nation. Forget about the pocket protectors and taped up eyeglasses that signify geeks of yesteryear -- the modern nerd puts the "pop" into popular culture.
Outrageous fun, specials
* "X-Play" -- Covering the games, the gamers and the gear that fuel video gaming mania, X-Play is jam-packed with sneak peeks at upcoming video game titles, uncensored reviews of new releases and feature stories on the people who create, conquer and live for the games.
* "TechTV Specials" -- These half-hour and hour-long specials are single-subject, original productions from the popular Tech Live news franchise and feature an in-depth look at the technology behind popular activities, current issues and cultural phenomena including "Lord of the Rings," "Best Innovations" and "Looking for Love."
Under the terms of the agreement, programming for TechTV Australia will be obtained through TechTV's International Network distributed via AsiaSAT 3.
(Craigs comment, Interesting seems like it won't be a direct feed but a new customized channel for Australia.)
ARY to launch in US with Indo-Pak cricket series
MUMBAI: It is not just Dubai-based Taj Television that is expecting to make a killing out of India's upcoming tour of Pakistan, India's first tour to Pakistan since 1989.
ARY Digital Network (also Dubai-based), which is joint telecast rights holder with Taj (separate territories) is launching its DTH services in the US on the Dish Network with this super high octane series. Dish expects to rake it in and has no qualms about playing up to the overarching "pop patriotism" that the Indian and Pakistani communities display in the West.
ARY has not held back from using war like metaphors in the way it has branded the series, terming it the LoC (Lions of Cricket and not Line of Control mercifully) series.
It may be recalled that when Sony Entertainment launched its events and movies channel MAX, it did so with the telecast of the Sharjah series in which both India and Pakistan were contenders.
ARY Digital holds the telecast rights for the US, UK, Europe, Middle East and Australia, a company spokesperson revealed. In the UK ARY is available on BSkyB, while in the Middle East it is on Pehla Plus (DTH) and E-Vision (cable).
(Craigs comment, Ary Digital is FTA via PAS10 ..cricket feeds have been seen in their mux)
Another kids channel PowerKidz on the horizon
MUMBAI: If 2003 was the year for news channels, this year may well turn out to be that for kids' channels.
Earlier there were just three in Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Splash (though the uncharitable would say the other two hardly count) providing kids with their daily dose of entertainment. Now the competition looks to be toughening and how with another kids channel wannabe having thrown its hat in the ring.
Data Quest Entertainment (DQE), soon to launch as the Indian marketing and distribution arm for a conglomerate of independent animation studios in the US, has drawn up plans to launch a kids' channel - PowerKidz.
DQE claims to be a pioneer in the multimedia & animation industry, specializing in high quality 2D animation, 3D animation, & gaming software for TV, movies, web & interactive software tools.
Targeting a launch in the last quarter of 2004 (post-Diwali), the company intends to offer fare that is a combination of animation and live action programming. "Within a period of six months the company plans to create and collate the programming and create the interstitials for the channel," offers DQE's marketing advisor Pratik Basu.
According to Basu, former CEO of Buena Vista Television, "there's always space for quality, more so, if it's affordable."
However, that is all in the future. DQE formally makes its entry on Indian television with Saahasa Baluru (Adventurous Kids) on ETV Telugu. The show launches on 31 January (next Saturday). "The programmes on ETV are a teaser trailer of what DQE is all about and has access to. It's only the tip of the iceberg," says Basu.
Basu says that DQE is in advanced talks with one of the big Hindi entertainment channels for showcasing its programming and will be making an announcement in this regard within the next ten days.
Touted as the "one-stop shop" to a veritable storehouse of children's programming, DQE has tied up with a number of independent content providers that include EM TV, Magma films, Comet Entertainment, Dream TV, Stanley Media, Mercury Film Works, Nelvana Productions, Cinar Animation, Amberwood Entertainment, Neptuno Animation, and Alphanim.
Leveraging the strength of its association with these international studios, DQE also plans to launch itself as their marketing and distribution arm in India in the months to follow, says Basu.
DQE claims to have a resource bank comprising management and animation professionals supported by the latest digital facilities. DQE also offers traditional flash animation and co-production service company in India today.
If the launch of Powerkidz goes ahead as planned, then Indian television may well end 2004 with as many as four new kids channels on the block. Cartoon Network sibling Pogo launched on 1 January. Then there is UTV which is targeting a mid-year launch for its channel while Sony Entertainment will be bringing in the Animax sometime this year. And of course there is the "Little Big Mouse" - The Disney Channel - which is slated to enter Indian air space in the last quarter of 2004.
Hands over your EYES if you don't want to read any paytv stuff...
Well the Foxtel announcement has livened up the newsgroups and message forums. The list I suggested yesterday was very accurate!
Most seem disappointed in the few new channels announced. I guess they were the same people that bought into the 150+ channels hype. Not many nitty gritty details were released I guess we have to monitor the news over the next few days to see what else is discussed. I wonder why they didn't announce the prices? did they fear a bit of a backlash from the public?
Any comments? send me an email on what you think of the New Foxtel Digital line-up and I will publish them tommorow. Also note if your an existing Foxtel subscriber or if you will sign up based on the new service that was announced.
There is a poll runnng at http://www.auspaytv.com.au/forums//index.php?showtopic=972&st=25&#entry1920
Interesting to note Foxtels share price DROPPED and Austars went up!
ABC Asia Pacific reported on NSS6 95E? on 12674V sr 6515 3/4.
Those that are having trouble with Al-Manar on B3 I am advised they are looking into to see if there is a problem somewhere.
The new Foxtel Digital stuff listed below. Total of 16 actual NEW channels, rest mix of ppv, time shift,radio,audio, interactive
Fuel (Xtreme Sports)
Lifestyle How to
Foxtel Box Office x27
Foxtel Air - 30x Digital Audio
From my Emails & ICQ
ABC Asia Pacific seen on NSS 6
From George C
Subject: New Vitual channel PID structure.
As you are aware by now we have made some changes to our channel PID
structure, Were sorry for the disruptions in service; however some good
news, we are not planning on making any more changes in the foreseeable
Here is some program stream PID info for those without Scientific
IOR program stream. Virtual Ch. 90 SA IRD's
Video PID 2460
Audio PID Ch1 ( Stereo) 2420
Audio PID Ch2 ( Stereo) 2422
Asiasat 2 program stream Virtual Ch. 100 SA IRD's
Video PID 2360
Audio PID Ch1 ( Stereo) 2320
Audio PID Ch2 ( Stereo) 2322
From Dharmesh Bamrolia
COMING SOON ... NEW HOLLYWOOD CHANNEL ON INSAT 3A, C BAND!!!
The new channel called "Cine World" for Hollywood Movie lovers will be started on Insat 3A in C band in pay mode in the start of FEB. 04.
But you can enjoy free movies some days on Channel Guide India on freq.3912 V and s.r.3030 at every night on Insat 3A.
So, enjoy movies before it goes for pay!
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E Thai TV Channel has moved from 12409 H to 12391 H, Fta, SR 5000, FEC 3/4,PIDs 4194/4195.(Asian beam)
Agila 2 146E 12661 H "Animax Philippines" has started regular transmissions on ,Nagravision, PIDs 169/116.
Palapa C2 113E 4080 H "Delta FM has replaced Smart FM", Fta, APID 662.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3920 H "Animax Philippines" has started regular transmissions on , PowerVu,PIDs 910/900.
FOXTEL Digital - Official Foxtel release
From Press Release
FOXTEL today released plans for the content of its soon to be launched FOXTEL Digital service, including an array of new channels and key interactive features that will change Australian television forever.
FOXTEL Digital is a totally new service which will revolutionise how Australians watch and experience television by giving them unparalleled choice, convenience and control over their viewing.
With key features never before seen in Australia, FOXTEL Digital will make you the master of what you watch. Choose from an amazing range of channels and programming. Choose the news you want to watch, when you want. Choose the camera angle you want to watch sport. Choose when you want to see a latest- release blockbuster movie. All with digital quality pictures and CD quality sound. All at the touch of a button on your FOXTEL Digital remote control.
Importantly, viewers will not need to purchase a new TV set to receive FOXTEL Digital, but can access all available features through their existing TV, via a new state-of-the-art digital set-top unit and remote control supplied and installed by FOXTEL.
FOXTEL Digital will ignite the take-up of digital television in Australia.
FOXTEL is now in the final stages of operational and technical testing for FOXTEL Digital and is committed to launching the new service in the first half of 2004. FOXTEL Digital's commercial launch date will be announced next month.
"Today, we sow the seed of a genuinely liberating digital television revolution for consumers in Australia," FOXTEL Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kim Williams, said.
"We have always challenged established norms and broken the mould of traditional television delivery where choice has been confined.
"FOXTEL Digital is television at the service of Australia."
With more than 130 channels and unique services at launch, FOXTEL Digital will include FOXTEL's current suite of subscription channels and a carefully selected wide range of compelling new channels, together with time-shifted channels that enable greater choice and convenience for viewers to enjoy their favourite programs.
Additionally, 30 CD quality audio music channels and 30 channels dedicated to providing the near-video-on-demand FOXTEL Box Office movie service are central to FOXTEL Digital.
FOXTEL Digital's channel line-up will give viewers:
* 10 movie services (including FOXTEL Box Office)
* 27 FOXTEL Box Office channels
* Eight sports channels (including the Main Event channel featuring pay-per-view boxing, wrestling and special events)
* Five kids channels
* Seven news channels
* Six music video channels and 30 audio music channels
* 11 documentary channels
* Eight lifestyle channels
* 14 general entertainment channels
* Three adult services including pay-per-view channels
* Two ethnic a-la carte channels
* Two Games channels
* One Digital Help Channel
The new channels which join FOXTEL's existing channel lineup include:
* Adventure One
* The Biography Channel
* Club [V]
* Country Music Channel
* Discovery Health Channel
* Discovery Science Channel
* Discovery Travel and Adventure Channel
* E! Entertainment
* Eurosport News
* How to Channel
* LifeStyle Food
* Nick Jr.
"FOXTEL Digital represents the most dramatic change to Australian home entertainment since the introduction of subscription television," FOXTEL Director of Television, Mr Brian Walsh, said.
"Significantly, the addition of new channels to FOXTEL Digital represents the most prolific and comprehensive selection of television brands available in the world. They are all here.
"We have secured the absolute best in television programming, for every interest, for every taste, for every age and from every genre. Entertainment to documentaries, new sports channels, children's channels, music choice and more.
"Renowned brands such as Discovery, E!, Biography, Nick Jr., VH1, to name a few, join channel extensions from three of the best subscription channel producers in Australia - FOX Sports, XYZ Entertainment, and FOXTEL itself.
"This is a carefully crafted programming ensemble. FOXTEL has secured, and Australians will enjoy, the best television from every corner of the world."
Also new to FOXTEL Digital will be FOXTEL Air, 30 digital-quality, stereo audio channels that cater to all music tastes and moods - from Light Classical, New Age and Top 100 to Just Rock, Smooth Café, Retro Beat, Latin Heat and Soul Train.
FOXTEL Digital will also feature 10 TimeShift channels that have been selected based on their popularity with subscribers. TimeShifts, which broadcast a single service on two different channels with a two-hour time difference, doubles subscribers' viewing choices at any point in time, and provide further opportunities to view favourite programs. These channels are highly popular with subscribers in other more established digital television markets such as the UK.
The TimeShift channels are:
* FOX8 + 2
* History + 2
* Comedy Channel + 2
* Fox Classics + 2
* Showtime 2
* Movie One + 2
* UKTV + 2
* TV1 + 2
* LifeStyle + 2
* Arena + 2
FOXTEL Digital's new channel line-up will give subscribers greater choice and value by allowing them to tailor their packages to better suit their viewing habits.
FOXTEL will announce full details of the pricing and packaging for its new digital service in a few weeks. FOXTEL will offer savings incentives to its subscribers through that new range of packages.
Importantly, the entry price to FOXTEL Digital will not exceed that of the current satellite basic package ($48.95 from March 1).
The key features of the new FOXTEL Digital service include:
* More choice in programming with more than 130 channels and unique services at launch.
* FOXTEL Digital Guide, an intuitive electronic program guide that allows subscribers to easily navigate around FOXTEL Digital and to plan their viewing with a simple but comprehensive on screen guide detailing all programs according to time, genre or channel. It even has program synopses and a memory/reminder function to recall and indicate what you have selected in advance to watch (up to seven days in advance).
* FOXTEL Box Office, a near-video-on-demand service with approximately 300 screenings per day of a range of blockbuster movie titles showing at frequent and convenient intervals - as often as every 15 to 30 minutes.
* Sky News Active, an interactive service allowing viewers to control and choose the news they want to view from eight live video and five live text screens.
* Sports Active, an interactive sports application which enables viewers to select multiple camera angles and match replays together with game statistics, player profiles and even different audio feeds on selected sports broadcasts.
* FOXTEL Gamesworld, offering subscribers two games channels and 10 different games with easy to play titles and games that test the mind.
* Digital quality pictures and CD quality sound are a given with FOXTEL digital on each and every service.
* Widescreen and AC3 Surround Sound: FOXTEL Digital will include more than 45 channels that will broadcast in 16:9 widescreen at launch and 13 channels with enhanced surround sound.
"Every FOXTEL Digital subscriber will have access to Sky News Active, Sports Active and FOXTEL Box Office. All are new, unique features that have been designed totally with the viewer in mind, giving them choice, convenience and control over their television viewing experience," FOXTEL Director of Digital, Mr Patrick Delany, said.
"News viewers will love being able to access news at the touch of a button, sports fans will love directing the action of their favourite sports, and movie fans can now have the latest release blockbuster films delivered direct to their homes, in widescreen and with surround sound, all at the click of their remote control.
"Wrapped around all these services is the intuitive and easy to use FOXTEL Digital Guide, which combined with the new FOXTEL remote control, will be the gateway for FOXTEL Digital subscribers to navigate this wondrous new universe and plan their viewing like never before."
FOXTEL Publicity and PR Manager
(02) 9200 1057
FOXTEL Director of Corporate Affairs
(02) 9200 1733
Official AUSTAR release on their Digital TV plans
From info release
AUSTAR today announced plans to enhance its digital satellite television service in regional Australia with the launch of New AUSTAR Digital. The new service will see the addition of twenty new channels plus BOX OFFICE, a brand new movie service, giving regional viewers more choice and greater flexibility in their television viewing experience.
The launch of New AUSTAR Digital follows the company’s substantially improved performance, which CEO John Porter attributes to careful business planning and execution. “Over the past few years, we have been refocusing on our core business and listening to our customers in order to realise the vision of growth that we have for our company”, Mr Porter said today. “By enforcing significant cost reductions, attracting the CHAMP investment group as our major new shareholder and taking advantage of beneficial new industry arrangements, we have positioned ourselves to be able to improve and revitalize our products and services. New AUSTAR Digital is the culmination of these efforts.”
Part of this re-focus has seen extensive customer research go into building the new line-up. ”We have really listened to what our customers want, and with that in mind, have been able to source the best possible product”, Mr Porter said.
New lifestyle-oriented channels include Discovery Health, Discovery Travel & Adventure, the HOW TO CHANNEL, Lifestyle FOOD and Ovation. Documentary fans will have a range of new channels to explore with Discovery Science, TechTV and Biography Channel. For music lovers there will be Club [V], MTV and VH1. Sport enthusiasts will find EUROSPORTNEWS, Adventure 1 and Fuel of interest while children will be entertained with Boomerang and Nick Jr. FOX News, entertainment channel E!, plus more movies with FOX Classics and MOVIE ONE TAKE TWO round out the new channels.
Soon after launch, New AUSTAR Digital plans to offer even more interactivity with the near video-on-demand BOX OFFICE service. The company is also working on additional interactive services, which are planned for later in the year.
As the first broadcaster in the Asia Pacific region to offer digital interactive television services, AUSTAR’s announcement today further cements the company’s continued investment in and improvement of its service offering in response to customer demand.
Mr Porter said, “With the launch of New AUSTAR Digital and exciting new interactive services on the way, 2004 is shaping up to be the most exciting year yet for AUSTAR’s regional Australian television viewers.”
Foxtel rolls out digital pay-TV
FOXTEL would roll out its digital Pay TV service in the next two and a half years by which time it would offer more than 130 channels and a range of interactive services, the company said today.
From its base of just over one million customers Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams said he believed Foxtel would have 35 to 40 per cent market penetration by 2008.
The company said Foxtel digital was a totally new service which would revolutionise how Australians watched and experienced television by giving them unparalleled choice, convenience and control over their viewing.
"Today, we sow the seed of a genuinely liberating digital television revolution for consumers in Australia," Mr Williams said.
Even though the start date and full pricing details were not revealed at today's launch Foxtel has previously given an undertaking to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that the price of a basic package would not exceed the existing price of $48.95 a month.
Mr Williams said that in line with its previous marketing both set top boxes and remote controls would be included in the package price.
When later questioned over the profitability of Foxtel, Mr Williams said he expected the business to be sustainable by 2006.
Included in the new offering will 30 CD quality audio music channels and 30 channels dedicated to providing the video-on-demand Foxtel Box Office movie service seen as essential to the success of the digital offering.
In addition there will be eight sports channels, five children's channels and seven news channels and six music video channels.
"Foxtel Digital represents the most dramatic change to home entertainment since the introduction of subscription television," Foxtel director of television Brian Walsh said.
"Significantly the addition of new channels to Foxtel Digital represents the most prolific and comprehensive selection of television brands available in the world."
These brands included Discovery, E!, Biography, Nic Jr and VH1.
Foxtel said its new service would also feature 10 TimeShift channels, which broadcast a single service on two different channels with a two-hour time difference, based on their popularity with subscribers.
Foxtel said the service doubles subscribers' viewing choices at any point in time and provides further opportunities to view favourite programs.
"These channels are highly popular with subscribers in other more established digital television markets such as the UK," Foxtel said.
The company said it would announce full details of the pricing and packaging for its new digital service in a few weeks.
Playboy TV International and Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting Sign Distribution Deal for Hong Kong
From Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Playboy TV International (PTVI), the leading global provider of high-quality, erotic adult entertainment programming, and Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting Limited, have concluded a distribution agreement for Playboy TV to be carried on Galaxy's new, all-digital pay-TV platform -- exTV -- to be launched in Hong Kong in February.
Playboy TV will be available 24-hours a day to exTV's subscriber base as a monthly subscription service. The premium channel broadcasts branded programming with Chinese subtitles, including the most alluring Playboy-produced movies, original series such as "Naughty Amateur Home Videos" and "Totally Busted," magazine formatted shows including "World of Playboy" and "Sexcetera," and, world renowned dramas such as "Red Shoe Diaries" and Playmate specials. Playboy TV Hong Kong features sensual programming tailored towards the viewer preferences of region.
Mark Rudolph, Managing Director of PTVI said, "We are very excited to be a part of the exTV platform and are looking forward to expanding our local presence in Hong Kong's growing digital market. As the country's most recent broadcast project, exTV is poised to be a prominent contender within the television industry and we are pleased to align our programming within such a growth-oriented company. The Company's advanced technology will ensure Playboy TV subscribers enjoy their total TV viewing experience."
Jim Blomfield, Chief Executive Officer of Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting added, "We are pleased to be able to offer Playboy TV, a top international brand in adult entertainment, as part of our pay-TV service. It will certainly help to enhance the variety of quality programming and constitute an essential part of the complete entertainment which we aim to provide for the Hong Kong audience."
With programming currently airing in over 150 countries and territories worldwide, and established Playboy TV networks in over 70 countries, the Playboy brand remains a premiere programming choice amongst global network and satellite providers seeking adult-themed entertainment.
INDIA: Tata stars in Murdoch's DTH
Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV and the Tata group have inked a deal to launch direct-to-home (DTH) TV services in the country
NEW DELHI: Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV and the Tata group have inked a deal to launch direct-to-home (DTH) TV services in the country. The joint venture is likely to kick off in the next four to six months.
Tata Sons will hold 80 per cent stake in the JV entity, and Star will have the remaining 20 per cent, directly or through its subsidiary Space TV.
A statement from Tata Sons confirmed the formation of the venture: “The Tata group and Star group look forward to building India ’s largest digital TV platform offering a range of channels with interactive features and services.”
Experts estimate an investment of Rs 400 crore in the project. Star has already done the groundwork for the venture. However, the JV proposal is subject to government approval.
DTH works through a table-fan sized satellite dish which costs Rs 720, a digital decoder (Rs 3,000) and a SIM card. Monthly subscription would be around Rs 300-400. The dish connects to the decoder, which links it to the TV.
The Tata-Star venture will open up a new alternative for cable TV homes to access channels bypassing the local cableman. Experts feel this will bring an end to the ongoing feud between Star and Zee to reach an agreement for distribution of bouquets in their DTH networks.
Subhash Chandra’s ASC Enterprises already has a DTH licence, but it has to focus its service in rural areas as foreign broadcasters like Star, Sony and ESPN have no deals with it. ASC has over 35,000 DTH subscribers in the country.
"Tata’s entry into the DTH space is good for the industry. It will bring in stability as well as erase suspicion of a dummy venture run by a foreign broadcaster," says a domestic broadcaster. Industry observers said while management control will be with the Tatas, real control will rest with the technology provider. It has to be seen whether the Tatas go in for Star’s global NDS tech platform.
Space TV was originally formed by some employees of Star with an equity of Rs 10 crore. The venture was disbanded following controversies surrounding its ownership.
A DTH venture in the country needs a minimum 51 per cent Indian equity. The rest can be held by FIIs, but a 20 per cent cap has been placed on holdings by foreign media firms.
Live satellite related chat tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd onwards. Who knows someone may come in and leak the Foxtel new channel line-up!
Let's get the odds and ends out of the way first...Tamil TV on B3 has encrypted. Cnn has been reported fta on UHF in some parts of NZ, obviously testing getting ready for switching the service over to Maori Television.
SexzTV will use Nss 6 95E 12726 V Sr 27500 Fec 7/8
Tomorrow Foxtel will announce their "Digital" 100+ channel service. There might be a chance that to prevent any possible problems at the media conference (10 a.m Syd time, Live on Sky News) that Foxtel may run fta on C1 for a while. Might be worth a check in the morning. Shouldn't be to hard to fill the news section of the site tomorrow.
My pick for what Foxtel plans to offer is below.
Lifestyle Food & Leisure
Discovery Travel and adventure
Sky News Australia
Sky News UK
Fox Sport 1
Fox Sport 2
Fox Sport 3
Fox Sport Classic
Fox Box Office 1-28
Adults Only 1
Adults Only 2
Special Events channel
Radio/Audio services 1-30
Sports Active with 5 different Camera views
Sky News mosaic, Sky News Active with choice of Headlines, Top Story, Weather, Sport, Vote
Foxtel Interactive Games Portal with 15-20 games split into themes, Mind Games, Educational Games,Arcade Games
Blockbuster movies to be time staggerd by 30 mins x4
Decoder for "Digital" supplied as part of the service no extra cost
From my Emails & ICQ
From various 19/01
B1 12370H Sr 6620/6625 Mundine fight
B1 12367V sr 3000 crappy pic Herbalife loads as "Pas2 tv"
PAS 10 3941 V 6111 INDIA Vs AUS cricket feed for PAS2 TV2- PowerVu
PAS 10 4103 H 6111 WEST INDIES Vs S.AFRICA cricket feed -fta
From Steve Hume
I'm a Celebrity, get me out of here.
The U.K. version of "I'm a Celebrity, get me out of here" started today
I was told. Back in the hinterland of the northern NSW coast.
Last year, both the USA and U.K. went up on PAS. Might be worth looking
at in the early morning.
(Craigs comment, B3 as well?)
From the Dish
Lyngsat not in yet
Pay-TV goes to new level
FOOTY fans will be able to call up player statistics while watching the big game under a new pay-TV package to be unveiled by Foxtel tomorrow.
And movie lovers will be offered hotel-style videos on demand.Interactive sports and news channels will feature among more than 100 channels available under one of the biggest shake-ups in Australian television history.
A hotel-style video on demand service allows movie buffs to rent their favourite film on a one-off basis without having to take up Foxtel's movie channels.
Foxtel will issue subscribers to its new digital package with a set-top box and special remote control.
Using their old television, viewers will find themselves able to scroll through player statistics or their preferred topics of news at the click of a button.
A spokesman for Foxtel said yesterday the expanded service would appeal to sports lovers and news junkies.
"We are going to be announcing more than 100 channels of new services including interactive pictures," the spokesman said.
"This will be totally new to the Australian consumer and like nothing that has even been seen in this industry before."
The spokesman said new and existing Foxtel subscribers would be able to cross over to the beefed-up service.
Foxtel will announce the cost of the service and its availability date at the launch tomorrow.
About 23 per cent of Australian households subscribe to pay-TV, but the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association believes the digital launch could increase subscribers to 40 per cent of the population by 2008.
"We see this as a great initiative for the industry as a whole and expect it will encourage more people to take up pay-TV in the next five years," ASTRA spokeswoman Debra Richards said.
Conax expands in India
Turner Broadcasting System is to use the Conax CAS5 conditional access technology for broadcasting the new 24-hour kids channel Pogo as a direct to air operation for Indian cable networks.
Positioned as multi-genre entertainment channel for kids and their families, the channel was launched earlier this month. To be broadcast via the PAS-10 satellite, the channel is part of Zee Telefilms and Turner International's distribution alliance.
Conax's Alastair Hamilton, executive Vice-President, Distribution Technology, TBS International, said: "Conax's recent popularity in Asia, and the ease with which we could integrate a Conax encrypted channel into our existing multiplex, made them our first choice."
Conax opened a subsidiary in India to serve India and the Asian region with technical operation services and local support last year. The development followed the Conax tie-up with the Essel Group (the parent company of Zee Telefilms‚ SitiCable) and Cablecomm for delivering conditional access service solutions in India. In addition to its technical operation and local support, Conax also plans to start software development and a testing operation of set-top boxes in India.
(Craigs comment, interesting they are not using PowerVu.)
Adverts for Foxtel "Digital" have been seen today on various channels such as Sky news.
I will post tomorrow what I think the channel lineup might be based on what has been said and seen testing etc.
All Foxtel channels on C1 were testing fta this morning.
Sky NZ switching off CNN from UHF service as planned February 29th gee hope they drop the price at the same time. I bet the push the digital service hard over the next few weeks in effort to get people to upgrade to it.
Latest satfacts magazine has arrived , includes Article on low quality economy Rg6 cable, Satwork 3688 blindsearch receiver review, Asiasat 2 "Christmas Hiccup", FM band transmission antennas, highly detailed day by day log of the C1 Foxtel move to "Digital" 5 pages!
From my Emails & ICQ
From Jeff (W.A)
South Africa V West Indies is on Pas 10
4103Mhz horizontal SR 6111 FEC 3/4
West Indian commentary on left channel first pair
South African commentary on right channel
no commentary on left channel second pair
director on right..
Jeff in Perth
From Satellite info
W.I. V S.A. Feed is on Pas 2
Nice 7.5 Meg Feed
3965 V 6110 3/4 Vpid 308 Apid 256
Great Fan of your website , I am based in Hong Kong and visit your website daily.
Live Cricket : S.Africa Vs W. Ind [Test Match] from yesterday and even now 9:11 PM HK Time there is live cricket going on on the following
Panam sat 7-10 4104M H s/r 6117 Vpid : 0308 Apid : 0256 2 Apid: 0257 PCR : 8190
Very strong signal with 8 Feet solid Dish and Coship 3188C
From SteveJ (NZ)
If anyone wants to watch some of the Dakar Cross Country , its
screening this morning on RFO , on Intelsat 701 4.086 Ghz LHC .
( an understanding of French would be handy )
From John Mcdermot 18/01
Big Day Out Feed
B1 12380H Sr 6664 Astralinks
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3950 V "UBS 1-3" have started on , enc., SR 10125, FEC 3/4, PIDs 53/54-73/74.(korean? encryption not known)
Optus B3 156E 12552 V Occasional feeds on , SR 5632, FEC 3/4.
NSS 6 95E 11677 V New SR for the test card 2000.
Insat 3A 93.5E 11510 H "Zee Music" has left , PIDs 702/703, replaced by a Zee Interactive info card.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3631 H New SR for TV Lanka on : 3653.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3920 H An Animax Philippines promo has started, Fta, PIDs 910/900.
Learn to play the game, Fox Sports, before our fingers do the walking
We are about to get more, more, more television choices. Details will be announced by Foxtel on Wednesday. Australia will become the latest 100-channel society. But this techno-river is simply growing wider, not deeper.
If you want an example of why four out of five Australian households are not willing to pay at least $40 a month for cable TV's supposed Aladdin's cave of programming, you only need to be watching Fox Sports Australia, which is the jewel in the crown of Foxtel basic programming, yet behaves like Fox Sheltered Workshop.
At 8:56am on Thursday, January 8, Fox Sports had just completed broadcasting a live Premier League soccer match from Britain, the sort of programming that Fox Sports is good at delivering. But as soon as the network had to do something other than run the live feed from London, it botched the job.
At 8:57, the results of a full round of Premier League matches, just completed, were flashed onto the screen from London. I use the word "flashed" because at Fox Sheltered Workshop inattention to detail is a way of life. It pulled the plug the instant the results came on screen, to be replaced by three minutes of mindless promotions for Fox Sports that the network had already run repeatedly. This filler is even worse than advertising.
It was a small thing, but it's the sort of butchery that happens on an hourly basis at Fox Sheltered Workshop. The network, which charges a great deal for its services, is no more than a schedule. Its news bulletins are pathetic. Its best programming is often shown in the middle of the night and repeated with no logic. Its on-air talent is mainly try-hard drones, with a few exceptions like Robbie Slater and Greg Martin. Its schedule is packed with dross and padding and self-promotion - dead time - hours and hours of it every day.
Provoked by this latest gratuitous stupidity, at 9:05am on Thursday, January 8, I called the office of the chief executive of the network, whom I had been told was David Malone. I wanted to get Fox's side of the story. I gave my details to Malone's personal assistant and told her I was writing a column about cable TV and had problems with Fox Sports. Ten days later, as I write this column, I've not heard from Malone or anyone else at Fox Sports.
As I say, attention to detail is not the strength of this network. It is a joint venture owned by the ubiquitous News Corp and PBL. It is also a de facto monopoly and acts like one. The only alternative on cable is the American sports network ESPN, for which I pay Foxtel a $100 annual premium for its professionalism and brilliant news broadcasts, which make Fox Sports look fourth-rate by comparison.
While on the subject of attention to detail, when I called the office of CEO of Foxtel, Kim Williams, for this column, I received a call back within 10 minutes. It was Gary Furness, head of corporate communications, who said Williams was in a meeting and asked how he could help.
On Wednesday, Foxtel will unveil what it is going to do with the more than 100 channels it will be delivering, thanks to the $550 million it will invest in digital technology. Most of the new channels, at least 30 of them, will be to run movies, available on a pay-per-view basis. This will be the big driver of digital TV. It's what doubled cable subscriptions for Sky TV in Britain, from 3.5 million households to 7 million.
"We will premiere every single movie shown on TV," Furness told me. First-run movies would become available digitally on Foxtel about six months after their cinema release, and be priced to match video and DVD rentals stores, with the convenience of doing it all with the remote control.
Will it be easy to navigate? "It has to be," replied Furness. What is radical about digital is not the programming but the ability to deliver yet another step in mass media's progression from passive to active. Weather, news, sports, reality shows and gambling can all be much more customised on digital. Just don't expect too much in Wednesday's announcement about new access to new content, or the ability to bypass shoddy bottlenecks like Fox Sports. Mostly, it will be about new ways of getting more of the same. Much more. Of the same.
"Express-AM3" (planned for launch)
A new broadcasting and communications Express-AM3 satellite is produced by NPO PRIKLADNOI MECHANIKI named after Academician M. Reshetnev jointly with Alcatel Space under the order of Russian Satellite Communications Company. The satellite is produced in the context of the Program for Renovation of National Constellation to be executed over a time period of 20022005.
The satellite is designed to provide a package of communications services (digital TV, telephony, videoconferencing, data transmission, the Internet access) and to deploy satellite networks by applying VSAT technology.
The Express-AM3 spacecraft will be equipped with up-to-date antenna systems, that will provide high-quality communications and uniform coverage in C- and Ku- bands.
Sberbank of the Russian Federation takes an active part in financing the Program for Renovation of National Constellation
(Craigs comment, what is interesting about this bird is it has Ku steerable spot beams that can service Australia or even NZ...)
Indian, Pakistani channels gain popularity in South Africa
Indian and Pakistani satellite television channels such as NDTV 24x7, Doordarshan, GEO TV and ARY network are gaining popularity in South Africa, where they can be accessed free of charge.
Viewers do not have to pay for the channels because the large footprint of satellites targeting North Africa and the Middle East also covers South Africa.
For an enterprising young Indian electronics enthusiast here, this provides an ideal opportunity to start a lucrative business.
Having had an interest in electronics since childhood, Zubair Modak was one of the first installers of satellite systems when the first satellite started beaming over South Africa in the early 1990s.
In 2000, Modak went to Germany to study further and found to his amazement that the C-Band services had been available there for years already at no subscription cost.
A probe soon revealed that he could do this in South Africa as well, and on his return he started experimenting with imported equipment.
The expatriate Pakistani community soon became aware of the opportunity to pick up Urdu channels such as GEO TV, and the ARY network of several channels in Urdu.
Within a short space of time, Modak was having difficulty keeping up with requests for installations and roped in three people to assist him.
Many customers are surprised when the team led by Zubair Modak installs a new satellite dish and also sets up a decoder bearing his surname as the brand.
After the Asians, the Somali, Egyptian and Moroccan communities in South Africa discovered the Arabsat satellite that could be picked up free, with channels from Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries.
In the local Indian community, news channel NDTV 24x7, in English from New Delhi, and the international service of national broadcaster Doordarshan are among the more popular of many channels from South Asia.
The demand became so great that Modak negotiated with a German manufacturer to import satellite dishes and decoders bearing his surname as the brand, and is currently using a second-generation decoder with advanced facilities.
But in the effort to provide ever-better technology, Modak is already preparing to import machines with a hard drive with which you can watch one channel while recording another.
Other innovations soon to be made available locally are satellite decoders with DVD players and large plasma screens which will cost just over half of the current cost of about 35,000 rands.
Amid all the success, Modak has one regret - that legislation does not permit the kind of cable TV enterprises that he saw being used successfully in India during a visit their two years ago.
"That is so successful that there is no reason why we could not do it here," Modak told IANS, adding that the technology he had seen in India was "amazingly impressive".
"Guys there start up a cable service from scratch in a matter of days and the intense competition ensures that customers benefit from both the cost point of view and quality content. I wish we could do that here!"
But what about possible regulation that could control the free channels that are currently received, or even the possibility that some might shut down?
"I have heard that the broadcasting authorities in South Africa are working on some sort of regulation for satellite services, but I think implementing control of services from outside the country which happen to broadcast into our area because of the broad satellite footprint will be quite difficult," Modak said.
"It is certainly also possible that some services might shut down, but then others keep coming on line all the time."
For now, he lives by the motto: "Satellite is my life and the sky is the limit!"
Sunday no update
A few news items today, how many channels Foxtel will have only they know! I have noticed the media hype one minute its 100 channels the next 150 channels. I reckon 75 actual TV channels and the rest will be a mix of Audio services (30) Radio (say 15) PPV Movies (30) plus various interactive services.
The new WorldSat to go at 172E sounds interesting. Ku and Cband with very wide coverage and high power.
Sexztv promo starting on NSS6 next week?
From my Emails & ICQ
Hindi Language religious channel of Zee Network has been stated named Jagaran on satellite Insat 3A, with following parameters:-
Channel Name: Jagaran
Frequency 11639, H Symbol rate 27500
From Joe 16/01
Pas2 Feed seen 3901 H sr 30800
Live feed from Chile of Uruguay -v - Paraguay under 23s olympic qualifier match.
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "Pili Satellite TV" is now Fta.
Optus C1 156E The Austar mux has moved from 12278 H to 12305 H, SR 30000, FEC 3/4.
Optus C1 156E 12638 H "The Comedy Channel and Arena" are now encrypted.
Optus C1 156E 12689 H "The Biography Channel" has started on , Fta, SR 27800, FEC 3/4,PIDs 1011/1012. The test cards have left.
Worldsat 1 108.2E AAP 1 has changed name to Worldsat 1.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3806 V "Guangxi People's Radio" has started on , Fta, APID 257, right channel.
Insat 3A 93.5E 3917 V "Ahimsaa" has started regular transmissions, Fta, SR 3030,FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3614 V The test card has left .
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3610 V The test card has left .
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3614 V "PTV 1 and Radio Pakistan" have left , replaced by a test card.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3652 H The TV Lanka Channel 2 test card is now encrypted.
30 New Audio services coming to Foxtel
Thirty new audio channels will be available to Foxtel subscribers as part of the pay TV operator's basic digital package, set to be unveiled on Wednesday. The consumer program launch, expected to be held at Foxtel's Pyrmont offices in Sydney, will showcase a line-up of between 150 and 160 digital channels, including expanded sports, news and entertainment offerings.
Foxtel has said it is on track to begin broadcasting digital TV in the first half of this year, after securing a $550million funding facility from Commonwealth Bank and ABN Amro on Tuesday.
One digital channel supplier, who declined to be named, said that Foxtel had asked all participants to have their services ready by February1. "I don't think that's when they'll launch ... but they want to make sure all their ducks are lined up ahead of time," the supplier said. A launch date as early as March has been suggested by others in the industry.
Foxtel sent an email to its suppliers yesterday morning advising them of next week's consumer launch.
Although Foxtel subscribers can now access 12 audio channels, the 30 new channels are expected to offer a wider range of music and be targeted at narrower demographic ranges. Subscribers can listen to music on a television set, or by plugging a stereo into the back of the set-top decoder box.
Satellite Music Australia, the company supplying the audio channels, is also expected to offer "meta-data" services, such as the name of the song, its artist and the album, while the track is playing. Full interactive jukebox type services, where subscribers could select what tracks they want their television to play, are being considered.
Satellite Music's development of the 30 audio channels for Foxtel is also good news for subscribers to regional pay-TV group Austar, who can now access 24 music channels provided by the local technology group.
A number of Foxtel's other digital channels will be devoted to what the pay-TV provider is terming "near video on demand", where the same films on various channels start within 10 minutes of each other.
(Craigs comment, one minute its 100 channels, the next its 120 now 150 is the latest media figure, hmmmmm)
150 channels, but just what's on?
Bad news for couch potatoes: watching the box is about to become a little more work.
After a decade of hype, Foxtel is due to reveal on Wednesday what Australia's 1.5 million pay TV viewers can expect from interactive TV.
The move to interactive is part of Foxtel's $550 million digital upgrade. It will triple the number of channels on offer from 50 to about 150 - the hope being that the deluge of content will be enough to persuade the 76 per cent of homes without pay TV to sign up.
Of those 150-odd channels, about 30 are expected to be dedicated to Movies on Demand, the rest will offer a firehose of programming.
The problem of navigating that gush of content has created a sudden need for interactive TV - viewers will need a very smart electronic guide for fast browsing through scheduled programming.
But the UK experience has shown there's a lot more to interactive TV than electronic guides, and Australia trails years behind.
After five years, Sky Digital, the biggest player, has more than 7 million interactive subscribers in Britain. Sky spokesman Robert Fraser said about 70 per cent of these viewers used interactive.
On average, £17 ($40) of the £366 a Briton spends on pay TV each year goes on interactive extras. That may not sound much, but collectively it makes £120 million ($284 million) for Rupert Murdoch's satellite pay TV operation. Little wonder that Foxtel (25 per cent owned by News Limited) and the Nine network are keen to replicate it here.
But it will take time to develop compelling interactive content and at this stage Foxtel is playing it down.
"The main driver for digital take-up will still be an expanded choice of programming," said spokesman Mark Furness.
"The interactivity will be about enhanced TV viewing, for example with live sports and news, it'll give more control over programming and more ways to watch," he said.
In the UK, Sky Digital offers two forms of interactive TV. The first, "enhanced programming", is usually closely tied to the program being watched and supports choice of camera angles during sports events or access to match statistics and player profiles. For this, viewers don't pay extra.
Then there's true two-way interactive TV, which requires an online connection to the program provider. In the case of satellite pay TV, that connection is usually provided by a phone line. So when viewers vote on an issue of the day, or decide to buy a concert ticket while watching a music channel, the set-top box makes a call to send the information.
This form of interactive TV provides the highest revenue potential for the industry - if they can make it compelling enough.
According to Mr Fraser, interactive games such as Tomb Raider and Tetris are among the most successful in luring viewers.
"Some are free, others are pay-per-play (Tomb Raider costs 75 pence per session) or you can get a one-day pass for unlimited access to all games," he said.
Other reports have suggested that interactive betting is even more popular, possibly accounting for as much as half of Sky's revenue.
Among the big attractions is Sky Bet Millions, a form of interactive bingo that costs £1 per game to play but offers a £1 million jackpot.
Australian viewers shouldn't hold their breath, however. Under Australian legislation, while betting on sports events via the internet or interactive TV is allowed within state licensing laws - and is expected to be very big on interactive TV - casino style gambling games are not.
Austar shines after broker report
REGIONAL pay-TV group Austar has had a welcome start to the year with a bullish broker's report driving its shares 29 per cent higher yesterday.
UBS media analyst Tony Wilson lifted his 12-month price forecast from 60c to 90c and changed his recommendation from "neutral" to "buy". That prompted a 13c surge in the share price already one of the market's best performers of 2003 after hitting lows of 11c with the stock closing at 57c.
Mr Wilson said Austar would benefit from the imminent move by its metropolitan rival Foxtel to upgrade its service to digital.
He said this move could help lift Austar's penetration in regional markets from 18.8 per cent to 19.7 per cent within a year and 22.7 per cent by 2010.
Mr Wilson also touted Aus tar, which is majority-owned by the Champs private equity fund, as a possible focus for corporate activity this year. "I think a lot of media companies will be having a good look at this thing."
SES Forms Pacific Satellite Operator
TOKYO -- At a press conference in Tokyo today, SES AMERICOM, an SES GLOBAL Company (Luxembourg and Frankfurt Exchanges: SESG), formally announced the formation of WORLDSAT, LLC and a long term agreement to provide services to Connexion by Boeing on WORLDSAT-3, a satellite featuring a customized Ku-band payload designed to address the unique requirements of broadband communications for the transpacific traveller. The satellite is being manufactured by Alcatel Space of France and will be launched by the end of 2005. Operating from 172 degrees East, the satellite will offer high-quality service to Japanese clients and others in the Pacific Ocean and Asian regions.
WORLDSAT was created in 2003 by SES GLOBAL, the world's largest satellite company, as a subsidiary of SES AMERICOM, the New Jersey-based operating company and the largest and highest quality supplier of satellite services in the United States. WORLDSAT provides customers with applications as diverse as mobile communications, broadcasting, internet connections, and data networks, as well as added value with unparalleled connections to the premier regional satellite fleets including SES AMERICOM and SES ASTRA in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The newly-formed business unit has satellites currently operating at 108.2 degrees East (WORLDSAT-1, formerly AAP-1), 172 degrees East (Spacenet-4, 174.3 degrees West (TDRS-5), 47 degrees West (TDRS-6), and 37.5 degrees West (Satcom-C1 ).
WORLDSAT President Andreas Georghiou also announced details of the hybrid C/Ku-band satellite WORLDSAT-3, formerly AMC-13. The Ku-band payload features 20 high-powered, 138 watt channels, uniquely arranged to cover all major airline corridors over the Pacific. The C-band payload features 18 high-powered, 80 watt channels permitting reception by sub-2m antennas. The satellite's planned coverage ... from Alaska to New Zealand ... and from California to Malaysia ...and unparalleled levels of redundancy on major spacecraft subsystems ... make it significantly superior to any other satellite in the region.
"Connexion by Boeing, a subsidiary of the Boeing Company, and their airline customers are changing the long-distance travel experience paradigm ... we are pleased that our satellite design and operations expertise will significantly contribute to that important paradigm shift, " said Andreas Georghiou, President of WORLDSAT. He continued "As the demand for global connectivity by Connexion by Boeing and other customers continues to grow, WORLDSAT offers seamless, highly reliable communication links reaching every important market for broadcasters, ISPs, private data networks, telecommunications companies and mobile and fixed broadband services providers. These most recent developments are a continuation of relationships built on more than a decade of relationships between AMERICOM and JSAT, NHK and SCC. "
In preparation for potential business opportunities in Japan by WORLDSAT, SES AMERICOM, the new company's parent, obtained a Class 1 Telecommunications Business License from the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications (MPHPT), and has established itself as a licensed operator of an earth station located in Yamaguchi, Japan.
Dean Olmstead, President and CEO of SES AMERICOM, said, "We are privileged and honored to join the highest ranks of telecommunications providers here in Japan. We have plans to be an active participant in the Japanese telecommunications industry through our newly-formed WORLDSAT business, supporting both Japanese and U.S.-based customers with connectivity and bandwidth services."
Alcatel Space to deliver hybrid satellite
Alcatel Space today signed a contract to build and deliver, in orbit, a new high-powered hybrid C/Ku-band telecommunications satellite for WorldSat. The satellite, dubbed WorldSat-3, will operate over the pacific region.
According to Alcatel Space, the satellite's Ku-band payload has been designed to meet the particular requirements of Boeing's Connexion, the in-flight high-speed Internet access service
In addition, the C-band payload will be available to broadcasters, cable programmers, Internet service providers, government agencies, educational institutions, carriers and private networks for next generation communication and content distribution solutions. The in-orbit handover of the satellite will occur by end of 2005.
Based on a Spacebus 4100 platform, WorldSat -3 will feature an 18 transponder C-band payload and a 20 channel Ku-band payload covering all major airline corridors over the Pacific.
From this single satellite, communications can be sent from California to Bangladesh, from as far north as Alaska in the US and as far south as Australia and New Zealand, and all points in between.
The hybrid satellite, positioned at 172 degrees East Longitude, will serve local, transcontinental and transoceanic customers across the Pacific region, including Western North America, East Asia, the South Pacific, Alaska and Hawaii and provide links to the world's premier regional satellite systems.
SES Global Forms Worldsat, Signs Deals With Boeing
From Satellite today
Luxembourg-based SES Global [Luxembourg: SESG] has formed a new unit called Worldsat, which will operate as a unit of its U.S. subsidiary SES Americom. In addition, SES has signed a long-term agreement to provide satellite services to Connexion by Boeing on Worldsat-3, a satellite that will feature a customized Ku-band payload designed to address the requirements of broadband communications for the transpacific traveler. Boeing [NYSE: BA] will use the Worldsat-3 capacity to fulfill an agreement signed with ANA (All Nippon Airways) to install the Connexion by Boeing Internet service on the Japanese air carrier's long-haul fleet of aircraft.
The Worldsat-3 satellite is being manufactured by Alcatel Space, a subsidiary of Paris-based Alcatel [NYSE: ALA], and will be launched by the end of 2005. Operating from 172 degrees East Longitude, the satellite will offer services to Japanese clients and others in the Pacific Ocean and Asian regions. Based on a Spacebus 4100 platform, Worldsat-3 will feature an 18 transponder C-band payload and a 20 channel Ku-band payload covering all major airline corridors over the Pacific. The newly formed Worldsat unit has satellites currently operating at 108.2 degrees East (Worldsat-1, formerly AAP-1), 172 degrees East (Spacenet-4), 174.3 degrees West (TDRS-5), 47 degrees West (TDRS-6), and 37.5 degrees West (Satcom-C1).
Broadcaster WorldSpace set to go pay
THE satellite-based free-to-air digital audio broadcaster, WorldSpace, is set to go pay. The radio service will be repositioned by the end of this month, confirmed Mr Sanjay Ramakrishnan, Head, Marketing. The broadcaster also plans `Experience centres' in four metros and in all major cities, he told Business Line.
WorldSpace is at present offering 30 channels; all have turned pay now. "We had converted some of our WorldSpace branded channels into subscription-based ones in 2002; and we learnt a lot from our experience. Now we are confident that we can do well with the subscription business in India. So, with renewed vigour, we converted all our channels into pay in one bouquet," he said.
Subscription to the WorldSpace package would be Rs 1,200 a year for new customers. "But, as a gesture of appreciation, our early citizens can listen to WorldSpace free of cost till the end of 2004," says Mr Bharath Chari, Head, Strategy.
The main idea behind the repositioning drive is to create more awareness among consumers. WorldSpace realised that there are four types of consumers. There is a section of people who do not have a clue about WorldSpace. The second kind are those who have heard of it, but do not know the kind of service it provides. The third set are people who know about WorldSpace but do not know how to access it, while the fourth type consists of those who knows everything about it but are reluctant to buy a receiver because they have not experienced it. "Our drive will address all of them," says Mr Ramakrishnan.
As of now, it is planning to open at least three experience centres each in four metros and major cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad. "We are planning one centre in each city on our own, and at least two by our franchisees," he says. According to him, the first such centre will come up in Bangalore by the month-end on a trial basis. Based on the feedback it receives, other centres will be designed.
After repositioning, it will be virtually ads-free. Says Mr Chari, "We in WorldSpace are bullish on the market. We know our customers are pretty demanding. They see no reason why they should pay to have commercial spots interrupting the flow of music. They want advertising-free entertainment, so we have decided to do away with ads."
WorldSpace has, so far, sold close to 55,000 systems in India, and has around 12,000 subscribers now. It hopes to reach at least two lakh households by this year-end. It has plans to launch another new "economy model" receiver with a price tag of less than Rs 4,000 soon.
"Our programme line is really very strong. Recently, the Sahara group took four channels (Sahara Swar-1,2,3,4) on our platform. One of them will be used to broadcast music in Mumbai suburban trains, for which the group has procured a licence from the Western Railway. We are planning more regional language channels. At present, we have seven Hindi channels, two Tamil and one Malayalam," says Mr Chari. WorldSpace recently tied up with Accel-ICIM to be its national partner in customer-care as far as installation and service divisions are concerned.
Speaking on its financials, without revealing any precise figures, Mr Chari said the broadcaster is still in investment mode. "Though our investment on infrastructure development is almost complete, we plan to invest more, especially in 2004, in customer acquisition. We hope to break even by 2006," he said.
According to him, the company's plan to have an uplinking facility in India has been put on hold. It now has the facility in Singapore.
Sorry about no update today...back Saturday
Nothing to say up here. News is quiet as well.
From my Emails & ICQ
B1 Basketball Feed
12380 H 6625 3/4
704x576 4:3 1002kbps
NUNYA FB - B1 Default Provider
Maori TV website
From the Dish
Agila 2 146E 12661 H "Animax has replaced CNN Financial Network" , Nagravision,PIDs 169/116.(Dream mux)
Palapa C2 113E 4080 H "Ar-Rahman Channel" is still Fta.
Telkom 1 108E 3500 H "Ar-Rahman Channel" has started on , Irdeto 2, PIDs 659/658.
Insat 3A 93.5E 4140 V Occasional NSTPL feeds on , SR 3030, FEC 3/4.
ST 1 88E 3632 V All channels in the TV Star mux are encrypted again, except Da Ai TV.
Yamal 202 49E Strong test carriers on 3730 L and 3890 L.(Can anyone in W.A go down that low?)
Battle for TV racing rights all a bit ritzy
THE racing industry would have complete ownership of a personality and entertainment driven channel if Ten Tendigital wins one of Australian television broadcasting's most intriguing battles.
The UK-based television production company was one of four suitors yesterday to court ThoroughVisioN (TVN) which has secured the broadcast rights for the Sydney and Melbourne race clubs and promised to revolutionise racing with the advent of a second channel.
Perrin Legal, comprised of former Billabong surfwear chief executive Matthew Perrin, his brother Scott Perrin and Gary Burns, is understood to have offered to create an alternative channel for TVN which would allow them to retain up to 30 per cent ownership in the new channel.
Also making presentations were Telstra and Sky Channel, the TAB-owned entity which has the NSW racing rights until March 4 and is widely considered likely to retain them.
Advertising executive John Singleton and Fox Sports had also been flagged as potential bidders but they did not attend the Sydney meeting. Foxtel said in a statement yesterday that it would not provide interactive betting when it kicked off new cable and satellite services later this year and had no agreements with Sky.
TVN said a fifth un-named party had sought talks over the next 10 days.
"We have been impressed with the parties that we have met today and the talks have been most productive," TVN chairman Harold Mitchell said. "There have been no undertakings. We expect to continue discussions over the next few days."
The battle over the television rights comes as the market awaits a counter-bid from Victorian wagering giant Tabcorp, which is locked in a bidding war with Queensland's UNiTAB to acquire TAB Ltd.
Ten Tendigital chairman Andrew Carnegie said yesterday that his firm would provide the know-how for an industry-owned channel for a fee, allowing all future revenue to filter back to the raceclubs to be pumped back into racing.
"We supply to TVN so our approach has always been to continue that relationship and supply ThoroughVisioN with the expertise to create their own channel," Mr Carniege said. "So the difference between our proposal and (the rival) proposals is that ours is, as I called it in the presentation, the 'Industry's Proposal'.
"So we are not looking to own any part of this channel, we are looking to provide the expertise to get the industry channel up."
Ten Tendigital's proposal included a financial investment option which would see the company own a stake in the channel.
The program model presented to TVN yesterday was similar to the UK's attheraces, which varies markedly from Sky Channel's current product which broadcasts an estimated 5500 race meets a year.
Attheraces draws on racing's energy and it abounds with personalities, balancing entertainment and punting.
"When you look at attheraces, it is television. It is about using that medium to build knowledge, excitement and personality," Mr Carnegie said.
Ten Tendigital may well prove to be the strongest rival to Sky Channel, which has last refusal rights on updating its current contract.
TV bid under starter's orders
A FIELD of five will face the starter at 9am today at Randwick when one of Australian racing's most important contests in its 194-year history is decided.
After 10 hours of wheeling and dealing at the Australian Jockey Club's offices in Alison Road, a company should emerge with control of the broadcasting rights for Sydney and Melbourne racing.
The hot favourite is Sky Channel, the current rights controller, but there is no such thing as a certainty in racing.
The five starters are: Sky, Telstra, Tentendigital a British-based company, a cashed-up syndicate headed by young Gold Coast businessmen Matthew and Scott Perrin and a John Singleton-Gerry Harvey combine.
Thorough Vision (TVN), a television rights company formed to control the broadcasting and television rights of the Sydney and Melbourne race clubs, will hear two-hour submissions from each of the five starters.
The Perrin group is first out of the barrier at 9am and it is said to have a highly professional and detailed proposal, which promises a lot of money to the race clubs.
The other four groups have been notified of their barrier times which will stretch into the early evening.
Australia's wealthiest and most highly feared businessman Kerry Packer is nowhere to be seen.
"So is Packer out?" I asked a dealmaker yesterday.
"Packer is never out," the negotiator said.
The obvious possibility is the Packer money could be waiting in the wings to join one of the syndicates.
For the race clubs the pot of gold is to get the maximum worth for their rights.
A successful syndicate could also put itself in a position to capitalise on the about-to-be-launched interactive television gambling and other associated products to be launched via telephone and the Internet.
Whether they share in the gambling turnover or simply receive a product fee has to be thrashed out.
As disclosed in The Sunday Telegraph, the Perrin group has enlisted the aid of former Channel 9 sports supremo Gary Burns and has linked with Global Television which not only has a film library of the last 20 years of Australian racing, but also has great expertise in the racing field.
The Perrins have not come into this on a whim. Insiders say they are the best prepared of the bidders and are prepared for losses of up to $50 million.
Rivals claim the Perrins will hit a hurdle in finding a way to televise the Sydney races from March, when the current Sydney deal with Sky expires, until August when Government legislation will enable them to gain access to a Foxtel channel. Although it won't be cheap and will partly entail all hotels and clubs being given a new satellite dish, I am told the Perrins have this under control. If they win the contract you would be forced to watch Sydney races on a different channel to Melbourne until the Victorian clubs join the new set-up in 2005. A tip is one of Australia's best known broadcasters is the likely No. 1 caller for the Sydney races if the Perrin group is successful. He is a bigger name than the two Sky Sydney callers, Ian Craig and Terry Bailey, and it is not Bruce McAvaney.
Telstra has the advantage of having its own massive infrastructure should it win the bid. I would not be surprised though if Telstra was not more interested in the mobile phone and broadband rights and could possibly on-sell the television rights.
Watching the horse you backed on your mobile phone while the race is being run is definitely a thing of the future.
Tentendigital could be in a similar situation. Its expertise is in the interactive gambling side of the business and it could also on-sell the Australian television rights.
Not much is known of the Gerry Harvey-John Singleton bid. They are said to have missed the jump and are a little behind the other groups although, as in everything these two do, they are leaving no stone unturned to make a major play. Their television is being organised by a former Melbourne Channel 9 executive.
The one thing Sky cannot offer the race clubs that the other syndicates can is total control of their product and the major share of the profits. This could be the straw that brings the favourite down.
Race for new TV channel
THE racing industry would have complete ownership of a personality and entertainment-driven channel if Ten Tendigital wins one of Australian television broadcasting's most intriguing battles.
The UK-based operation was one of four suitors to court ThoroughVisioN - representing the Sydney and Melbourne race clubs - at the Australian Jockey Club's Randwick headquarters and promised to revolutionise racing as we know it.
Chairman Andrew Carnegie said yesterday that Ten Tendigital would provide the know-how for an industry-owned channel for a fee, allowing all future revenue to filter back to the race clubs to be pumped back into racing.
"We supply to ThoroughVisioN so our approach has always been to continue that relationship and supply ThoroughVisioN with the expertise to create their own channel," Mr Carnegie said.
"So the difference between our proposal and (the rival) proposals is that ours is, as I called it in the presentation, the 'Industry's Proposal'. So we are not looking to own any part of this channel, we are looking to provide the expertise to get the industry channel up."
Ten Tendigital's proposal includes a financial investment option which would see the company own a stake in the channel.
The program model presented to TVN yesterday was similar to the UK's attheraces which varies markedly from Sky Channel's current product, which broadcasts an estimated 5000 races a year. The attheraces program draws on racing's vibrance and energy and it abounds with personalities and balances entertainment and punting.
"When you look at attheraces, it is television. It is about using that medium to build knowledge, excitement and personality," Mr Carnegie said.
"You have pundits, you have tipsters, it is entertainment with a strong betting theme running through it obviously because that is what horse racing is all about.
"It is more akin to sports programming than showing one race after another."
Mr Carnegie said he had already approached some pubs and clubs and had received an "overwhelming response".
The Ten Tendigital proposal includes operating an interactive betting site. The site it currently operates for attheraces earns half of the channel's racing revenue.
Ten Tendigital may well prove to be the strongest rival to Sky Channel, which has last refusal on updating its current contract.
With its racing pedigree through attheraces and having set up TVN's interactive strategy, which includes its website and mobile services, it is seen by some insiders as a viable alternative to the TAB-owned channel.
Watch link to satellites offers athletes an edge
Satellites are set to play an increasing role in the lives of athletes, with the help of an Auckland company.
Electronics maker Navman is adapting its technology to bring global positioning to the common wrist-watch.
The company has built a worldwide business developing global positioning system (GPS) units for the marine and automobile industries, and has struck a deal with US watch-maker Timex to use the technology to feed data to watches.
Athletes ranging from runners to rowers will be able to record their performances by wearing a small receiver on a belt or arm band.
It helps Earth-orbiting satellites constantly feed grid references to the watch via a low-frequency FM radio link.
A digital odometer tells the watch-wearer how far he or she has travelled and at what speed and pace, crucial information for serious athletes. The GPS unit has a 28-hour battery life.
Timex has also developed a heart-rate sensor which straps onto the arm and sends information to the watch screen.
Watches with built-in GPS already exist, but Mark Bowman, vice-president of Navman's manufacturing division, said the external receiver was needed to ensure a reliable feed from the satellite and to adequately power the device.
"When I walk along, my watch is generally facing down, not pointing at the sky," he said.
"The watch itself isn't a good vehicle for the GPS unit. It needs to be able to see the satellite to get a signal."
Navman designed the GPS modules for Timex in Christchurch and is assembling them in Auckland.
In its laboratories, Navman is working on miniaturising GPS receivers, opening the prospect of their being built into a wide range of consumer electronics.
The Timex deal could become a lucrative revenue-spinner for Navman. It has already filled a substantial order and expects to supply tens of thousands of the GPS units each year.
US marine company Brunswick Group last year bought 70 per cent of Navman for $56 million, but the company has stated its intention to keep Navman based in New Zealand. It is currently looking to fill a number of jobs locally.
Bowman said that as long as volumes were relatively low, New Zealand was a cost-effective place to manufacture electronics.
"When you get into very high volumes it's difficult for New Zealand to compete. We shouldn't be afraid of that as long as the design, research and the intellectual property stay here."
Timex's New Zealand distributor said it expected good local demand for the watches and GPS units, which will go on sale as a package for $650.
How it works
* A small box on a belt or arm band feeds grid references from satellites to the watch.
* The watch's digital odometer tells the wearer how far he or she has travelled and at what speed and pace.
Sab news channel in April
Adhikari brothers Gautam and Markand promoters of SAB TV, are all set to launch a 24 X 7 current affairs and news channel Sab Samachar this April. The cluttered news channel market will thus have yet another player. In order to differentiate itself in a market with as many as ten players, the new channel will focus on current affairs, rather than news.
Vice chairman and MD Markand Adhikari said the channel will have a magazine format compared to the newspaper format of rivals. The channel would broadcast current affairs programmes in Hindi and English, with news headlines at half-hour intervals. The emphasis would be on news analysis rather than breaking news stories.
The Adhikari brothers will initially hold 100 per cent equity in the new channel, but will look at equity dilution over the next six months. “The government has strict policy about news channel equity and unlinking, and we plan to adhere to it,” said Adhikari.
(Craigs comment, another Indian News channel? gee such a shortage of them around...)
Foxtel new channels seen testing some unconfirmed, E!, Biography Channel,Wine TV?, Vh1, Lifestyle Food?, Boomerang, Extreme Sports, Discovery Science, Discovery Travel & Adventure, Tech TV, TV1+2hours, The Travel Channel? Adventure 1? Sky News U.K, Nick Jr? Various Footy test with multiple cam views.
Big Foxtel media announcement happening on Wed the 21st. Channels and other details to be anounced to the public.
New Zee religious channel starting Thursday in the Zee mux on Asiasat 3. FTA perhaps?
From my Emails & ICQ
These look like Foxtel/Austar are testing out a whole lot of NEW channels.
From looking at the EPG, the ones I THINK I can identify are:
642 Biography Channel (ex USA)
122 Some form of documentary channel
118 Some local lifestyle channel (NOT "Lifestyle:")
508 A new sports channels
809 VH1 music channel
116 The Food Channel (It looks like it from the EPG and I'm praying it is!)
704 A new family/kds channel of some sort
646 Could be Adventure One
648 Tech TV (Yes it IS!)
640 Looks like a travel Channel
708 Another kids channel
(Craigs comment, any more confirmations? these below are confirmed as currently testing)
508 Extreme Sports
640 Discovery Travel & Adventure
642 Biography Channel
646 Discovery Science
648 Tech TV
704 Nick Jr
809 VH1 Music Channel
From David Ackroyd
DA Ai and Mac TV are now advertising for all Aust and NZ
veiwers to change from C1 to B3 and that this must be
completed by 31 Jan 04. They are also advertising an 0800
number for assistance to change dish alingnment. The NZ
number is 0800 000 885 and the Aust one is 10800 000 885. I
am aware most readers of this site wont need this but I am
sure there are one or two of us novices who may need some
From the Dish
Telkom 1 108E 3995 H "Occasional feeds" on , SR 6000, FEC 3/4.
ST 1 88E 3632 V All channels in the Star TV mux on are Fta (even the porn?).
Yamal 102 90E 3532 L GTRK Altai is still on , Fta, SR 4275, FEC 3/4, PIDs 307/256.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3920 H An Animax test card has started, Fta, PIDs 910/900.(Manga style animation channel from AXN starts on the 19th)
Test time for Foxtel's digital delights
PAY-TV group Foxtel has begun internal testing of its new $600 million digital service as it prepares for the official launch in the first half of this year.
Foxtel is believed to have started broadcasting digital pay-TV channels to the homes of senior executives as it seeks to iron out bugs ahead of the official launch.
Internal testing is believed to be focusing on the new interactive services Foxtel will be able to offer through its upgraded service.
These are expected to include interactive news, sport and games in the early stages of the roll-out.
The Australian under stands many of the services will be modelled on those already provided in the UK by its sister company, BSkyB.
BSkyB, which like Foxtel is part-owned by The Australian's owner News Corporation, owns a third of Australia's Sky News channel and its NewsActive system will be replicated locally.
That enables viewers to vote, gain information on news stories or comment on stories with their remote control.
Another BSkyB service, SportsActive, will also be available on Foxtel's AFL and rugby union channels.
That will provide viewers with more statistics and other information through the remote control.
It is understood the Nine Network, owned by Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd which is also a Foxtel shareholder, will offer a similar interactive SportsActive service. On Monday, Foxtel gained the $550 million from its banks to fund its digital conversion, meaning it can now order the more sophisticated set-top boxes it needs to install in most subscribers' homes.
After internal testing is completed, Foxtel is expected to move into a "soft launch" phase. That will see it provide digital pay-TV services to a limited number of external customers for further testing before the full public launch and marketing campaign.
The official launch date is yet to be revealed.
Interactive TV: is it Still Dead?
In 1975, comedian Chevy Chase mocked the lingering deathwatch of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco during his mock newscast on the debut season of "Saturday Night Live." Looking into the camera each episode, Chase would deadpan: "This just in. Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead." Chase would occasionally spice up the bit by adding: "We have an update on that story. Generalissimo Francisco Franco is now critically dead."
I was reminded of that routine last week after reading a new Ipsos-Insight study on the state of interactive TV in the United States. To put it tersely, the report concludes that ITV is still dead, perhaps critically so.
Interactive TV, the two-way technology that permits viewers to order products and play along with game shows, has yet to capture an audience, a decade after it was first called "the next big thing." Whether it's WebTV or Wink, viewers have shown little or no interest in interacting with their sets. In fact, the rejection has been so overwhelming that cable and satellite TV operators have moved ITV to the back burner to concentrate on other new technologies such as video-on-demand, digital video recorders and high-definition TV. And like the generalissimo, ITV has been the subject of a periodic deathwatch in the media.
However, the ITV industry has more lives than Freddy Krueger. Refusing to give up, ITV enthusiasts say this will be the year. Rupert Murdoch, a longtime ITV supporter whose News Corp. now controls DirecTV, is expected to make two-way interactivity a top priority in the satcaster's lineup. DirecTV sources say Murdoch will likely add everything from an interactive horse racing channel to multiple camera angles for sporting events to features that will permit viewers to play along with shows on his Fox Network.
As a longtime observer of interactive TV, and an author of a book on the subject, I agree that Murdoch is the industry's best hope. The media mogul has an unerring sense of what motivates the masses, whether he's launching a news channel, a newspaper or a satellite TV service.
However, before ITV fans get too cocky, they should read the Ipsos-Insight study. According to its authors, the technology may be beyond rescuing. For instance, despite a decade of hype, only 50 percent of Americans have even heard of interactive TV, and only 11 percent of U.S. adults say they are "somewhat familiar" or "very familiar" with it.
"There has been so much industry hype about ITV, we expected higher levels of consumer awareness," said Lynne Bartos, who works in Ipsos' Cable, Media and Entertainment research division. "Only 11 percent familiarity is a surprisingly low percentage."
The numbers get worse. Asked how interested they are in ITV activities (regardless of their level of awareness), the most popular response was the ability to control camera angles, which was cited by just 26 percent of adults. Only 15 percent of respondents said they like the idea of playing games against other viewers, a feature often cited as a sure thing by the ITV crowd.
"ITV programmers and content providers still have some work to do to raise awareness levels, improve consumer understanding and get consumers excited about the features and benefits of interactive TV," said Bartos.
Agreed. But after 10 years, don't you think consumers should be excited by now?#
Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com. He can be reached at Swann@TVPredictions.com.
Zee's religious channel Jagran launches 14 Jan
NEW DELHI: As reported by indiantelevision.com earlier, Zee Telefilms is launching its religious channel, Jagran, tomorrow. In the Hindu calendar, the day is celebrated as Makar Sankranti, a day which heralds the arrival of autumn.
According to an official statement from Zee, Jagran will be the first religious channel in the country that attempts to entertain the audience with mythological movies, serials, alternate living and alternate healing programs, interactive astro solutions, spiritual content etc.
At the same time religious discourses of various religious gurus will also be aired on the channel during prime.
The statement quoting channel head Anil Anand said, "Jagran will give an overall experience that extends the currently restricted 'prime time' viewer-ship of religious channels from early morning hours, to nearly any time of the day."
He further added, "We aim to broaden the market within this genre from only the 55+ age group to anyone who is 35+. This can be achieved by a slight inclination towards spiritualism as compared to any particular religion."
The brand name Jagran is an off take from one of the most successful early morning program on Zee TV, called "Jagran." This program has been on air for nearly five years now.
Indian Government's DTH service from April 2
State-owned broadcaster Prasar Bharati's direct-to-home venture will be launched on April 2, becoming the second company after Agrani Satellite Communication (ASC) Enterprises‚ Dish TV to introduce the service. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), has already sanctioned $105 million to be used over a five-year period to Prasar Bharati's direct-to-home (DTH) services using KU band.
According to Prasar Bharati CEO, KS Sarma, the transponders are being made available by the Indian Space Research Organisation for the proposed DTH service. Prasar Bharati is considering the launch of the DTH service with about 30 channels - including 20 Prasar Bharati channels and 10 private channels.
"The biggest advantage of Doordarshan's (DD - terrestrial channel from state-owned broadcaster Prasar Bharati) DTH platform is that it is a free service, in the sense that DD would be distributing the boxes free of cost. In the case of most other DTH projects, subscribers would have to pay for the hardware too, apart from a monthly subscription fee," Sarma said.
Screwvala plans kids channel
Ronnie Screwvala, the chief executive officer of UTV Software Communications, is floating a new company United Home Entertainment to launch the first localised Indian kids channel in the next 6-9 months.
While UTV will be a strategic investor in the company, Screwvala is planning private placement of equity to the extent of 24 per cent.
The investment envisaged for the proposed project is around Rs 100 crore over one year. The company will also have a substantial content output and air-time sales agreement with UTV.
While the UK has 20 channels to cater to 11 million kids, the US airs 306 shows per week for 61 million children across 17 networks.
In contrast, India does not have a single localised channel for its 315 million kids, who represent one-third of the country’s population under the age of 15 years. This is a segment as big as all Western European countries put together.
Screwvala is betting big on these numbers. “There is a strong potential for kids channel in today’s scenario. With an addressable audience of over 47 million kids spread over 44 million cable and satellite homes, whose number is growing at a rapid pace, children’s television represents a market with a huge growth potential that is just waiting to be tapped,” Screwvala said.
Advertisers have recognised the power of children in influencing key household purchase decisions, he added.
Screwvala’s unnamed channel, which will target the age groups within the 4-18 years, plans to provide content with multi-genre programmes acquired, outsourced as well as produced inhouse.
UTV already has an experience in content creation for children programmes be it animation or fiction. Its relationship with the genre dates back to 1987 when it made ‘Mathemagic’ for Doordarshan and ‘Snakes & Ladders’ in 1992 for Zee TV. Other programmes made by the channel UTV include Junglee Toofan, Tyre Puncture, Hip Hip Hurray, Shararat. Its Shakalaka Boom Boom is currently being aired in Star Plus.
Livechat 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd time onwards in the chatroom.
Foxtel seen testing new channels!! C1 12687 H Sr 27812 Fec 3/4
Video Hits (Vh1???)
Discovery Travel & Adventure
Fairly predictable stuff.
A bit of media "Digital interactive" hype in the news but not a lot else of interest.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Steve Hume
ST1 88E FTA
3632 mux on ST1 is currently FTA
From the 2004 Winter CES in Las Vegas, NV, USA.
In car satellite tv
From the Dish
Optus B1 160E 12456 V "A Maori TV promo and DW TV" have started, Fta, PIDs 512/650 and 514/652. (Yikes this ones weeks old!)
Palapa C2 113E 4080 H "Ar-Rahman Channel" is now encrypted.
Sinosat 1 110.5E 3763 V "The Macau Satellite TV" mux has left .
Yamal 201 90E Yamal 201 has arrived at 90 East.(someone with BIG dish take a look?)
Foxtel clears interactive TV hurdle
The next revolution in Australian television is almost here. Just over a decade after the launch of pay TV, plans for Australia's first digital and interactive TV services are being finalised.
More than a million Foxtel pay TV subscribers will be offered a digital service within months after the company announced yesterday it had secured finance for the project.
In a development Foxtel says will "absolutely change the way Australians view TV", subscribers will be able to choose from more than 100 digital channels and personalise screen settings to create their own news, sport and film viewing experiences.
But Foxtel will not have the interactive TV revolution entirely to itself. It was separately announced yesterday that independent subscription channel Sky Racing would soon offer interactive betting services, allowing punters to gamble from home with a television remote control button.
Foxtel has so far declined to name a launch date for digital TV, saying only it is planning to offer the service by the middle of the year. But some industry insiders believe it could strive to launch it in time for the AFL football season in March.
"Fundamentally, this gives Australians more choice and more control over their viewing than they've ever had before," a Foxtel spokesman said yesterday. "We will have enhanced services that will enable all sports subscribers to direct their own coverage. That is, they can choose their own camera angles, commentary and statistics as they watch the match."
Foxtel will also run interactive news, enabling viewers to select the stories they want on topics of their choice.
Foxtel will begin swapping analogue set-top box receivers in all subscriber homes with digital ones in the next few months. It will also install "return paths" through subscribers' phone lines to allow them to interact via their remote controls.
Foxtel will continue to run its analogue signal along with the new digital service.
The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association estimates that the digital TV launch will boost the number of Australian homes connected to pay TV from the current 23 per cent to between 35 and 40 per cent by 2008.
Punters to get a new remote chance of winning
One in four Australians will be able to put their house on a horse from the comfort of their loungeroom when an interactive television wagering service is launched later this year.
All the punter will need is a remote control to place unlimited bets on thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing through Sky Racing.
The technology, developed by Two Way TV Australia, NSW TAB and Sky Channel, will be available on Foxtel's new digital pay TV service, to be launched before the middle of the year.
The betting service is expected to bolster the NSW TAB-owned Sky Channel's chances of keeping the rights to broadcast Australian thoroughbred racing. The rights are under threat with Telstra, the former managing director of Billabong, Matthew Perrin, and Ten Ten Digital considering launching a rival broadcaster.
Foxtel chairman and Telstra director Sam Chisholm is chairman and a major shareholder of Two Way TV Australia.
The managing director of Two Way, Jim McKay, said he expects the interactive service to increase the wagering pool when it is launched as early as September.
The announcement was made after Foxtel said yesterday that it had secured the $550 million needed to roll out the digital pay TV services.
Foxtel said the digital upgrade will offer more than 100 channels and interactive services, including the betting system. It has yet to reveal details of the services on offer, or how much it will cost, but the entry-level price will remain the same as that for its satellite service, $47.95 a month.
Foxtel users can upgrade to digital by replacing the present analog set-top box with a digital unit. Customers can expect a better quality picture and much more content.
However, users will still need their local video store because the service will only offer a select range of popular movies running on a continuous loop across the 30 channels.
Interactive services will allow viewers to select which game at Wimbledon they want to watch, for example, or follow their favourite player around the football field during a game. They can also call up a player's match statistics at the click of a button.
The Rev Chester Carter, manager of the Wesley Gambling Counselling Services, criticised the interactive gambling plan, saying it would "put gambling into the living room".
It would rob households of family time and could also teach children about gambling and introduce them to behaviour they would later copy.
Asia-Pac C&S growth slows to 9%: MPA
NEW DELHI: The overall basic cable & satellite TV subscriber growth rate slowed down to 9 per cent year on year (Y/Y) in 2003 in the Asia-Pacific region, but India, along with Korea, Malaysia and New Zealand registered a double-digit subscriber growth, according to an international research report.
The rate of growth of C&S subscribers may shown signs of flagging in 2003 (178.8 million subscribers by yearend 2003, signifying 32 per cent penetration of TV households), the leading markets by penetration were Taiwan (83%), Korea (73%) and India (54%).
The total number of C&S subscribers is expected to grow to 234 million by 2008 and 283 million by 2015, the soon-to-be released report , Asia-Pacific Cable & Satellite Markets 2004 (ACSM), prepared by the Hong Kong-based Media Partners Asia Ltd. (MPA) stated.
However, MPA feels that the slow down in the growth rate is a sign of "maturity" of the industries after almost a decade and a half in Asia with deployment of digital set-top boxes (STBs) and tiered services gradually increasing. These trends could accelerate over the next decade, the report has indicated.
Commenting on the report's findings, MPA director of content & research, Vivek Couto, said, "As basic subscriber growth slows, operators need to build up new revenue streams through an economic tiering of expanded basic and premium programming services and the rollout of video-on-demand, high definition TV and personal video recorder-type services."
According to Couto, most major pay TV markets and operators have begun to overcome the burden of network, programming and technology costs, boosted by consolidation, stronger regional currencies and greater access to capital. "However, regional markets and cable operators, in particular (as opposed to digital satellite and ADSL video platforms), remain restricted by the effects of regulation, which continues to impact the development of a viable digital pay TV franchise, an increase in tiered service penetration, and the rollout of set-top boxes to combat piracy, build addressability and reduce profit leakage," he added.
Some of the highlights of the ACSM 2004 are as follows:
- Taiwan, Korea and India remain highest penetrated C&S markets.
- Digital C&S subscribers reach 7.9 million, signifying, 25 per cent Y/Y growth, driven by DTH satellite.
- Digital cable subscribers reach 756,000 as regulatory roadblocks impact volume-led deployment.
- Broadband penetration increases as cable modem subscribers top 9 million, signifying a 27 per cent Y/Y growth.
- Total industry revenues grow by 17 per cent to reach US$15.9 billion.
- C&S TV subscription revenues up 18 per cent to reach US$11.2 billion.
- Net (local) C&S TV advertising up 12 per cent to US$2.2 billion.
Couto added, "Critical to ACSM 2004's revenue and subscriber forecasts is greater deregulation, which may occur in the long term. In the medium term, MPA believes that the inevitability of market demand will drive digital and tiered service subscriber penetration in the region, particularly as equipment prices continue to decline and consumer demand continues to increase."
The development of tiers and new services along with growth (albeit, at a reduced rate) in basic tier subscribers could increase total C&S industry revenues (video, voice and data subscription and advertising) from US$15.9 billion in 2003 to US$26.8 billion by 2008 and US$37.2 billion by 2015, according to forecasts from MPA.
Doing a crystal ball gazing, MPA predicts that tiered service subscribers and digital penetration are poised to grow exponentially as market demand would increase, equipment prices fall, premium and pay TV content availability becomes greater, and regulatory roadblocks ease.
The MPA reports further states that digital C&S subscribers is estimated to touch the 29.5 million mark by 2008 and over 54 million by 2015.
However, the overall regional trend in 2003 was that basic subscriber additions were trending downward, while tiered service subscriber additions were gradually increasing and on the cusp of exponential future growth, driven by greater digital deployment.
Here are some other highlights of the MPA research report.
By subscribers, the leading markets were:
1. China (100 mil.)
2. India (47.7 mil.)
3. Korea (11.9 mil.)
4. Japan (8.1 mil.)
5. Taiwan (5.3 mil.)
6. Australia (1.5 mil.)
7. Malaysia (1.2 mil.)
In terms of year-on-year growth, leading performers included digital DTH satellite platforms in:
1. Korea (109%)
2. Malaysia (26%)
3. New Zealand (16%)
Cable TV platforms in:
1. Korea (45%)
2. India (11%)
Digital satellite deployment remains robust, with DTH subscribers growing by 20 per cent in 2003 to reach 7.1 million, driven by platforms in:
1. Japan (3.1 mil.)
2. Malaysia (1.2 mil.)
3. Korea (1.1 mil.)
4. Australia (807,000)
5. New Zealand (453,000)
6. Thailand (298,000)
Digital cable deployment remains slow, largely held up by regulatory issues. Total digital cable subscribers grew by 123 per cent in 2003 to reach 756,000 subscribers, driven by Hong Kong (400,000) and China (201,000).
Broadband cable penetration continues to gradually increase as consumer prices and equipment costs decline. Cable modem subscribers still heavily trail ADSL in the region and saw annualized growth almost halved from 52 per cent in 2002 to 27 per cent in 2003 with total subscribers reaching 9.1 million, driven by Korea (4.6 mil.) and Japan (2.5 mil.)
Total industry revenues grew by 17 per cent in 2003 to reach US$15.9 billion, led by Japan (US$5 bn.), China (US$2.9 bn.) and India (US$2.5 bn.)
In 2003, video or TV-based services (subscription and advertising) contributed US$13.4 billion (17 per cent growth) in revenues; cable modem subscription US$2.4 billion (21 per cent growth); and cable telephony subscription US$171 million (24 per cent growth).
Cable & satellite TV subscription revenue grew by 18 per cent in 2003 to reach US$11.2 billion, while net (local) cable & satellite TV advertising grew by 12 per cent in 2003 to reach US$2.2 billion. C&S advertising remains driven by increasing viewership and high penetration in major markets such as Taiwan, India and China.
In terms of revenue generation, the top 10 leading cable & satellite related (distribution and content-focused) companies in FY 2003 (all estimates to fiscal year ended Dec. 2003) included J-COM Broadband/Japan (US$1,210 mil.), Sky Perfect Communications/Japan (US$687 mil.), Foxtel/Australia (US$466 mil.) and Star Group/Regional (US$ 292 mil), which was mainly derived from India, Taiwan and China. India's home grown Zee Telefilms occupied the No. 8 slot with revenues of US$ 267 million.
The voluminous ACSM 2004 is a 400-page report in its entirety with profiles of six industry sectors, 12 segments, 13 markets and up to 50 cable, DTH & ADSL operators, together with comprehensive data and forecasts from 2000 - 2015, plus detailed listings of leading industry players.
Based in Hong Kong, MPA is a leading publishing and research company dedicated to comprehensive and independent analysis of Asia's media & communications industries through a variety of platforms. MPA publishes a fortnightly newsletter (Media Route 26) and a quarterly magazine (The Asia Media Journal).
Shin Sat shifts iPSTAR's focus
The operator of multimedia satellite iPSTAR has changed its customer target from Internet users to regional telecom carriers, the firm's chief executive said recently.
Dumrong Kasemseth, chief executive of Shin Satellite Plc (SATTEL), told The Nation that iPSTAR would now serve mainly telecom carriers in China, India and Australia.
"This [decision] is to cater to demands for low-cost telecom satellite services in rural areas," he said.
He claimed that the cost of providing rural telecom services via satellite was 80-per-cent lower than the cost of fixed-line networks.
"End-users need only a satellite dish to receive the signal, while providers don't have [to make] costly wireless or cable installations to the target areas," he added.
Shin Satellite hopes that the US$400-million (Bt15.5-billion) iPSTAR project, set to take off in the middle of the year, will be a new revenue source that will offset ebbing incomes from the Thaicom 1, 2 and 3 conventional satellites.
"The new customer target also reflects a shift from the original plan to tap the uncertain regional broadband Internet market," a telecom analyst from a foreign brokerage in Bangkok said.
While broadband Internet demand is exploding in some countries, the high cost of setting up such networks is hitting providers in others countries, he said.
The biggest potential customers of iPSTAR are in overseas markets, such as China, India and Australia, Dumrong said.
Shin Satellite claims to have adjusted its sales strategies to suit each market.
"We have to be more flexible. In some countries, they allow us to set up branches to provide services. But some places, such as China and India, require us to sell the bulk of our signal to local telecom operators, which will use our connections to provide their services," he said.
Furthermore, Shin Satellite plans to sell iPSTAR services to many Chinese telecom firms in search of more clients, a change from the original plan of selling only to China's state-run telecoms operator, China Railway Communications, with which it had already signed a sales memorandum of understanding, Dumrong said.
He added that Shin Satellite would continue to evaluate the broadband market.
Group calls in feng shui master
Shin Satellite (ShinSat) hopes a blend of the old and the new will arrest a series of setbacks.
After splashing out more than Bt10 million to renovate its Rattanatibet Road headquarters, which includes a satellite-technology museum to showcase the company's progress, ShinSat went decidedly low-tech by recently hiring a Feng Shui master to inspect its office.
ShinSat, founded by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was plagued by problems last year.
In January, the office of its Cambodia-based mobile-phone operator CamShin was plundered during anti-Thai riots.
The following month, its Thaicom 3 satellite suffered a glitch in its power system. The problem has still not been completely fixed.
In July, satellite manufacturer Loreal Space and Communications, which won ShinSat's contract to build its iPSTAR satellite, went bankrupt.
The company has not yet finished building iPSTAR, a high-speed satellite capable of supporting broadband services, which is scheduled to be launched this year.
In the third quarter, ShinSat posted a lower net profit due to declining revenues from its transponder business and mounting sales and service costs.
The third-quarter net profit of Bt205 million represented a 21-per-cent drop on the second quarter and a 42-per-cent decline on the corresponding period of the previous year. Meanwhile, sales and service costs skyrocketed from Bt93 million to Bt918 million in the same period.
A source close to ShinSat's parent company, Shin Corp, said the setbacks prompted top executives to bring in a Feng Shui master in to improve its luck.
As a result, ShinSat is considering shifting the company's main gate to another part of the compound because its current position is opposite the Garuda statue at Nonthaburi City Hall.
According to the Feng Shui master, the bearer of the god Vishnu overpowers whatever good fortune may come to the company.
ShinSat will be hoping the Feng Shui master's recommendations will lead to more good news like last year's signing of a long-awaited deal with Hong Kong rival AsiaSat to collaborate on solving possible frequency jams between iPSTAR and its AsiaSat4 satellite.
The problem arose two years ago when AsiaSat and ShinSat positioned their satellites on adjacent orbital slots - 122 degrees east for AsiaSat 4 and 120 degrees east for iPSTAR.
The close proximity raised concerns that the signals might jam each other. AsiaSat 4 is already in orbit.
ShinSat's shares yesterday closed at Bt41, down Bt1 from the previous day.
MotoSAT Moblile Satellite Creates Buzz At Consumer Electronics Show
From press release
LAS VEGAS/EWORLDWIRE/Jan. 12, 2004 --- As guests of MotoSAT board the new GMC Yukon Denali demonstration vehicle here on display at the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, they don't notice it at first. It's not until they sit down, put on their seatbelts, get comfortable, and begin a drive down the infamous Las Vegas Boulevard that they become aware that what they are enjoying is crystal clear, live satellite television reception. And, as their excitement builds, they can't resist exploring the offerings, as they click between real-time broadcasts from CNN, the Disney Channel, ESPN, and countless other stations. It's then that, without exception, they ask: "How's it possible?"
It is MotoSAT's new, super-low profile TMotion(TM)1500 in-motion, hybrid phased array satellite television antenna that has consumer electronics buyers, manufacturers, and reporters buzzing. MotoSAT Inc. of Salt Lake City, Utah has unveiled the TMotion(TM)1500 to critical acclaim here at CES this week. According to MotoSAT Vice President of Business Development, Chuck Uhl, who sat on the mobile satellite technology expert panel Friday at CES, "The response we are receiving at CES from buyers and consumers alike is they are wildly excited about our products, particularly the TMotion(TM)1500."
The TMotion(TM)1500, which stands a scarce four-inches tall, is sleek and slender enough to attach to most automobile roof racks, yet is rugged enough to perform capably in all types of conditions, including snow and freezing temperatures.
Uhl continues: "Part of the excitement for our products and technology comes not only from the durability but also the fact that they will work in international markets too. We are providing a superior delivery system that will work with any platform and that gives us tremendous room for growth."
These days, consumers are looking for ways to enjoy more freedom and flexibility in their lives and MotoSAT is making that possible at a level never before thought possible. As one interested buyer elatedly asked: "You mean I can have my kids in the back of my SUV watching television, any channel, while I drive around the city and run errands -- and it can get DirecTV(TM), Dish Network(TM), as well as other providers -- and this will work anywhere, anytime? Now that's technology I can use."
Working to make our lives better, simpler, and more enjoyable is what the 2004 CES is all about. And, MotoSAT has delivered; putting consumers into the driver's seat of mobile satellite technology is their credo.
MotoSAT is displaying its full product lines this week at CES, including its Ocean Motion(TM) marine antenna; its TMotion(TM)1000 12-inch high, in-motion satellite antenna; and its new Datastorm(TM)F3 mobile satellite dish that delivers high-speed, two-way Internet connectivity anytime, anywhere.
ONLINE NEWSROOM: http://newsroom.eworldwire.com/2030.htm
Joshua Tree Communications
1730 Ramona Ave.
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
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EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.orgEMAIL: email@example.com
Filipino Expats Lament Lack of Free TV Channels From Home
RIYADH, 13 January 2004 It has taken a non-Filipino expat to point out that the hundreds of thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Saudi Arabia enjoy no free satellite transmission of news or information from the Philippines.
“Jordanians, Thais, Bangladeshis and even Indians, to a certain extent, and other expatriate communities in the Kingdom enjoy free satellite transmission of news or information from their respective countries. But not overseas Filipinos who number 800,000 in the Kingdom,” said Omar Abu Hassan, operations manager of the construction firm Philipp Holzmann.
A check of Abu Hassan’s claim that other expats enjoy free satellite transmission services from their respective countries bore him out. “We don’t pay for the satellite transmission from home,” said Bun Yi, a Thai national who has been working in the Kingdom for the last 20 years. An Indian said: “I pay for our satellite transmission services but there are transmissions from India that are free.” Abu Hassan said “the number of OFWs in the Kingdom is big by any stretch of the imagination. The government, through the Philippine Embassy, could arrange a free or inexpensive satellite transmission of news through Hotbird or any other satellite service provider to Asian countries. Each of them could pay SR10 or SR20 to be kept at the embassy account,” he said.
The Philippine Embassy could not be contacted for comment but Nonoy Velo, the TFC country manager in Saudi Arabia, told Arab News Sunday night that it would be all right to provide a free satellite transmission without collecting fees from OFWs but the government has to pay instead for the services rendered.
At present, OFWs receive information or news from the Philippines through ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel (TFC), which uses the services of Martin Lockheed. For a family it charges a cash out of SR1,490 and after that, a yearly fee of SR760. It has different rates for groups. For a group of ten, it charges SR200 per head or a total of SR2,000, plus SR730 for equipment.
With the large number of OFWs in the Kingdom and considering their willingness to avail of amenities they can afford it is not far-fetched to think that most of them are TFC subscribers. That means the Filipino channel is a cash cow for the Lopezes who own ABS-CBN.
At present ABS-CBN is lording in the field being the only player at present but a competitor GMA or Channel 7 may soon start satellite transmission to OFWs in various parts of the world, including Saudi Arabia. If and when this happens, observers believe, it would redound to the benefits of OFWs with satellite transmission subscriptions.
“It would force ABS-CBN and the new player to provide quality newscasts and programs to their viewers so that they could attract more subscribers. As it is, some TFC programs have affected school children in a negative way,” a teacher at a Filipino community school told Arab News. She said the TFC popularized the “mag-otso-otso tayo,” which is being imitated by schoolchildren.
“Children don’t look good as they dance it. Nakakatawa sila (They are laughable). And what makes the heart sink is we pay TFC to make our children laughable, if not laughingstocks. At their age, they should learn something that will make them good and responsible citizens,” the teacher said.
Al_Manar is back on B3 Globecast mux. Brought in via I701 not sure how they can screen it and Tarb's can't. Hmm politics eh
There seems to be a bit of debate as to the new adult channels that are suppose to be starting on NSS6. They seem to be arguing amongst themselves via various forums. I think keep your credit card in your wallet until BOTH new services have been up and running for at least 1 month and see what the feedback is like as to which service is the better one.
From my Emails & ICQ
Nothing to report.
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "Pili Satellite TV" has started on , Viaccess 2, PIDs 470/471.
Sinosat 1 110.5E 4106 V "Radio Shanghai TG News Station has replaced East Radio Shanghai" Fta, APID 1213.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3846 V "Radio Shanghai TG News Station has replaced East Radio Shanghai" Fta on , APID 1213.
NSS 6 95E 12593 V "TV Polonia and ESC 1" have left .
NSS 6 95E 11677 V A test card has started , Fta, SR 1850, FEC 2/3, PIDs 4194/4195, Middle East beam.
Measat 1 91.5E 11168 V "Astro Box Office Sports 28" has started, enc., PIDs 172/128, Astro ch 28.
Insat 3A 93.5E 3840 V "Occasional feeds" on , SR 3800, FEC 3/4.
Insat 3A 93.5E 3898 V "Occasional Sanskar TV" feeds on , SR 3500, FEC 3/4.
Insat 3A 93.5E 3912 V "Channel Guide" has started , Fta, SR 5900, FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256.
Insat 2E 83E 3603 V "Jaya TV" has left (PAL).
Thaicom 2 78.5E 3764 H "Occasional BBTV Channel 7" feeds on , SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
Foxtel completes $550 million financing
Foxtel announced it had secured a $550 million bank facility which would fund its full digital conversion and launch of new digital services, expected in the first half of this calendar year.
One-quarter shareholder Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd said that as a result of the finance package, it did not expect to be required to contribute further funds to finance the roll-out.
Foxtel said in a release it had secured the $550 million bank facility from ABN Amro and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
"The facility has been fully underwritten by ABN Amro and the CBA, which signed a mandate with Foxtel in October 2003, to raise the funds," Foxtel said.
"The banks will syndicate the loan."
Foxtel said it would use the funds to launch new digital interactive cable and satellite services and would provide further details of its roll-out plans shortly.
"This financing completes another landmark step along Foxtel's path to digital launch," Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams said.
"We are extremely pleased that ABN Amro and the Commonwealth Bank have supported our vision and our plans to take Australia television into an exciting new era for consumers."
ABN Amro head of financial markets in Australia Col McKeith said Foxtel's digital launch would lead subscription television into a "fresh growth period".
CBA head of technology industries Scott Hawker said the Commonwealth Bank "greatly looked forward to participating in the digital future of subscription television through Foxtel".
Foxtel is Australia's largest subscription television provider, connected to more than one million homes on cable and satellite through retail and wholesale distribution.
It is 50 per cent owned by Telstra Corp Ltd, with one-quarter shares held by PBL and News Corp Ltd.
At 1024 AEDT, Telstra shares were down five cents at $4.93, PBL was also down five cents at $12.27 and News Corp was up five cents at $11.80 in a broadly weaker market.
Interaction for punters
IF you had been sitting in your lounge room in Invercargill on the far southern tip of New Zealand's South Island on November 4 last year you could have made a bet on the Melbourne Cup - using your TV remote control.
In the UK, too, interactive betting became available on digital pay TV giant BSkyB last year.
No such luck in Australia.
The local pay TV industry - still smarting from the cash-sapping $7 billion cable wars of the mid-1990s - has dragged its feet on interactive services.
While they have been available in the UK and New Zealand since 1998, only in the middle of this year - when Foxtel makes the switch to digital - will Australians finally be able to become the ultimate couch potatoes.
But racing is unlikely to figure on the main menu immediately.
Foxtel has a contract with Sky which is understood to run into the next decade. Foxtel sources have said that racing is not among its initial group of interactive TV sports. Football codes are the main focus.
In the UK a fierce battle for racing rights in 2001 resulted in a consortium of broadcasters - Channel 4, BSkyB and Arena Interactive - paying pound stg. 320 million ($750 million) over 10 years with another pound stg. 80 million for advertising and promotion of the industry.
Interactive horse racing began in New Zealand five months ago on the service provided to Sky by the New Zealand TAB.
"We are already seeing $NZ500,000 ($440,000) in bets per month," Sky Television NZ chief executive John Fallett said.
But until now, viewers have had to have an existing account with the NZ TAB. Mr Fallett believes a new service which allows viewers to set up an account on the TV will tap into "middle New Zealand".
He said Sky might account for 10 per cent of New Zealand's $NZ1 billion a year industry within the next few years.
Leading Australian bookmaker Con Kafataris, whose privately owned company SportOdds bought rival Centrebet last year, said TV-based betting is still " a bit clunky".
"I've tried it in the UK," he said. "But I think it will get there."
While Mr Kafataris was cautious on interactive betting, online betting has proven a bonanza for him and for other off-course bookmakers.
He estimates the market in Australia for betting on all sports is now close to $3 billion a year.
"Two-thirds of that would be on the internet," Mr Kafataris said.
TAB spokesman Graham Cassidy said there was exponential growth in internet betting.
"It has gone from 1 per cent four years ago to more than 6 per cent of a total of $4.6 billion in bets last year," he said.
Also on the rise is the use of mobile phone data services for betting.
Mr Kafataris has a mobile application available for his customers. So, too, does the racing industry's ThoroughVisioN (TVN).
The rise of online betting, through the web, phones and soon the television, spells bad news for local betting shops.
As more bets move to the net, the cost to serve shrinking numbers of punters using retail outlets will rise - to a point, one day in the not too distant future, where local TABs will start to close down.
Russia Extends Lease of Space-Launch Site
ASTANA, Kazakhstan - Russia on Friday extended its lease to use a space-launch site in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan through 2050, after agreeing to let this Central Asian nation play a role in future space projects.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev agreed to extend Russia's use of the Baikonur cosmodrome, Russia's sole launch facility for manned space missions. Financial details were not released. Under the previous lease signed in 1994, Russia paid $115 million annually.
Russian launches from Baikonur are the only links to the international space station since the U.S. shuttle fleet was grounded after the Columbia disintegrated during its return to Earth in February, killing all seven astronauts on board.
The space station's current inhabitants - American Michael Foale and Russia's Alexander Kaleri - blasted off from the cosmodrome on the Kazakh steppe in October.
Earlier media reports said Kazakhstan wanted more rent money or a share of profits from commercial launches at Baikonur. The Central Asian country has frequently complained that the $115 million fee is inadequate and does not compensate for ecological damage caused by launches.
But the main concession won by Nazarbayev appeared to be an increase in Kazakh participation in the facility - including the training of Kazakh cosmonauts.
Further negotiations regarding the Soviet-era facility, which Kazakhstan inherited after the 1991 collapse of the former Soviet Union, were expected to continue.
The new agreement also envisions Kazakhstan's involvement in space exploration projects.
"We think that Kazakhstan has not only Baikonur to offer, it has a good intellectual potential," Putin said.
The two countries also agreed that Russia would help launch a communications satellite for Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan will pay the costs of that launch.
Kazakhstan, the wealthiest of Central Asia's former Soviet republics, is eager to cooperate with Russia, which owns the main available oil pipeline routes linking the landlocked region with world markets.
Putin, who arrived in Kazakhstan on Friday, made the Central Asian nation his first foreign destination this year as Moscow steps up efforts to regain influence in the strategic, energy-rich region.
TELE SATELLITE NEWS - Number 02/2004 - 11 January 2004 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition
A S I A & P A C I F I C
PERRINS JOINS GLOBAL TV IN RACING BID
The former managing director of surfwear retailer Billabong, Matthew Perrin, and his brothers are rumoured to have joined forces with Global Television in their attempt to launch a rival broadcaster of thoroughbred racing. Rights to broadcast racing have been held by TAB Ltd's Sky Channel for almost 20 years. Global Television, which is owned by Television and Media Services, is a sub-contractor telecasting sports and special events to free-to-air television stations and pay TV channels, including Foxtel and OptusTV. The Perrins are believed to be one of four parties interested in bidding for the NSW and Victorian racing industries' media rights. The others include Sky Channel, English television production house Ten Ten Digital and Telstra. Rival bidders for the rights to broadcast Australian racing surfaced after the Australian Jockey Club and Sydney Turf Club agreed to pool their media rights with Racing Victoria. The racing clubs hope this will strengthen their bargaining power with Sky Channel. Sky Channel's distribution agreement with the AJC and STC expires in early March, while its contract with Racing Victoria still has 12 months to run.
CHINA - HONG KONG
SHANGAI CITIZENS IGNORE SATELLITE DISH BAN
Although most residential buildings in Shanghai have been banned from installing satellite dishes since 1993, the dishes continue to pop up all over the city, according to a report by the Xinhua news agency. Local residents often receive flyers in their mailboxes, advertising installation of the dishes with prices ranging from 3,000 yuan (US$361) to 20,000 yuan (US$2,419.26). The fliers guarantee users will have access to more than 100 overseas TV channels. The State Council issued a decree in 1993 saying only hotels, media outlets, and apartment buildings housing foreigners are allowed to use satellite dishes. Producing, selling or installing satellite television-receiving equipment without a permit is banned, and violators will face a fine of up to 5,000 yuan (US$604.81).
I-CABLE TO LAUNCH DIGITAL TV AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Hong Kong's dominant pay-TV operator, i-Cable Communications, will complete the digitalisation of its network in May, one year ahead of schedule, according to a report by the South China Morning Post. The early completion - due to a reduction in the cost of set-top boxes from $800 to $600 - would help the pay-TV operator cut its estimated expenditure of $450 million for the network upgrade, cable subscription services executive director Eric Lo said. But he did not disclose how much i-Cable would save with the early completion. Digitalisation supports the compression of frequencies, thus increasing the capacity of channels per frequency band from one to six or more. With the allocation of 20 frequency bands by the government, i-Cable can now provide up to 120 television channels. I-Cable has doubled the number of its channels to more than 70 over the past year. I-Cable will switch off most of its analogue broadcasting network from June 1, and on January 13 will relaunch its programme line-up by grouping channels under eight blocks in accordance with their genre. It also plans to provide data services such as football betting, stock information and interactive gaming on the new platform.
GLOBAL CHANNELS FOR PAY-TV PLATFORM
Viewers of Hong Kong's new direct-to-home pay-TV operation, exTV, will benefit from international channels including BBC World, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia and Nickelodeon Asia. exTV is due on the air in February, joining another five pay-TV platforms available in the SAR of
TAIWANESE TV CHANNELS SWITCHED OFF CABLE
China is continuing to shut down Taiwanese TV channels carried on cable systems as tensions between Beijing and Taipei continue to simmer over political differences. Dongsen TV, owned by Taiwan's powerful media company Eastern Multimedia Group, has been pulled off a number of housing complexes serviced by cable TV systems and satellite master antenna TV in and around Beijing by state security officials in the last three months. Other foreign channels that have been switched off during the raids have since returned to the air while Dongsen remains blacked out. China has issued licences to more than 30 foreign TV channel providers to distribute their channels, although all are limited to specified cable TV systems, or operators serving housing compounds for foreigners or hotels. Taiwan-originated channels are among those in the so-called grey market that have managed to slip on air because of lax policing. But during the periodic crackdowns on unlicensed channel reception, Taiwanese channels have been particularly targeted. Eastern Multimedia had two applications to distribute its channels to Chinese cable systems rejected in September 2003, although it continues to supply programmes to Chinese terrestrials and also claims to have 200,000 subscribers in China.
ZEE TV TO LAUNCH RELIGIOUS CHANNEL
The Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Telefilms wants to add a religious channel to the stable. The proposed religious channel, to be called Jaagaran, is slated for a launch some time this month via Asiasat 3S and INSAT satellites. The stable already boasts of about 15 channel brands, including the ones that are part of the DTH [direct to home] package.
STAR NEWS GETS INDIAN RIGHTS
Star News has been given permission to uplink from India, bringing the channel to viewers of cable systems and direct-to-home installations across the sub-continent. The Indian government had initially refused to give permission for the channel to be broadcast but has now relented, apparently changing the rules to allow the News Corporation-owned service to begin operations.
CABLE OPERATORS WON'T RELAY NEWS CHANNELS
Cable TV operators have turned down the request of the state government to relay news channels as well as other channels for which they do not have to pay any charge, according to The Times of India. PRD secretary A K Biswas is reported to have assured a delegation of the Patna Cable TV Operators' Association that he has written to the Union ministry of information and broadcasting about the blackout by cable TV operators due to the hike in the rates of pay channels. However, a government pressnote said Biswas told the delegation that not showing the three national channels of Doordarshan was a violation of the Cable Television Network Regulation Act. Association president Amit Prakash said they were forced to effect a blackout on TV screens in the state capital to protest against the hike in the subscription rates of pay channels and the imposition of an entertainment tax of Rs 50 per month by the Bihar government.
TV3 AND 8TV BUY BUENA VISTA PROGRAMMING
Malaysian free-to-air networks TV3 and 8TV have signed a multi-year programme and feature film deal with Buena Vista International TelevisionAsia Pacific, which brings reality show The Family to local audiences for the first time. The deal, signed by TV3 Malaysia's holding company Media Prima Berhad, includes features such as Pearl Harbor and Unbreakable, along with TV series Alias, Scrubs, Extreme Makeover, My Wife & Kids and Hope & Faith. Under the new agreement, TV3 viewers will also be able to tune into reality format The Family, which follows one family's attempts to win a million dollar prize. Younger viewers will be able to watch an additional weekend half-hour animation block titled Disney Time. This new window joins a weekly Disney club and two existing branded blocks.
8TV STARTS BROADCASTING
Malaysia's newest free-to-air terrestrial television station, 8TV, started transmitting on January 8. The channel will be seen initially on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia, the country's main population belt. 8TV is owned by Media Prima Berhad, which also owns another terrestrial station, TV3, and the New Straits Times newspaper. The new station's chief operating officer, Ahmad Izham Omar, said its target audience would be mainly young urban people and the Chinese community. 8TV's programmes will include music shows, Chinese-language variety programmes and an English-language prime time news bulletin aimed at younger viewers. 8TV is Malaysia's fourth private free-to-air station.
PILAT GLOBAL MEDIA GETS ASTRO CONTRACT
Pilat Global Media, which provides business management software to has announced a new contract for the supply of IBMS (Integrated Broadcast Management System) to Measat Broadcast Network Systems of Malaysia, known by its trade name "Astro". The contract, which includes licenses and implementation and support services, is worth $1.7 million. Work on the project began in October 2003, under an interim consultancy agreement, to enable go-live in the first quarter of 2004. Pilat said that Astro was the seventh pay-TV platform to join its client-base. IBMS is intended to streamline content acquisition, program scheduling and media preparations for over 40 subscription channels as well as on demand and interactive services and emerging advertising sales operations. As part of the implementation, it will be integrated with the conditional access system of Canal+. According to Pilat, Astro, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astro All Asia Networks, is the largest multi-channel TV platform outside Japan in Asia, and has one million subscribers
MTS TO START BROADCASTING IN MARCH
The Minister of Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia, is promising that the Maori Television Service will begin its full broadcasting schedule in March. Last month the channel began broadcasting a promotional trailer that repeats every half hour. The Maori Television Service says it expects to announce the date it will officially start full broadcasts shortly. The publicly-funded service was founded under an Act of parliament last year with the aim of helping revitalise the Maori language and culture.
ABS-CBN EXPECTS GOOD YEAR
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. is optimistic that 2004 will be another banner year for the company in terms of profitability and market share. ABS-CBN officials said profits this year would be in line with revenue growth, with international operations and advertising revenues as the main drivers of growth. For 2003, the company expects profits to hit the P1-billion mark. International operations currently account for 15 per cent of the company's total revenues. ABS-CBN Global, whose subscribers grew to 176,830 worldwide as of end-September last year, is expected to post another double-digit growth, ABS-CBN senior vice-president for international operations Rene Encarnacion said. With a strong operating income and a decline in interest expense, ABS-CBN posted a net profit of P888.83 million in the first nine months of 2003, compared with only P65 million the same period a year earlier. ABS-CBN Global's net sales, which accounted for 70 per cent of total net sales and services, increased by 38 per cent to P1.92 billion due to an increase in direct-to-home fees from $20 to $23 per month with the addition of PinoyCentral TV to its channel line-up. Set to be launched this year is The Filipino Channel (TFC) in Milan, Italy, which is the base of operations of ABS-CBN in Europe. TFC will be commercially available via direct-to-home (DTH) satellite service.
GOVERNMENT PUSHES AHEAD WITH US DIGITAL TV STANDARD
Putting an end to mounting disputes over the government's preferred digital TV transmission format, the top information official reaffirmed the government's determination to use the U.S. standard instead of the European one. Speaking on January 9, Information-Communication Minister, Chin Dae-je said: "For the sake of policy consistency, we will maintain the U.S. standard. We must consider the huge cost in of switching over to the European system." Chin added the government cannot ignore a number of consumers who snapped up digital TVs, customized to the U.S. standard, and local digital TV makers, which invested large amounts of money following the U.S. technology in line with government's policy. South Korea selected the U.S. system in 1997 and pushed for the commercial launch of digital broadcasting four year later in Seoul. The services were supposed to expand to the provincial cities starting this year. However, the government put it off indefinitely under the pressure of local broadcasters, which favor the European standard.
MCOT JOINS ASIAVISION
The Mass Communication Organization of Thailand, MCOT, has joined the ABU's daily news exchange, Asiavision. The move brings AVN's membership to 13. It is the first time a Thai broadcaster has joined the news exchange. MCOT operates Thailand's TV Channel 9, two radio networks and the Thai News Agency. Its membership of Asiavision took effect on January 1. Asiavision now has members in Bangladesh, Brunei, the People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Members exchange news material by satellite every day.
No update Sunday go away
Nice day and I am watching the cricket on telly so no update this weekend
Not much happening, not a lot of news either
From my Emails & ICQ
Have just this minute got back from a very wet Stewart Island.(Bottom South Island, NZ)
The 35 cm Ihug dish works just great down there!!!! Consistent 52 to 55 % quality on
the TVNZ channels (Optus B1) with rain fades (it rained a lot) dropping the signals to
43 % quality on the Pacific receivers.. No drop outs were noticed at any point.
Also our new online store and Satellite Warehouse in Christchurch is now up and running.
(Craigs comment, the only problem with a temp install like this is you have to keep the lawns well mown and hope a passing sheep doesn't block the signal.)
I noticed some minor changes on i804 Ku today, which you might want to place on your web-site... Happy new year to ya!
Chinese mux on i804 come up named:
Also added is an audio channel named 'BTV A990'.
At least 2 channels originate from mainland China, the other 4 appear to be Taiwanese.
PS: Any sign of Impactv yet?
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E 3846 R Sr 12203 Data?
Intelsat 701 180E 3772 R Sr 19964 Data?
Apstar 2R 76.5E TV Lanka is back on 3631 H, clear, SR 3500, FEC 2/3, PIDs 1360/1320.
Sky cracks legal whip at clubs
Sky Channel fired a legal shot yesterday over the bows of the NSW and Victorian racing clubs, whose bid for bargaining power against the monopoly racing broadcaster has fuelled speculation about the creation of an alternative racing channel.
The NSW TAB-owned Sky sent letters to the Sydney Turf Club, the Australian Jockey Club and ThoroughVision - the new entity created with Victorian racing clubs to lead TV rights contract negotiations with Sky - reminding the clubs of their legal obligations under existing broadcast contracts.
The letters written by Sky management made it clear that, under the terms of the existing contracts, Sky has the right to be offered the first and last opportunity to make an offer if the clubs consider selling the rights to another party.
It is understood that the action was considered "a shot over the bow" by Sky amid increasing speculation that ThoroughVision could be looking to sell the TV rights to a new, rival racing broadcaster.
It is understood that while the clubs are entitled to talk to other potential suitors, assigning their TV rights to another body would represent a breach of their contracts.
STC finance and IT general manager Peter Legg described the Sky letter as "a reminder about contractual obligations. We are certainly cognisant of what is required under the contract and we'll write back saying we are aware".
ThoroughVision has pooled the rights to the most high-profile and lucractive thoroughbred meetings in the country. Sky's existing contracts to show AJC and STC meetings expire in March and April respectively.
ThoroughVision has been talking to several parties about the possibility of setting up an alternative broadcaster.
This would seriously damage Sky's racing broadcasts, and the value of both Sky and the NSW TAB, the subject of a takeover tussle between Victoria's Tabcorp and Unitab of Queensland.
But some observers believe the creation of ThoroughVision and the leaking of talks with rival broadcasters is part of a bargain ploy by the racing clubs to get more power in TV rights negotiations with Sky.
ThoroughVision has scheduled several meetings with key racing identities at this weekend's Magic Millions thoroughbred sales to discuss TV rights. Adman John Singleton, retailer Gerry Harvey, former Billabong chief executive Matthew Perrin, Telstra and UK broadcasting group Ten/Ten have been reported as interested in setting up a rival to Sky Channel.
ThoroughVision director Graham Duff said the sale and race meeting presented an opportunity to look at options.
In the past two days one of the largest investors in TAB, Schroder Investment Management, has sold part of its stake. It did not return calls.
A TAB spokesman declined to comment on the letter.
TAB shares firmed 5c to $4.55.
Perrins join Global TV to bid for racing coverage
The former managing director of surfwear retailer Billabong, Matthew Perrin, and his brothers are rumoured to have joined forces with Global Television in their attempt to launch a rival broadcaster of thoroughbred racing.
Rights to broadcast racing have been held by TAB Ltd's Sky Channel for almost 20 years.
Global Television, which is owned by Television and Media Services, is a sub-contractor telecasting sports and special events to free-to-air television stations and pay TV channels, including Foxtel and OptusTV.
TMS has close ties with the racing industry; its chairman is Tony Hartnell, who is also the chairman of Racing NSW. Mr Hartnell was not available for comment.
This comes as a major shareholder in NSW TAB, Schroders Investment Management, reduced its stake in the wagering group by 25 per cent to 6.51 per cent.
"Most of that selling was done before the Sky Channel stuff came out," Schroders's portfolio manager, Martin Conlon, said.
The Perrins are believed to be one of four parties interested in bidding for the NSW and Victorian racing industries' media rights.
The others include Sky Channel, English television production house Ten Ten Digital and Telstra.
Rival bidders for the rights to broadcast Australian racing surfaced after the Australian Jockey Club and Sydney Turf Club agreed to pool their media rights with Racing Victoria.
The racing clubs hope this will strengthen their bargaining power with Sky Channel.
Sky Channel's distribution agreement with the AJC and STC expires in early March, while its contract with Racing Victoria still has 12 months to run.
Harold Mitchell, the chairman of Racing Victoria's production house, ThoroughVision, rejected suggestions that a rival broadcaster would not be ready in time for the autumn racing carnival.
"I'm aware of possible timetables and engineering capabilities [of some of the potential bidders]," Mr Mitchell said.
"I'm confident that services can be provided by any due date."
Sky Channel, Telstra, Ten Ten Digital and the Perrins will make formal submissions for the media rights in Sydney next Wednesday.
Ship picks up signal from failed Japanese rocket near Philippines
A Japanese vessel has picked up signals from a rocket that was destroyed in a failed launch of Japan's newest spy satellites, raising hopes it can be recovered to find out what went wrong, an official said Thursday.
Signals from two locations in the ocean around the Philippines appeared to be from the H2A rocket that Japan launched in late November carrying two spy satellites to monitor North Korea, said Junichi Moriuma, a spokesman for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
"We have picked up signals that appear to be from the rocket but we cannot be sure," he said. The signals came from an area where the rocket's debris was expected to splash down, he added.
The ship's sonar equipment broke down shortly after discovering the signals on January 1, causing the ship to head back to Japan Wednesday for repairs before resuming the search.
The signals are 5,000 to 6,000 meters (16,200 feet to 19,500 feet) deep, making a recovery mission "difficult", Moriuma said. But if successful, it could lead to clues into the accident.
JAXA blew up the rocket and its cargo after its booster rocket failed to separate from the main rocket, making the craft too heavy to reach its planned orbit.
Analysts say the failure has delayed the implementation of Japan's satellite defense program and hampered its commercial launch vehicle ambitions.
DD News, language channels to become global soon
New Delhi, Jan 8 (UNI) DD News and five Doordarshan language channels may soon begin beaming to 146 countries including North America and the United Kingdom along with DD India which is already being shown in most parts of the United States and Canada.
Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer K. S. Sarma told a news conference after the Board meeting today that the channels which have been digitalised will be beamed through PAS Nine and Ten.
He said while Globecast owned by non-resident Indian Vishwanath, settled in New Jersey, was already airing DD India all over the United States on a payment of 80,000 dollars per year, a Doordarshan team will shortly be visiting the United Kingdom to negotiate with the Rupert Murdoch-owned BSkyB.
The language DD channels that will be aired overseas are Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Tamil on the basis of surveys carried out by Doordarshan about their need. He said DD Malayalam may also be added to this list if technologically possible.
He said DD already had the infrastructure to reach its channels to these countries. Global tenders would be floated soon to find takers for these channels in various parts of the world except the United Kingdom where the DD team will finalise the details.
Meanwhile, he confirmed that some language channels of All India Radio's External Services which had virtually no listenership were being stopped and he had already discussed the matter with Information and Broadcasting Secretary Pavan Chopra.
DD irked at Zee's including its FTA channels as part of Dish TV's DTH
NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati has taken umbrage to Subhash Chandra companies --- ASC Enterprise and Zee Telefilms --- including more than the mandated number of Doordarshan channels in the KU-band direct-to-home (DTH) television service being marketed under the Dish TV brand name.
"The Zee people are showing DD channels without authorization on the DTH service, which is not free to air and is subscription-based. We are concerned about this," Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma said today during an interaction with journalists.,
Though ruling out initiating any legal action against Dish TV, Sarma said the least that could have been done was to inform them that DD channels were part of the DTH package. "I have written to them on this," he added.
When asked whether any talks regarding money had taken place, Sarma said that Prasar Bharati had been informed by the ASC-Zee combine that after the DTH service crossed the 200,000-mark subscriber base, DD would get Rs 1 per channel per subscriber. Globally, channels get anywhere between $ 10-30 per channel per subscriber from the DTH service operator, he opined.
However, when indiantelevision.com contacted Zee Telefilms vice-chairman Jawahar Goel, he expressed ignorance about any letter from Prasar Bharati on
the issue. "As and when we hear from DD, we'll take up the matter at the right forum," he said, adding that if DD wanted, they'd be happy to remove all DD channels.
Meanwhile, Sarma pointed out that DD's own DTH project --- scheduled to go on air on 2 April --- is on track with the tenders for uplinking being finalized at the moment.
The non-subscription based DTH service, Sarma said, is being started by DD as a "substitute to terrestrial expansion", which would have, otherwise, cost much more.
Sites up a little early as I have a new PC to sort out here.
More broadband Chinese channel streams, ok so many of the links don't work.. worth a try anyway
A new issue of Satmagazine is out online http://www.satmagazine.com mainly targeted at professional satellite people.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Steve Hume
Measat 2 signal
There is a nice strong signal on 4000v @ 4339 Symbol Rate. Looks like
data. Good one to line up on though.
New feed on B3
12552V sr 5630 FEC 3/4. German show
Hopman Cup Tennis feed from Perth, B1, 12326H, sr 6980
From the Dish
Optus B3 152E 12407 V "Australasian Retail Radio Network 3-4 and Sport 927" have started on, Irdeto 1, APIDs 259-260 and 272.
AsiaSat 4 122E 3880 H "CBN" has left again.
Insat 3A 93.5E 11510 H "Zee Music" has started, Fta, PIDs 702/703. Zee Music on PIDs 162/88 is Fta.(For those in India)
Insat 3A 93.5E 11550 H "DD North-East" has started , Conax, PIDs 169/110.(For those in India)
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3631 H "TV Lanka" has left .
Maori TV to be on in March
The Minister of Maori Affairs is promising that the Maori Television Service will begin its full broadcasting schedule in March.
Last month the channel began broadcasting a promotional trailer that repeats every half hour.
But Parekura Horomia says New Zealanders can soon look forward to a full schedule of culturally rich and diverse programmes.
Horomia says he hopes the channel can put a series of controversies behind it, and get on with the key task of promoting and enhancing Maori language and culture.
The Maori Television Service says it expects to announce the date it will officially start full broadcasts, shortly.
Aussie forces to receive new $75m satcom systems
Sophisticated satellite communications systems for Australia’s military forces are to be developed and installed by the UK-based BAE Systems defence group under a $75m contract just announced.
BAE says it will provide a satellite communications set-up to give mobile and deployed forces the capability to transfer information and access other information in operational and tactical situations using the recently launched C1 satellite.
“This project is a vital element in the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) emerging battlespace communications upgrade,” BAE Systems Australia manager Andrew Makin said.
“The win reinforces our position as Australia’s leading prime systems integrator of military communications systems. The sophisticated satellite communications systems that BAE will develop and install under the contract will be tailored to suit the demands of the military operational environment, primarily on naval vessels.”
Design and development work on what is known as the advanced satellite communications terrestrial infrastructure system (or Astis) will be carried out at BAE sites in South Australia and Canberra while through-life support will be the responsibility of its Sydney office.
“BAE Systems Australia currently supplies ADF with more than 90% of their mobile tactical and trunk communications equipment,” Makin said.
“There are natural synergies between the Astis project and the excellent satellite communications work being done by the BAE team in Adelaide and Sydney. We are confident that we can utilise the same project management, systems integration and engineering capability to meet and exceed the expectations of our customer in this important program.”
In space no-one can hear you sing
The Beagle 2 remained ominously silent last night as the European Space Agency (ESA) renewed efforts to contact the tiny probe that landed on Mars on Christmas Day.
Beagle 2 was to have emitted a nine-note ditty penned by Britpop band Blur to announce its safe arrival on the red planet, but scientists have not heard from the probe since it was launched from its mothership, Mars Express.
NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter and several radio telescopes have so far been unable to obtain a signal from the probe.
But last night, Mars Express came within 315km of the Beagle 2's landing site near the planet's equator, giving ESA its best chance yet to make contact with the lander.
The New Norcia Deep Space Ground Station, 150 kilometres north of Perth, is playing a vital role in the attempted resurrection of ESA's mission to find life on Mars.
Using signals from the 35-metre satellite dish at New Norcia, scientists yesterday "switched on" the Mars Express' instruments and relayed the first images and measurements of Mars.
Initial signals from the Mars Express were monitored from ESA headquarters in Germany, but no signal from the Beagle 2 was detected.
More attempts to contact Beagle 2 are planned in the days to come.
Unlike NASA's Mars Odyssey and radio telescopes, Mars Express has a communication system that was fully tested to contact Beagle 2, giving ESA greater confidence of picking up a signal.
"We have not lost hope yet to contact Beagle 2, but we also know that it has landed on an unforgiving planet," ESA's director of science, David Southwood, said in a statement.
"There are still opportunities to make contact with Beagle in the days to come, and we are giving our best efforts.
"Nevertheless, our spacecraft Mars Express has now reached its operational orbit and is working well; I know the science community is eagerly waiting for its first results."
Scientists at New Norcia began receiving information from Mars Express at 7am (WST) this morning and will continue monitoring its progress until 5pm, when the signal will again be relayed through to Germany.
STMicroelectronics Chipset Powers Cost-Effective Dual TV and Dual PVR Set-Top Boxes
From Press release
GENEVA, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM),
the world's number one supplier of set-top box (STB)* chips and the industry's
long-term leader in MPEG-2 decoders, has introduced the STi5528 and STi4629
chipset to its OMEGA family of STB decoders. Supporting full dual TV and dual
PVR (Personal Video Recorder) functionality, the new solution extends the
performance of the OMEGA family through the use of two 32-bit RISC processors,
making it a highly cost-effective solution for advanced digital set-top boxes.
The STi5528 and STi4629 chipset can decode two separate video and audio
streams allowing consumers to connect two televisions to a single set top box.
Furthermore, while decoding the two audio and video streams, the new chipset
can also record two channels to a hard disk, so providing dual PVR
functionality. Together, these two features allow manufacturers to build
products that eliminate the need for a second STB to provide digital content
to the second TV that is present in many homes.
For the management of real time functions such as audio and video decoding
and demultiplexing, the STi5528 employs an ST20 core running at 166MHz. The
ST20 is the most widely deployed processor in equipment such as STBs and DVD
players that require MPEG-2 decoding and has been proven in tens of millions
of STBs since the OMEGA family was introduced in 1997.
For application software, the STi5528 provides a 200MHz ST40 processor
capable of running all the popular operating systems used in today's STBs
including Linux and Windows CE. With integrated Floating Point and Memory
Management Units, the ST40 delivers the high throughput (360 MIPS, 1.2Gflops)
required to implement high performance STBs with digital video recording and
web interactivity features. Moreover, the integrated 2D Graphics Display
Compositor provides seven planes for the primary TV and four planes for a
second TV, while the STi5528's ability to demultiplex and descramble seven
transport streams from up to four front ends and its integrated ATA-6
compliant Hard Disk Drive interface ensure full dual TV PVR support. Audio
options include Dolby(R), MP3 and SRS TruSurround(TM).
"With the introduction of the STi5528 and STi4629 chipset, we have
extended the performance of the OMEGA family to a new level, combining the
power of the ST40 with the proven performance of the ST20 to allow
unprecedented flexibility at a competitive price/performance point," said
Christos Lagomichos, vice president and general manager of ST's Set-Top Box
Other key components of the STi5528 and STi4629 include enhanced security
features that help protect service providers' revenue streams, a video
architecture that provides a dual stream MPEG2@ML video decoder and
PAL/NTSC/SECAM video encoders, and a USB interface for home networking. The
STi5528 also features a rich variety of communications interfaces, including
UARTs, I(2)C/SPI master/slave interfaces, four PWM channels, a multi-channel
infrared transmitter/receiver and a MAFE (modem analog front-end) interface.
Both the STi5528 and the STi4629 may be used in satellite, cable or
terrestrial set top boxes. Used on its own, the STi5528 can decode two video
streams, enabling picture in picture functionality on a single TV.
Built using ST's 0.13-micron CMOS technology, the STi5528 and STi4629 are
available for sampling now, with volume production scheduled for Q2 2004.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering
semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications.
An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing
strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners
positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and
its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The
Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris
and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2002, the Company's net revenues were
$6.32 billion and net earnings were $429.4 million. Further information on ST
can be found at http://www.st.com.
* InStat/MDR - MPEG Video IC Market: Larger than Ever - June 2003
(Report Number: IN030573MI)
* TruSurround is a trademark of SRS Labs, Inc.
* Dolby is a registered trademark of Dolby Laboratories.
The STi5528 and STi4629 combine all the features required for dual TV and
dual PVR set top boxes into a single chip set:
-- High performance 32 bit ST40 CPU running at 200MHz with 8 kilobytes of
instruction cache and 16 kilobytes of data cache
-- Enhanced ST20 CPU running at 166MHz, 8 kilobytes each of instruction
cache, data cache and embedded SRAM
-- Dual stream MPEG@ML video decoder, including trick mode such as smooth
fast forward and rewind
-- Dual source Gamma blitter engine and display compositor, supporting
-- PAL/NTSC/SECAM encoder
-- Audio subsystem with embedded DSP supporting all popular audio formats
-- A comprehensive range of embedded peripherals including five UARTS,
two USB 1.1 host interfaces, four PWM channels, eight parallel IO
banks, multi channel infra red transmitter/receiver, ATA-6 HDD
interface, two smart card interfaces, and a modem analogue front end
(Craigs comment, many of us have receivers that use the previous ST 5518 chipset. The new chipset sound good)
Educational satellite to be launched in June
The Government of India, in association with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), expects to launch ‘Edusat’, a satellite dedicated exclusively for educational purposes, in June 2004.
The satellite launch is aimed at educating the nation across age groups, regions, professions, and people from all walks of life, officials said.
Inaugurating the first regional consultation on Edusat in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, Vallabhbhai Kathiria, Union minister of state for human resources development, said, “The growing population was once considered to be a burden on the country, but at present, it is the assets of the country as Indians have the best brains. We can boast of having the best manpower in the world. EduSat is an initiative taken by the government in association with the Indian Space Research Organisation and will be dedicated to the people of the nation soon.”
B S Bhatia, director, development and educational communication unit (DECU) of ISRO, said, “ISRO has persuaded the utilisation of space technology for education and development. These efforts started with the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) and have continued more recently with the Jhabua Development Communications Project (JDCP) and Training Development Communication Channel (TDCC).”
Bhatia said, “To effectively utilise communication capabilities that Edusat can offer, substantial planning and preparation would have to be invested in. It would require several educational agencies to come together, pool their expertise and resources and make contributions to this endeavour.”
The second regional consultation on Edusat will be held at Chennai in association with the Anna University at the end of this month, while the third regional consultation for the eastern region on Edusat will be held in Kharagpur in West Bengal.
I was furious with SKY NZ last night, during the cricket they cut off Steve Waugh in mid speech and went to some other programing. I emailed Sky and their excuse was the feed was no longer available after 8.55pm last night and they had no other options of sourcing the signal. They also said they tried to source it off the feed for Bskyb and the feed for India but claim they were also cut off. I was not impressed that this historic cricket moment was RUINED for NZ viewers.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Timothy Ang
3 Mainland Chinese channels(Fujian South East, Hunan and GuangDong) were
down during the Christmas season last year due to signal loss(and I think
everybody knows why).
Two Taiwanese channels were replaced.
They are AFA Chinese Drama Channel (horrible channel and a waste of
bandwidth) and DaAi channel (Buddhism channel).AFA is replaced by "AsiaPlus Asia" (NTSC) and
DaAi channel is replaced by CTI(formerly ZhongTian then PowerNews, and back
to ZhongTian again) (NTSC)
Unfortunately I do not know whether they are permanent but they have been up
air since the beginning of the new year. I am more than happy that they
finally got rid of AFA. Too much old shows, fortune telling, tailsman ads,
slimming ads and in the wee hours sex chats ads with Taiwanese phone
CTI(Chinese Television International) is now a Chinese news, current affairs
and variety shows channel aimed at the Taiwanese beaming across the world.
AsiaPlus Asia or Azio is a popular Chinese entertainment channel featuring
variety shows, celebrity talk shows, music charts and MTVs.
I have received a brochure detailing a new Chinese channel (NTDtv)setup
The channel claims to be FTA and it offers a 24 hour mixture of Chinese
news, current affairs, world sports, kids entertainment and culture
programs, with the aim of bringing the "greater Chinese"(Chinese
Mainlanders, Chinese expatriates and the Taiwanese) together.
The setup comes with a small satellite dish and a decoder.
Setup Cost + a VCD installation guide = AUD$360 with GST
Setup Cost + a VCD installation guide + 1 year guarantee = AUD$480 with GST
For those who already has an existing satellite setup, the cost would be
AUD$190 till AUD$280 depending on needs.
NTDtv has subcontracted the satellite setup to www.cstvau.com
I hope the information has been useful.
(Craigs comment, FTA? whats the $190 or $280 charge for?)
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3860 H The test card is back on , Viaccess 2, PIDs 470/471.
PAS 8 166E 3950 V "Occasioanal UBS TV" feeds on , SR 10125, FEC 3/4.
PAS 8 166E 4133 V "CTS - Christian TV System" has started , enc., SR 3472, FEC 3/4,PIDs 43/44.
Insat 2E 83E 3919 V New SR for the DD Saptagiri mux : 6250.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H All channels in the TARBS World TV mux are now encrypted.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3652 H "The TV Lanka test card" is back on , Fta, PIDs 1260/1220.
PAS 10 68.5E 3716 V Urban Beat has replaced Christmas Music on , Irdeto 2, APID 3603.
Sky plan 'ludicrous': UNiTAB
FORMER Billabong surfwear chief executive Matthew Perrin would face considerable hurdles if he proceeds with rumoured plans to set up a second channel with the television rights for horse racing in NSW and Victoria.
That's the verdict of gaming analysts who doubt that a syndicate led by Mr Perrin or any other party will be able to wrest control of the rights from the TAB-owned Sky racing channel.
Mr Perrin departed from Billabong in July last year after angering shareholders with a shock $66 million sale of stock in the Gold Coast-based company. He did not return phone calls relayed through his publicist yesterday.
One industry source said that Mr Perrin's group had pitched to race clubs for the past three months a "new media" alternative to Sky, which would include the use of mobile phones.
Under the plan, it is understood punters would be able to use SMS to place bets and phone screens to watch race replays and receive results.
Mr Perrin's name has surfaced after a decision last week by two Sydney racing clubs to join forces with Racing Victoria to appoint ThoroughVision to renegotiate television rights.
The NSW clubs' agreement with Sky expires on March 4 and their move has been seen as a negotiating tactic for more money as talks to renew the three-year contracts continue.
Sky retains a monopoly hold on broadcasts and generates a significant amount of profit for NSW-based TAB, which remains the focal point of competing $2 billion merger bids from Queensland's UNiTAB and Victoria's Tabcorp.
UNiTAB last month trumped a Tabcorp bid for TAB with a cash and scrip bid effectively offering $4.50 a share.
Sources said last night that Tabcorp would make a counter offer before January 15 but UNiTAB will have institutional support up to $5.
The bidding war is part of a consolidation in the wagering sector, where there is a belief that the nation will eventually end up with a single betting outlet which some have already dubbed "Austab".
A gaming analyst who spoke on background yesterday cautioned that taking on Sky would prove to be nearly impossible.
"There's so many barriers to entry with Sky. It's really a true monopoly so I can't see it being done. I can't see Sky being challenged," he said.
The most significant struggle for any start-up entity would be striking deals with almost 2000 pubs and clubs, he said.
"There's a massive amount of contracts that have to be negotiated both on the television racing rights side and also they have to sign up all the clubs and pubs as well to sell the racing product."
Venues with the Sky racing channel have reasonable deals now but are clearly angling for more, the source said.
"To put it in perspective, Sky channel generates about $44 million in EBITDA on revenues of around $100 million so its margins are quite good. The race clubs want a bit more profit I suspect.
"It's a very good business for TAB in NSW at the moment. It's around 20 per cent of TAB's profitability."
UNiTAB managing director Dick McIlwain acknowledged hearing whispers about Mr Perrin but reiterated his belief yesterday that the establishment of a second channel was "quite ludicrous and it just won't work".
A TAB sale of Sky would derail the UNiTAB merger offer but Mr McIlwain said he believed such a move was unlikely.
Publicans cheer for new race telecaster
The Australian Hotels Association said it would welcome a rival telecaster of Australian thoroughbred racing as Telstra joined a growing list of potential bidders for the media rights to NSW and Victorian racing.
A source close to the Australian Jockey Club, Sydney Turf Club and Racing Victoria said Telstra and English television production group Ten Ten Digital had expressed interest in establishing a second broadcaster, which would end the cosy monopoly over the racing industry enjoyed by the NSW TAB's Sky Channel.
So far, the two front-runners for the broadcast rights are the cashed-up former managing director of Billabong, Matthew Perrin, who has lodged a formal proposal, and Sky Channel.
Telstra declined to comment.
With just over eight weeks left to run on their distribution deals with Sky Channel, the AJC and STC agreed last Friday night to pool their media rights with Racing Victoria in the hope of strengthening their bargaining position with the broadcaster.
The media rights are held by Racing Victoria's production company ThoroughVision, which is chaired by media buyer Harold Mitchell.
Pub owners, who were "not happy" with Sky Channel, would support a second broadcaster of thoroughbred racing," the senior vice-president of the Australian Hotels Association (NSW), Bevan Douglas, said.
Mr Douglas claimed the 1000 PubTABs in NSW were losing an average of $1000 a week because of expensive subscription fees for Sky Channel.
Subscription fees were based on TAB and bulk beer turnover and ranged between $12,000 and $40,000 a year, Mr Douglas said.
"If there is a potential for someone else to come in and offer a better service they would expect to get an enormous amount of support," Mr Douglas said.
However, some market observers believed the racing industries were using Mr Perrin to put pressure on Sky Channel ahead of negotiations.
Sky Channel's contract with the AJC and STC expires on March 4, while the distribution agreement with Racing Victoria has 12 months to run.
The broadcaster's individual agreements with NSW country and provincial racing clubs expire over the next 10 years.
Charlie Green, director of institutional broker Hunter Green, said the racing industry was attempting to "screw better payments out of Sky".
"If they go down this route it would take them [at least] five years to clean up the other clubs," Mr Green said.
However, Ian Frykberg, who has been recruited by the racing industries to conduct negotiations on their behalf, said "no one is being used as a stalking horse . . . Perrin and any other applicants will be treated on their merits."
Goldman Sachs JBWere analyst Matthew Reynolds downgraded his short-term recommendation on TAB from outperform to marketperform amid fears Sky Channel's earnings would be hurt if a rival broadcaster were established or Sky Channel were forced to pay higher fees for the rights to broadcast racing.
This may affect the value of TAB, which is the target of a $2 billion-plus interstate bidding war between UNiTAB and Tabcorp.
Mr Reynolds said a fall in Sky Channel's earnings would have a greater impact on a merged TAB-UNiTAB than a TAB-Tabcorp group.
TAB's media division would represent 13 per cent of TAB-UNiTAB and only 4 per cent of Tabcorp-TAB
Darlo TV data firm signs Foxtel digital deal
Darlinghurst-based TV program data supplier HWW has signed a three-year contract with Foxtel to provide data to about 100 new digital TV channels.
The listed Sydney company said in a statement it would supply a range of data aggregation, cleaning and content management services to Foxtel's pay digital channels, which are slated for launch in the first half of this year.
Paul Marshall, CEO at HWW, claimed the company was the only one in Australia that could ensure TV program listing data was "consistently accurate", which he put down to HWW's electronic TV guide publishing experience.
"We have staff working 365 days a year -- 366 in 2004 -- on TV program listings and amendments," Marshall said.
He said supplying TV metadata was a "commercially significant" focus for HWW, which also used data capture technology and content management systems to supply program listings and associated services to Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, Orange, Yahoo! Australia and NZ, ninemsn, AOL/7, ourbrisbane.com and TransACT.
Kim Williams, CEO at Foxtel, said the data would feed a key digital guide for subscribers, a magazine and a website.
"This level of programming information has never been seen before in Australia. It is critical that we have accurate listings data 24 hours a day across the entire service," Williams said.
Last year, HWW created a metadata services division specifically targeting a perceived demand for managed TV program listings. The division offered services for the management, aggregation, analysis, cleaning and publishing of listings information for TV industry players and their business partners, the company said in a statement.
HWW also has three other divisions -- HWW Content, HWW Content Services, HWW Publishing -- and a joint venture, Australian Property Monitors, with newspaper publisher John Fairfax & Sons.
Pay TV provider Foxtel is 50 percent-owned by Telstra, 25 percent-owned by News Corporation and 25 percent-owned by Publishing and Broadcasting.
Arianespace to launch two Japanese satellites
Europe's commercial satellite launching company Arianespace has won contracts to send up two satellites for Japan's JSAT Corporation, Arianespace said Tuesday.
The launch contracts are Arianespace's 20th and 21st for Japanese commercial satellites, the company said in a statement issued in Tokyo, adding the European company had previously sent up four satellites for JSAT, the country's leading satellite operator.
The contracts concern JSAT's JCSAT-9 digital communications satellite and a future satellite, Arianespace said.
"Arianespace, which has been chosen to launch 21 of 29 Japanese commercial satellites, is very proud of its role in developing satellite communications in Japan over the last 17 years," Arianespace chief executive Jean-Yves Le Gall was quoted as saying in the statement.
An Ariane 5 rocket is due to blast off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana in late 2005, the company said.
Japan hopes to use its domestically-developed H2-A rocket to become a player in the commercial satellite launch market, but its plans have been thrown into doubt by its failure last November to put two spy satellites into orbit.
Zee Telefilms plans to launch religious channel - Jaagaran- this month
NEW DELHI: The Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Telefilms is at it again. And this time it wants to add a religious channel to the stable.
The proposed religious channel, to be called Jaagaran, is slated for a launch some time this month via Asiasat 3S and INSAT satellites. The stable already boasts of about 15 channel brands, including the ones that are part of the DTH package.
Confirming to indiantelevision.com Zee Tele vice-chairman Jawahar Goel said, "We had some spare transponder capacity and lot of religion-related material in our library. So, we thought that we should start a religion-oriented channel."
At the moment, a host of religious channels received in Indian cable homes include Aastha, Sanskar, CMM, ETC (partly showing live Gurbani from the Golden temple in Amritsar) and an English channel- Miraclenet beamed from abroad.
Jaagaran (in Hindi it means to be awakened to the truth), however, would be slightly different from the others of its ilk in the sense that apart from religious discourses, it would also have religious serials (may be like Ramayan) and movies.
There is no dearth of religious movies and TV serials in India. Several such serials have had a great inning on various TV networks, including Doordarshan, Sony and Star. The series have kept the nation hooked on to mythology and tales from the ancient Indian scriptures and epics.
Zee Tele is open to commissioning new religious serials for its proposed channel as also buying stuff off the shelf wherever available.
Whether the channel would be started in a pay mode or as a digital free to air is still not clear as Zee Telefilms is not revealing the final script.
But what becomes evident is that Zee is preparing itself with all genres of channels and trying to be ready for a regime when conditional access becomes a reality and niche channel would have their own place in such on-demand scenario. DTH is certainly one such scenario, but at the moment Zee and ASC Enterprise combine's DTH package cannot take more than 48 channels, which it already has.
Religious channels are slowly but surely creating their small spaces under the advertising sun. Quite a few advertisers, like manufacturers of herbal tea and incense sticks, have started buying airtime on religious channels whose rates are low if compared to even news channels or regional music channels.
The Zee scrip, which has been dancing to the bull tune that is playing out in the Indian stock markets, was quoting at Rs 159.90 on the Bombay Stock Exchange at 14.52 hours, signifying a 3.16 per cent gain over the last closing. On the National Stock Exchange, the scrip was being quoted at Rs 159.70 at 15.05 hours today.
Of late, the scrip has been northward bound on reports of subscription revenue from its pay channels increasing by the time the company closes the financial year on 31 March. This had also been aided with media reports suggesting that conditional access system would finally become a reality in true sense, starting off from South Delhi.
So, additions to the Zee family of channels would always make sense as long as the company doesn't splurge money on its niche new ventures, a Delhi-based capital markets experts said.
Live satellite chat tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd onwards in the chatroom.
Ewtn has left B3 Globecast mux, the Trial period has ended
From my Emails & ICQ
From Jsat (W.A)
just did a blind search of sinosat1 and find no sign of the new service at 3763v as posted on your site...getting..
4067v 5990 1/2...20 radio.
4106v 6200 2/3 2 + TV.
and a very weak 3776v 4441 ?
lock but no picture....
lower south west of WA...3.7m mesh with split C/KU feed...coship decoder...
(Craigs comment, 3776V is new, Chinese Sat network TV, see below)
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E 3769 R "Occasional GlobeCast feeds, Kossuth Radio AM, Emarat FM and Glas Hrvatske" on , Fta, PIDs 2160/2120, 1322, 2522 and 2622.
PAS 8 166E 3860 H The test card has left .
Optus B3 156E 12658 V "The Overcomer" has started, Fta, APID 1123.
Palapa C2 113E 4080 H "Prima Entertainment Channel" has left , replaced by a test card.
Sinosat 1 110.5E 3775 V "Chinese Sat Network TV" has started, Fta, SR 4445, FEC 3/4, PIDs 4130/4131.
Sinosat 1 110.5E 4106 V "East Radio Shanghai and Radio Shanghai" have started, Fta, SIDs 2-3, APIDs 1213-1214.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3669 V "The BlueKiss promo" is still on , Fta, PIDs 7201/7202.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3660 V "Radio Quran" has started , Fta, APID 661.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3520 H "Samanyolu TV World, Moral FM, Akra FM, Burc FM, Marmara FM, Radyo 15 and Dunya Radyo" have left .
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3494 V "A Fortune Media test card has started" , Fta, SR 2894, PIDs 4096/4097.
Intelsat 906 64E 3765 R Occasional Yantar feeds on , SR 2820, FEC 3/4, West hemi beam.
China to launch 10 satellites in 2004
China's growing space programme will take another great leap skyward this year.
With a record number of satellite launches planned for 2004, the space programme is entering a pivotal period.
"We are looking to place 10 satellites into orbit in 2004, more than any other year in China's space history,'' Zhang Qingwei, a top aerospace official, told China Daily yesterday in an exclusive interview.
The launches of new "stars" is only the dramatic climax of the drive to boost China's aerospace industry. A new next-generation satellite, currently under development, is expected to help the country entrench itself firmly within the world's small but technologically demanding space community.
The new model is a large-scale satellite based on a new platform. It has an expected mission life of 15 years, Zhang said.
Zhang's comments were the clearest official statement to date concerning China's space plans for 2004.
Last year the nation not only blasted six satellites into orbit but joined the very small club of nations who have put men in space. Other than China, only the former Soviet Union and the Unites States have accomplished the feat.
Including Probe-1, the first Sino-European joint satellite launched last week, there are 16 Chinese satellites still operating in orbit. That's far short of the surging needs created by economic growth and national defence requirements, Zhang said.
Satellites with different functions, from weather to remote sensing and geographic information as well as scientific research ones, are key to speeding up the country's economic growth and communication systems.
That's why more than 30 satellite launches were planned for the period between 2001-05 period alone. The 10 in the pipeline for this year include meteorological, natural resources and marine observation and geospace exploration satellites, Zhang said.
The first of them, a small one carrying scientific experiments, will blast off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Southwest China's Sichuan Province around the end of this spring.
But China's plans to boost its orbital presence go far beyond 2004.
A constellation of small environmental monitoring and disaster forecast satellites, will be established by 2010, said Yuan Jiajun, president of the Chinese Academy of Space Technology.
Also, by leveraging the country's proven launch expertise, China is seeking to provide in-orbit delivered satellite solutions for foreign countries, said Jiang Weixing, vice-director of CASC's Aerospace Department
But despite the number of launches, China's satellite manufacturing industry will have to jump some hurdles to boost sought-after exports.
For years, the country has worked to export made-in-China satellites. To date, however, it has only managed to export satellite components under a 2002 agreement Yuan's academy signed with France's Alcatel Space.
China's latest Dongfanghong satellite series, Dongfanghong-III,stands at only 3,000 watts in output power and has a working life of eight years. That's sometimes below the world's average, Jiang said.
Mindful of the disparities with similar industries in other space-faring nations, the State Council has approved a massive plan to develop China's new-generation communications satellite platform. The new models have longer life spans, are more reliable and have a higher capacity, he said.
Investment in the platform to date has amounted to 1.3 billion yuan (US$156 million), he said.
Satellites based on this "most sophisticated" platform are expected to last for 15 years, carry up to 50 transponders and weigh about 5,100 kilograms at takeoff.
Its end-of-life power output is expected to reach 10,000 watts, which will put it in line with the most advanced systems currently in use, Jiang said.
More than that, China's newest platform will be capable of performing similar functions as the world's leading satellite platforms. That includes the world-leading Boeing702 of the Boeing Co, SB4000 of the Alcatel Space and A2100 of Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, said Hu Zhongmin, another official of the CASC.
The Chinese platform could be used to develop large communication systems, live broadcast satellites and other types purposes, Hu said.
Ultimately, the new satellites will deliver cleaner signals to ground based platforms even if they use smaller antennas, said Zhang.
The first satellite system and the first satellite -- Sinosat-II -- to be built on this platform will be launched in the first half of 2005, Zhang said.
He said satellites based on the new large-scale platform will find a niche in the global commercial satellite market.
In fact, CASC is close to an agreement with APT Satellite Co Ltd in Hong Kong to supply a backup satellite based on the new platform for APSTAR VI, a telecommunications array scheduled to be launched this year, Jiang said. Enditem
Animax Asia to have three feeds by end of Jan
MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has big plans for Asia in the animation area. It will have three dedicated feeds for Animax Asia by the end of the month. As reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com, the channel will showcase the best of Japanese animation.
A dedicated service will be launched for Hong Kong on 12 January. This will be followed a South East Asia service on 19 January. This will complement the Taiwan service, which launched on 1 January and is already viewed in over a million homes, claims the channel.
Speaking to Indiantelevision.com on the channel, SPE Asia's marketing VP Gregory Ho says, "We are extremely excited about Animax Asia which we believe has tremendous potential and meets a large but rather under served audience. Animax is a basic tier channel. Our target audience are those in the seven - 35 year bracket."
Regarding the launch of Animax Asia in India, Ho said, "As you can imagine, at this point all our efforts are focused on successfully launching these three services and it is a little too premature for us to make any comments beyond them."
Ho went on to elaborate on the programme blocks which had been created. "The programming in prime time is divided into four key belts. The first is Kids Hour (5 - 7 pm) - for school kids seven - 14 years. It will feature anime that is fun, creative, educational and entertaining. This will be followed with Youth Hour (7 - 9pm). Targeted at teenagers, the content will rest on fantasy, sci-fi and sports. Many of these have been popularised by games, merchandise, and in highly read comics."
"Mega Zone (9 - 11pm) is for the adult viewer. It will have the hottest shows from Japan ranging from romance and drama to action and sci-fi. Finally we have Super Maniax (11pm - 12 midnight) - appealing more to adults and die hard fans. This will mix classic anime with anime that have more sophisticated themes."
Ho added that alongside Japanese anime programmes that have not been seen outside the land of the rising sun, Animax Asia will also feature anime movies which are rarely broadcast on TV. They are usually only available on DVD / VCD
(Craigs comment, Power vu signal on Apstar 2R perhaps coming to a local Pay TV provider soon?)
Pilat Media Global: IBMS Supply Contract For MEASAT
Edited Press Release
LONDON (Dow Jones)--Pilat Media Global, the London-based supplier of business management software, Monday reports the signing of a new contract for the supply of IBMS (Integrated Broadcast Management System) to MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems Sdn. Bhd., which is better known in Malaysia by its trade name "Astro", and is Malaysia's leading provider of Pay TV services.
Astro will be the 7th pay TV platform joining Pilat Media's 28-strong client-base which includes additional satellite-based broadcasters like BSkyB, Foxtel and Sky Latin America. It is Pilat Media's first major fully Asian client, which can potentially serve as a reference for additional broadcasters in the region.
The contract is for IBMS licences, both the content programming and the advertising sales and traffic parts, including customisation, integration, training and additional implementation support services together worth GBP1 million. Additional revenues are expected post implementation from long term maintenance and support services.
The work on this project commenced back in October 2003, under an interim consultancy agreement, to enable go-live in the first quarter of 2004. IBMS is intended to streamline content acquisition, program scheduling and media preparations for over 40 subscription channels as well as on demand and interactive services and emerging advertising sales operations.
As part of the implementation, it will be integrated with the conditional access system of Canal+. With Astro planning to continue growing, IBMS is expected to scale up and accommodate even more channels and new digital services all under the same business management system.
IBMS will be installed at Astro's 'All Asia Broadcast Centre' (ABC) in Kuala Lumpur, which is reputedly the largest single digital broadcast and production complex in the world. Astro is a wholly owned subsidiary of ASTRO ALL ASIA NETWORKS, a company recently floated on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.
Ekspress AM satellite Successfully Launched
From Satnews daily
Baikonour Cosmodrome, Kazahkstan/December 29, 2003/Satnews/ The EXPRESS-AM22 satellite was launched from Baikonur launching pad into orbit aboard Proton launch vehicle on 29 December, 2003. The new satellite will be deployed at 53 E GEO. The EXPRESS-AM22 is expected to be operational following in-orbit tests, and all on-board systems trials.
The EXPRESS-AM22 launch is the first in a five-satellite campaign to enhance the Russian national system capacity by the end of 2005. The launching is made under The Federal Space Program of Russia. As regards the volume of RSCC satellite operations, the RSCC domestic market share accounts for 88% in 2003. By launching new EXPRESS-AM series satellites, RSCC will be able to win positions among 10 top-notch operators worldwide.
The EXPRESS-AM 22 is designed under the order of RSCC by NPO PM in cooperation with ALCATEL SPACE. The spacecraft is equipped with advanced antenna systems. The contour antennas will provide optimal coverage, and enable to use satellite terminals with antennas from 0.6 m. The spacecraft uses the increased power steerable beams (up to 53 dBW). The EXPRESS-AM 22 will offer capacity for digital TV, telephony, high-speed Internet access to customers on its 24 Ku-band transponders (measured in 54 MHz equivalent units). It corresponds to 36 transponders measured in 36 MHz equivalent units. The satellite lifetime is 12 years. The high power Ku-band transponders of the satellite make it ideal to support VSATs, internal and corporate networks, multimedia (distant learning, telemedicine etc.).
RSCC will control each launching phase of the EXPRESS-AM22 satellite, and all on-board systems. To do this, RSCC will deploy EXPRESS-A and EXPRESS-AM Satellite Control Center by using the technical facilities in Moscow, Dubna and Zheleznogorsk. The unified Satellite Control Center will provide continuous in-orbit control over on-board systems of the new EXPRESS-AM22 satellite during its lifetime.
TELE SATELLITE NEWS - Number 01/2004 4 January 2004 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition
A S I A & P A C I F I C
BTV MISSES ASIASAT DEADLINE
Bangladesh Television's (BTV) satellite transmission could not meet the December 25 deadline, as the information ministry did not yet ink a deal with AsiaSat. BTV's plan to transmit via satellite prompted mixed reactions. Local satellite broadcasters fear they might lose Tk 70 crore in revenue from commercials a year to BTV because of its satellite venture. BTV earns more than 50 per cent of the revenues from TV commercials, as viewers prefer it to private channels. In fiscal 2002-3, BTV earned Tk 82 crore from terrestrial transmission, with the revenues from satellite and terrestrial commercials by all television channels estimated at Tk 150 crore a year. The government decided to give advertisers the privilege to air commercials on both terrestrial and satellite transmissions at the same rate to increase revenues in a bid the private satellite broadcasters fear will harm their commercial market further. There is also an optimistic view. Media marketing experts think BTV's satellite venture will increase competition, making satellite providers come up with quality transmission and programmes. The number of satellite viewers will increase thanks to competition among channels, they said, adding the now-closed Ekushey Television surpassed BTV's commercial revenue because of its quality programmes.
CHINA HONG KONG
NEW MOVIE CHANNEL LAUNCHES
China is progressively developing domestic film channels as a response to the threat of increased foreign competition. Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group launched the country's third film channel this week over the city's cable television network. Its Oriental Movie Channel (OMC) offers six shows a day, including Chinese and foreign titles and television series. "We will soon boost the number of movies to more than 10 a day," an OMC spokesman said. The airing of OMC comes 10 years after state-run Chinese Central Television 6 and follows Western Movie Channel's debut in Shanxi province last month. Roy Kong, media director at media buyer Starcom Worldwide, said OMC was "just like a home-grown [Home Box Office]". According to industry sources, OMC plans to spend about 70 million yuan a year on buying content. It is aiming to sell 500 million yuan of advertising slots over the next three years. A source said: "The target is not harsh at all. A free around-the-clock movie channel in Shanghai, where the TV advertising market is worth more than two billion yuan a year, should easily attract advertisers." OMC will compete for viewers with Shanghai Media Group, the city's near-monopoly television broadcaster. Foreign film channels such as HBO, Star Movies and Phoenix Movies have been eating into the lucrative advertising pie in China, despite being limited to satellite-connected foreign compounds and selected hotels.
FILMMAKER LAUNCHES TV CHANNEL
Changchun Movie Production Group Co (also known as Changying in the country), the oldest filmmaker on the Chinese mainland since New China was founded in 1949, launched a cable TV movie channel last week. The company plans to broadcast up to 1,600 movies and 12,000 minutes of cartoons a year. There will be a variety of content to meet different demands for various audiences," the company official added.
NICKELODEON GETS SLOT ON CCTV
At the end of last month, Nickelodeon Asia began broadcasting a daily programming block to viewers in China on state-run broadcaster CCTV. Nickelodeon is providing 30 minutes of programming daily to CCTV's recently launched Children Channel. Shows include The Wild Thornberrys and CatDog. In addition, Nickelodeon has reached a deal with Hong Kong's Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting for carriage of a 24-hour channel on Galaxy's pay-TV service exTV. The platform is set to launch in February. BBC World will also be included on Hong Kong’s first direct to home digital pay TV platform, exTV, following an agreement signed with the operator; Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting Limited.
CRICKET INCREASES SALES OF SET-TOP BOXES
Cable TV subscribers in South Delhi have bought about 30,000 set-top boxes (STBs) since the conditional access system (CAS) was introduced on December 15. This is against an estimated 15,000-20,000 boxes installed about a week ago. Cable industry sources said the last few days saw higher sales as consumers rushed to buy STBs in anticipation of cable companies blocking signals to homes. Government sources said broadcasting companies and cable operators had approached the government with a proposal to set up a regulatory body to oversee the sector after the implementation of CAS. Sources also said a section of broadcasters had also called upon the government to ensure that cable network companies where neutral while distributing channels. According to the sources, broadcasters have pointed out that some cable operators are favouring certain broadcasters by either blocking their rivals’ channels or not ensuring their smooth distribution.
ESPN STAR SPORTS TO DISTRIBUTE OTHER TV CHANNELS
ESPN Star Sports has decided to offer its distribution service to third party channels, a move which will put the company in competition with other platform providers like Sony-Discovery’s One Alliance and STAR India. ESPN STAR Sports, a joint venture between ESPN and STAR, has initiated talks with several channels. The company has so far only been distributing its two sports channels, ESPN and STAR Sports. The company was in talks with Hindi news channel Aaj Tak which plans to go pay in 2004-05. ESPN STAR Sports is in contention for getting the distribution rights of Walt Disney channel in India, rivalling STAR India’s bid to rope in the children’s channel in its bouquet. Sony is also in the race. The reason for ESPN STAR Sports to offer distribution service to external channels, is to generate additional business. The infrastructure is already in place and could be exploited to distribute other TV channels. ESPN STAR Sports believes that it can leverage the strength of its two sports channels to rope in new channels for distribution. Media analysts said that with existing TV channels already aligned with other distribution companies, ESPN’s opportunity may come only when new channels decide to enter the country.
SALE OF TV18 ARM STALLED
The government has rejected Television Eighteen (TV18) India Ltd’s proposal to offer a 15 per cent stake in its proposed uplinking subsidiary, iNews.com, to CNBC group firm Business News (Asia) Pvt Ltd (BNA) on the ground that TV18 has failed to comply with the guidelines for news channel uplinking within the prescribed deadline. The government rejected the proposal at the behest of the information and broadcasting ministry, which pointed out that iNews.com, also the proposed production and uplinking company for CNBC in India, had not applied for uplinking rights so far. The ministry said the proposal would be considered only after TV18 complied with the foreign direct investment norms, and iNews18 applied for uplinking rights. The information and broadcasting ministry said TV18, the parent company of iNews.com, had a foreign portfolio investment of 10.48 per cent, which is not permitted under the guidelines. Only 26 per cent foreign direct investment is permitted in firms uplinking news from India. Also, at least 51 per cent of the total paid-up capital of the company should be held by a single Indian shareholder. This condition had also not been complied with so far by TV18, the government said. However, the operations of CNBC-TV18, the 24-hour business channel owned and operated by TV18, will continue as before,” TV18 Managing Director Raghav Bahl said.
MEDIA PLANNERS BET ON PAY-TV CHANNELS
Rollout of the Conditional Access System (CAS) in the Capital is not expected to have much of an impact on media planning, claimed industry experts. Media planners ruled out any significant shift of advertisements from pay to free-to-air (FTA) channels, post-CAS in south and some parts of central Delhi. Reason: It is less than 2 per cent of the all-India cable home count. Also, even as there has been a buzz about some popular pay channels turning FTA in the CAS-enabled market, broadcasters have rejected the idea outright. However, when CAS was introduced in Chennai in September, Star Vijay, earlier a pay channel there, turned FTA. Nevertheless, no significant ad shift from pay to FTA channels may happen because total viewing time on TV is likely to be cut drastically, once pay channels cannot be accessed.
PAY-TV PRICES GO TO UP
Pay channel prices are set to go up with the major broadcasters planning a revision in the rate structure, a move which could fuel further volatility in the highly charged cable TV industry. STAR India has asked cable TV operators to increase their declaration of subscriber base by 58 per cent to enjoy a price cut of Rs 3 a month per subscriber with effect from January 1. Currently, STAR charges Rs 30 for its bouquet of channels. If cable operators do not pay for more subscribers, they will be charged at the rate of Rs 45 a month per consumer. Sony-Discovery’s One Alliance has indicated to cable operators that the price of their bouquet of channels would go up from a monthly fee of Rs 55 to Rs 65 per subscriber. Zee-Turner bouquet is planning to hike its price by Rs 20 from Rs 55 to Rs 75. STAR claims that it has brought the prices down, but admits that it wants to be paid for more subscribers. Cable TV operators say that this is a camouflage as the outgo towards pay channels would go up. “STAR wants us to increase the declaration of our subscribers. ESPN STAR Sports has taken a similar route. The end result is that we will have to pay the broadcasters more,” said an official in a Mumbai-based MSO. ESPN STAR Sports recently announced that cable operators will have to pay Rs 39.50 if they do not increase the declaration of their subscribers, up from Rs 32 a month per consumer.
PRASAR BHARATI TO GET TOUGH ON CABLE OPERATORS
India’s Prasar Bharati, the national broadcasting corporation, has decided to get tough on cable operators who do not carry three of its channels: DD I, DD News and a regional channel, DD Saptagiri in Andhra Pradesh. According to the Times of India, Prasar Bharati officers would be empowered to seize the operators’ equipment and initiate prosecution against them.
CABLE TV ACCESS SYSTEM MAY BE DELAYED
The Indian government, fearing voter wrath in national elections due in 2004, is likely to put on hold the rollout of a controversial new cable television access system, according to local press reports. The Pioneer and other newspapers quoted Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as saying he was "anguished" about the way the system was being implemented. Consumer groups have been up in arms over the new system which would oblige viewers to buy set-top boxes to watch pay channels. Up to now cable subscribers have been able to watch all cable channels through a cable laid at their homes. Broadcasters have been clamouring for the so-called Conditional Access System (CAS) to plug subscription leaks in India that has among the world's largest number of cable subscribers. Nearly half of the country's estimated 80 million TV sets have cable connections. Consumer groups say monthly cable bills would double under CAS. They are also angered by the US$ 40 price tag for the TV set-top boxes needed to use the system, while cable operators say CAS would kill their industry.
NTV NUMBER ONE IN JAPAN YET AGAIN
Nippon Television Network topped the ratings in four time categories in 2003 for the tenth year in succession. NTV continued its dominance over the remaining four commercial TV broadcasters, garnering the leading share in the golden and primetime viewing hours of 19:00 to 23:00, all day ratings taken from 06:00 to midnight and the non-prime period, which accounts for all hours outside of primetime. NTV spokesman Yoshihiro Yamane said. "In 2004, we intend to take a serious approach to program production and provide high quality shows."
JORDANIAN BROTHERS TO LAUNCH TV CHANNEL
The Ikhwan al-Muslimin (Muslim Brothers) group in Jordan said it is considering the foundation of a TV station, or an independent radio, after the call made by the Jordanian commission for audio-visual media for the private sector and the parties to form broadcasting stations. The official spokesman for the group, Yahya Shaqra, said that the group has the ambition and the desire to found such stations, due to the importance of the media as "a means of contacts to disseminate the Islamic call."
ARTS CHANNEL ON SKY
The Arts Channel is the first dedicated channel to bring the world's best arts and cultural television to New Zealand screens. Viewers will be treated to a comprehensive mix of programming, which will be entertaining, contemporary and stimulating for all those passionate about the arts. The content will be wide ranging; from the traditional to the very latest in artistic developments, from music, visual arts, dance, opera, theatre, documentaries, design and literature, to profiles on writers and composers. The Arts Channel will be accessible as a subscription channel on SKY's Digital Network on channel 59. However, for its first month on air it will be available to all SKY Digital subscribers, giving them the opportunity to experience world-class cultural and arts focused television. New Zealand based company - Niche Media International (NMI) will manage the day-to-day running of the channel. SKY will screen the Arts Channel on Digital channel 59 from March 1, 2004 and it will cost $2.95 a week from April 1.
AL-JAZEERA PLANS ENGLISH LANGUAGE TV CHANNEL
Al-Jazeera's next big plan is to move into English-language television. It should begin broadcasting before the end of 2004, says editor-in-chief Ibrahim Helal, after a building to house both the Arabic and English stations in Doha, Qatar, is completed. Al-Jazeera enjoys the BBC's reputation for credibility and, at the same time, moves towards CNN's faster pace of reporting. The English version will replicate that mixture of styles. But the question is whether Al-Jazeera in English can replicate its own success as an Arabic station. Certainly there is little doubt that an English channel would help boost Al-Jazeera's international profile - not to mention its advertising revenues. At the moment, these revenues and the money which it makes from selling its programmes to other stations account for a quarter of its annual budget of US$40 million, with the rest coming from the Qatari government's funds. However, according to an article in a respected Kuwaiti newspaper, the United States Congress has secretly proposed to President George W. Bush that he should put pressure on the Qatari government to close Al-Jazeera.
STARHUB TO POSTPONE DIGITAL TV LAUNCH
StarHub, Singapore's second-largest telecom operator, on December 30 said it will postpone the launch of digital television to next year. StarHub, which is the island-state's only cable television operator, had originally planned to launch digital TV by the end of 2003. "Feedback gathered from trials over the past couple of weeks indicate that it would be more beneficial to take a bit more time to increase and enhance the content and application offerings," said Sandie Lee, StarHub's Senior Vice President for Cable TV Services. StarHub said it hasn't set a specific date for the launch. StarHub is spending US$16 million to introduce digital TV, a new service that would potentially boost the amount of programming available to Singapore's 4 million people, as well as introduce interactive services, such as home shopping and financial services. StarHub has 371,000 customers subscribing to its cable television network as of September 30, 2003. It also offers mobile and fixed line services. Currently, StarHub's cable TV customers have access to about 50 TV channels, including free-to-air channels. StarHub is trying to grow revenue from its various business divisions ahead of a planned initial public offering. StarHub shareholders are Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. with a 9.1% stake, Japan's NTT Communications Corp. with 14.5%, British Telecommunications with 11.9%. Unlisted and government-linked companies Singapore Technologies Telemedia and Media Corporation of Singapore own 50.5% and 14.1%, respectively.
BAN ON JAPANESE TV BROADCASTING LIFTED
On January 1, South Korea lifted its ban on the showing of Japanese cable television programs and satellite broadcasting as part of a gradual opening of the domestic market to Japanese cultural products. "Japanese cable television and satellite broadcasting programs will be allowed in within the fullest possible scope," a statement released by the Culture and Tourism Ministry said. With regard to Japan's television and radio programs, South Korea will be selective in allowing cultural and educational programs in light of the "impact on public sentiment and youth." Japanese television dramas can only be aired if produced jointly with South Korea. Japanese singers' performances in South Korea and Japanese singers appearing on South Korean television and radio will be allowed. South Korea still maintains a ban on Japanese entertainment programs such as variety shows, talk shows and comedy in light of possible "serious cultural effects." Korea was ruled by Japan from 1910 to 1945.
EXPANSION OF DIGITAL BROADCASTING POSTPONED
The scheduled expansion of digital television broadcasting to provincial cities has been put on hold indefinitely amid continuing dispute over whether to use the U.S. or European transmission standard. Following a Cabinet meeting on December 30, the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) announced it will postpone the start of digital broadcasting in Pusan, Taegu, Kwangju, Taejon and Ulsan. On December 26, the presidents of local terrestrial broadcasters - KBS, SBS, MBC and EBS called for the MIC to delay the expansion of digital TV services based on the U.S. system as they favor the European standard. Under the MIC’s initiative, broadcasters were supposed to extend the digital services to the five provincial cities starting today. The government has been dead set on maintaining the U.S. standard, citing the system’s superiority in transmission and compression technologies, as well as the cost of a potential switch. However, Ryu Pil-gae, director general of the radio and broadcasting bureau of the MIC, expressed hope that the broadcasters launch digital services as soon as possible since they have already built facilities. Ryu added the ministry will search for the best way to improve the quality of mobility-specific broadcasting, one of the shortcomings of the U.S. system, and allow the broadcasters to carry out field tests to compare the two alternative transmission standards. South Korea opted in favor of the U.S. system in 1997 and pushed for the commercial launch of digital broadcasting four year later in Seoul. The digital services were expanded to the surrounding Kyonggi Province in 2002. According to MIC officials, the U.S. standard guarantees superior quality on the strength of transmission and compression technologies under static environments. In an attempt to improve digital transmission in mobile situations, the MIC pledged to look into alternative ways to improve mobility-specific applications. Analysts said ground digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) or satellite DMB technologies could be candidates. According to experts, the U.S. standard will impose three to four times higher production costs on broadcasters compared to other methods and the possible introduction of DMB will force them to compete with mobile carriers.
NTDTV SAYS CHINA FOILING PLANS
New York-based New Tang Dynasty Television, the world's first international, non-profit Chinese-language TV station, has said that it was facing pressure from the Chinese government about the possibility of broadcasting in Taiwan via satellite. "As New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) dares to reveal dirty truths behind many issues related to China, our cooperation with international satellite companies has been constantly disrupted or terminated by the Chinese government. As a result our satellite system which was to provide live broadcasts to Taiwan has been locked," said Yingchuang Liu, professor of Economics at National Taiwan University as well as the Taiwanese representative of NTDTV. According to Liu, those who want to view NTDTV's programs currently have to use a decoder. "Right now, we are looking at working with another satellite company that is not afraid of the Chinese government so that we will finally be able to broadcast our programs freely to the people in Taiwan," Liu said. NTDTV, a non-profit organization, was founded in New York in February last year to provide international news and a variety of television programs to various Chinese communities in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Liu said that due to the difficulties presented by getting access to satellite broadcasts to Taiwan, residents will have to be content with watching the station's Internet broadcasts. NTDTV has been providing free satellite service and around-the-clock programs to worldwide Chinese communities for almost two years and has now set its sights on Taiwan.
ITV AND UBC DENY MERGER
United Broadcasting Corp, the country’s largest cable television operator and ITV, denied reports of a possible merger between the two of them saying that they were catering to two different market segments and a merger would most likely not create synergies for the merged company. “The reports are just rumours and we have not discussed any kind of merger between us,” Songsak Premsuk, managing director of ITV told Business Day. His comments were echoed by UBC as well. Vasili Sgourdos, deputy chief financial officer of UBC, said that there were no synergies between the two companies and the reports seen in various brokerage houses were being circulated in order to push up the price of the shares of the companies. The shares of both UBC and ITV have risen sharply over the past few weeks on various news including the benefits both companies are going to receive from the partial changes to their concessions. The decision is expected sometime in January 2004. Under the concession ITV, which is majority owned by Shin Corp, and UBC, which is majority owned by TelecomAsia, will see some changes that would help benefit both companies bottom line. ITV would pay lesser concession fees while UBC may be allowed to advertise on its channels, which it is currently banned from doing.
Still very quiet news wise. A bit of action yesterday with feeds of Nasa TV seen for the Mars landing. Which provider will be first to offer this channel?
Ham operators in Auckland , NZ, are screening Nasa tv on their ATV repeater. Think they get it via broadband link.
The Vetrun FTA forum is really busy these days check it out if you have some spare time. (Message forum link on the left)
From my Emails & ICQ
From Doug 4/01
Nasa tv feed seen on B1
hi all B1 12327 h 6980 3/4
nasa tv for the mars landing
From Chris Boyce 4/01
PAS2 4027 H 6625, NASA TV Feed
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3829 H "Radio Kitaya" has started , Fta, APID 1122, right channel.
N-Star A 132E 12478 V The NTT Satellite promo is now encrypted.
AsiaSat 4 122E 3880 H "CBN" has started , Fta, SR 26500, FEC 3/4, PIDs 560/563.
Palapa C2 113E 3604 H The test card and Kantor Berita Radio have left .
Palapa C2 113E 3913 H "MAC TV" has left .
Palapa C2 113E 4080 H "Delta/FeMale Satelit" has left .
Sinosat 1 110.5E 3763 V East Asia Satellite TV, MSTV, MSTV Five Star, New Cartoon Satellite TV,Lotus TV and Macau Asia Satellite TV have started on , Fta,SR 11852, FEC 3/4, SIDs 1-6, PIDs 250/251-650/651 and 652/653. (Should be available in Australia)
Sinosat 1 110.5E 4067 V 17 more CNR/CRI radio channels have started , Fta, APIDs 96-156.
Sinosat 1 110.5E 4125 V Occasional feeds on , SR 3000, FEC 3/4.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3669 V "The BlueKiss promo" has left
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 4129 H and 12721 V "Radio Kitaya" has started , Fta, APID 1122, right channel.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3706 H "Henan People's Radio and Henan Information Radio 1-2" have left .New PIDs for Henan TV: 308/256.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3713 H "Qinghai People's Radio" (in Chinese) has left .New PIDs for Qinghai TV and Qinghai People's Radio (in Tibetan): 308/256 and 256.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3720 H "Fujian People's Radio and Fujian Traffic Radio" have left .New PIDs for Fujian South East TV: 308/256.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3727 H "Jiangxi People's Radio and Jiangxi Economic Radio" have left .New PIDs for Jiangxi TV: 308/256.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3734 H "Liaoning Traffic Radio and Liaoning People's News Radio" have left .New VPID for Liaoning TV: 308.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3753 V "Occasional PTV feeds" on , SR 6111, FEC 3/4.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3806 V New VPID for Guangxi TV on : 308.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3813 V "Shaanxi Economic Radio" has left .New PIDs for Shaanxi TV and Shaanxi People's Radio: 308/102 and 101-102.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3820 V New VPID for Anhui TV on : 308.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3834 V New PIDs for HeiLongJiang TV on : 308/256.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3847 H New APID for Hunan People's Radio on : 81.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3854 H "Chutian Radio and Hubei People's Radio" have left .New PIDs for Hubei TV: 308/256.
NSS 703 57E 4195 L"Occasional feeds" on , SR 5632, FEC 3/4.
Racing deal clouds TAB's Sky
A LANDMARK deal between the Victorian and NSW racing fraternities to pool their video and audio rights may punch a $250 million hole in the value of NSW-based takeover target TAB.
On Friday night, NSW's two powerful racing clubs - the Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club - inked a surprise deal to assign their rights to ThoroughVision (TVN), until now owned by Racing Victoria. It confirmed a heads of agreement struck after a year of talks.
A contract between the NSW clubs and Sky expires in March. The deal between Sky and Racing Victoria expires in March 2005 but can be negotiated later this year, sources said.
The deal agreed to over the weekend throws into doubt the continued relationship between racing clubs in Australia's two largest states and TAB-owned Sky Racing, the long-time production and broadcast channel.
The deal comes amid a three-cornered contest for control of totalisator betting in Australia, with Queensland's Unitab bidding for TAB - owner of Sky Channel - and Victoria's Tabcorp ready to pounce.
It opens the way for the racing codes to take their rights to an alternative broadcaster or renegotiate with Sky from a stronger position.
TVN has already been in talks with alternative production houses to recreate the on-course and studio production facilities of Sky. One company well-placed as an alternative distributor to Sky would be Fox Sports, which is jointly owned by Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd and Rupert Murdoch's News.
NSW and Victoria together represent almost 80 per cent of Australia's $6 billion a year racing industry. It also puts under a cloud the relationship between the NSW clubs and TAB's Sydney-based racing radio station 2KY. Between them, Sky and 2KY earned TAB $27.7 million before interest and tax in 2002-03, up 15.7 per cent on the previous year.
It is understood that the two states receive about $20 million each year from Sky. The rights are seen as the biggest single issue facing the industry for the next two years, insiders said.
"We have a lot of work to do over the next two months," TVN chief executive Bernard Soundrey said.
Racing is following the lead of other sports, like the football codes, that shows a joint approach to commercialising media rights produces a better result.
The AJC and STC will jointly hold 50 per cent of TVN, which has up until now been 100 per cent-owned by Racing Victoria, Harold Mitchell, TVN chairman and one of the country's biggest media buyers, told The Australian.
TVN already operates an internet site where it shows race highlights. "These agreements give great strength to all New South Wales and Victorian participating racing clubs which will also ultimately benefit all other thoroughbred racing clubs in Australia," Mr Mitchell said.
Racing clubs across the country have been at odds with Sky for several years and are upset by the diminishing income from broadcast rights.
TAB has been cutting costs at Sky, including payments to clubs, since its 1998 purchase for $260 million from News Corp and PBL.
About 1.5 million pay-TV subscribers receive Sky through Foxtel, Optus TV and regional pay-TV operator Austar.
The deal also comes ahead of the mid-year launch of Australia's first digital television service on Foxtel.
TAB values Sky on balance sheet at $254 million.
(Craigs comment, Fox racing coming soon?)
Tech TV to merge with Comcast's G4 channel
MUMBAI: In its bid to boost its programming assets and subscriber reach, Comcast is all set to acquire TechTV, next month.
Cable television major will merge Paul Allen's computer-info channel with it's fledgling G4 channel.
Report in Variety indicated that the deal is likely to be worth around $300 million.
The merger of G4 and Tech TV is intended to combine the best original programming of each into a new tech-savvy, videogame-focused network reaching around 45 million, say the reports.
G4 currently claims 12.5 million, nearly 10 million of which overlap with Tech TV's roughly 43 million base. The deal will be a welcome cash infusion for Allen's investment vehicle Vulcan Ventures, which is currently grappling with unprofitable stakes in Charter Communications and DreamWorks.
The reports indicate that the merged network will be targeted to the highly desirable male 18-34 demo.
EchoStar, a satellite distributor owned by Charlie Ergen, still retains a 10 per cent stake in TechTV, which Comcast is also negotiating to buy out.
Sunday no update
Yes a weekend update! I have been having a cleanup all the History for the year up to Dec 2003 is up now.
From my Emails & ICQ
FROM SIAMGLOBAL BANGKOK
THE TAIWAN BOUQUET ON PAS 8 3860Mhz IS CONSISTANT IN PROVIDING EXCELLENT FTA ENTERTAINMENT. IN ADDITION TO A FTA HALLMARK CHANNEL AND 30 FTA MUSIC CHANNELS, THEY HAVE NOW ADDED A NEW FTA FILM CHANNEL CALLED VIDEOLAND.
THIS ONE IS DEFINITELY WORTH WATCHING .
TOP QUALITY ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILMS AS GOOD AS HBO , IF NOT BETTER.
IT MAY REMAIN FTA A CONSIDERABLE TIME AS HALLMARK HAS DONE, AND THE GOOD NEWS TO SUPPRT THAT CONTENTION IS THAT IT CONTAINS A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF ADVERTISING.
UNFORTUNATELY HOWEVER THERE IS NO PROGRAM GUIDE AND THE CHANNEL'S WEBSITE IS IN CHINESE SCRIPT ONLY !
From Glenn Gibson
Pas 8 Movie channel
What used to be the Hallmark channel in the TAS (Taiwanese ) group of channels on Pas 8, 3860H, 28000, 5/6 has now changed to Videoland WMovie channel and appears to have quite a few English Speaking Movies. The wife was watching a Drew Barrymore movie earlier and the tv guide shows 'The Thin Red Line' on later today.
Check here for Channel info http://www.videoland.com.tw/5ab/5abvl_e001.asp
and here for program guide http://www.videoland.com.tw/5default_e.asp
From John Kahler
Ten Tasmania up and running on Optus B1
12353 Horizontal Sr 5100 3/4
Happy New Year everyone!
Ten Tasmania up and running
Fine here in Perth:
12354 H 5100 3/4
720x576 16:9 750kbps
VPID: 657 APID: 658 PCRPID: 657 PMTPID: 656
B1 12379 H 6625 3/4 Billabong Pro Surf Championships with the Channel V presenter.
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "Super TV" has left , replaced by a test card.
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "Videoland Movie has replaced Hallmark Channel Taiwan" , Fta,PIDs 430/431. CTI TV International is now Fta.
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "Videoland WMovie" Channel on , Fta, PIDs 430/431.
Optus B1 160E 12353 H "Network Ten" has started, Fta, SR 5100, FEC 3/4, PIDs 657/658.
Apstar 1A 134E 3840 H The test card has left .
Apstar 1A 134E 3757 H The Nei Monggol TV mux has startet , Fta, SR 8400, FEC 3/4.
Apstar 1A 134E 3779 V "Chongqing Radio 2-4" have started, Fta, SIDs 3-5, APIDs 1830,1835 and 1841.
Apstar 1A 134E 4050 V "ZheJiang People's Radio" has started , Fta, SIDs 8-9, APIDs 42 and 49.
Apstar 1A 134E 4060 V "EuroSport News" has left .
Apstar 1A 134E 4140 V Jiangxi TV, Jiangsu TV, Fujian South East TV, Hubei TV, Jilin TV Station,Liaoning TV, Shandong TV, Anhui TV, HeiLongJiang TV and Guangxi TV have started, Fta, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, SIDs 1-10, PIDs 32/33-63/64.
Telkom 1 108E 3460 H "Nickelodeon Indonesia" has started on , Irdeto 2, PIDs 336/337.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3669 V A BlueKiss promo has started, Fta, SID 8, PIDs 7201/7202.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 3760 H "MTA International" has left , PIDs 1080/1081.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 4051 H "Sichuan People's Radio" has started, Fta, SID 2, APID 2046.
AsiaSat 3 105.5E 4091 V New APID for Radio Pakistan on : 681.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3706 H "The Henan TV" mux is back on Fta, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
AsiaSat 2 100.5E 3874 V The Jilin TV Station mux is back on , Fta, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Qinghai TV mux is back on 3713 H, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Fujian South East TV mux is back on 3720 H, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Jiangxi TV mux is back on 3727 H, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Liaoning TV mux is back on 3734 H, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
Henan Information Radio 3 has left 3706 H.
The Nei Monggol TV mux is back on 3830 H, clear, SR 8400, FEC 3/4.
The Guangdong TV mux is back on 3840 H, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Hubei TV mux is back on 3854 H, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Sichuan TV mux is back on 3946 H, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Guangxi TV mux is back on 3806 V, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Shaanxi TV mux is back on 3813 V, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Anhui TV mux is back on 3820 V, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Jiangsu TV mux is back on 3827 V, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The HeiLongJiang TV mux is back on 3834 V, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
The Dragon TV mux is back on 3846 V, clear, SR 4800, FEC 3/4.
The Shandong TV mux is back on 3855 V, clear, SR 6813, FEC 3/4.
The CCTV 1 mux is back on 3864 V, clear, SR 4420, FEC 7/8.
The Hunan TV mux is back on 3847 H, clear, SR 4420, FEC 3/4.
Occasional feeds on 4093 V, SR 6666, FEC 7/8.
Measat 1 91.5E 3880 H "RTM Radio Muzik" has left , 5.80 MHz.
Yamal 102 90E 3564 R "Narodnoe Radio" has started, Fta, APID 4210, left channel.
Yamal 102 90E 3576 L "Hit FM (Russia) has replaced Echo of Tyumen" on , Fta, APID 256.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3652 H The test card has left .
Insat 3E 55E 3885 H "DD Bihar and occasional DD Bihar feeds" have started, Fta, SR 6247, FEC 3/4, PIDs 512/650 and 513/660.
Dishes bowled over
IT'S a 5m-high version of Australia's famous satellite dish in Parkes.
But this satellite dish in the Hills District provides a vital link back to the Dhar family's homeland.
Now Hornsby Council faced with a community backlash over allowing the Cherrybrook dish is tightening its controls on the urban eyesores.
Under a draft plan, satellite dishes up to 700mm in diameter would be permissible so long as they are not visible from the street or a public place.
In multi-unit complexes, the dishes will need to be hidden behind the building line.
The larger satellite dishes required for global area coverage will need development approval and cannot be installed on a roof.
Hornsby Mayor John Muirhead said "locals were screaming blue murder" over the Cherrybrook dish.
While the dish had not been approved by council before it was installed, it was allowed to remain after a technical consultant said it was located where the strongest signal could be received with the least visual impact to neighbours.
Ian Latter from the Rochford Way Neighbourhood Association complained at the time that the dish marred the streetscape and set a precedent for the shire.
Applicant Shivali Dhar said she didn't realise approval for the dish was necessary.
Mr Muirhead said the Cherrybrook incident highlighted that the council's planning controls did not contain specific guidelines for the larger dishes.
"What we were confronted with was two types of satellite dish: the small ones and the ones that are more for overseas broadcasts," he said.
"The normal dishes from Foxtel and Optus are exempt [from development consent]. But we do have a very large multicultural population in the shire and there's a lot of people who want to watch their home country broadcasts on the larger satellites."
The council's community relations manager Bruce Williams said most of the complaints about the dishes related to visual pollution and interference with television reception.
"It's a consistent topic of complaint," he said. "From time to time, they pop up and, generally speaking, neighbours are very good watchdogs."
Fairfield Council has been on the warpath for the past 18 months to rid the area of unlawful satellite dishes.
The council issues fines of $1500 to households refusing to remove large satellite dishes that have been installed without council approval.
In Ryde, large satellite dishes cannot be visible from a common area, public place or the street.
They must not cast glare or interfere with a neighbour's views and must be sympathetic to the colour of the background roof or wall.
Exiting lease pacts with foreign satellites India overcomes dearth of transponders
PROBABLY for the first time in several years, the Department of Space has turned satellite capacity-positive in the C-band. It has vacated the entire transponder capacity it had leased from Thai provider Shin Satellite.
The capacity of seven C-band transponders leased on Shin's Thaicom-3 satellite - in use since 1998 - was returned on December 23 last. ISRO has also stopped using Intelsat's IS 702 and will be getting off it in February this year, when the one-year lease period expires, senior ISRO officials said.
"Although our payment was made till February, we have not been using it (IS 702) and the transponders have been switched off for some time now," they told Business Line.
The end of lease of these 23 transponders means a saving of Rs 5-6 crore each or a total of $23 million (approximately Rs 104.8 crore) every year.
With 132 transponders from five functional communications satellites - including the latest Insat 3E, 3A, 3C, 3B and 2E launched in 1999 - the national space agency today operates the world's largest domestic satellite system. ISRO is now comfortably placed, especially in the C-band, the officials said. This is after discounting the 11 transponders of 2E that have been leased to Intelsat till 2008-09.
"We started leasing transponders only because of additional demand," the ISRO spokesman said. "As in the case of mobile phones, nobody foresaw the kind of growth that private Vsats (very small aperture terminals) and private broadcast channels saw while ISRO was catering to minimal needs of government bodies such as Doordarshan and DoT. Vsats, for instance, grew from 1,000 to 20,000 in three years."
The Insat 3 series started somewhat noticing the trends and fitted the spurting demands. "Before we started planning for the 4 series (coming up later this year,) we discussed the requirements with various user groups. The new satellites will reflect the new demands," the officials said.
The more recently introduced Ku band, however, continues to be deficit. The capacity has been borrowed on US commercial satellite GE-1A. The officials said the scene would change when Insat-4A, planned with 12 Ku band transponders and targeted at mainly DTH and Vsat users of Ku band, is launched around October this year.
By 2007, ISRO is looking at having 250 transponders in various bands on its Insat system. This, it says, would be meeting a demand of up to 11 gbps.
China to launch 3 satellites in 2004
China plans to launch three satellites in 2004, while starting its lunar landing program and working for technological breakthroughs in space docking and walking, a senior space official said Wednesday.
Sun Laiyan, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said the three satellites included the second of the country's "Double Star Program", a bid to probe the space environment, a meteorological satellite, and a commercial communications satellite.
The total investment in space projects for 2004 is estimated at 2 billion yuan (about 243 million US dollars), the official said.
He explained that the figure did not include the money the government will use to pay space sector employees.
China and Brazil would work on two more resources satellites, and a multi-purpose small satellite to be launched in 2005 and 2006, he added.
The small satellite mainly for scientific research and disaster monitoring was a project between China, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Iran, Bangladesh and other Asian countries, Sun said.
China has launched without a hitch six satellites and a manned spacecraft in 2003.
Nick announces programming blocks, channel launch in China
MUMBAI: Viacom Inc's kids entertainment brand Nickelodeon Asia has announced two big deals for expanding its distribution in China.
Nickelodeon has reached a partnership agreement with China's national television station CCTV to air its shows on the recently launched 24-hour Children's Channel. Nick shows are already being telecast on the channel since 28 December.
Nick has also announced its partnership with Hong Kong's Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting Ltd to broadcast its 24-hour Nickelodeon Asia channel on Galaxy's new pay-TV service exTV set to launch in February 2004. Galaxy is a joint venture between Intelsat and TVB.
Presently, CCTV's Children's Channel will provide 30 minutes of Nick programming every day, including the animation series CatDog and The Wild Thornberrys.
Viacom China's senior VP, MD Yifei Li is quoted in a company release as saying, "We are honoured that Nick has become one of our first content partners of CCTV's Children's Channel. This is the beginning of a long term cooperation between two media giants in developing quality programming targeted at young audience."