Cband reported on Pas 10 at 72E (Testing) according to Lyngsat I expect these would be analogue,
3790 V and 4184 H. Reported, Reports to me please! and a CC: to Lyngsat
Possible 4157 H reception from it seen in Perth?
From my Emails & ICQ
From Dave Ross
Asiasat 2 3786 H, "French Tennis Open" Sr 6110, Fec 3/4
Craigs note, this probably a "Globecast Feed"
Art Art Al Jazeera has started on Pas 2 3901 H Sr 30800
news and current affair in arabic language
Horse raceing seen on on B3 12363 V this afternoon
From The Dish
Panamsat 2 169E 3901 H "Art Al Jazeera" has started
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3660 V "Kuwait Space Channel" has started here, Vpid 513 Apid 651.
Live video stream here V
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3786 H "French Open Tennis" Globecast Feed here Sr 6110, Fec 3/4
Pas 10 at 72E 3790 V & 4184 H "Test carriers seen here" Probably analogue reports needed from Australia the footprint would be covering furthur than it will at 68.5E so if you in Eastern Australia it may be your only chance to get some reception from this bird.
Interactive TV trial claims wrong, says Optus
Cable & Wireless Optus yesterday rejected claims that it was spending more than $200 million on an interactive television trial, indicating the service would cost only a fraction of this amount.
An Optus spokesman said the trial would cost the carrier tens of millions of dollars. The figure is believed to be about $50 million.
The spokesman said the investment fell within the group's capital expenditure budget on consumer and multi-media services.
"Much of that relates to digitising the distribution network," he said.
He confirmed that Optus had locked in several content partners for the trial but refused to divulge their identities.
However, analysts believe John Fairfax Holdings' Internet arm, f2, and the free-to-air networks would be involved.
About 300 homes will participate in the trial. Installation of the service is already under way.
Optus' spokesman said the company's consumer and multimedia chief, Adrian Chamberlain, had e-mailed staff to confirm the trial in February and chief executive Chris Anderson raised the issue publicly earlier this year.
"This was announced earlier this year that we would do an interactive television trial of 300 people," he said.
It is expected to accelerate rival pay TV operator Foxtel's timetable for an interactive service. But its plans have been stalled because of squabbles between its owners, Telstra, Publishing & Broadcasting and News Ltd.
Interactivity is expected to fuel the uptake of Optus' cable services and includes access to the Internet via TV to home-shopping and other services.
A Singapore Telecom spokesman said the carrier was aware of all Optus' corporate manoeuvres, having conducted due diligence on its takeover target.
"We are comfortable with Optus' forward strategy in the short term and aware of the investment," he said.
Uncle Sam is Watching: Lock Up Your e-mails
Governments and companies have been warned to encrypt electronic messages to protect their privacy from a global satellite spy network involving New Zealand and Australia.
A European parliamentary committee investigating the US-led electronic spying system known as Echelon today urged Europeans to encrypt their e-mails to prevent them being read by the eavesdropping network.
In a draft resolution, the Euro MPs said there "is no more doubt" as to the existence of a global system of intercepting communications that is used by the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The committee calls on all European institutions and government offices to "systematically" encrypt their e-mails.
It said companies also cannot be safe from industrial espionage unless they protect all the means of electronic communications used to transmit sensitive information.
As well, in the process of industrial spying, Echelon was eavesdropping on millions of daily communications between ordinary people.
The existence of the Echelon system has never been officially confirmed.
News reports have said it is operated by the top-secret US National Security Agency, which has never confirmed or denied the existence of Echelon.
It is believed it was set up in 1948 by the US, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and was active throughout the Cold War as a vast electronic eavesdropper, able to interpret information from telephones, faxes or computers - even tracking bank accounts.
Earlier this month, officials of the NSA and CIA refused to meet with an EU committee seeking information on Echelon.
The parliamentary committee said it has no proof that Echelon is used for industrial espionage. Such an eventuality would be "intolerable", it said.
But in an apparent warning to Britain, it said an EU member state would be violating EU rules if it was using such a system to gain a competitive advantage for its companies.
US officials have repeatedly denied allegations that they have a system that conducts industrial espionage against Europe.
The document is to be submitted for a vote by the members of the committee at the end of June before being discussed and voted on by the European parliament, parliamentary sources said.
Discovery to launch third channel in Asia
SINGAPORE - Discovery Networks, Asia will launch its third channel, Discovery Travel & Adventure Channel from June 4. With the Asian travel market worth $500 billion, Discovery executives consider this launch extremely timely -- it also coincides with last week's failure of Hong Kong based start-up channel Alive! Networks.
Airing three, eight-hour blocks of programming daily, the channel will start beaming to Asia/Pacific affiliates. Although carriage so far has only been secured on New Zealand's Saturn service, director affiliate sales Chris Wanden is confident Discovery Travel & Adventure Channel will be in all of Asia's major markets by yearend.
"The travel industry in Asia offers an untapped potential and the desire to travel has created a demand for more information. Discovery Travel & Adventure Channel fulfills this desire to experience travel as an adventure," says Lesley Anne Campbell VP-marketing and communications, Discovery Networks Asia. Ms. Campbell adds that response from advertisers has been very promising, distribution pending.
Promising programming like Destination Week, Beach Hour, World's Best, Scenic Spaces, Incredible Vacation Videos and Girl Meets Hawaii, Director of Programming James Gibbons is keen to distance the channel from traditional travelogue-type shows, emphasizing the aim to appeal to both armchair globetrotters and independent travelers alike. With research showing that 80% of travel in the region is intra-Asian, there will be an initial focus on destinations within Asia/Pacific.
Despite a slow start in the U.S., Discovery Travel & Adventure Channel now claims to be one of the fastest growing global networks, reaching 64 million subscribers in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Discovery Travel & Adventure is operated and managed by Discovery Communications, Inc.
Hallmark Channel and Crown Interactive to Launch On Yes Television in Hong Kong
Trial to Feature Crown Interactive's "Crayola Kids Club," Hallmark Video Greetings and Video-on-Demand
Crown Media Holdings, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CRWN) (AEX: CRWN) Hallmark Channel, one of the world's fastest growing international television networks, and Crown Interactive, its recently launched interactive television service, are launching on Yes Television, the new Hong Kong domestic pay television outlet which commenced its trial period on May 28.
The announcement was jointly made today by Jeff Henry, president and CEO of Crown Interactive; Terence Yau, vice president and managing director of Hallmark Channel Asia Pacific; and Lanny Huang, vice president, content of Yes Television Asia.
Hallmark Channel and Crown Interactive launched on Yes Television this week major components of its broadcast and video-on-demand (VOD) pilot service for consumers. In addition to providing the Hallmark Channel and high-profile VOD titles from Crown Media's award-winning programming produced by Hallmark Entertainment, Yes Television will feature Crown Interactive's "Crayola Kids Club," an interactive arts and crafts service for children. Consumers will also be able to deliver Hallmark video greetings over the broadband network.
At launch, Yes Television became the first service in Hong Kong to combine true VOD services with broadcast television and Internet access. The agreement also marks Crown Interactive's first endeavor with a venture utilizing its VOD, "Crayola Kids Club," and Hallmark video greetings products together in one service.
Regarding the announcement, Mr. Henry noted, "The launch of Hallmark Interactive's service in Hong Kong is an important plank in the diversification of our products using the new technology. Through these digital offerings, viewers can enjoy the quality and creativity that Hallmark and Crayola are known for through an entirely new, interactive television experience. The digital product will be distributed to other parts of Asia and the rest of the world later this year."
Added Mr. Henry, "This is an exciting development for Crown Interactive. Based on its successful beta test in Singapore, the service is now poised to expand in terms of progressive features, including "Crayola Kids Club" and video greetings, with other territories following shortly. Yes Television provides Crown Interactive with a solid infrastructure from which to showcase our services in a major market and we are very much looking forward to growing with it."
Mr. Yau commented, "As Hallmark Channel's first distribution deal in Hong Kong and also the first launch of our unique interactive services, this partnership with Yes TV marks two very important milestones for us. It allows us to offer viewers in Hong Kong the most advanced innovative TV services that showcase a wide-range of Hallmark Entertainment and Hallmark Interactive products on TV."
Ms. Huang stated, "We are moving full steam ahead with our preparation for the commercial launch later this year. We have a strong team of buyers worldwide actively searching for the best content to give our customers a top-quality viewing experience. With the strong support from our suppliers, we are confident that we will be able to bring high quality, IP based, time-free television to one of the most dynamic media markets in the world."
Yes Television has chosen the Talkoo Shing and Kornhill areas of Hong Kong for its trial period. It will also conduct an extensive focus group study to get first-hand information on the viewers' response to its service.
Currently, Hallmark Channel is distributed throughout Asia to over 13 million subscribers. Crown Interactive is currently beta testing its VOD service in conjunction with Sharkstream, a Singapore-based broadband streaming portal specializing in interactive multimedia entertainment. However, the Yes TV pilot in Hong Kong will be the first digital TV platform to carry Hallmark Channel, Hallmark movie video-on-demand and other interactive products.
Crown Interactive was formally launched in January to leverage on the vast array of products and services from Crown Media's affiliated companies, Hallmark Cards, Hallmark Entertainment and Binney and Smith's Crayola brand.
Nine Gold, rivals react cautiously to opening of bids for DD Metro
The industry has reacted cautiously to Prasar Bharati's (Broadcasting Corporation of India) move throwing open bidding for all time slots on its Doordarshan Metro channel.
A senior official from HFCL Nine Broadcasting, which currently holds the rights for the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, said the company's managers were looking at the implications of the development, when asked for their reaction to the turn of events. "We are studying the tender document and will consider it accordingly," the official said.
HFCL Nine's 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot expires in September, while the 10:00 to 11:00 pm one completes its run in October.
"We would have to study the financial implications of the whole thing before we can make any comment," RK Singh, chief executive (corporate affairs), Zee Telefilms, said, when asked if the DD Metro offer was of interest to Zee.
But a company source said in private that the offer was a "no brainer" if it did not extend beyond three years or so and the broadcaster would not really be interested in pitching for the slots unless more attractive terms were offered.
Star, however, did not completely rule out making a pitch. "We are looking at it (the bid offer)," an official spokesperson said.
Sony Entertainment Television CEO Kunal Dasgupta, while indicating he was adopting a wait and watch stand on the issue, said the Prasar Bharati offer was interesting."
Prasar Bharati invites tenders for marketing, distribution of DD-World in US, Canada
National broadcaster Doordarshan is inviting sealed tenders from parties /agencies who are interested in distribution and marketing DD-World Channel of Doordarshan in the USA and Canada on DTH Platform and also through cable network. Separate tenders are to be submitted for the territories of USA and Canada.
The applicant(s) whose tender will be accepted shall have to sign an agreement with Doordarshan within 30 days of the receiving the award letter, failing which next highest bidder will be awarded the contract.
The foreign parties can obtain more details from Indian Embassies / High Commissions in USA and Canada, Indian Parties can obtain such details from Doordarshan Kendra, Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.
DD goes digital
MUMBAI: Doordarshan is all set to go digital, well at least in four centres in the country they are. DD is setting up its Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT) a recent inclusion to the constantly evolving world of television. Over the last three years, television channels in Europe and the US have built transmitter towers in order to obtain superior transmission.
"Most channels in the country have digital analog transmission in satellite mode, which made transmission very sharp and clear. But we have to keep up with the changes taking place abroad, which is why this decision was taken," informed G C Rai, Superintendent Engineer, Doordarshan Kendra, Mumbai.
The antenna will be built on the already existing transmission tower in the city. This 300 metre tower is the tallest in country. DD officials have already received the equipment, but they are waiting to obtain all the requisite clearances before they can begin the work. These antennae can be used by five to six channels at the same time, but which channels will turn DTT is not clear, as of yet. "There are some suggestions that we should speak with private operators, but we haven't started any negotiations, yet," said Rai. With this new technology television manufacturers will also have to convert their products from analog receivers to digital receivers.
Zee plunges amid talks of 200 Zee News staff getting the axe
Zee Telefilms plunged 12% to Rs 129.40 today, with 41.45 lakh shares changing hands on the counter.
Dealers said there are unconfirmed reports of Zee News, a 24-hour news channel of the company, having axed 200 employees."A massive cutting of staff means there is a mismatch in its revenue model. Such a downsizing also means that they do not foresee a good future," commented a dealer.
The downsizing is said to be part of the ongoing restructuring of the company. Zee has appointed global management consultancy firm A T Kearney to streamline its operations and it has implemented some of its recommendations. The downsizing is also said to be a strategy to make the organisation "lean and mean" ahead of offering stake to a strategic partner.
Meanwhile, today’s sharp setback on the counter also comes ahead of the announcement of its FY 2001 results tomorrow. As per a capitalmarket.com poll, analysts have projected the company's net profit to be around Rs 27-32 crore for Q4 March 2001 (Rs 22.34 crore for Q4 March 2000), a gain of 20.85-43.24% for the quarter under review. The estimated profit for FY 2001 is Rs 170-176 crore (Rs 160.8 crore last year), a gain of 5.7-9.45%.
Net sales of the company are expected at around Rs 170-230 crore for the quarter ended 31 March 2001 (as against Rs 209.07 crore for the quarter ended 31 March 2000), a change of a decline of 18.6 and a rise of 10.01% over the corresponding period of the previous year. Net sales in FY 2001 are expected to be around Rs 850-906 crore compared to Rs 775.50 crore for the year ended 31 March 2000, representing a gain of 9.6-16.8%.
Thanks to all who showed for the chatroom lastnight. Not much stuff happening today, new Mediasat services have not started yet. Some testing happening there right now 4pm Syd, on Vpid 1360 Apid 1320 "New Service" Audio is from CNBC Australia which is running on Mediasat "Occasional"
The Satfacts website appears to be working again
From my Emails & ICQ
Kuwait tv just started at 3660 V, Sr 27500
From Mike via the mailing list
BBC World on pas2
Is anyone having problems on this service.It is ok on bloomberg in same bouquet using strong srt 4610 rxr
From the Dish
Pas 2 169E 12327 V "Tec tv Feeds" Sr 4412, Fec 2/3, Vpid 3160 Apid 3120, NE Asia beam?
Cakrawarta 1 107.7E 2536 H "New transponder"?? Sr 20000, Fec 7/8 (someone check this?)
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3900 V "Hallmark channels have left" keep checking though they should be back..
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3660 V "Kuwait TV" is new, Sr 27500, Fec 3/4
Pas 10 at 72E 11557 V Very strong test carrier on , Middle East & European beam. (not much use to us keep checking cband)
NSS 703 57E 3888 RHC "Fortune Music" started programming, SR 6113, Fec 3/4
More Stocks and Tech On Saturn TV
Telstra Saturn have added two new channels to their cable offering.
The two channels, TechTV and CNNfn are both sourced from the US with TechTV offering technology, internet and computer news and CNNfn delivering a US based financial news service.
CNNfn is operated by CNN America who also operate CNN International which is already available on Saturn and a number of other services.
CNNfn's content is similar to MSNBC's Asian/Australian financial news serivce and it provides some of this content to the US and International versions of CNN.
In comparison to MSNBC Australia CNNfn's the station is much more US focused in its coverage with its only Asian office being in Hong Kong. However the network also uses the resources of its sister channels to deliver material into its broadcasts giving it access to a number of bureaus across the region.
TechTV is owned by Vulcan Ventures a company owned by Microsoft cofounder Paul G. Allen. The station was previously owned Ziff Davis, a computing based publishing company who launched the station as ZDTV.
The station offers a variety of programmes and an associated website all centered around computing and the internet. Until now the station is understood to have been available only in the US with content distribution deals in around 70 other countries
Live chat in the chatroom tonight 8.30pm Syd time onwards.We have been down due to a problem uploading to the server
From my Emails & ICQ
We are looking for a 5 m Dish. Please quote to us as per follows.
a). one 5 meter dish ( Mesh or Solid )
b). Lnb with Feed horn ( C band only ) Polar Motorise.
c). H To H ( Dual actuator ) Motorise with controller.
d). All necessary Suport stand and Dish Holder, Gears, Motors.
e) Air freight Charges to Malaysia.
f). Payment Terms and Delivery Time.
Please E-mail us Immediately .
From the Dish
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3900 V "Hallmark Asia" has started here Vpid 1210 Apid 1211
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3900 V "Hallmark Asia" has started here Vpid 1220 Apid 1221
Probably Encrypted by the time you read this.
Pas 10 currently 73E
Test carriers seen on these frequencies:
11477 V, 11517 V and 11677 V Middle East & European beam
11477 H Stans & European beam
12522 H, 12562 H African & European beam
Not much use to us but keep checking cband!
Optus in $200m punt on iTV trial
CABLE & Wireless Optus is spending more than $200 million on an interactive television trial in a bid to steal a march on rival Foxtel by becoming the first pay TV operator to offer the service to consumers.
Optus has invited a range of companies to participate and is believed to have begun installing the service in up to 300 homes.
Most of the companies involved have reportedly signed confidentiality agreements.
Four e-Coles Myer store types are expected to take part in the trial, though a spokesperson would neither confirm nor deny this.
Others interested include SBS, Mastercard, John Fairfax Holdings' F2, the NSW Government and the free-to-air TV networks.
Optus consumer and multimedia chief Adrian Chamberlain yesterday emailed staff to confirm the trial in the homes of 300 staff.
"The system we are trialling will include more TV and radio channels, a very sophisticated electronic program guide, email and access to the internet through the telly including a select number of reference and home shopping services," he wrote.
"Depending on the results of the trial we will then decide whether or not to roll the product out. This is potentially a very exciting development."
The cost of the trial, including a new iTV service centre on Sydney's North Shore, is believed to be more than $200 million.
An Optus spokesman would say only that expenditure was within the division's budget.
Mr Chamberlain's strategy is a huge bet that interactivity, more so than content, will drive uptake of its cable services.
Optus now says it does not break out pay TV subscriber numbers because most of the 500,000 users of its cable services, which include telephony and internet access, take more than one service.
Foxtel, which has more than 725,000 subscribers, has its hands tied on interactivity due to squabbles between its owners, including News Limited (publisher of The Australian).
Other services to be offered include games, near video-on-demand, t-mail and a "walled garden" of internet sites.
The chairman of Digital Broadcasting Australia's retail and consumer education committee and the general manager of Harvey Norman's Domayne stores Scott Lindsay said they were considering an involvement but had yet to commit due to the cost of reconfiguring websites for TV.
"I think it will definitely make pay TV a lot more worthwhile," he said. "Especially for those people who may not have been interested in it in the past, it will spark a lot more interest."
Ten Network general manager of operations Gerry Thorley said Ten was interested in the service as it could aid the roll-out of digital TV.
"We have not concluded a deal but we have been encouraged by what they have been proposing because it's another way of rolling out digital TV to homes, and they already have a subscriber base," he said.
Media group manager at media buying agency Universal McCann, Justin Singh, said one of its clients, Mastercard, might participate after handling Australia's first credit card transaction through the TV in ICE Interactive's trial in Orange.
"It would give us an opportunity to establish learning in a digital trial, as the Orange one was analogue," he said.
Etc Channel Punjabi pooh-poohs Lashkara claim to top spot
Refuting claims by Reminiscent Television Network (RTV) that its Lashkara was the No.1 Punjabi language channel, etc has released figures that say its Channel Punjabi is the real leader.
Lashkara, quoting AG Nielsen's TAM data, said it had a C&S penetration of 80 per cent in Punjab and just under 50 per cent in Delhi.
An etc release for the period 30 April to 6 May says etc Channel Punjabi has a 17.46 per cent channel share, just ahead of Alpha Marathi's 16.33 per cent. Lashkara comes in third with 14.21 per cent while Tara Punjabi is way behind with 1.3 per cent share. The release quotes ORG Marg Intam data culled from a 1,063,000 sample base comprising 4+ age group in towns in Punjab with a 10 to 30 lakh population strength.
What has really driven viewership towards the channel in the four months it has been on air is in large measure sourced to the exclusive telecast rights etc channel Punjabi has to the renditions of the Gurbani from the Golden Temple (Sikhism's holiest shrine) in Amritsar. The telecasts are mornings and evenings. The rights remain with etc for the next 11 years.
etc Channel Punjabi is an entertainment channel compromising serials, religious programmes, music, feature films and news. etc Channel Punjabi is a free-to-air analogue channel and is beamed on Thaicom-3. Besides a strong and very large presence in Punjab, its programme mix has enabled etc Channel Punjabi to penetrate deeper into rest of the country and other international markets, the release states.
It looks like DVB2000 is getting a make-over in looks, I hope they split off the channels list into a per-satellite listing method. There is plenty of life in the Nokia yet, DVB2000 version 2 should be worth the wait. Now who can come up with a scssi to IDE harddrive internal adapter. Think of the options that would be available with a internal 60 gig Ide HD to record mpg streams on. Does anyone else have some ideas for DVB2000? How about getting some chat about it going in the message forums. Maybe we can compile a list and send them to ULI along with some bribe money.
This taken from the DVB website,
"Great stuff to come... soon..."
Since we want to improve all this "event-info-stuff" and expecially features for time-shifted and nvod services we have to switch to "high resolution" now. With some smaller high-resolution fonts - interlaced and antialiased.
With this new stuff we are able now to add all the great stuff for full dvb-standard.
I am also sure there will be some "I hate that" messages. So same procedure as every year: another option-switch "new/old style"
From my Emails & ICQ
Don't know if it's new but none of the sat charts report it.
Radio Australia is in Digital MPEG-2 on Palapa C2
Symbol Rate: 2061
Coming in loud and clear. I found this in ABC's (Australia Broadcasting Company) web site.
Wonder why no one reports it.
By the way I think the analogue radios that were with ATVI are now gone.
Craigs note, Thanks for that George, Do you guys think I should also add FTA Radio stations to the satellite's page?
From the Dish
Pas 8 166E 3740 H "MTV Philippines" has started (Encrypted) Vpid 369 Apid 371.
Pas 8 166E 3740 H "Test card" is FTA Vpid 385 Apid 386
Pas 8 166E 3780 H "CNN India" has started, (Encrypted) Vpid 1460 Apid 1420
Pas 8 166E 3940 H "Test Card" on Vpid 2860 Apid 2820 has left"
Pas 8 166E 3940 H "Occasional feeds" Vpid 2260 Apid 2220
Pas 8 166E 3940 H "Occasional feeds" Vpid 2360 Apid 2320
Pas 8 166E 4060 H "JN Feeds" Vpid 1560 Apid 1520
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H "Channel East" has been replaced by a testcard.
Hobbs says TVNZ report out-of-date
The Minister of Broadcasting says a report which puts the cost of implementing the government's charter for TVNZ at up to 100 million dollars is out-of-date and its release is scaremongering.
The TVNZ report was presented to Marian Hobbs late last year, and has now been leaked to the Sunday Star Times newspaper.
Hobbs says it outlines 8 possible scenarios, ranging in cost from 10-to-100 million. It assumes that TVNZ's audience share and advertising revenue will drop, and its programming costs will rise, because of the charter.
But Hobbs disputes that, and says she hopes TVNZ will attract MORE viewers by improving its standards.
Since the report was written, the government has commisioned independent analysis, and the minister says she believes it will cost TVNZ around 10-to-15 million dollars to introduce the charter.
Rift delays verdict on TVNZ
Divisions within the Coalition over the breakup of Television New Zealand will stop the cabinet deciding today on the future of the channel as a public broadcaster.
The Alliance remains unconvinced of the merits of separating the broadcasting transmission arm BCL and setting it up as a stand-alone commercial enterprise.
More than three weeks after the release of a public broadcasting charter for TVNZ, the company still awaits decisions on its reorganisation. Crucially, the Government has yet to decide whether the charter will supersede the company's obligation to return a commercial dividend on its assets.
When the charter was issued, ministers expected these issues to be resolved in a matter of weeks. But a paper on the subject, drawn up by the ministers of broadcasting and finance, will not go to the cabinet today.
It remains before a cabinet policy committee, deadlocked by Alliance members unconvinced of the merits of separating the profitable BCL.
With no cabinet meeting next Monday, the Queen's Birthday holiday, it is likely to be several weeks before TVNZ knows its future shape and commercial requirements.
Australia, Russia Sign Space Deal
Australia and Russia have signed an agreement that establishes a formal framework for space cooperation between both countries.
The agreement signed by Australia’s Industry, Science and Resources Minister Senator Nick Minchin and Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos) director-general Yuri Koptev marked a new era in space cooperation between Russia and Australia.
Australia hopes the partnership will see it emerge as the leading center for commercial launch operations from fully private facilities. It also paves the way for the opening of Australia’s first commercial satellite launch pad by 2004.
Under the agreement, Russia would supply Soviet rockets and launch expertise while Australia would provide infrastructure and commercial opportunities to launch commercial satellites. Australia wants its fledgling launch industry to become commercially viable.
The agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Australia on Cooperation in the Field of the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes provides a framework for cooperation between the two countries and addresses such matters as intellectual property, forms of cooperation, relief from customs duty, liability and security of technology.
Senator Minchin said the agreement was a major step for Australia.
"It declares our intention to become a major player in the international space industry and consolidates our position with Russia in the face of intense interest from a range of other countries," he said.
He added that the agreement also consolidates the strong relations that already exist between the two countries.
Three Australian commercial consortia intend to launch telecommunications satellites from Australia: Spacelift and Spaceport will launch from Woomera in South Australia while Asia Pacific Space Center (APSC) will launch from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.
The Australian government has been competing against Brazil in a race to get a footing in the expanding global space launch industry.
Koptev said Brazil was one of a number of countries courting Rosaviakosmos, but Australia was the “sweetheart.”
Brazil is also trying to win over APSC, which is controlled by Australian-South Korean entrepreneur David Kwon.
Industry analysts say APSC appears to have sound financial backing from South Korean companies. It is the most advanced of the three competitors and its Christmas Island site is also superior to the three proposed Australian platforms due to its proximity to the equator.
APSC has signed separate commercial agreements with Rosaviakosmos for its Aurora launch vehicle that can deliver a 12 metric ton satellite into a low orbit and a 4.5 metric ton payload into a geostationary orbit. Minchin said the government was working closely with APSC.
APSC plans to commence construction of the space center in September 2001. APSC's first commercial launch is scheduled for the last quarter of 2003.
HK APT Satellite Plans HK$840M Capex; Sees Lower Transponder Rentals
APT Satellite Holdings is determined to increase its capital expenditures this year despite increasingly tough competition.
APT said it would spend HK$840 million on capital expenditures compared to some HK$50 million in 2000. The bulk of this expenditure is earmarked for the construction of the group's new APSTAR V satellite and APT Satellite Ltd., its joint venture telecommunications business.
APSTAR V will replace APSTAR I which will end its useful life by the middle of 2004.
The total project cost for APSTAR V, to be launched in February 2003, will amount to US$230 million
APT Satellite Holdings pointed out that the average rental for its satellite transponders had fallen due to tough competition in Asia Pacific.
APT Satellite reported a 61.8 percent drop in its net profit for 2000 to US$18.4 million due to lower capacity usage and margins.
APT Satellite president Chen Zhaobin said that the satellite market in the Asia Pacific region has seen a gradual decline in satellite transponder rentals in the past five years.
In 2000, the average lease-out rate for the APSTAR I and APSTAR IA satellites was some 63 percent while APSTAR IIR was 100 percent leased. These three satellites provide coverage to more than 100 countries.
Chen said the company had established a good foundation in technology and management to tackle future competition.
The company experienced slightly higher lease-out rates for APSTAR I and APSTAR IA during this first quarter.
Chen said the company would spend US$100 million in capital expenditure this year, mainly to cover expenses for APSTAR V to be launched in February 2003.
The company, however, was determined to launch more value-added services in the near future to maintain its competitive edge.
The company’s joint venture with Singapore Telecommunications (Sing Tel), APT Satellite Ltd., is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2001. The joint venture will roll out value-added services.
APT Satellite Telecommunications will invest around HK$400 million for the construction of a Telepark to provide advanced telecom services via satellite and cable, a data center and a link between the Asia Pacific and North America and Europe, and investments in submarine cable capacity.
APT Satellite Holdings owns 55 percent of APT Satellite Telecommunications with the remaining 45 percent held by Sing Tel.
There was no sign of Super Final last night on Mediasat, Instead we had NRL, the same game also screened on B1 at the same time on 12357 V Hmm whats up with that?
Any Digital Reciever for 50 u.k pounds sounds like a bargain, but buyer beware this was posted on one of the mailing lists.
"i know the units they are ex subbed boxes from europe be careful as alot of
them are nobbled ie they have no bootloader and can only be firmware upgrade
via satelite...and that wont happen here...i know someone who got one and
unfortunatly he can only use it like a normal ird...no scsi etc"
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards
Palapa C2 113E 4071 H Sr 14060, FEC 3/4
Vpid33 Apid34 SID1 PMT32 CNA
Vpid1057 Apid1058 SID2 PMT1056 CNBC
Vpid2081 Apid2082 SID3 PMT2080 No Video No Audio (Nokia reports Ch name as Channel 2)
Vpid3105 Apid3106 SID4 PMT3104 " " (Nokia reports Ch name as Channel 3)
Vpid4129 Apid4130 SID5 PMT4128 " " (Nokia reports Ch name as Channel 4)
Vpid5153 Apid5154 SID6 PMT5152 " " (Nokia reports Ch name as TADIRAN SCOPUS)
Vpid6177 Apid6178 SID7 PMT6176 " " (Nokia reports Ch name as TADIRAN SCOPUS)
Craigs note, "Tadiran Scopus" is a digital video compression system. So they must be testing for a new BQ there.
From the Dish
Palapa C2 113E 4071 H The test cards have ceased.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3900 V The three PCM test cards are still here
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H Updates , Uplink for Tarb's:
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "MKTVSAT" Vpid 512 Apid 640 (Encrypted)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "Mega Cosmos" FTA, Vpid 513 Apid 641 (This one well known by most)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "TV Polonia" Vpid 514 Apid 642 (Encrypted)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "NTV Usa" Vpid 517 Apid 645 (Encrypted)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "NTV Plus" Vpid 518 Apid 646 (Encrypted)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "TV Globo Internacional" Vpid 519 Apid 647 (Encrypted)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "TGRT Fm, RadioSport, Radyo D, Radio on Apids, 660,663,667
PAS 4 68.5E 3743 H "B4U Entertainment has replaced B4U Movies UAE" Vpid 2560 Apid 2520, Middle East beam.
T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 21/2001 - May 27 2001 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by Tele Satellite
Edited apsattv.com edition
Editor: Branislav Pekic
A S I A
TANDBERG AND COMSYST WIN PRIME TELEVISION CONTRACT
Tandberg Television and its business partner Comsyst, have won a
contract with Australian regional TV company, Prime Television, to build
a digital terrestrial TV network across New South Wales and Victoria.
Comsyst, will provide systems integration, installation, testing and
commissioning of the network, based on Tandberg Television’s evolution
5000 digital terrestrial compression, multiplexing and multiplex
management systems. This latest deal means that Tandberg has secured
contracts valued in total at over £15 million from Australian
broadcasters including ABC, Network Nine, Network Ten and SBS.
ABC INTERESTED IN SATELLITE TV SERVICE
Australian public broadcaster ABC is reportedly the favourite to win
government approval to re-launch Seven Network’s troubled satellite TV
service to Asia. ABC faces competition from private consortium
Australian Vision International and public broadcaster SBS. All three
have submitted proposals that will be reviewed by Foreign Minister,
Alexander Downer. ABC had control of the service when it launched in
1993 but sold out to Seven Network for A$6 million in 1996 after the
service failed to attract sufficient advertising. Seven stopped
broadcasting the struggling channel in March 2001. ABC is understood to
have put together a news and education package and is seeking A$15
million per year in government subsidies.
ZEE TELEFILMS SEEKS INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS
Zee Telefilms Ltd is looking to partner with a multi-national media
group in order to launch itself into Asian and international markets.
The executive committee of ZTL, which is managed by The Essel Group, has
invited proposals from leading international investment and merchant
bankers to put together the proposed strategic partnership.
International majors such as Kerry Packer’s Channel 9 and US major, MGM
have been reported to be short listed as potential partners. Zee is said
to be open to any offer even if it is from rivals Star and Sony.
SONY SEEKS CNBC INDIA STAKE
Sony Entertainment Television says negotiations over its plans to
purchase TV18’s 20 per cent stake in business channel CNBC India - a
joint venture between TV18 and CNBC Asia - are continuing. TV18 says a
deal could be sealed within the next few days. Talks have dragged on for
nearly a year. Sony, one of the biggest niche programmers in India, owns
the popular SET channel and is actively packaging several other thematic
services for DTH and cable distribution.
SKY PERFECT COMMUNICATIONS REPORTS LOSSES
Sky Perfect Communications Inc. on May 24 reported financial results for
the first quarter of 2901, showing a group net loss of ¥24.19 billion.
The digital satellite TV service provider had sales of ¥48.68 billion in
the same period. The parent company alone took a post-tax loss of ¥23.92
billion in the last year. Sky Perfect expects its net loss to fall to
¥15 billion in the next year, although it foresees an increase in sales
to ¥60 billion.
NTV7 TO BOOST LOCAL PROGRAMMING
Malaysian digital FTA terrestrial broadcaster NTV7 plans to increase its
local programming by 15 per cent to 60 per cent by 2003. The commercial
channel currently airs English, Malay and Indian language shows. It has
just increased its coverage throughout the peninsula, although most of
its viewers remain urban residents along the West Coast. NTV7 has 30 per
cent of the Malaysian terrestrial TV audience.
KOREANS TO GET CONSUMERS CHANNEL
A South Korean Consumers’ Broadcasting Corp. is being planned following
the launch of a new consumer-oriented cable channel in January 2002. The
Consumer Protection Board has asked for Won8.5 billion from the
Broadcasting Development Fund to set up the channel. Initially, it will
be a KCB department, before it is spun off, forming an autonomous
Look for NRL tonight 2 games likely to be on 12363V one after the other. Super 12 Final on 12336 V?
I always wonderd why Lyngsat didn't list anything other than Mega Cosmos on Thaicom 3. So I got someone to check it out
Craig, you were right, there are quite some channels there!
My source at Unitel gave me the list of names and some of our collegues
from Lyngsat (Bo Wall from Sweden) found the PIDs.
Here's the list:
Kanal D Fun
G. Bregar, SD
Craigs note, Warning I don't have furthur info on the services untill Lyngsat posts the details there is a chance that this stream can corrupt some receivers so try at your own risk They may even be all encrypted services. They are a feed for Tarb's on Pas 8 of course.
From my Emails & ICQ
Some B3 Mediasat reports
Good signal here (near Brisbane) on 90cm and Nokia
Receiving NRL on Ch-4. Test patten on 3 & 6.
Signal level 74db at N/E Victoria.
From John M
Rock solid X 6 services on 60cm North Coast NSW
Here in Merimbula Far south coast of NSW
on my Echostar DSB 1000 2ci , 120 cm offset dish equiped with an universal
B3 New Mediasat services are coming very strong.
From Victor Holubecki
New channel on Pas 8 3852 H Sr 13237 Fec 3/4. No sound though
Reported by me Friday Night via the mailing list
12363 V has ABC netball coverage
12336 V Mediasat has NRL
Both were at 7.30pm Syd time
From the Dish
Pas 8 166E 3852 H "New channel" Sr 13237 Fec 3/4, Need more info on this one
Palapa C2 113E 3760 H "Rainbow Channel" is now encrypted. (untill they change there minds again)
Asiasat 3 105.5E 4135 V "Zee Network mux" all channels have new pids
Asiasat 3 105.5E 4135 V "A test card has started" on Vpid 43 Apid 44
Insat 2E 83E 3979 V "DD 8 - Andhra Pradesh" has started, Sr 5000, Fec 3/4, Vpid 512 Apid 650, Zone Beam
Insat 2E 83E 3699 V "Kairali Channel" is still on , Sr 3184, Fec 3/4, Vpid 1160 Apid1120, wide beam.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3424 V "PTV 1 has replaced PTV 2" ,Sr 3333, Fec 3/4,Vpid 308 Apid 256, Asia Beam
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3420 V "PTV Channel 3" has a new Sr 3333.
Pas10 at 71.5-72.0E "PAS 10 is now geostationary at 71.5-72.0 East."
I suggest aiming your dish in that direction, freqs tested should possibly match with ones in use on Pas 4
Alliance between Sony, Discovery, Aaj Tak likely
A GRAND alliance involving Sony, Discovery channel and Aaj Tak may be in the offing. If the alliance goes through, the combined penetration of these three channels could cover a whopping 25-30 million out of a total of 35 million cable & satellite homes in the country.
Sony’s CEO Kunal Daspupta confirmed Sony was interested in the alliance and such a tieup was in the making. "Now that we have taken the pay mode, we would like to extend our bouquet of channels. We would like that Discovery and Aaj Tak join this bouquet. It is up to them now," he said.
Dasgupta said while Sony was quite keen on the alliance, it was now left to Discovery and Aaj Tak for tying the knot. "Our position is clear. It is up to them (Discovery and Aaj Tak) to marry us," he said.
Discovery Channel also confirmed Sony had approached it for creating a bundled channel bouquet.
"It will be nice if we can work with a bundled channel platform. The penetration of a bouquet is definately the best. We are still exploring other options," Discovery’s Head of Distribution, Sanjay Khanna said.
He, however said such a tie-up had not been put into place as yet. "We are open for talks with all major channels. However, as of now there is no tie-up in place," he said.
Khanna said Discovery had held discussions with several prominent channels including Sony and is open to to talking to other channels for exploring options of a bundled bouquet.
If such a platform is put into place, in all likelihood the three channels may share atleast the content and distribution aspects with the other partner channels.
However, Amitabh Srivastav, head of distribution, Aaj Tak, neither confirmed nor denied such a develpoment.
"I am aware of this issue. However, I am not in a postion to either confirm or deny such a development," he said. G Krishnan, executive director, Aaj Tak was not available for comment as he is currently out of the country.
Meanwhile, industry observers and sources from the cable distribution business are terming the tieup plans as a sigificant development. Sources said that this alliance is a clear indicator that the stand-alone channels want a larger pie in the cable TV arena."
The tieup will get them better coverage and help them to negotiate their rates with us in a more effective way", an official from an MSO said.
According to a prominent industry observer, the tieup will enable the bouquet to pose a formidable challenge to the Star and Zee bouquets, which have till now had a relatively smooth ride into the C & S homes.
"The cross-synergies of Sony, Discovery and Aaj Tak could establish a third big platform. If the alliance goes through, we can expect a multi-polar competition in the cable television business," sources said.
Both Star and Zee have stakes in the cable business via the multi-service operators Hathaway and SitiCable. These MSOs have enabled a steady penetration for their respective channel bouquets in the last few years.
New satellite communication network
A communication network utilising the INSAT satellites, which have been taken out of regular service due to their being in inclined orbit, has been set up by the Department of Space.
The new communication network, SPACENET, makes use of the defunct INSAT satellites to interconnect all Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) centres. It can operate even with a satellite that is in an inclined orbit of upto three degrees with respect to the equatorial plane.
SPACENET, which is implemented using Very Small Aperture Terminal Network (VSAT), is a multimedia network incorporating the latest digital technology to transmit audio, video and data simultaneously using the same network.
In its full configuration, SPACENET provides voice, fax, electronic mail, video conferencing, computer to computer networking, web page access, telnet and a host of other such facilities, a report in "Space India" said.
The central hub station of the network is located at ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking and Command (ISTRAC) Network Station, Bangalore and the remote terminals at 21 different centres of ISRO, the report said.The hub station of the SPACENET has a 6.3-metre diameter antenna and each remote station consists of a 3.8-metre VSAT antenna.The networking architecture provides easy expansion capability both in terms of adding new stations and incorporating additional facilities in the existing stations.
The viewer has not deserted us: Zee CEO
IN AN aim at regaining numero uno position, Zee’s newly-appointed group CEO for broadcasting, Sandeep Goyal, plans to build more synergy among Zee’s bouquet of channels.
Spelling out the network’s plan to revive viewer interest, Goyal said all programmes were being viewed under a microscope to improve quality of content. "Zee has always had a very strong on product portfolio. We are broadbasing our content, looking at different time bands across the day," he said.
Goyal has taken charge of Zee’s broadcast operations at a time when the network is on a comeback trail - both on viewership stake and the stockmarket.
Despite falling out of the top-10 chart in recent months, Goyal said the viewer had never deserted the network. "In fact, we are already back in the top-10 with a bang. As per the latest Intam figures for cable and satellite homes (8 cities) with week ended May 13, Zee has five programmes in the top-10, as against four of STAR'S and one of Sony's," said Goyal.
Goyal, 38, joined the television industry after a 15-year-long stint as an advertising professional - the first eight years with HTA, Trikaya Grey and Mudra and the last seven with Rediffusion-DY&R where he was at the helm of affairs for three years.
Barely a week in office, he has already set out give a fresh spin to Zee. "My priority is to build a synergy among the 14 channels," Goyal said.
Goyal does not want to dwell much on what went wrong for Zee, post-success of STAR’S gameshow Kaun Banega Crorepati. "The hype surrounding the success of Kaun Banega Crorepati created a negative spiral effect for Zee," is his explanation for it.
Goyal said Zee was planning to build on the diversity in content with 14 channels in its bouquet, including four regional language channels under the Alpha brand.
"We offer advertisers opportunity to reach out to viewers across a wider spectrum," he said, adding that syndication of content would be a major focus area for the network.
Goyal said Zee has a strong product portfolio and would continue to build upon it.
Zee has already announced plans to scout for an overseas strategic partner. The thrust would be to bring value in terms of syndication, distribution and content creation. The company is expected to appoint merchant banker for the purpose over the next one week.
Said a confident Goyal: "Give us some time and we'll be back to where we belong - at the top."
A good site update for today, plenty to read and new freqs to checkout. Don't forget if you do see something new to helpout the great guys at the Lyngsat website by providing details to email@example.com
NEW Service ALERT 25/5/01 1pm Syd
B3 Mediasat 12336 V Sr 29990 or (30000) Fec 3/4 RELOAD 14 services there, same as were testing on B1 a few weeks ago. Lots of testing off tape on the "Occasional" channel, signal reports needed. Good and strong on my 60cm
NEW Service ALERT
New DVB 2000 Version 1.84.6 released, 1.84.7 (Test version is available) Note they discoverd a new version of the DSP chip 4920X so try it if you are still having audio problems.
From my Emails & ICQ
I saw this morning that Mediasat had the test pattern on like they did on B1 a couple of weeks ago, so I did a quick reload to find the new ones coming through nice and clear here in South Aus on my 90cm.
Also the picture quality seems to have improved on what I was previously getting with Thai TV. (Not that I watch it) Have you noticed that, or is it just my imagination?
I was hoping we would get another feed channel, but it does not look like it.
Craigs reply, no you are not imagineing things I think the Power Vu+ format must give them more bandwith to play with, the resolution of the ethnic channels has gone up from 384x576 to 704x576. Now they just need to clean up the banding on Thai TV5. Also note the NIT info no longer loads 12363 V (though it still has a card up) As for Thai tv they do have some crazy gameshows that are a laugh to watch but I mostly watch it to check out the hot Thai girls
From the Dish
Pas 8 166E 3850 H "3 Test cards are here in with Power Tv and TZU CHI" Vpid 460-480.
Optus B3 156E 12336 V "New services testing here" reload transponder, reports needed
Palapa C2 113E 4000 H "Channel X 1" is now encrypted. Ocassionally FTA around the early hours Syd time
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3900 V "Alive Networks" has left, replaced by PCM test cards.
Insat 2E 83E 4070 V "DD 7 West Bengal" has left.
Insat 2E 83E 3699 V "Kairali Channel" has left, replaced by a test card.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3472 H "Gurjari Channel, Lashkara Channel and Anjuman TV" have been replaced by cards
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3554 V "Channel Guide" has started regular transmissions, Vpid 512 Apid 640, Asia Beam
NSS 703 57E 3888 R "Fortune Music" FTA, NEW, Sr 6113, Fec 3/4, East hemi beam.(Should be good to Western and Central Australia)
Australian launch sites
From [sat-nd] 25.05.2001
Australia has signed an agreement with Russia which brings the
country a step closer to developing space launch facilities at
Christmas Island. In particular, Australia will have the
exclusive rights to commercial launches with the new Russian
Aurora rockets. Consequently, the entire project has also been
Under the agreement, Russia will launch its first commercial
satellite from Australian territory within three years. Russia
will supply the rockets and launch expertise and Australia will
offer infrastructure and commercial opportunities.
According to Itar-Tass news agency, it is planned that Russian
rockets such as Start and Soyuz will lift off from the new
cosmodrome. Specialists from the Russian Aerospace Agency
(Rosaviakosmos) were quoted as saying they believed that it will
be possible to carry out about 30 launches from Christmas Island
cosmodrome in several years' time.
Rosaviakosmos head Yuri Koptev said Australia would get an
exclusive right to use Aurora rockets, and Russia will not share
the technology with other countries. Russia itself will use the
Aurora only for government launches.
A private company by the name of Spacelift Australia said it
had already signed an agreement with Russia to develop a low-
Earth orbit satellite market from Woomera.
Australia's main competitor (as far as launches of Russian
rockets from other parts of the World is concerned) is Brazil.
Last March, the managing director of Asia Pacific Space Centre
Ltd, David Kwon, confirmed that his company was negotiating with
the Brazilian Government about investing in its Alcantara
Prime Television first Canberra station to go digital
Prime Television will be the first of Canberra's television stations to broadcast in digital.
The Seven Network affiliate's digital signal will begin transmission on June 30 to the Canberra market, 3 years ahead of the Federal Government's schedule for regional television to begin digital broadcasting.
Prime's chief executive officer Brent Harman announced the decision yesterday at the opening of the regional network's digital broadcast centre by Prime Minister John Howard. As a result, Canberra is now the hub of the Prime Network, which covers all of Victoria, NSW, some areas of southern Queensland and through its subsidiary, the Golden West Network, all of regional Western Australia.
When the centre, which cost $2.5 million to build, becomes fully operational, 17 digital television signals will be broadcast from Canberra to the rest of the network.
The centre's construction doubled the size of the existing Prime station in Watson, which was built in 1989 for the beginning of aggregation. It also houses two studios, one of which is the permanent home of Prime Canberra. As a result, there is now more than 50km of cabling within the building.
Mr Harman said Canberra had been chosen as the site for the centre because it was the central point of Prime's east coast network; the ACT had a sizeable and skilled labor resource, especially in information technology; it was the nation's capital and it had received assistance from the ACT Government.
The chairman of Prime, Paul Ramsay, said Prime would be doubling its staff in Canberra as a result of the move to digital.
The centre will eventually house the network's entire traffic production and presentation departments. As each sector of the network transferred to the digital signal, their departments would be transferred to Canberra. The next Prime station to go digital will be Newcastle, in March 2002. Wollongong, Ballarat and the smaller regional stations of Wagga, Orange, Albury and Tamworth will follow.
Mr Howard praised Prime for its early move to digital in Canberra because it was important to the people of the ACT and its surrounding region.
The Government's contribution through the Regional Equalisation Plan for regional television's transition to digital was $260 million over 13 years, of which $56 million had been allocated to Prime. Of this, $13 million would be going to the ACT.
"Television is absolutely indispensable to our daily lives. I've said it before and I'll say it again no-one can hold a candle to Australian free-to-air television," he said.
Prime viewers who want to receive the digital signal from June 30 will need to buy or rent a digital set-top box. This converts the digital signal for use in analog television sets. It will provide sharper, clearer pictures free of ghosting and will have CD-quality sound.
But the digital signal is best watched on digital television sets, which have the 16:9 wide-screen format.
The only problem with digital television at present is the cost. Set-top boxes cost at least $699 each. So far, only about 3000 have been sold in Australia.
KDB public offering
From [sat-nd] 25.05.2001
Korea Digital Satellite Broadcasting Co. (KDB) said it will
offer a 24.7 per cent stake worth 81.6 billion won (US$63
million) to the public for three days, starting 29 May.
KDB was granted a license for commercial satellite
broadcasting last December and officially went into operation on
12 January 2001.
At the end of 2001, KDB plans to air 140 different programmes
as well as home banking and online game services. The company
aims to attract 2.7 million subscribers and have sales of 788.7
billion won (US$613 million).
Net pirates nab TV episodes from the sky
The open deserts of Nevada are perfect for double-wide trailers, 10-foot satellite dishes--and getting tomorrow's TV shows today.
For years, a dwindling crowd of tech-savvy satellite TV subscribers has had the ability to tap freely into the satellite streams meant for affiliate TV stations, seeing shows such as "Star Trek: Voyager" or "The Simpsons" days before the rest of the country. The TV networks have done little to stop this because few people were affected.
But now these "pre-air" shows have started appearing on the Internet and are being traded like songs were in the early days of MP3 music--a practice known as TVRip.
A few high-profile shows have been released in the last few days, most notably Wednesday's last-ever episode of UPN's "Star Trek: Voyager" and the season finales of NBC's "Frasier" and Fox's "The Simpsons." CNET News.com was able to download "Frasier" on Tuesday several hours before it aired on television on the East Coast, for example.
The budding piracy scene is hardly likely to start a landslide on the scale of MP3 and file-swapping service Napster--the shows are hard to find without some knowledge of the underground trading scene and require a fast connection to download. But the issue marks another chink in the entertainment industry's armor as it tries to retain tight control of its content in the wilds of the Internet.
"The TVRip scene is in its infancy right now," said one trader of TV, who asked to remain anonymous. "But it's growing in both quality and quantity in terms of shows and viewers."
In the Net's underground of software, music and video trading, it's difficult to tell with certainty where a given file originated. Files are distributed by loosely affiliated groups with names like "Exodus," "iMATiON," and "FE," which provide rudimentary information about a given piece of copied software or video but not enough details to expose themselves or their own sources.
Groups such as these have been distributing games, music, software and movies for years, long before the advent of easy-to-use services such as Napster and Gnutella. Instead, they have used the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) network as a kind of digital swap meet, or have set up drop points across public and private FTP (File Transfer Protocol) networks around the Net.
Although these groups have distributed DVD movies and TV shows for some time, the pre-release of TV shows a day or two before their airdate is a fairly recent phenomenon.
Catch it if you can
According to some of those in the TVRip community, these pre-air shows are taken from the satellite feeds that networks use to distribute shows to their affiliates. This practice, in some cases known as "backhaul" feeds in the TV industry or "wild feeds" on the Net, has been going on for years, with a small online community dedicated to tracking them.
They're not easy to find. There is no permanent schedule or official instructions to track them, although it's not illegal to watch them if you can find them. But it takes an old-fashioned satellite dish, dubbed a "Big Ugly Dish" or BUD by online aficionados, and the technical knowledge to be able to point the dish at precisely the right place in the sky to receive the feed.
There aren't many left, at least in the United States, with the ability to do this. According to The Carmel Group, a research firm that tracks the satellite business, subscribers to these old-fashioned satellite services have fallen from 3.5 million people in 1994 to just 800,000 people today, their ranks decimated by defection to the simpler, pizza box-sized dishes used by services such as DirecTV or EchoStar Communications.
"These are the loyalists to satellite," said Sean Badding, a Carmel Group analyst. "These are the really big dishes and the people who have been around satellite for years."
The wild feeds, which are unscheduled satellite events, have sparked controversy before. In addition to scheduled shows such as "The Simpsons" or "Frasier," the satellites sometimes carry unedited footage of news programs before the show goes officially on-air. In 1996, NBC cracked down on one person who planned to show footage he had captured on a public-access TV station, including clips of Tom Brokaw criticizing rival anchor Dan Rather.
Under federal law today, it is illegal to retransmit satellite signals. And that's where the broadcasters say the TVRip scene is stepping into dangerous territory.
"We are aware of this, and are monitoring it," said a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters.
How illegal is it?
Even in the underground community, the distribution of TV shows is somewhat controversial. Most of these are shows that can be watched for free, as opposed to the DVDs or video games that are a more usual stock in trade. The file sizes are huge--a half-hour episode of "Frasier" took up 230MB and an hour to download over a DSL (digital subscriber line) connection. Some file-traders charge that they're not worth their weight in file size and bandwidth.
Defenders say that there is demand for the shows among college students and those without VCRs or the time to program them, however. And the pre-release shows in particular mark more of the same kind of challenge that has driven the copyright pirates since the Net's early days.
Watchers say they don't worry about any harm to the broadcast industry, since the shows are free in the first place and have such a short shelf life.
"The only negative effects this could have on the broadcasting industry that I can see is that those viewers wouldn't watch the episodes on TV and not get exposed to the commercials which power the episodes," said the anonymous trader. "And secondly, and probably the most important to the viewer, (plot) spoilers could be released."
Net TV firm set to guard Canadian border
A looming copyright battle in Canada could soon offer one of the first major tests of technology that promises to establish national borders on the Net.
At issue is a plan by Canada's JumpTV to offer live network TV over the Internet--a strategy that recalls an earlier venture by Toronto-based iCraveTV, which collapsed in a chaos of lawsuits last year.
JumpTV, which has yet to turn on the most controversial part of its service, says it will avoid the lawsuits by limiting its viewership to Canadians, with technology that purports to pinpoint Web surfers by country, region and even ZIP code.
If implemented, it would be the first time a high-profile Web entertainment service has set up a technological walled garden attempting to eliminate the international reach of the Web.
That has sweeping implications for the entertainment and broadcast industries, which have resisted putting some content online for fear of disrupting their local TV distribution systems.
JumpTV hopes to take advantage of Canadian broadcast laws that allow retransmission of local TV signals without permission--as long as appropriate royalty fees are paid. But broadcasters contend those rules do not apply to the Net. They are preparing for a legal showdown aimed at halting the service before it begins.
Among other things, broadcasters warn of a Napster-like catastrophe for the TV industry if JumpTV is allowed to proceed, kicking off a regulatory battle that could help shape the future of online TV in Canada and elsewhere in the world.
Allowing JumpTV and others to operate "could cause incalculable damage to local TV stations and put their basic economics in grave jeopardy," the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) wrote in a recent missive to Canadian regulators. "It is not an exaggeration to say that Internet transmissions of TV stations could cripple, if not destroy, the U.S. and Canadian successful system of free, local, over-the-air television."
Much of the dispute turns on subtleties of Canadian copyright law. But it could also have far-reaching consequences for online TV in general by offering a test of nascent technology for tracing the geographical location of Net users.
Such technology has been in the spotlight before, most notably during Yahoo's run-in with the French government over the auction of Nazi memorabilia on its site. The Web giant was ordered filter access to its auction service by region--something the company said it could not do. The conflict was resolved when Yahoo banned all sales of Nazi goods on its site, leaving the effectiveness of regional filters untested.
If Canadian regulators allow JumpTV to proceed with its broadcast plans, they could provide an opportunity to prove the effectiveness of regional filters and lay the groundwork for a dramatic reworking of the Internet landscape. Although regional access filters could create new business plans for companies such as JumpTV and advertisers, they also open the possibility for new local restrictions, blocking such content as pornography or even politically unpopular speech from certain countries or locales.
A cautious start
Unlike predecessor iCraveTV, JumpTV is working slowly. Although it already offers streams of television from around the world, it does not yet show major-network programming from the United States or Canada. But it plans to add this soon, citing support by Canadian law.
Under Canada's copyright law, networks such as satellite or cable TV can retransmit local TV stations without asking, as long as they pay appropriate fees for recompensing the original copyright owners. JumpTV CEO Farrel Miller says there's no reason why this shouldn't apply equally to Internet companies, which in some cases are even using the same cable TV wires to transmit their signals.
"All we're saying here is that retransmission laws in Canada have to be applied on a technology-neutral basis," Miller said. He's asking Canada's copyright office to set up a payment structure so he can ensure his company is operating legally. Miller filed his full case with copyright authorities late last week.
iCraveTV made the same argument in early 2000. But it launched its service with network TV programming that had been lifted from U.S. stations and was promptly sued. The company settled the case before it had a chance to take the issue to regulators.
JumpTV, however, says it has a way to stop Americans and other foreigners at the borders.
Giving the Web border patrols
Along with some technology developed internally, JumpTV is using filters developed by Silicon Valley's Quova, which uses Web surfers' network addresses to pinpoint their geographical location by country, region, and possibly even ZIP code.
The technology is designed for advertisers that want to offer Web deals relevant to their local customers. But it could also serve as a kind of online border guard, stopping anyone who displays a Web address belonging to another country.
This type of technology does have its limitations, particularly when trying to dig down to the local level. It looks at the Internet Protocol address of a given Web surfer, generally assigned to that individual's Internet service provider. That provider gives some indication of where the customer might be.
Geo-trackers can often be fooled by anonymity services or other Web privacy tools. The technology is further complicated by cases such as America Online, which uses proxy servers that make it appear as though all subscribers venturing onto the Net are coming from the company's headquarters in Virginia.
Nevertheless, services such as Quova's are fairly accurate when simply pinpointing what country a Web surfer is in, analysts say.
"They should be able to do that," said Van Baker, a Gartner analyst. "There might be a few fringe people who are dialing in from across the border or something. But that should be fairly minimal."
The TV stations, studios and broadcasters that sued iCraveTV remain skeptical, however. They want the service blocked to ensure the Internet won't provide competition to their over-the-air broadcasts.
"We question whether the (regional blocking) actually works," said Dennis Wheaton, a spokesman for the NAB. "With the Internet, it's difficult to control boundaries. The whole concept of U.S. broadcasting is based on serving local audiences."
JumpTV's Miller said he is waiting to decide whether to launch the network TV streams on the company's site until the copyright panel rules. That ruling is a long way off, he says, but Miller is confident he has the law on his side, even if history has so far ruled against him.
"If they have problems with the (copyright) laws in Canada, then that's the issue they have to address," Miller said.
Arabic news war hots up: CNN and CNBC
CNN and CNBC are both planning to shortly enter the highly competitive Arabic news market with localised services.
CNBC is currently understood to be in "advanced talks" with the leading Arab news channel Al Jazeera, and if these are successful the two parties will launch a business-related service - to compete directly with Dubai's Business News Channel, which transmits in English and Arabic - either in November or next January. Qatar-based Al Jazeera, which has itself been on air for four years, also plans to launch a DTH Arabic-language documentary channel in the near future.
Although a CNBC source in London admitted the company is close to making a decision on its Arab partner, no agreement has as yet been signed with Al Jazeera. Indeed, they stressed that there have also been talks with a number of other media groups in the region.
CNBC already produces an English-language weekly show out of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, for its CNBC Europe channel, which is also syndicated by Middle East Business News to other terrestrial broadcasters in the region.
In a separate though related development, industry sources suggest that CNN is in talks with various local organisations, in particular in Dubai, to establish a news bureau in the territory's "free media zone", which is part of Dubai's Media/Internet City. CNN already has local news bureaux in Cairo and Jerusalem, and the next stage of its regional strategy is likely to be the launch of an Arabic-language web-based news service ahead of a full broadcast news channel.
Moving to the Dubai Media/Internet City location, with its tax breaks and 100 per cent foreign ownership limits, appears to be a logical step for CNN. The London-based Arabic broadcaster Middle East Broadcasting (MBC) is already in the process of relocating to the site, and - as industry observers suggest - media organisations are also attracted to Dubai by the lack of political interference in the territory.
Yet while there being no political hurdles overcomes one potential problem, there is always the issue of making business plans work. CNBC - and to a certain extent CNN - faces a particular challenge given that it targets so-called 'upper echelon' viewers rather than the mass market. While few doubt Al Jazeera's ability to command impressive local ratings, it has yet to turn a profit.
Qatar does not enjoy good relations with its near-neighbour Saudi Arabia, and as a result Al Jazeera is on an informal black list as far as Saudi advertising - the most important market in the Arabian Gulf - is concerned. While advertising is generated from pan-regional advertisers in Beirut, Cairo and Dubai keen to reach as many Arab viewers as possible, the Saudi boycott is nevertheless biting. Indeed, it has held back Al Jazeera's annual income over the last two years to around $10-13 million - a long way short of its $25 million annual running costs.
Any new services will also face the prospect of having to operate in an increasingly fragmented market. With English being the international business language, CNBC, Bloomberg and Far East versions of the two channels (for viewers with steerable DTH dishes) can already be received in the region.
CNN's plans nevertheless appear be initially modest, with few expecting Dubai - important as it is - to rival Cairo and Jerusalem as its main news bureau in the region. Moreover, should its Dubai bureau in time be expanded to a full-service Arabic-language channel, the business model will be every bit as challenging as that facing CNBC. And yet Turkish and Spanish versions of CNN have proved to be technically workable, if not yet profitable, and the Arabic-speaking audience, estimated to number up to 200 million, is an attractive market for what is already a much-loved brand in the region.
Localisation is clearly the route forward for both channels. While CNN operates 24-hour services in both Spain (CNN+) and Turkey (CNN Turk), CNBC recently launched joint-venture channels in Italy, Australia and Turkey.
No interest in Indian DTH
According to Indian government sources, not a single application from would-be DTH operators has so far been received. This implies that DTH services in the country will not take off until at least middle of the next year.
While Subash Chandra-owned Zee Telefilms has already announced its withdrawal from the DTH sector on what Chandra described as stifling restrictions and high cost, Rupert Murdoch-owned Star India has adopted a cautious wait and see attitude. Star India already has a DTH division on stand-by should conditions improve and is known to have sought clarification from the broadcasting authorities on the DTH guidelines issued in March.
Most of the broadcasting and cable TV companies keen on launching DTH services have found the high entry fee of Rs100million (E2.43 million), and a cap of 20 per cent equity stake for a broadcasting company in a DTH venture, to be major stumbling blocks.
I have a new news source for news items, hopefully that will make things easier for me in finding news each day. I know a lot of the news is about Indian networks etc but Zee is available here and many others, I don't think it will be long before Sony is available in Australia as well. I will try and keep the "local news" near the top.
I got an email from Panamsat, they said
"We don't have a date/time for traffic transition from PAS4 to PAS10
set yet, since we just launched PAS10. It looks like the transition will
happen in late-July to early-August. With the launch, PAS10 is not
operating yet at 68.5 since we are in the middle of on-orbit test at another
orbital location. When it does arrive, here are the beacon frequencies,
both are Ku-band.
12.7495 GHz, horizontal pol
11.699 GHz, vertical pol
From my Emails & ICQ
Can anyone confirm is ART-Al Jazzer in the BBC and Bloomberg MUX on PAS-2
3901 H SR 30800 is a feed or going to start with regular programming?
Craigs reply, I don't know yet it may be just a feed to the U.S market, elsewhere around the world I think that channel is FTA
Sky heads for interactivity
Sky is yet to decide who will manufacture its set-top-boxes
Sky Television is moving closer to introducing interactive TV along with adbusting personal video recorder technology, following talks with conditional access systems company NDS.
The head of NDS Australia, Peter Iles, met Sky last week, in discussions he describes as "very positive".
NDS, which supplies set-top-box software to Sky's parent company BSkyB in the UK, is expected to be at the forefront of digital pay-TV in New Zealand, where Sky hopes to head off TVNZ's alliance with Telstra Saturn.
"Sky will be in a position to set itself up in opposition to TVNZ," Iles says.
However, Sky is yet to decide who will manufacture its set-top-boxes, with both Pace and Motorola likely contenders. NDS will supply the in-house software behind the 20-to-30GB hard drives used to screen digital TV signals.
Iles is sceptical about the status of TVNZ's claim that it will offer a free-to-air service, noting that the SOE will scramble their signal so it cannot be picked up by Sky's boxes.
"How is that free-to-air?"
The initial introduction of Sky's interactive set-top-boxes could see email access, news and information services, as well as detailed programme information. That might include statistics of sports players, or information about albums show-cased by promotional music videos.
NDS does not anticipate digital television to fully blossom until the arrival of MPEG layer-4 video data compression, and believes that until it does, DSL-line transmission is unlikely.
Personal video recorders, which allow consumers to record only the programmes they want to watch, and not attendant advertisements, are also promoted by NDS.
Sky's initial approach will likely be a more passive one than TVNZ's, since Sky's service here, as in the UK, will focus primarily on "enhanced entertainment", says Peter Iles.
However, Iles agrees that TVNZ's incorporation of Nzoom into its operations could pressure Sky into sourcing more web-based content, perhaps from Xtra, owned by Telecom which owns 10% of Sky or from newspaper publisher INL, controlled, like Sky, by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.
Wegener awarded Aussie DBS contract
Wegener Corporation, a leading provider of transmission solutions to broadcast television and cable network operators worldwide, announced today that a major provider of digital satellite television has placed an order for Wegener UNITY4422 IRDs to support its direct broadcast-by-satellite (DBS) service. The order is expected to be delivered during Wegener's third fiscal quarter.
Keith Smith, president of Wegener Communications, stated, "Wegener products are integral components in the delivery of digital television services worldwide. The DBS industry continues to advance the sophistication of its infrastructure technology to meet the exacting broadcast standards demanded by the market. As the DBS industry continues to expand and transmits more programming, Wegener will be there to provide enabling technology."
The UNITY4422 satellite receiver is designed for professional digital video applications worldwide. In addition to decoding MPEG-2 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 video in PAL or NTSC formats, the UNITY4422 supports VBI and closed captioning on line 21. Video can be output on either serial digital or composite outputs. Using UNITY Option Modules, the UNITY4422 can be enhanced to support DVB-ASI output up to 6 stereo pairs of balanced audio, synchronous data and/or 4 L-band inputs. A UNITY Option Module is also available with DVB-ASI input to support local monitoring or terrestrial back-haul applications.
Tandberg selected to build digital terrestrial network for Australia’s Prime Television
TANDBERG Television Inc., a leading provider of open solutions for digital broadcasting, and its business partner Comsyst, a leading supplier of broadcast systems in Australia, today announced that they have signed an agreement with Australian regional TV company, Prime Television, to build a digital terrestrial TV (DTTV) network across New South Wales and Victoria.
Comsyst, will provide systems integration, installation, testing and commissioning of the network, based on TANDBERG Television's market proven evolution 5000 digital terrestrial compression, multiplexing and multiplex management systems. The project will see Comsyst, Prime and TANDBERG Television engineers working closely together to build a state-of-the-art digital terrestrial TV network.
"This is a challenging and exciting DTTV network and by bringing together Comsyst's systems integration and network deployment know-how and TANDBERG Television's proven expertise and innovation in digital terrestrial TV solutions, we are able to provide Prime with the systems and know-how required to make its move to digital a success,' says Darren Kirsop-Frearson, VP of Sales for Comsyst.
TANDBERG Television has already experienced a large of amount of success in the Australian digital terrestrial TV market, having secured contracts valued in total at over £15 million from Australian capital city broadcasters ABC, Network Nine, Network Ten and SBS. TANDBERG Television's experience of DTTV is built on over a decade of pioneering research and development work, and the company employs engineers credited with having invented digital terrestrial TV. Moreover, TANDBERG Television has gained a significant share of the UK DTTV transmission market, has secured key contracts in Finland and Spain and is involved in a number of trials across Asia and Europe. It has also deployed its highly successful high definition encoding systems to the USA ATSC DTTV market.
"We are proud to have been chosen by Prime Television for this important digital terrestrial TV system,' says Ian Fellows, Regional Sales Manager for TANDBERG Television in Australia. "We look forward to building on this major win, and on the current DTTV networks and trials we are operating in many other Asian and European countries, to continue as the first choice in DTTV technology and solutions.'
Pan-Asian Media company, Alive Networks, dies in Hong Kong
Alive Networks, a pan-Asian media company dedicated to travel information and services distributed via TV, the Web, mobile devices and printed travel guides, has gone into liquidation following failure to secure new financing.
"Our own funding, as well as our ability to raise additional funds, has been crippled by the current worldwide market downturn and lack of investor appetite for new and innovative businesses," said Chairman-CEO Ian Henry and co-founder of chinadot corporation, in a statement.
Founded last November in Hong Kong by Mr. Henry, an Asian Internet veteran, Alive Networks focused on Asian travel and leisure including holidays and special activity options, destinations, food, adventure, shopping, fashion and style throughout Asia--a region rich with travel-related opportunities.
Just weeks ago, Alive completed its first major distribution deal with the broadband satellite service Pacific Century Matrix, a TV and telecom convergence joint venture between Pacific Century Group and European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company.
Mr. Henry also recruited an experienced management, including COO Doug Gaultier, a veteran of the Hong Kong Tourism Association with broadcasting experience; Richard Gocher, director-ad sales, an advertising industry veteran; Michelle Ching, deputy director, advertising sales who was previously group account director-regional sales, MTV Networks Asia; and Anthony Dobson, marketing services director, advertising sales, who joined Alive from Turner International, where he was VP, research & strategic planning in Hong Kong.
DD to unleash New Age broadcasting soon
SATELLITE channels have a new nemesis now. Stodgy old Doordarshan is all set to unleash a new era in Indian broadcasting by combining its awesome terrestrial presence with New Age broadcasting services, like interactive TV, entertainment content in digital for mat and even Internet access.
DD will kick off its digital terrestrial broadcasting services on a pilot basis in Delhi by July end. DD CEO Anil Baijal did not confirm the exact date of launch, however, he said that things are moving at a swift pace.
"By mid-June, we will take a firm decision on the launch of digital terrestrial services," he said. He added that in the next six months at least four metros will be covered by these services and bulk of the transmitting equipment is being imported.
He added the policy on the procurement of settop-boxes to be used for decrypting the digital signal on the users’ end will be finalised soon.
While initially DD may go it alone down the digital path, sources said that the national broadcaster may eventually rope in prominent private players like Zee and Discovery to create a bouquet of around 24 channels. Baijal said DD will be looking to air 8 channels from Delhi soon.
The terrestrial digital broadcasting project will, however, be an expensive proposition. The total project cost is estimated at around Rs 3,400 crore, when fully operational.
According to DD sources, "The first objective of DD is to ensure that there is a quick offtake of the digital terrestrial services once they are introduced in the country and that will be possible only if its a viable alternative to the existing analog broadcasting system."
To ensure the offtake of digital terrestrial broadcasting, DD is planning to offer a phalanx of New Age services, like interactive TV and also Internet access on TV.
The broadcasting major will also be making a clean break with the past, since it insists that the channels on the digital terrestrial broadcasting platform have to be a mix of pay and free-to-air channels.
Baijal confirmed that certain private channels have approached DD for hosting their channels on the digital terrestrial platform. He, however, did not name the private channels which want take channel space.
Says an industry source, "It wouldn’t make sense for DD to go it alone in the digital terrestrial platform. Since it will be possible to beam as many as four channels from one transmission site, it would obviously be tying up with a number of private channels to offer an attractive bouquet of channels to the viewers."
According to Discovery Channel sources, the company is keen to hitch a ride with DD in availing of the digital terrestrial platform. They added that Discovery had initiated talks with DD in this regard. Sources also said that Zee is also keen to join the digital terrestrial platform.
The technology that will be used by Dd to implement the digital terrestrial broadcasting in India is called DVB-T. According to DD sources, a DD core group went into competing standards like ATSC and ISDB-T, before plumping for DVB-T.
Cable stitch: Zee turns aggressive with 3 packages for pay channels
ZEE Network has worked out three packages for its pay channel bouquet to cable operators.
While the entire 15-channel package including the Alpha language channels will cost Rs 30 per subscriber, the four-channel combination of Zee TV, Zee News and any other two channels will be priced at Rs 22. This will, however, include the complimentary channels Zee Music, Asianet Bharati, Urdu Television Network and ZedTV. Asianet Kaveri will be a pay channel.
Cable operators will also have the option of paying Rs 25 for all the channels and only one Alpha regional channel. Zee has four regional language channels, Alpha Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi and Bangla. “While in metro cities cable operators are likely to take the entire group of Alpha channels, in smaller towns they may prefer to have only the language channel of the state,” said a Zee Network official.
Zee Network has currently fed the cable networks with 4,500 decoder boxes. The initial focus will be in urban areas where the target is to reach a distribution of 5,500 decoders. Zee has the ambitious aim to seed the market with 10,000 boxes over a period of six months, which media analysts feel is too high a figure for such a short time. “We will first feed the urban areas. We will start supplying the boxes to the existing cable networks who have already taken our pay TV service,” said a source in Zee Network.
The boxes are priced at Rs 14,000. Cable operators can pay in two instalments of Rs 7,000 each within six months. Zee is using the Philips decoder boxes.
Zee TV as a standalone channel will cost Rs 16 per subscriber. The decision to price it so high has been taken with the aim to position Zee TV as a channel which will move the entire pay-TV bouquet. Incidentally, Zee TV will cost higher than ESPN and Star Sports. “They are channels with seasonal demands, depending on the live events they telecast. Zee TV, on the other hand, will provide round-the-clock entertainment,” said a Zee Network official.
Zee plans to increase its bouquet of channels. The Telugu channel will be launched within two months. The company plans to get in a couple of more channels soon.
Small cable operators who have not been carrying Zee Network’s existing group of pay channels may initially drop out Zee TV and follow a wait and watch policy. If there is a consumer pull, they will carry Zee TV which has so far been running on their cable networks as a free-to-air channel. But those operators who are already carrying Zee’s pay channels are likely to migrate to the new bouquet, though they are sure to bargain on the rates.
SET to come with a price now
SONY has finally decided to shun it’s free-to-air mode. Come July, Sony is becoming a pay channel. The channel subscription rate is being pegged at Rs 8 per subcriber on a per month basis.
This is being seen as a swift move in the cable distribution circuit as Sony is keen to boost the overall subscription revenues of it’s driver channel.
Additionally, the channel is also digitising it’s operations. AXN and SET Max are the two channels in the Sony bouquet which are already being beamed into the cable and satellite households as pay channels. Sony is also distributing the stock market news channel-CNBC in the country.
The prevailing subscription rates for AXN and SET Max are Rs 5 and Rs 5.75, whereas, CNBC is being distributed at Rs 4 per subscriber per month.
The Sony bouquet package rate will now hover around Rs 23 after Sony is finally launched as a digital-pay channel in July.
According to sources, Sony has already approached the major MSO’s for negotiating the subscription rate for the pay channel. Among other negotiations, the distribution of Sony decoder receivers to the cable operators is also being discussed.
Expectedly, the independent cable networks and the major MSOs like Siticable, Wincable and Incable are not exactly thrilled with yet another major entertainment channel taking the pay route.
According to a senior official at Wincable, while most prominent channels like Star, Sony, Zee, Discovery and Turner International channels now in the pay domain, subcription revenue collections become more difficult.
"With so many channels going the pay route and frequent hikes in the subscription rates, collections at the consumer-end is a tall task for all of us," an official said.
The MSO’s have been insisting with the channels to educate the subscribers about such hikes and persuade them to cough up the suscription fees.
Incidentally, the suscription rate hikes and instances of channels going pay for the first time have been opposed by the independent cable operators and MSO’s via arm twisting tactics leading to virtual black-out of the channel from their network of C&S homes.
STAR and Discovery have faced such black-outs at the hands of the MSOs in the past when they increased their subscription rates.
Thanks to those that turned up in the chatroom seems the colder weather is bringing in more people. Everything else is very quiet nothing much happening.
No new version of DVB 2000 1.84.6 (in progress)
I managed to play and get the 16:9 working but no success with letterbox mode yet.
From my Emails & ICQ
New sky music channel up and running on trackside channel when horse racing not on and tv4 when infomercials are on terrrestial tv.
Craigs note, Hardly qualifys as a new channel just better use of what they have, they were doing plenty of testing yesterday but havn't seen any today.
From the Dish
Intelsat I701 180E 3769 RHC "Opening the terraces on Mount Carmel" Sr 20000, Fec 7/8, Feed
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3926 V "Opening the terraces on Mount Carmel" Sr 5632, Fec 3/4, Feed
Optus B3 156E 12363 V "Rove Live report", Feed 22/5/01
Optus B3 156E 12336 V "Rove Live Show", Feed 22/5/01
CNBC India looks to beef up evening band, launches 'Storyboard'
As part of continuing efforts to expand its viewership base in the critical 8 pm to 11 pm evening band, CNBC India today announced the launch of Storyboard - aimed at the advertising community.
The first episode of Storyboard airs tomorrow at 8 pm with a repeat telecast at 11 pm. The episode will be screened again on Sunday at 11:30 am and 8 pm.
Haresh Chawla, CEO CNBC India, says: "There was a felt need to spice up our programming in the evening. So, we introduced the evening Executive Suite band for senior and middle management executives with a slew of new shows. Storyboard is the latest in the line-up and there are more such interesting shows in the pipeline."
According to Chawla, Storyboard’s primary focus is to explore what goes on in the advertising world - the latest campaigns, advertising pitches, wins and losses, analyse strategies, delve into issues that concern and influence consumers.
With the launch of Storyboard, the number of India-centric programmes on the channel goes up to 21.
Chawla said at present CNBC India had 10 hours of India-centric programmes on air which would go up to an optimum of 10-and-a-half-hours, not more.
PanAmSat signal quality
From [sat-nd] 23.05.2001
Transcendent Technologies, Inc. announced the successful
completion of System Acceptance Testing (SAT) for its 2010
Carrier Monitoring System (2010 CMS) for PanAmSat Corporation.
The globally-distributed 2010 CMS is now continuously monitoring
the downlink spectrum for PanAmSat's international fleet of
The 2010 CMS replaced PanAmSat's original carrier monitoring
system, which relied exclusively on spectrum analysers to
measure downlinks. The core of Transcendent's approach is its DSP
monitoring unit, which allows for unprecedented analysis
capability. Installed at each remote site, these units provide
automated background monitoring and alarm generation, and also
support user-defined analysis tasks.
In related news, Transcendent Technologies received a Phase II
contract from PanAmSat Corporation for a second set of satellite
downlink quality monitoring units plus system engineering support.
The new digital signal monitoring units will be used to
augment and expand the 2010 Carrier Monitoring System (CMS).
Transcendent provides advanced signal processing systems for
wireless networks. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Applied
Signal Technology, Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif.
Livechat tonight in the chatroom. Not much at all happening today
A new version of DVB2000, I hope they spend more time on fixing the bugs and less time on the new "volume graphic"
DVB2000 new version Released 1.84.5
"Menus visible in 16:9 letterbox mode"
From my Emails & ICQ
From Les Phillips
I live in Broome Western Australia could you please inform me of any satellites / channels im able to receive. If there is any what size dish would i need to receive them.
Craigs reply, if you have a clear view of the horizon in Perth you can see satellites from 50E to 180E, See our satellite pages for the channels and satellites you should be able to recieve. A good dish for useing in Western Australia would be a 3M. Go for the biggest dish you can afford / get your hands on / fit in your yard.
From the Dish
Apstar 2R 3824 H "Hong Kong Telecom Feeds" Sr 2859 Fec 2/3 (might be worth checking)
No news today
Monday afternoon, I note more NZ Sky TV testing, the Snell Willcox card was up before but now something encrypted the EPG info button on my remote says "CA Test 4a, IPPV non purchaseable" with Telstra Saturn due to start testing anyday seems they need to get a hurry on with FTA testing so they have a true fta package of channels as competition.
Has anyone checked Pas 10 for any testing yet? There should be a beacon signal on it somewhere?
New version of DVB2000 1.84.3 probably even a newer version available by the time you read this. I just updated mine last night I note a few glitches with it.
From my Emails & ICQ
Bill Richards report Palapa C2 Rainbow and Channelx-1 FTA at 2100UTC
From the Dish
Nothing to report
Optus to say yes to SingTel
MORE than 90,000 shareholders in Cable & Wireless Optus will be told today by their independent directors to accept Singapore Telecommunications' $17.2 billion offer for their shares.
It is set to be Australia's second largest corporate transaction, just three days after shareholders accepted Australia's largest, the $57 billion BHP-Billiton merger.
However, The Australian has learnt that Optus's independent board members, John Morschel, Gavin Campbell, John Cloney, Greg Haustorfer and Sean Howard, have given a less than enthusiastic approval to the bid, largely because of the way SingTel's offer is comprised. It includes cash and shares in SingTel which have fallen heavily since the bid was announced in late March.
In what is described as a finely balanced decision, the independents say they will accept and sell their own Optus shares to SingTel.
Sources said the decision to accept was a close call, given the independent expert's report from financial house Grant Samuel said the offer was reasonable but not fair.
SingTel's shares have fallen from $S2.42 when the bid was launched to $S1.75 on Friday.
Grant Samuel's report indicates that SingTel's trading range of $S1.75 to $S1.90 meant the offer was not fair. However, it stressed SingTel's shares were only just below a trading range which would have given the SingTel offer the recommendation of fair.
And the report gives some solace to Optus shareholders, saying SingTel is undervalued and predicting a lift in SingTel's share price after the transaction, with a forecast range from Grant Samuel of $S1.80 to $S2.
The offer has three options but analysts are recommending Option B, which is 0.8 of a SingTel share and $2.25 in cash for each Optus share.
Domestic institutional investors and foreign fund managers have told SingTel they will accept the offer.
At a press conference this morning in Sydney, Optus chief executive Chris Anderson and SingTel chief Lee Hsien Yang will release SingTel's bidder statements, the independent expert's report and the "yes" recommendation from independent directors.
The reports are expected to make much of the merged SingTel-Optus entity as a regional powerhouse with more than 7 million mobile phone subscribers, more than $10 billion in revenues and a market capitalisation of more than $33 billion, which puts it in the top 10 of Australian listed companies.
The combined group also challenges Telstra's ambitions in the Asia-Pacific, with SingTel-Optus having a stake in the number one or two mobile phone player in Singapore, Australia, Thailand and the Philippines. Of the listed telecommunications companies outside Japan in the Asia-Pacific, the SingTel-Optus group will be one of the top five companies, with interests in 79 submarine cables, four regional satellites and domestic terrestrial networks.
Under the offer, SingTel's shares will be listed on the ASX, but some weakness is expected as Australian fund managers with a mandate to invest only in Australia sell.
The bid also still requires Foreign Investment Review Board approval, though sources indicate the conditions required by the Australian Defence Department regarding Optus's satellites have been met.
Russia's Proton Successfully Places PAS 10 in Orbit
Russia’s heavy lift Proton-K rocket successfully placed PanAmSat’s PAS 10 satellite into geosynchronous orbit in the first mission of the year for International Launch Services (ILS).
The Proton lifted off from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and placed PAS10 into orbit 10 minutes later. The satellite's first signals were received about six-and-a-half hours later at Hartebeesthoek in South Africa, confirming that systems are operating normally.
PAS 10, built for PanAmSat Corporation by Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS), a unit of The Boeing Company, is the sixth Boeing satellite delivered to PanAmSat in 17 months.
Users of the satellite include CNN, BBC, ESPN and entertainment channels Nickelodeon and MTV. PAS 10 will provide international services to Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe from 68.5 degrees East longitude. PAS-10 operates with a total of 48 active transponders, 24 in C-band and 24 in Ku-band.
By mid-year, PanAmSat will have more than 900 transponders providing satellite-based video and data broadcasting services.
ILS President Mark Albrecht said the launch was excellent and continued Proton’s “winning streak” of failure-free launches. The launch came a month after the successful flight of the new Proton M/Briz M vehicles.
In 2000 the Proton flew 14 times, all successfully. Eight of those were commercial missions for ILS and six were Russian government launches.
This was the first mission of 2001 for ILS, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. in the United States and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and RSC Energia in Russia. ILS manages all tasks associated with providing launch services on both the American Atlas and the Russian-built Proton vehicle families, including technical, management and marketing expertise.
ILS has launched four other satellites that are part of PanAmSat's fleet since 1995. Proton vehicles launched PAS 8 in November 1998 and PAS 5 in August 1997. Atlas launched Galaxy VIII-I in December 1997 and Galaxy III-R in December 1995.
The three-stage Proton rocket is produced by Khrunichev. The Block DM fourth stage used in the PAS 10 mission was built by Energia. An alternative fourth stage, the Briz M, is also built by Khrunichev. ILS' Atlas rockets and their Centaur upper stages are built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company-Astronautics Operations.
PanAmSat is a provider of global video and data broadcasting services via satellite. Operating a global network of 21 in-orbit spacecraft and seven technical facilities, the company delivers entertainment and information to cable television systems, TV broadcast affiliates, direct-to-home TV operators, Internet service providers, telecommunications companies and corporations worldwide. PanAmSat will expand its global fleet to 22 spacecraft by year-end 2001.
Hong Kong's Phoenix Q3 in Red Although Net Up 3.44 Times
Chinese-language broadcaster Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings reported a loss of HK$9.73 million for the third quarter ending March 31 that it said was caused mainly by the addition of two new channels.
The loss contrasts starkly with a profit of HK$21.69 million for the same period a year ago.
Phoenix on January 1 launched two 24-hour news channels: the Phoenix InfoNews Channel and the North America Chinese channel.
The new channels have pushed operating costs higher while their contributions to revenue was marginal, the company said.
Phoneix's operating costs in the third quarter rose 51 percent to HK$186.38 million from HK$123.05 million a year earlier.
The loss in the third quarter cut its net profit for the nine months ended March 31 to HK$87.84 million from an interim net profit of HK$97.57 million in 2000/01.
But the nine-month profit ending March 31 was about 344 percent higher than the previous year's profit of HK$19.78 million caused by higher advertising income.
Revenue grew by some 47 percent in the nine month period to HK$542.81 million while operating costs rose 42 percent to about HK$501.94 million as a result of start-up expenditures for its two new channels.
Near term growth prospects are, however, being dampened by the downturn in the U.S. economy and a new Chinese law that imposes a limit of two percent of turnover as tax-deductible for advertising expenditures.
Phoenix said improvements in operating efficiency in the long term should help mitigate these negative forces.
Launched in March 1996, Phoenix currently operates five channels and publishes a magazine Phoenix Weekly.
T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 20/2001 - May 20 2001 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by Tele Satellite
Editor: Branislav Pekic
(Edited Apsattv.com Edition)
AUSTAR REPORTS FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
Austar United Communications Ltd.'s operating loss widened to Aus$95
million in the three months to end-March from a loss of $54 million for
the same period a year earlier. However the regional Australian pay-TV
operator maintained that a focus on cost control and profitable growth
has started to deliver results. Austar said total revenue for the
quarter came in at $85 million, a 28 per cent increase on the first
quarter last year. Austar's earnings before interest, taxation,
depreciation and amortisation for the first quarter was a loss of $28
million compared with a loss of $2.2 million for the same time last
year. However, Austar said that the latest figures showed a narrowing
from the company's fourth-quarter earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) loss of $35.5 million and
operating loss of $117.6 million. Comparing the first-quarter figures
with those of the fourth quarter last year, Austar said its pay-TV
operation achieved a 75.6 per cent improvement in EBITDA and a 79.1 per
cent reduction in capital expenditure.
include the privatisation of certain areas of programming.
TVNZ TO LOSE TRANSMISSION ARM
Television New Zealand is poised to lose its profitable transmission
arm, Broadcast Communications Ltd., as part of a radical restructuring
expected to make it more dependent on government funding. The likelihood
has heightened tensions over the introduction of a TVNZ charter in July
2002 and fed fears that the state-owned broadcaster’s political
independence is being jeopardised. Finance Minister Michael Cullen has
confirmed plans to split Broadcast Communications Ltd., and possibly two
other moneymaking units, and set them up as profit-driven state-owned
GOVERNMENT TO FINANCE MAORI TV CHANNEL
The Government will pay for a state-owned Maori television channel to be
set up this year. The channel will have initial funding of $29 million a
year, and it is likely more would be made available if that is not
enough. Programming will be in Maori and in English and the operation
will be overseen by a board of seven, three appointed by the Government
and four by an electoral college of Maori broadcasters. The board will
oversee the direction of the channel and appoint others for day-to-day
Zee clear No. 2 in channel race: INTAM data
Zee TV is now the confirmed No. 2 channel on Indian television in prime time, more so among women, figures released by the company indicate.
The statistics are derived from market research firm ORG-MARG's INTAM data calculated for a three month weighted average beginning 22 January through till 23 April.
While both men and women sampled gave Zee an edge over Sony it was women who were tuning in more to Zee than men, the data shows. The women sampled were in the 25 + SEC AB category - seen as having the maximum advertisement attracting power - in 10 cities. For men the target group was 15 +.
It is between 8 PM to 9 PM that Zee has made the maximum impact, claiming to have even gone ahead of Star during this prime band.
Zee TV emerged the market leader from 16 April in the 8 PM time band. The lead increases in the 8:30 PM time band and it remains a close No 2 in the 9 PM time band, the data reveals.
Eenadu Group launching Urdu channel next month, planning 14-channel bouquet in 2 years
The Hydrabad-based Eenadu Group, one of the largest media networks in southern India promoted by Ramoji Rao, will be launching ETV Urdu channel next month. The launch date is still being finalised, industry sources say.
Rao is also laying out plans for a major expansion in the Eenadu Television Network, to be executed over the next two years, which will bring the number of channels under the ETV banner to 14.
ETV has been building its programming content for the Urdu channel for more than one-and-a-half years. The target audience will not only the Urdu speaking audiences in India but also the Gulf countries (Pakistan as well?). The Urdu spoken on the channel will not be pure Urdu (which not many people understand) but that spoken by common people so as to give it a broader viewership.
Eenadu Television Network, which has successfully been running ETV Telugu for the last six years, launched ETV Bangla in May 2000, followed by ETV Marathi in June and ETV Kannada in December. All the channels are reportedly doing well in their respective territories except for ETV Marathi which is facing some problems as far as reach is concerned.
Industry resources say Eenadu has big plans for its regional bouquet. Next on the cards are channels in Gujarati and Oriya scheduled for launch later this year. Next year will see the launch of channels in seven regional languages. The aim of the network is to build a brand and cater to niche audiences in all major regional languages.
Other plans on the group's agenda is to promote the Ramoji Rao Filmcity in Hyderabad in India as well as abroad. The group also has plans to capitalise on its strong brand presence in the print medium by launching a Kannada language daily newspaper in the near future.
Both Super 12 Semi Finals were seen as expected last night / morning.
Another new version of DVB 2000 1.84.1 wow I can't keep up, I am still on 1.83.3. Has anyone had any success from the 16:9 mode?
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards
Interesting to see the Palapa C2 "Space TV" Rainbow Ch and X-Ch-1 go FTA during early hours AM.
Plus 2 missing screenshots from Pas 8, Power TV and TZU Chi
Several feeds reports
From David Nolan 20/5/01 2pm Syd?
B1, 12680 H "NRL" Analogue Enjoy!!! No sound yet.
B3, 12336 V "NSL Soccer"
B3, 12363 V "AFL"
From me, seen 19/5/01
B3, 12363 V "Horse Raceing From Broken Hill" 5pm Syd
B3, 12336 V "Super 12 Semi final, Brumbies vs Reds" 7.30pm Syd
B1, 12367 V "Super 12 Semi final, Sharks vs Cats from South Africa"
From the Dish
Palapa C2 113E "Space TV is now known as MMBN"
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3880 H "CETV" has not replaced Phoenix Chinese in the Star Bouquet
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H "Channel East" has left
Insat 2E 83E 3687 V "Asianet Global" has started testing, Sr 4390, Fec 3/4, Vpid 4130 Apid 4131, wide beam. Also here in analogue on 3650 V, wide beam
Insat 2E 83E "Aaj Tak" left this satellite
No News section for today
Look for the Super 12 Semi-final tonight on Optus B3 hopefully 12363 V. The other game from South Africa should be via B1 Newsforce feed 12367 V. Has anyone looked for a feed of the England vs Pakistan Cricket Tests (around 9pm Syd time)
New Version of DVB 2000 released 1.83.7, another new release will be out shortly as this version has a bad bug with audio channels.
Some Gallerys updated Pas 2, Pas 8, also Pas 2 and Pas 8 Satellite pages have been updated I am slowly working through the rest adding missing images and removing the channels that have encrypted or left.
From my Emails & ICQ
Bill Richards supplies some missing screenshots from Space tv Channels on Palapa C2, not yet added to gallery
Space tv is very low quality NTSC, with poor audio
From the Dish
Telkom 1 108E 3620 H "CNBC Asia" has left, Perhaps they are now taking the Palapa C2 Digital feed?
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3880 H "CETV has replaced Phoenix Chinese" inside the Star BQ (Encrypted), Vpid 515 Apid 652
Insat 2E 83E 3621 V "AAJ Tak" left (Zone Beam)
Insat 2E 83E 3525 V "Sky Bangladesh" has started on ,Vpid 257 Apid 258 (Zone Beam)
Sorry no time for the news section today
Sky NZ's fta signal of Juice Music is no longer running, perhaps they will switch it on again at 5pm like they did yesterday. There isn't much else happening. I have started fixing up some of the Gallerys, the first one I have done is Asiasat 3. I still need screenshots of a few of the analogue channels that are missing. A quick count shows 24 channels there FTA! I will start on the other satellites in the next few days.
From the Dish
Palapa C2 113E 4000 H "RAI International 1" is new here, Vpid 80 Apid 81.
Palapa C2 113E 4071 H "Radio Warna" started here on Apid 35
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H "Channel East" is new here , Vpid 1025 Apid 1026. (Global Beam)
Lashkara completes two years; claims No. 1 Punjabi channel status
Lashkara, part of the eight-channel bouquet of Reminiscent Television Network (RTV), has just completed two years in existence and is currently the No.1 Punjabi language channel, a company release states.
Lashkara has a C&S penetration of 80 per cent in Punjab and just under 50 per cent in Delhi, the release states, quoting AG Nielsen's TAM data.
"In this short span of two years, Lashkara has not only emerged a market leader amongst Punjabi channels but has also carved out a niche for itself with the non-Punjabi audiences all over the world. This has been a remarkable achievement for us and we plan to build further from here, by focusing on mainstream entertainment programming in the near future," says Subhash Menon (managing director, India operations, RTV).
Some of the brands associated with Lashkara include Pepsi, Coke, Colgate, Wipro, Marico, Johnson & Johnson, Dabur, Tata Tea and Cadburys, according to the release.
The channel has also announced the presentation of its first ever annual Punjabi music awards - the 'Lashkara Punjabi Music Awards 2001', to be held on 22 June at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi.
RTV beams in Gujarati, Punjabi, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Tamil and also reaches South East Asia, Africa, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
In India only the Lashkara and Gurjari (Gujarati) channels are available.
Craigs note, The RTV channel package on B3 is currently missing. Anyone have a reason?
Kaveri in fresh programme initiative
Asianet Kaveri, the Kannada language channel which has been struggling to make its presence felt ever since its launch in June 2000, is lining up a number of serials, comedy shows, tele-films, talk shows and game shows in the coming month to shore up its fortunes.
Kaveri also plans to introduce a mega contest (Monday to Friday) to viewers shortly. The viewer will be able to call a given telephone number and the results will be announced on the same day while the 10 PM programme is on air.
Kaveri will be introducing state-of-the-art technology so as to guarantee quality in transmission and programming, a company release states. Kaveri is also roping in icons of the entertainment industry who will be at the helm of affairs, the release adds.
And in another effort to raise the profile of the channel, the first EXO Asianet Kaveri Film Award's 2001 was held on Sunday at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium in Bangalore in the presence of popular personalities from the Kannada Film Industry. The nominations were selected from the viewers through a poll form published in various newspapers and among cable operators.
"Kaveri needs some dedicated nurturing because the market out there is still untapped and I see it as a challenge," Asianet COO Mohan Nair had said in February when queried about his plans for the channel.
Kaveri is a 50:50 joint venture between Asianet and Zee Telefilms. data.
J2 Not Recommended For Children
Music Television producer Juice Television Limited has launched a new channel titled ‘J2’ on Sky Television’s DHS service and its not aimed at the children.
The perhaps Hot AC formatted channel was soft launched on Monday with the replacement of the ‘What’s on Sky’ programme that played overnight on channels 34 and 11 on Sky’s satellite service. The channels respectively carry TV4 and Trackside Channel during the day with J2 taking over at night and running through to 11 or 12 in the morning on the Trackside channel and 4 or 5 in the morning on TV4.
Programme Director Daniel Wrightson told Spectrum that the format was designed to capture a totally different audience aged 25+ from its existing youth targeted ‘Juice’ channel with plays 24 hours on Sky’s channel 22 and via an encoded UHF broadcast in Auckland to terrestrial Sky subscribers.
Wrightson said that the idea new channel was conceived after the success of the Max Classics show on former Auckland music channel Max which was reported to be the highest rating show on the channel. Wrightson first entered the music television working Pepsi RTR Countdown for TVNZ before moving to Shakedown for TV3 in 1993.
Space on the DHS service for both Juice and J2 are provided free to Juice Music Television in return for exclusive broadcast rights by Sky Network Television with Juice earning revenue from advertising on the channels.
Both Juice and J2 carry about 2.5 minutes of advertisements per hour not including sponsorship and endorsements by presenters. The channel uses a playout server with four channels, one to manage advertising on each channel and the other two for high rotation music videos.
Juice currently has spots available on other Sky channels to promote the new station but are not using them at present.
When questioned about the level of New Zealand content viewers expected to see on the channel Wrightson said that finding New Zealand music for the channel has been difficult. Wrightson pointed out that amount of video content suitable for the channel was limited compared to similarly formatted radio stations. He said the level of NZ music would not be similar to the 10-15% currently playing on Juice.
Juice Music Television are hoping to take the channel 24 hours a day in the future but are mindful of the limited space currently available on the service. The recent move by Sky to merge the Cartoon Network and TCM channels back into one in order to offer the MGM channel is evidence of this.
Juice Music Television’s major competitors are the music offerings on Saturn’s cable service in Wellington and Christchurch which offers Australian operated Channel V, MusicCountry and French dance channel MCM.
Wrightson said that the company preferred to stick with Sky because the coverage the system provided supported the model the company had chosen. When asked about the possibility that Juice might return to its brief flirtation with free to air broadcasting on BCL operated terrestrial channels Wrightson said that the costs of operating the network would never make the service worth it. While similar deals to provide a music channel to Saturn were also not likely to be on the cards. ‘We haven’t talked to them.’ He said ‘There’s loyalty there with Sky’
The sites late, I was mowwing the rest of the lawns, when I finished and hooked up the small dish on the step I set the receiver as I usually do by pressing the Radio button on the Nokia remote this switches the receiver to Sky NZ's FTA test on B1 (usually the Snell Willcox card, its a strong signal and easy to use to line up the dish) I noted the card was there then it went off replaced by blank screen with a white bar down it. So I left it on and went to start on the site update. Then I heard music comming from the TV they were testing Sky's music channel "Juice TV". So I did a scan, not sure if this is new or not but the NIT info loads 7 transponders, includeing 12626 H! 12626 H has no signal, something going on I think. 12671 V also has something listed as "extra extra" which may be Skys Open TV software update" I will keep an eye on this tommorow, I wonder if 12626 H is TVNZ's or Telstras transponder.
SKY NZ on B1, Thursday 17th 5pm NZ
12608 V "Si 1026 Eng-Test" Now running Juice Music as FTA TEST ,
Vpid 517 Apid 655 Sid 1026 PMT 261 SR 22500 , Fec 3/4
From the Dish
Palapa C2 113E 4071 H "CNBC Asia" is fta again , Digital
Palapa C2 113E "Space TV package" are all FTA, including new ones from the MMBN service
ST 1 88E 3509 H The MMBN package has left, gone to Palapa C2
ST 1 88E 3550 V The MMBN package has left, gone to Palapa C2
ST 1 88E 3632 V The MMBN package has left, gone to Palapa C2
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3600 H "Anjuman TV" started FTA , Vpid 520 Apid 730.
Sorry no time for the news section today will do it tommorow
That chatroom was great last night a very good turnout approx 30-40 people in there overall after 5 hours of being in there I had to retire for the night it must of been my keyboard because my spelling was getting worse and worse the later it got. There have been a few changes on B3 lately, on the 12532 V transponder, the channels labled SBS data have gone as have Lashkara and Gurjarti and all the RTV indians. Has Tarbs grabbed these ones I wonder?
A new version of DVB2000 has been released 1.83.3 get it from here http://www.dominance.net/overflow/
Tarb's has a new website which looks quite good its at http://www.tarbs.com/
We now have a website and tvguide for TVK Cambodia on Thaicom 3, see Thaicom 3 page for the links.
The Panamsat 10 Launch is available at Panamsats website now, they even have a 700k stream of it for those lucky broadband users http://www.panamsat.com
Panamsat 10 Press release is available in the News section.
From my Emails & ICQ
From David Nolan
Does anyone get a signal off this bird Pas 2 at 12410v. I get it quite strong but it must be in digital and I don't know the parameters.
From the Dish
Lyngsat site has added Pas 10 Transponder layout http://www.lyngsat.com/pas10.shtml
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3791 V Sr 4340 Vpid 101 Apid 102 Can someone check this one and tell me what you find.
PANAMSAT BOOSTS INDIAN OCEAN REGION COVERAGE WITH SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF VERSATILE PAS-10 SPACECRAFT
Proton Rocket Lifts New Satellite Into Orbit From The Baikonur Cosmodrome; Flexible Spacecraft Will Serve Three Continents
BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan , May 15, 2001 -- PanAmSat Corporation (NASDAQ: SPOT) today announced that the new PAS-10 satellite has been launched successfully and is on its way to one of the company’s prime orbital slots more than 22,000 miles above the Indian Ocean Region. Situated atop a Proton rocket, the high-power spacecraft lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at approximately 7:11 a.m. local time (9:11 p.m. EDT on May 14, 2001).
PanAmSat’s sixth new satellite in less than 18 months will succeed the PAS-4 satellite as the region’s leading cable neighborhood and will serve in the development of new and more advanced broadcast networks covering three continents. In addition, PAS-10 will also enable the delivery of new digital and IP-based services across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Indian subcontinent.
The 8,000-pound PAS-10 is a Boeing-built 601 HP model satellite with 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders. Following comprehensive in-orbit testing, the new spacecraft will be positioned at 68.5 degrees east longitude.
PAS-10 was lofted into space by International Launch Services (ILS), which provides launch services to customers worldwide using both the American Atlas and the Russian Proton rocket families. The Proton rocket has averaged a 96 percent success rate during its 30-year history.
?PanAmSat is committed to providing our valued and long-term customers with communications services that take advantage of proven, robust and reliable technologies,” said R. Douglas Kahn, PanAmSat’s president and chief executive officer. “PAS-10’s successful launch will ensure that emerging markets in the Indian Ocean Region, including the Indian subcontinent and Central and Western Asia, have access to the latest services delivered over the most dependable technology.”
PAS-10’s C-band payload will be home to some of the world’s top international broadcasters and programmers, including the BBC, CNN, CCTV, Discovery, Doordarshan, ESPN, MTV, NHK, Nickelodeon, Sony and TNT. These customers will rely on PAS-10 to reach audiences throughout the satellite’s expansive footprint, which includes roughly 60 percent of the planet’s land mass and is home to more than 80 percent of the world’s population.
PAS-10’s Ku-band payload, which offers 60 percent more Ku-band transmission power than PAS-4, contains multiple high-powered beams focused on Africa, Europe, India, the Middle East, Central and Western Asia as well as Northeast Asia. Many of these beams can be switched between the various regions, offering greater versatility and flexible service options for the creation of new platforms for the delivery of data and IP-based services.
These services include SPOTbytes DVB, an Internet backbone access service that delivers IP traffic in a digital video broadcasting (DVB) transport stream, offering low startup and recurring costs, flexible and scalable bandwidth, as well as support for multiple points of presence (POPs). SPOTbytes DVB offers unparalleled versatility and cost-efficiency for ISPs and telecommunications companies with diverse backbone access requirements.
Over 60 percent more Ku-band transmission power than the PAS-4 satellite.
Switchable Ku-band beams offering increased versatility and flexible service options between various regions.
PanAmSat’s fifth satellite delivering services to Africa. PanAmSat was the first commercial company to provide satellite communications services throughout the entire continent.
PanAmSat’s fifth satellite offering coverage of Asia.
Along with the planned launch of the Galaxy IIIC satellite during the third quarter, will expand the company’s global network to 22 spacecraft by year-end 2001.
PAS-10 launched; Indian channels to shift from PAS-4
The latest satellite in the PanAmSat (PAS) series, the PAS-10, which will cover several countries in the Indian Ocean area, including India, was launched from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan on Tuesday at 0111 GMT, according to the Interfax news agency.
The satellite was launched aboard a Russian Proton rocket and successfully brought into orbit some 228 kilometres above Earth at 0121 GMT, space officials said. PAS-10, the sixth Boeing-built satellite delivered to PanAmSat in the last 17 months, will provide international services from its orbital position of 68.5 degrees East longitude.
The launch is of significance to Indian broadcasters because customers beaming off PAS-4 will now be shifted to the PAS-10 satellite, a company representative says. PAS-4 has been running on a back-up processor since 1999 after the onboard battery failed and the main satellite control processor packed up.
Among the channels which are currently on PAS-4 are: National broadcaster Doordarshan (DD News; DD Sports; DD1, DD International), B4U, ESPN Asia, MTV India, Nickelodeon, HBO, CNN, BBC World, Cartoon Network, TCM, Discovery, Animal Planet, UTN and the religious channel Maharishi Veda Vision.
The PAS-10 is a Boeing 601HP satellite which was ordered September 1999. The 9-600-watt satellite will provide international services to Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe from its orbital position of 68.5 degrees East longitude. It has 48 transponders on board, 24 in Ku-band and 24 in C-band and has a design life of at least 15 years.
PAS-10 is intended to serve in the development of more advanced broadcast, high-speed data and Internet services across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Foxtel digital upgrade at risk
A $500 million or so program of capital expenditure to digitise the Foxtel cable pay TV network might never happen under the present regulatory environment, Telstra warned yesterday.
Telstra has yet to agree on the future of digital plans on its cable network with its pay TV partners, News Limited and Publishing and Broadcasting, and indicated yesterday it would not invest in the upgrade if rivals could gain cheap access to offer their own service.
The warning at a public hearing of the Productivity Commission into telecommunications, comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warned in March that cable operators had to prepare for open access to digital services or face regulation.
The ACCC's push, along with comments last week from Communications Minister Senator Richard Alston flagging more powers for the ACCC in the telco sphere, has angered Telstra's executive.
"Telstra cannot build a compelling business case for digitising the HFC (hybrid fibre co-axial) network so long as the threat of regulation remains," Telstra group managing director Bruce Akhurst said.
"The ACCC has effectively issued a threat to cable owners, to either provide access or be regulated."
He said Telstra would not invest in telecommunications infrastructure while there was uncertainty over regulatory plans.
"No investor would ever be confident of their investment return, or even the criteria on which the ACCC decided to value the use of their asset," Mr Akhurst told the Productivity Commission hearing.
Digital cable networks will allow more interactive services with the key piece of architecture being the set-top box, which could cost anywhere between $500 to $700.
Foxtel has about 725,000 subscribers, making any upgrade a significant expense.
But the ACCC's regulation prescription is unclear because there is uncertainty as to whether a declaration to open the digital network would include not only the cable but the set-top box too.
ACCC chairman Allan Fels has said previously pay TV suppliers attempting to gain access to the cable controlled by Telstra and Foxtel had been blocked. He accused Telstra and Foxtel of frustrating "every effort to open up access to competitors".
But Foxtel argues it is a TV business and not a carriage service provider and so its service, namely the set-top box and its customer management system, is not available to competitors at a wholesale access price.
Shin successfully demonstrates iPSTAR system
From [sat-nd] 16.05.2001
Shin Satellite, Thailand, said it successfully demonstrated
its new iPSTAR two-way broadband Internet satellite ground system.
The demonstration tested the service of a high speed broadband
Internet connection from the iPSTAR gateway in Bangkok to a
terminal in Phuket via Thaicom 3. The company said that by using
Thaicom 3's Ku-band transponders and the iPSTAR ground system,
it can offer increased broadband service efficiency and lower
costs prior to the full commercial launch of services in 2003.
At that time, its next generation broadband satellite, iPSTAR-1,
will provide up to 40 gigabits per second of capacity to the
Asia Pacific Region.
According to Shin Satellite, the iPSTAR project is moving
ahead as planned following the delivery of the gateway by
Norwegian company Nera SatCom and the prototype terminal and
headend from ECC of the USA.
Shin Satellite expects to soft launch commercial use of the
ground system in Thailand, Malaysia and some other Asian
countries within 2001. In the early stages of deployment, each
terminal's maximum downlink speed will be 7.7 Mbps, rising to
more than 10 Mbps with the launch of iPSTAR-1 while the uplink
speed will go from 512 Kbps up to 4 Mbps per terminal or user.
Livechat tonight in the chatroom plenty to chat about, as usual 8.30pm Sydney time onwards and I will be in there from 9.30pm NZ for any people in NZ who want to chat a bit earlier. Pas 10 was succesfully launched! The feed of the launch was on Pas 2 3901H "AdhocII". Panamsat 10. 10.10 CST. (Thanks to David Nolan via the mailing list for that info) you can also go to http://www.panamsat.com and view the launch useing Realplayer from tommorow. While you are there checkout http://www.panamsat.com/sat/beam/p10cband.pdf
If Adobe Acrobat reader locks up while displaying you are better to right click and save to your HD. The Australian and Asia coverage looks very good due to the fact there is only 1 cband footprint for all transponders. This means everything previously unavailable e.g everything on Africa or Middle East beams should be recieveable on dishs in the 2.4M range. Anyway I have added Pas 10 to the satellites page, (See left hand satslist) but just remember they won't switch over to it for a while. It will be like when Asiasat 1 was switched over to Asiasat 3 the change in footprint giving access to previously unseen channels. There is a lot of Power Vu encrypted services on it and reading the Panamsat website I expect some of the 24 cband transponders to have Disney, Toon Disney, Soapnet, Buena Vista, Abc feeds and Espn Feeds. All power Vu encrypted for distribution except maybe the feeds. Pas 4 currently has a strange mix of channels that I think will change quickly after the change over to Pas 10. There are even some Bmac channels there, Discovery and Espn India.
There is a new mailing list for those useing Nokia Satellite receivers send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note I do not run this mailing list.
From my Emails & ICQ
"NIZN" in Perth supplies this shot from Pas 4 68.5E 3905 V (Maharishi Veda Vision Australia) Analogue, for historic purposes, he also notes 3785 V Discovery India in Bmac was very strong. Received on a 3M SRS e.x Sky channel Solid dish
From George in Thailand
Dear Fellow Apsattv 'ers
CNBC Asia has not encrypted on Palapa C2 It has left and the analogue still
coming strong in Thailand.
Until the opening in the near future of the official LBF web site (http://www.lebouquetfrancais.com), here is a reliable address for the programme of
most of the channels: http://www.interface.nc/tele7jours
L B F - LE BOUQUET FRANÇAIS
Alain CORROY, Commercial Agent - A 1
GOLD COAST, QLD, Australia
Tel: (07) 5539 5488, Mobile: 0414 590 233
Mobile Fax: 0414 236 601
From the Dish
Pas 10 Launched succesfully!
Telstra digital on hold, awaiting ACCC
Telstra will postpone a $1 billion upgrade of its cable network to digital until it knows whether the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will open the network for its competitors.
In its presentation to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into telecommunications competition regulation, Telstra yesterday confirmed it would not make the upgrade until it knew if access charges would be regulated.
The Minister for Communications, Senator Alston, last week outlined plans to allow the ACCC to more quickly resolve disputes between Telstra and its competitors over access to Telstra's network.
Telstra and its partners in Foxtel pay television, News Limited and Publishing and Broadcasting, had planned to complete the move to digital by July 1.
Telstra legal and regulatory group managing director, Mr Bruce Akhurst, said the Foxtel partners had unanimously decided to delay the investment, which analysts estimate is worth about $1 billion.
ACCC telecoms general manager, Mr Michael Cosgrove, said the commission was not seeking to regulate access to a digitised Telstra network, "but we have expressed concern for a need for a non-discriminatory open-access regime".
The ACCC has already regulated pricing for third-party access to the analog network.
Telstra also attacked the Federal Government plans to beef up the ACCC's regulatory powers, calling instead for them to be reduced. "Our agenda is to innovate and improve telecomunications services for all Australians - they have a very different agenda," Mr Akhurst said.
"Their agenda is not promoting competition, but promoting competitors. Fels wants to be the top dog, not the watchdog."
Telstra argued yesterday that giving the ACCC absolute access-pricing powers would increase uncertainty and stunt investment.
With Optus's digital roll-out in limbo until Singapore Telecommunications completes its takeover, analysts said Telstra was under no immediate competitive pressure to digitise its network.
SingTel Says C&W Optus Deal on Track; But Bid Still Hinges on US Export License
Singapore Telecommunications (Sing Tel) said it was confident of securing U.S. export licenses for sensitive military satellite technology that the Australian government now requires prior to approving Sing Tel’s acquisition of Cable & Wireless Optus (CWO).
SingTel president and chief executive officer Lee Hsien Yang said his company had held discussions with the relevant government agencies in both Australia and the U.S.A. on the Optus C1 satellite. Scheduled for launch in 2003, Optus C1 will carry a classified Australian military telecommunications payload. More than half the satellite’s transponder capacity is reserved for the Australian military.
The Australian Defense Force has raised concerns about having Optus C1 controlled by a company 78 percent owned by the Singaporean government.
Lee said Sing Tel was committed to resolving issues with the Australian government via the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). He said that discussions “have progressed well and SingTel does not believe that there are any issues which cannot be resolved."
Lee made these announcements following comments from the Australian government that its approval for the sales of CWO to Sing Tel depends on SingTel and Optus gaining U.S. export licenses for military satellite technology. American approval of these licenses can take up to three months.
Licenses are needed for the Optus C1 platform and the transponders used to send, receive and encrypt information. CWO and Australia’s Department of Defense jointly own 52% of Optus Satellite Systems, CWO’s satellite subsidiary.
Failure to secure the licenses will mean that FIRB will block Sing Tel’s purchase of CWO.
Australian Defense Minister Peter Reith confirmed that government approval for the bid, via the FIRB depended on both Sing Tel and CWO gaining the U.S. export licenses.
A proposed solution to the impasse would see only staff cleared by the Australian government allowed to operate sensitive equipment and Sing Tel staff removed from areas monitoring the satellite when it is used for military tasks.
The continuing storm whipped up by Sing Tel’s US$8.5 billion acquisition of CWO, Australia’s second largest telecoms provider after Telstra Corporation, had affected the share prices of both companies and affected the Australian dollar.
The Singapore stock market continued to be unkind to Sing Tel and CWO. SingTel’s stock hit a record low of S$1.66 on May 8 on concerns over the dilutive effect of new shares to be issued to finance the CWO purchase and on falling CWO shares.
Shares of both companies, however, recovered the next day but have not seen the end of their weakness, according to financial analysts. They say that until the security issue has been resolved, the market will continue to react negatively to reports that Sing Tel’s acquisition of CWO may be in trouble.
Sing Tel said that the Singapore government had given up the special share that offered veto rights over major corporate decisions as part of SingTel's attempt to shake the perception it is state controlled.
The Singaporean government’s 78 percent stake in Sing Tel is widely expected to fall after completion of the CWO deal.
Telkom, Indosat Shareholders Approve $1.5B Cross-ownership Deal; Paves Way for Liberalization
Shareholders of PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (PT Telkom) and PT Indonesian Satellite Corporation (PT Indosat) have approved a US$1.5 billion cross-holding deal at a hastily called extraordinary stockholder’s meeting.
Indosat paid Telkom US$186 million for a 22.5 percent stake in satellite and cell phone company PT Satelit Palapa Indonesia (Satelindo). Indosat now holds a 30 percent stake in Satelindo, with private investors owning the remainder.
Telkom's non-government shareholders, who own 33.8 percent of the company, gave the go-ahead to the deal, said Telkom President Muhammad Nazif.
The deal will end many complicated cross-holdings with Indosat. Indonesia hopes streamlining the two companies' holdings will make it easier to sell stakes in both ahead of full market liberalization in 2003.
Indosat’s non-government shareholders, who own 35 percent of the company, will meet this week to vote on the deal.
Other Satelindo shareholders are PT Bimagraha Telekomindo (45 percent) and DT Asia Holdings GmbH, a unit of Germany's Deutsche Telekom (25 percent).
In addition, Telkom sold Indosat a license to run a local call business in central Java for US$375 million. This will give Indosat a domestic fixed-line operation ahead of liberalization.
Indosat has signed another agreement that will take effect after shareholders agree to this deal, which will raise its stake in Satelindo through a purchase of PT Bimagraha Telekomido's 45 percent stake for US$372 million.
The deal was made against the Indonesian parliament’s call to delay the meeting until parliament and the government complete discussions about the deal. The Indonesian government owns 66 percent of Telkom and 65 percent of Indosat.
Parliament was concerned about the deal, and was especially anxious about Telkom's license to run a local call business in Central Java.
The Telkom Workers Union in Central Java are protesting Telkom's plan to turn over the region's assets to Indosat. Around 2,000 Telkom employees went on strike last May 8 and hundreds of employees protested outside the site of the stockholders meeting. Close to 500 Telkom employees from Central Java may lose their jobs as a result of the deal.
Indosat and Telkom have postponed the shareholders' meeting four times, with the last one scheduled for April. Financial analysts said a further delay would have put heavy selling pressure on the shares of both companies.
Indonesian Senior Economic Minister Rizal Ramli said the government wants to develop telecommunications companies that can cope with tougher competition from international telecommunication companies.
Pas 10 to launch tommorow, fingers crossed for a trouble free launch. This satellite will provide single hop access from the U.K into Western Australia. I notice Sab Tv is making a push for more viewers, thats good timeing with Zee TV encrypting in a couple of weeks they are sure to pick up plenty of new viewers. See the Item in the news section for more on it.
PAS-10 pre-launch details
From [sat-nd] 14.05.2001
PAS-10, a Boeing 601HP spacecraft built for PanAmSat Corp., is
scheduled to launch on 15 May 2001, aboard a Proton rocket from
Baikonur, Kazakstan. It will provide international services from
its orbital position of 68.5 degrees East.
The high-power, 9,600-watt satellite carries 48 active
transponders, 24 in C-band powered by 55-watt travelling wave
tube amplifiers (TWTAs), and 24 in Ku-band, powered by 98-watt
At launch the spacecraft will weigh 3,772 kilograms. Once its
solar wings and antennas are deployed in orbit, PAS-10 will
measure 29 m in length and 7 m in width.
PanAmSat plans to expand its global fleet to 22 spacecraft by
From my Emails & ICQ
A plea from a reader of this site
I search for a second hand big dish, at a low price. ( 9 or 10 Meters)
This antenna is for receipt of PANAMSAT 8 (166E) at TAHITI in French Polynesia. Used for TVRO. (Received only)
The mount is fix.
Francois BAUER email@example.com
Craigs Reply, I will try my contact in Australia, I checked the Pas 8 footprint, good luck it will need every extra meter in dish size. Also good luck on the low price part.
From Andy via the Mailing list, Sunday
Feed, V8 Super cars at Hidden Valley
V8 Super cars again, change in Frequency and symbol rates from Saturdays
Optus B1 12675 H Sr 13612 Fec 3/4 3.00pm 13/05/01
From Robert Anthony
Subject: Lord of the Rings
Movie promo and stuff with the director just seen on Fox Newsedge on
PAS-8. 13/05/01 9.50 a.m , Very cool!
Test feed named ART-Al Jazeer on PAS 2 3901H, SR 30800
Melbourne-Sunday 11:45 pm
From Andrew H
For those interested, here`s the web for the programme guide for canal satellite channels (there are 2 FTA here) Le Froggie sulemont
Craigs note, Andrew also mentions catching the F.A Cup on Anteve (Palapa C2)
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 3901 H A test card has started here, ART-Al Jazeer, Vpid 1160 Apid 1120
PAS 2 169E 3743 V "TFC" The Filipino Channel has left
PAS 8 166E 12326 H "Tarbs promo" is running here, Sr 28067, Fec 3/4, Vpid 512 Apid 640
Optus B1 160E 12336 V "Mediasat Mux" has left as reported Friday, back soon hopefully
Optus B1 160E 12675 H "V8 Super cars" Feed, Sr 13612, Fec 3/4
Palapa C2 113E 4071 H "CNBC Asia" encrypted, still here on this satellite in Analogue FTA but for how long?
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3944 V "EBU Channel ASB1" SR 6110, Fec 3/4, Mpg 4:2:2
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3954 V "EBU Channel ASB2" SR 6110, Fec 3/4, Mpg 4:2:2
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3676 H "MRTV" left replaced with feeds, Sr 2170, Fec 3/4 other MRTV still there on 3666 H
TVNZ faces losing cash cow
More than a century after Italian Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first signals through the air, the demand for wireless communications shows no sign of abating.
Television and mobile phones are just two of the appliances modern consumers find it increasingly hard to do without, and Communications Minister Paul Swain is not alone in expecting that wireless technology will soon replace fixed wire for rural telephone services.
Mr Swain is one of those who is pinning his hopes on Television New Zealand's low-profile transmission unit, Broadcast Communications Ltd (BCL), in showing the way.
As if living in the politically charged shadow of TVNZ is not enough, BCL is at the centre of a Government policy debate that could lead to it being split from its parent and made a separate state-owned enterprise.
A report from consultants Arthur Andersen is likely to be considered by the cabinet at the end of the month.
At the start of her tenure as Broadcasting Minister, Labour's Marian Hobbs described BCL as a "wonderful golden goose" which, with the convergence between television and telecommunications, had the potential to become an important rival to Telecom or TelstraSaturn.
But if Ms Hobbs worried then that splitting BCL off would give transparency to an effective monopoly, that is not the rationale now prominent in the Government's thinking.
Instead, it is considering combining TVNZ's commercial operations - BCL, its satellite operator Satellite Services and its outside broadcast unit Moving Pictures - under one roof in a profit-oriented state-owned enterprise.
The broadcasting activities would remain in a less commercially oriented new crown entity charged with implementing the Government's public broadcasting charter.
People characterising BCL as a boring haven for engineers could not be more mistaken. It has built a position as a key part of nearly every radio and satellite communications pie in New Zealand, not to mention a few in Australia and Asia.
Not only does it provide transmission facilities for free-to-air broadcasters such as TVNZ and CanWest, but it also caters to Sky Television's UHF network, FM radio stations, emergency services, the military and most telecommunications companies.
Closer to Mr Swain's heart, it has agreements with internet service provider Ihug and Walker Wireless to co-locate transmission equipment on its many sites so they can bypass Telecom's rural network with high-speed telecommunications services.
It is also investing $35 million in a new digital radio network that will give it full broadband telecommunications capability. And it has spent $30.5 million getting rid of a restraint-of-trade agreement with Clear Communications so it is now free to operate in the telecommunications area.
The terms of that deal have not been disclosed, but it is unlikely Clear was paid $30.5 million in cash.
While BCL could probably compete for retail customers in the telecommunications market, that is seen as highly unlikely because of its strong niche as a carrier's carrier.
Of greater interest to the Government is the role it might play in ensuring New Zealanders can take part in the information society.
One broadcaster estimates it would cost $1 billion and take 20 years to duplicate BCL's string of strategically placed transmission facilities. It is this network which sets it up as a vital facilities provider, not only to broadcasters but to New Zealand telecommunications operators who use its facilities and employ BCL to maintain their own.
But it is this strategic role that also makes some nervous about it being formed into a stand-alone SOE - traditionally the first step towards privatisation.
British cable giant NTL is one overseas company that would be keen to get its hands on the asset. NTL manages a large chunk of Australia's transmission network and was TVNZ's original choice of partner for its digital TV plans.
Crown Castle, a United States-based company whose Australian division is partly owned by a company with links to Sir Michael Fay, David Richwhite and the Todd family, is also seen as a likely buyer.
While Labour has ruled out selling BCL, its future will always be in question once it is carved off.
The chief executive of TV3 and TV4, Rick Friesen, has nothing but praise for BCL's innovation, engineering and customer service.
So, too, does Sky Television's John Fellet. But Mr Fellet feels there has been insufficient transparency in BCL's operations.
The unit is widely regarded as a cash cow for TVNZ and it has been argued that splitting it would be catastrophic for the broadcaster, since it would no longer be able to cross-subsidise its broadcasting activities.
BCL's contribution to TVNZ's profit is buried in the consolidated accounts. But claims that BCL and satellite activities account for 60 to 70 per cent of cashflow and profit seem overstated.
TVNZ's annual report for the year to June 2000 shows that advertising revenue made up 63 per cent of total revenue of $473 million.
A BCL profit statement for the same period obtained by the Business Herald shows that it and other TVNZ trading operations are claiming an increasing share of the bottom line.
After BCL more than doubled its turnover to $75 million last year, its after-tax contribution to TVNZ's net $43 million profit also doubled to $15.2 million.
Meanwhile, TVNZ's Australian subsidiary doubled its contribution to $4.8 million.
The impact of operations such as Moving Pictures on the $23 million difference is not clear. But a year on, and with TVNZ's admission that advertising has weakened, their importance must be even greater.
If carving off the commercial activities creates problems for the rump of TVNZ, it may also be less than helpful for a TVNZ partnership forged with TelstraSaturn.
TelstraSaturn will soon start a digital service using TVNZ-owned satellite rights to carry TVNZ's free-to-air channels as well as its own pay channels.
TVNZ plans to use the same satellite capacity to deliver its own free-to-air channels, as well as interactive services.
Undoubtedly, new terms can be negotiated to accommodate any restructuring of TVNZ. But the deal with TelstraSaturn illustrates that BCL will not be the only way to Mr Swain's goal of bringing highspeed data and internet to a wider audience.
A key feature of the partnership between TVNZ and TelstraSaturn is that the two will co-operate on programming.
A shining example is the rights to All Black rugby at the end of the year, which normally would be the preserve of Sky.
But satellite content, which will compete head to head against a similar offer from Sky, will just be the stalking horse for TelstraSaturn to boost its telecommunications business. Without satellite, TelstraSaturn would be confined to its cable networks, so far operating only in Wellington and Christchurch.
Satellite distribution covering the entire country opens the opportunity to bundle long-distance telephone services as well as internet, giving a head start in provincial and rural markets when the business case for cable or wireless delivery justifies them.
SABe TV in month-long programme push
SABe TV, promoted by the Adhikari brothers, is planning a major programming push timed to kick off 14 May. Film heroine Karisma Kapoor will be promoting the Hindi entertainment channel as its brand ambassador.
SABe TV, which claims it holds the number four spot in the Hindi channel stakes after Star Plus, Zee TV and Sony Entertainment Television, is hoping its new initiative will raise a serious challenge to the Big Three.
And how is it going about it? Appointment viewing is what all the channels are looking for and SABe TV hopes to drive home (a car is just one of the prizes to be won) to the viewer that there are rewards in tuning in to the channel. To add to this, there are also a number of new shows that the channel is introducing.
Karishma Kapoor has been the Brand Ambassador for SABe TV According to Markand Adhikari, vice-chairman and managing director Sri Adhikari Brothers Televison Network Ltd, SABe TV is targeting the prime band between 7:30 PM and 9 PM Monday through to Friday. Labelled Karisma Kapoor's Sab Sham Inam Aapke Naam and starting 14 May, Monday, viewers from 15 major cities in the Hindi speaking belt will be able to participate by responding through phone calls, the internet or through write-ins.
Questions relating to the programmes on air will asked at the end of each show to which viewers will have to send in their answers. The fix is that the questions will relate to what transpired during the episode that just aired and will not be general questions. Therefore to win anything participants will have to watch the programmes in full.
A month of regular watching will get the viewers familiar enough with the plot lines of the shows on air to make them want to continue watching them is the premise SABe TV appears to be working on.
There are a whole host of prizes to be won during the promotion. The bumper prize will be an apartment in Mumbai. The other big prizes include a luxury car, an all expenses paid foreign trip for two families and a diamond set. Raj Travels is sponsoring the trips and the diamonds are from Sparkle. Adhikari says talks are still on for a sponsor for the apartment as well as the car but whether it comes through or not these prizes will definitely be handed over to the winners.
Apart from the main prizes, other prizes include a week's stay at the Holiday Inn in Goa, and various home appliances which will be given away on a daily basis during the on air event period which is 14 May to 10 June.
Keeping with the theme of the more you watch the more you win, it will be the participants with the maximum number of correct entries who will be in line to take home the big prize, Adhikari points out.
NEW PROGRAMMES: A drama serial Dulhan produced by Rakhee Tandon and directed by Ravi Kemu will go on air from 17 May slotted at 8:30 PM every Thursday. Dulhan is about a contractual marriage and raises critical questions about the institution of marriage, according to a company release.
Whole new episodes of the fantasy and costume drama Alif Laila, based on the Arabian Nights, will go on air from 21 May at 7:30 PM and will be telecast Monday to Friday. Sagar Arts have been commissioned to produce 786 new episodes, which have never been shown before on any television network.
Two mega historicals - Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra and Sati Savitri have already started on SabeTV from 6 May airing every Sunday between 11 am and 12 noon.
To round of the list, the channel plans to introduce two new daily dramas by the end of June. It is also in the middle of conceptualising a new genre of programmes (Adhikari said he didn't want to reveal anything about what it involved at the moment) which will be launched some time in the second half of the year.
SABe TV's effort is to increase viewer recognition of what the channel has to offer and what effect the new programming push will have on TRPs will be closely watched.
No update today sorry my International access is flaky, back tommorow
Mediasat B1 off-air since last night at my location. Major news today is the Lord of the Rings Movie launch via satellite (Pas 2), check around it may also be on Mediasat or Newsforce feeds. Let me know asap with an email onto the mailing list if you see any activity about to start on the transponders mentioned. The other thing is of course analogue is pretty rare on Pas 2 so it may be a novelty for some to look for it. Places to look for the F.A Cup football final, I701, The Indonesian channel on Palapa C2, The Chinese channels on Asiasat 2, then Check Fox sports/news feed on Pas 8 (3940H) and also Fox feeds on Pas 2. Check locations of previous ESPN feeds as ESPN is carrying the game for some parts of Asia. Don't forget when you do find it to email me or use the mailing list.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Andy via the mailing list Saturday 2.30pm Syd
Optus B1 12665 H " Hidden Valley Northern Territory V8 super cars" Sr 6933, Fec 3/4, Vpid 308 Apid 256
From the Dish
Palapa C2 113E 4071 H "CNBC Asia" has started in digital, Vpid 1057 Apid 1058.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS LAUNCH - SATELLITE TRANMISSION on MAY 13:
Source : Roadshow Film Distributors NZ Limited
11 May 2001
The magical sets and all-star cast from the first film in the highly anticipated THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy will be broadcast around the world via satellite as part of the films’ international launch at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival on Sunday May 13th, 2001.
Pulling off a supreme feat of logistics, organisers have assembled almost the entire cast of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, who, alongside the trilogy’s director Peter Jackson, will officially launch the film at a red carpet VIP party. The party will be held at a castle 30 minutes outside of Cannes, its exact location a secret.
Cast in attendance include: Elijah Wood (Frodo), Liv Tyler (Arwen Undomiel), Ian McKellen (Gandalf),
Ian Holm (Bilbo Baggins), Viggo Mortensen (Strider/Aragorn), Sean Bean (Boromir), Sean Astin (Sam Gangee) and John Rhys-Davis (Gimli).
The other star of the party will be the highly elaborate sets from the film, which have been flown from New Zealand especially for the occasion, and will transform the surroundings into Middle Earth.
TRANSMISSION DETAILS: ASIA / PACIFIC
Please find the satellite co-ordinates for THE LORD OF THE RINGS media event video news reel transmission, scheduled for Sunday May 13 from Cannes, France. Digital transponders have been used in regions where digital downlinking is the norm. The newsreel will be approximately 3 - 5 minutes in length. There is a 30-minute window to bring down the feed.
Satellite: PanAmSat - 2
Orbital Position: 191° West (169E)
Transponder: 12C Upper (analog)
Downlink Frequency: 4053.5 MHz
Video Format: 625/60 PAL
Audio: J17 / 6.6 & 7.2 MHz
Satellite: PanAmSat - 2
Orbital Position: 191° West (169E)
Transponder: 12C Lower (analog)
Downlink Frequency: 4026.5 MHz
Video Format: 525 NTSC
Audio: 6.2 & 6.8 MH
SUNDAY, MAY 13th / MONDAY, MAY 14th
0015 - 0045 Local Time in Cannes, France (12:15 AM - 12:45 AM May 14th, Note I think these are NZ times))
0815 0845 EDT (May 13th)
2215 - 2245 GMT (May 13th)
THE LORD OF THE RINGS WILL BE RELEASED IN NEW ZEALAND ON DECEMBER 26TH, 2001.
For further information, please contact:
Susan Leigh, Special Projects Manager
Roadshow Film Distributors NZ Limited
Ph: (09) 377-9669 / firstname.lastname@example.org
RELEASED BY MEDIACOM
11 MAY 2001
Coalition screen goes blank on digital TV
The Federal Government yesterday refused to comment on its plans for the frequencies reserved for datacasting, as aspirant broadcasters called for a complete review of digital TV policy.
The Government was forced to cancel the auction of two licences for the new interactive information services this week because of a lack of interest, after all the major players, bar one, pulled out of the bidding process.
"There is a gaping hole here now in Peter Costello's foolish estimate of the proceeds from spectrum auctions and that shortfall will be anywhere between one and 1.5 billion," Opposition spokesman, Mr Stephen Smith said yesterday.
But the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, brushed off concerns about the auction failure affecting the Budget. "These things come and go. The bottom line is whether we have a strong bottom line, and we still will have one," he said. "A lot has changed in relation to the whole spectrum scene, including a changed market view about the value of investments in this area."
Failure of the auction will exacerbate the shortfall in proceeds from spectrum sales, which were expected to increase by at least $2.6 billion this year, mainly as a result of the auction of third generation (3G) mobile phone spectrum.
But it was the shortfall on 3G rather than datacasting - which at best was likely to contribute some $100 million to $200 million - which has caused a problem. Offsetting the shortfalls are bigger than expected bids for FM radio licences.
A more contentious issue is whether the Government now intends to alter its datacasting rules to encourage investors into interactive services - one of the main drivers of digital conversion.
Present rules which heavily restrict genres of video on datacasting were widely criticised by potential bidders, including News Ltd and John Fairfax, publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald.
"We already have Seven, Nine and Ten, perhaps it's time for 11 and 12," Fairfax spokesman Mr Bruce Wolpe said. "Datacasting should be buried quietly and never again see the light of day."
He said making the new licences available without restrictions would allow consumers to access the Internet and do shopping and banking via their TV sets.
But Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations chief executive Ms Julie Flynn said all three major political parties had supported the ban on new television licences until January 2007, so the networks could absorb the high cost of converting to digital television. "No model other than the current one honours that commitment," she said. "Even Labor's alternative plan would amount to broadcasting by the back door."
But Labor said the collapse of the auction showed the Government urgently had to rewrite its datacasting rules. The Australian Democrats also have called on the Government to revisit datacasting rules, saying cancellation of the auction was not surprising given the complaints about the regime from "almost the entire industry".
"What we really want is to increase the diversity in media ownership and control and increase innovation," said Democrats communications spokesperson, Senator Vicki Bourne.
The Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston, did not return calls.
Open digital TV skies, says Fairfax
DIGITAL TV has flopped in Australia and rules restricting new entrants should be abandoned, publishing group John Fairfax said yesterday.
A day after the federal Government scrapped the sale of licences for datacasting, or new digital TV, services, Fairfax's corporate affairs manager Bruce Wolpe said the Government should use the digital TV spectrum to create new free-to-air television broadcasters. "The current policy has led us to a dead end and is not leading to a digital TV future for Australia," Mr Wolpe said.
"There should be an open skies digital TV policy in Australia. Datacasting is absurd, dead and should be buried. New players should be eligible for licences and there should be no content restrictions on those licences."
The call for a review was echoed by the Democrats, who called on Communications Minister Richard Alston to change the restrictions on new digital TV players.
"He should go back and look at proposals we put up last year ... I am happy to talk about them," Democrats spokeswoman Vicki Bourne said.
Senator Bourne said she would also consider any new proposal by Labor, saying the ALP's previous plans were good, with only one potential problem, which she says might allow datacasters to offer a video-type service.
But the free-to-air TV industry blamed the datacasting failure on the slump in media and technology markets, not the Government's restrictions on new entrants.
Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations chairwoman Judi Stack said business was wary of new telecommunications and IT ventures. "We've had the tech-wreck in the past 12 months, the downgrading of the telecommunications sector overall, and I just don't think there's the capital appetite out there to invest a lot of money in these sorts of fairly unproven services," Ms Stack said.
Senator Alston refused to comment on the cancellation of the sale or the Government's plans for the digital TV spectrum.
John Fairfax and News Limited, publisher of The Australian, have lobbied to use the digital TV spectrum to set up new TV services. But the Government, backed by Labor and the Democrats, established datacasting rules to restrict new services so existing free-to-air broadcasters would be protected from new competition.
The free-to-air broadcasters, led by the Nine and Ten networks, argued that they needed protection to justify their investment in converting to digital TV technology.
The Prime Minister said yesterday the cancelled sale would not force a big hole in the federal Budget.
"A lot has changed in relation to the whole spectrum scene, including a changed market view about the value of investments in this area," he said.
The Government will fall at least $1 billion short of its forecast last year of $2.6 billion from spectrum sales, including 3G mobile phone licences.
No changes at this stage on B1 Mediasat, will be interesting to see what happens this weekend if the regular sports feeds show up in their usual places. The main sports event this weekend will be the F.A Cup Final. I am not sure which channels will be showing it. I will start fixing up the gallerys later on there isn't much else to report today.
From my Emails & ICQ
Subject: [Apsattv] Measat 2
I refer to the reports for Measat 2 where are you and what size dish? This
info is just as important as channel/mux/freqs/pids etc.
Craigs reply, Sorry yes I should of put the locations, 45cm dish in Sydney, 3M solid in Perth, NZ 3M?? (need feedback on this)
From the Dish
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3420 V "PTV 3" has replaced PTV 1, Sr 2528 Fec 3/4 Vpid 308 Apid 256 (ASIAN BEAM)
No News around today
Mediasat on B1 is unchanged from yesterday still the same cards up and CNBC Australia running on the occasional channel. My signal seems good and reliable now. I have added a new dealer link to the links page "INFOSAT" they are importers of Satellite equipment and offer good prices to resellers. One of the items they are selling is an all in one analogue/digital/positioner with card slots it may be worth checking out. Tell them you saw their link listed on my page.
I need to update all the gallerys and shift off some of the images such as the Zee channels that have encrypted perhaps I should move them to a Graveyard gallery.
From my Emails & ICQ
"Aldeto" has supplied some details of the services on Measat 2 148E (Universal LNBF required) see below
Bill Richards in a show of excellent timeing provides 2 screenshots from Measat 2 (Hallmark and RPN9)
From the Dish
Measat 2 148E 11478 H 30000 7/8
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "11478 - 1" Vpid 160 Apid 80
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "HALLMARK" Vpid 161 Apid 84 (This one Confirmed FTA currently)
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "11478 - 2" Vpid 162 Apid 88
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "11478 - 3" Vpid 163 Apid 92
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "11478 - 4" Vpid 164 Apid 96
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "CBS" Vpid 165 Apid 100
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "11478 - 5" Vpid 166 Apid 104
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "11478 - 6" Vpid 167 Apid 108
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "RPN 9" Vpid 168 Apid 112 (This one Confirmed FTA currently)
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "ABC 5" Vpid 169 Apid 116
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "11478 - 7" Vpid 170 Apid 120
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "11478 - 8" Vpid 171 Apid 124
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "Radio LIGHT & EASY" Apid 177
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "Radio CLASSIC ROCK" Apid 178
Measat 2 148E 11478 H "Radio GOLDEN OLDIES" Apid 179
Measat 2 148E 11664 H 30000 7/8
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "11664 - 1" Vpid 160 Apid 80
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "NAT. GEOGRAPHIC" Vpid 161 Apid 84
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "11664 - 2" Vpid 162 Apid 88
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "11664 - 3" Vpid 163 Apid 92
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "11664 - 4" Vpid 164 Apid 96
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "CNBC" Vpid 165 Apid 100
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "CNN" Vpid 166 Apid 104
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "11664 - 5" Vpid 167 Apid 108
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "11664 - 6" Vpid 168 Apid 112
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "BLOOMBERG TV" Vpid 169 Apid 116
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "11664 - 7" Vpid 170 Apid 120
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "11664 - 8" Vpid 171 Apid 124
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "Radio JAZZ" Apid 176
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "Radio MY" Apid 177
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "Radio OPUS CLASSICS" Apid 178
Measat 2 148E 11664 H "Radio CURRENT HITZ" Apid 179
Grand vision in tatters as TV auction cancelled
The Federal Government was severely embarrassed yesterday over the collapse of its plan to introduce Internet-like services on digital television.
The Government now faces a new round of lobbying to open up the commercial television industry after it was forced to cancel the auction for two national datacasting licences.
The story so far
1998: Government announces plans to introduce digital TV in January 2001.
1999: Under pressure from the commercial networks, it bans new TV licences until 2007, but agrees to offer two datacasting licences.
2000: Datacasters are restricted to primarily text-based services, with strict limits on the types of video they can show; for example, comedy and drama are banned.
2001: Bidders progressively pull out.
Yesterday: Auction cancelled.
The auction, which was to have been on May 21, became a one-horse race after News Ltd, John Fairfax (publisher of the Herald), Open TV and Telstra pulled out of the bidding, citing onerous restrictions being imposed.
Only the transmission company NTL Australia remained interested in bidding for a national licence, although two small companies were interested in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Announcing his decision, the Communications Minister, Senator Alston, acknowledged there was a "lack of competitive tension in five markets, and the likelihood of weak competitive tension in three markets".
"This situation is unlikely to maximise financial returns to the Commonwealth Government and the community for the use of the spectrum," he said.
The decision is embarrassing for the Government which claimed the new Internet-like services delivered directly to television sets via the airwaves would help drive digital television.
Datacasting was a peculiarly Australian invention.
But distinguishing datacasting from broadcasting, as demanded by the free-to-air broadcasters, proved difficult.
When the Government opted for complicated rules to restrict types of programming, it was ridiculed here and abroad.
The failure of the auction opens the way for a new round of lobbying by major media players - notably News Ltd - for the two frequencies to be used for full- scale broadcasting.
News Ltd has made no secret of its desire to become a broadcaster as well as owning newspapers which account for 60 per cent of national sales.
"Given the shortcomings of the Government's datacasting policy, this was the only decision the Government could make in the public interest," a News Ltd spokeswoman, Ms Wendy George, said. "This is a good decision for Australians."
Fairfax had also indicated interest in entering the market, although mainly as a datacaster.
"Datacasting is dead," Fairfax's manager of corporate affairs, Mr Bruce Wolpe, said. "What's required now is to go back to the beginning and have a new policy on digital television, one which licenses new players without content restrictions."
A spokesman for NTL, Mr Glen Frost, said the company was disappointed the auction had been cancelled.
The Government has agreed to refund the deposits of up to $10 million with interest.
The Government's digital TV legislation includes a ban on new commercial licences until at least 2007, but the fact that two new frequencies have been identified increases pressure on all parties to consider what to do with them.
"The Government will consider a range of options in relation to the timing of any future auctions," Senator Alston said.
Chairman pours petrol on TVNZ's troubled waters
TVNZ chairman Ross Armstrong has signalled significant changes to its digital television strategy, with the state broadcaster again trying to persuade Sky TV to carry TV1 and TV2.
Armstrong is also trying to allay advertising clients' fears that the government's television charter will mean radical change.
The new format will be more "fine-tuning" than a radical, audience-shedding shift in direction, he says.
But fearing the death of the local private television production industry, independent producers and directors are preparing a last-ditch campaign to stop the proposed restructuring of TVNZ, scheduled to be approved by Cabinet by the end of this month.
The production companies point to TVNZ cutbacks and a shift towards making most of the state broadcaster's programmes in- house as a disaster for the entire industry.
Private television contractors depend heavily on TVNZ for their business but moves to separate BCL, the profit-making transmission arm of TVNZ, are posing a big threat to their future.
TVNZ executives Andrew Shaw and Geoff Stevens have long warned the industry that moves to introduce quota or substantially more local programming could mean the state-owned broadcaster takes more work in-house.
In a statement unlikely to sooth producers' fears he says: "That hasn't been discussed. Until we get these issues [funding and structure] any of those decisions are further down the track."
Armstrong says the board sees major advantages in retaining the BCL parcel of companies within TVNZ.
But in a statement likely to be seen as raising the white flag, he says: "These, at the end of the day are decisions of the shareholders [the government]. In other words they are political decisions. And as a board we would naturally abide by those decisions we've made and work within them."
He denied allegations that he and Minister Marian Hobbs were secretly working to present the TVNZ board and management with restructuring as a fait accompli. "Not so," he says. "This is not a plot." Armstrong is adamant that the charter means a change only in programming emphasis. TVNZ will retain a strong commercial focus, he says, and its audience share.
"To do any thing too major, to do anything too radical, is likely to lead to an audience loss which would have direct fiscal implications. I really think the charter is something that's going to fine tune our direction, rather than a violent movement."
Stressing also that TVNZ is not going into the satellite pay TV market, Armstrong signalled a shift in TVNZ's digital television direction. By the end of the year or early next year, he told The Independent, he saw TV1 and TV2 being transmitted on both pay TV operators, Telstra-Saturn and Sky.
"It has always been our intention [to deal with Sky]," he says, explaining that contract negotiations with Telstra-Saturn meant TVNZ has had to delay its negotiations with Sky in the short term.
The apparent shift has stunned Sky, which says it is delighted with the news. "Our door has always been open and its in everyone's interest in have TVNZ on as many platforms as possible," says Sky's director of communications, Tony O’Brien.
Meanwhile, Armstrong seems delighted at the opportunity given to revamp TVNZ's news and current affairs by the abrupt resignation of its chief, Paul Cutler.
"Paul's decision to go in the next month or so has produced a dream scenario," says Armstrong, who has been publicly critical of TVNZ's news handling in the past. The juxtaposition of the change with the charter means Cutler's resignation is "a change made in heaven."
"Paul's replacement is one of the most critical management decisions probably that the company has faced for a decade."
No decision on a replacement will be made in the short term.
10,000 set tops to be rolled out in SET encryption
The encryption of Sony Entertainment Television, which goes pay by 30 June, will involve the rollout of 10,000 set top boxes, sources in Sony reveal.
Sony uses Scientific Atlanta set tops which cost roughly Rs 32,000 per box. Cable ops are being subsidised to the tune of Rs 20,000 per box because operators will be paying a total of Rs 12,000 paid in two instalments of Rs 6,000 spread over a year.
Once SET goes pay, all the four channels under the Sony franchise, which includes Max, AXN, and CNBC, will cost Rs 25.50 per subscriber. Working with the calculation that SET will be priced at Rs 8, Max and AXN costing Rs 7 each and CNBC at Rs 3.50 per subscriber, the total is Rs 25.50. However, Sony officials are quick to point out that their channels are not being hocked as a bouquet but will be sold individually.
DD to have extensive assembly poll coverage
National broadcaster Doordarshan will be rolling out the cameras for the upcoming elections to the state assemblies of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry on 10 May, 2001. Counting will be held on 13 May.
Doordarshan will also be telecasting the exit poll for the assembly elections. The exit poll programme will be telecast on 10 May. The programmes will be telecast on the national network on DD-1 and DD News Channel from 5:30 pm to 7 pm and will be hosted by psephologist Narisimha Rao and co-anchor Manoj Raghuvanshi.
On election day there will be five-minute special bulletins every hour from 9 am to 4 pm. The programmes will have hot switch to all the state capitals and important party headquarters there. The counting trends and results to be transmitted will be collated via NICNET.
My B1 Mediasat seems to have improved its not as good as B3 but its around the same level as Abc Northern (also on B1). I guess B3 is just a stronger signal in the Southern parts of NZ. I will try and get some screenshots on the weekend to show the signal difference between B1 and B3 Mediasat. Last night another local confirmed his B1 Mediasat was dropping out at the same time mine was, he is useing the same gear as well an E.X Sky NZ 60cm.
Picture supplied by Bill Richards
From my Emails & ICQ
Hi Craig. Mediasat (Optus B1) - slightly stronger than B3 service in Sth Auckland. Using seperate 90cm offsets, Cal-Amp 0.7 dB LNBF & Strong SRT-4800. TV5 still has noticeable "beat pattern" through pics on B1 service. Levels - (B3) 66% signal level / 86% quality & (B1) 66% signal level / 90% quality. However, could be difference between dish/LNBF performance, on different antenna's.
Franklin Aerial & Satellite
From Jamal H
Here in Melbourne with 2.6m Mesh Dish C/Ku, Strong 4800, the signal is Half then B3 I receive B3 with 98 % very strong and B1 between 50 and 70 % good luck
Do you receive French Channels on I701 Ku Band?
a Paraclipse hydro 1.2m solid dish is enough to get strong signal in Melbourne?
Craig reply, The Canal+ Ku signals not very good in NZ unless you live up the very top of the North Island even up there it requires a good quality Ku rated dish in the 3M+ range. A 1.2M should work fine in Melbourne on it. Thank you for your B1 Mediasat reception report.
From Jhony Soeardi
Subject: Open Channel Scramble
I have a HYUNDAY HSS700, connected to satelite palapa C2, my problem, why open some channel scramble tv, if my receiver no card
Craigs reply, not quite sure I understand your message corectly, If you're asking why you can receive channels that are supposed to be encrypted these would be services in the Space TV package, they often switch off the encryption to attract viewers and you can view them without a card.
From the Dish
Optus B1 160E 12336 V "Mediasat mux has started here" Sr 29990, Fec 2/3 (as reported when it happend for pids etc and more details see Mondays update.
Pas 2 169E 4044 V "TVBS Newsnet", has new Vpid 36 Apid 37
PAS 4 68.5E 4067 V "TFC - The Filipino Channel" Sr 4400, Fec 2/3 has started here Power Vu encrypted
Two more Australian satellite slots
From [sat-nd] 09.05.2001
The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) has made
available two geostationary satellite slots. ACA chairman Tony
Shaw said the two licences could be auctioned off if there was
"The allocation ... would potentially expand the range of
broadcasting services available to the Australian community," Mr
Shaw was quoted as saying.
TVB looks for Galaxy investors
From [sat-nd] 09.05.2001
Television Broadcasting Ltd. (TVB; Hong Kong) is looking for
new investors for its satellite unit, Galaxy Satellite
Broadcasting Ltd., according to Ming Pao Daily.
An unnamed TVB official was quoted as saying that Galaxy's
other strategic investor, Malaysia's Measat Broadcast Network
Systems, won't increase its investment above its proposal to
acquire 29 percent of Galaxy.
Previous media reports said Measat had no plans to proceed
with its purchase.
CASBAA satellite group announced
From [sat-nd] 09.05.2001
The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia
(CASBAA) said it would formally launch the CASBAA Satellite
Industry Group 18 June 2001 with a one-day conference in
The CASBAA Satellite Group has the remit to examine pan-
regional regulatory affairs and to lobby on behalf of the
industry, as well as promoting satellite communications to the
investment community, the media and telecommunications network
The CASBAA Satellite Industry Committee includes
representatives of system operators New Skies Satellite,
Shinawatra, Binariang Satellite Systems, PanAmSat, AsiaSat, GE
Americom and Pacific Century Matrix, plus satellite manufacturer
Boeing and law firm Denton Wilde Sapte.
INL to buy out Todd family's Sky holding
Independent Newspapers is tightening its grip on Sky Network Television with plans to buy out the Todd family's interest and another five per cent or more from other shareholders.
INL plans to increase its holding from just under half to two-thirds of Sky, allowing INL to use Sky's tax losses to offset against its own profits, improving its cashflow.
INL said there were no plans to make a full takeover of Sky, beyond the intended 66.25 per cent.
The increased stake involves a total of more than 65 million shares worth about $228 million at today's close price for Sky of $3.50 a share.
INL expected to retain the capacity to pay dividends consistent with previous years on the expanded capital base.
INL chief executive Tom Mockridge, formerly a pay-TV executive in Australia. said: "Sky is growing quicker than it ever has in its history".
The pay-TV company was tracking at an annual growth rate of about 50,000 more subscribers, Mr Mockridge said. The company has about 410,000 subscribers with digital subscribers, at 230,000, outnumbering those on the older analogue service.
INL will buy the Todds' 11 per cent stake with the 42.5 million shares paid for by issuing INL shares on a one-for-one basis.
INL also issued a notice of its intention to buy another five per cent to six per cent at between $3.30 and $3.60 a share. The shares would be paid for by increasing debt.
INL shares ended down 5 cents at $3.50 and Sky shares rose 11 cents to $3.55.
Brokers said the indicated price range for Sky was "not exactly ritzy" compared with recent trade in the pay-TV shares.
But the decision to increase its holding was seen as a "good move" for INL and would be value enhancing by preserving cashflows as INL used Sky's tax losses, one broker said.
As a result of the moves, Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd's holding in INL will be diluted to 44.4 per cent from 49.3 per cent.
There had been speculation at the time of Mr Mockridge's appointment that INL might be merged with Sky, but yesterday he rejected that.
It was important to have Sky as a separately listed company that could be measured against its peers.
There were other examples around the world where a merged company faced increased bureaucracy and value was lost because investors could not see a "clean focused business" in either pay-TV or publishing.
To date, INL has equity accounted for its share of Sky's ongoing losses without any offsetting tax benefit, but by moving to 66 per cent ownership that will change.
"This means we will account for losses, but we (INL) can also get the benefit of accounting their tax losses against our profits," he said.
In the latest six months to December 31, INL made a profit of $13.39 million, dragged down by $9.3 million in equity accounted losses in Sky. The Sky losses were high because of the decision to speed up the rollout of its digital satellite service.
But INL was profitable enough that it would still keep paying some tax.
"And a significant amount of tax, but it means in future our tax treatment will reflect the big investment in what is still a loss making and developing company," Mr Mockridge said.
In time Sky would make profits, but it had not reached that point yet and Mr Mockridge would not speculate when that might happen.
Seven tailors TV to Middle Kingdom
DR HARRY from Harry's Practice has become a TV star in China thanks to Seven Network's Hong Kong-based arm becoming that country's largest distributor of foreign non-drama programming.
But Seven Network Asia's Doug Fraser said the animal show was the exception: Chinese viewers preferred high-quality dramas produced in Hong Kong, Taiwan or Korea rather than programs from down under.
To meet this demand, Seven Network Asia has established its own production division.
This division's new science and technology show, Tech Weekly, will kick off this week across 30 stations with China's first computer-generated presenter, Yan Dongfang (Yan means "to speak" in Mandarin, while Dongfang means "oriental".)
Nevertheless, the Hong Kong operation is using some of its Australian parent's expertise to create a Chinese version of Who Dares Wins and to televise sport.
"Seven's association with the Olympics has been very well received by the TV stations in China and for us it's been great to be able to talk to them about sport and our capabilities," Mr Fraser said.
He said Seven Asia intended to partner companies that bought Asian sporting rights, such as Sporting Frontiers Asia, and be responsible for program production and distribution, often with advertising attached.
Seven Network Asia has been building a foothold in China since early 1994 when Mr Fraser, a former regional TV and Austar executive, was given the brief of creating a presence there.
Faced with the hurdles of doing business in a communist country, Mr Fraser has slowly built a profitable company that employs 26 staff (he is the only Australian) and has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Xian.
Seven's board saw the opportunity after China decided to corporatise the many regional government-owned TV stations.
Mr Fraser said those stations, which broadcast to 300 million TV households, had consequently become focused on ratings and revenue. Seven had tried to provide both by distributing programs for a licence fee or by packaging programs with advertising.
It had created relationships with 30 of the major capital city and provincial TV stations (there were more than 1000 stations in total).
"To be able to distribute to all of the major individual TV stations is a great asset, and not many companies can do that, particularly foreign companies," Mr Fraser said.
Seven also sells programs to the Government's national network, CCTV.
The company will not reveal revenues or profits, which are consolidated into the parent's accounts, but says 60 per cent of its business comes from syndication and the balance from production and direct distribution.
"Seven always said it wanted the business to stand on its own financially and it has been profitable for the last three years," Mr Fraser said.
He said the combined advertising spend at China's TV stations was $US2.03 billion ($3.9 billion) in 2000 and was growing at 8 per cent a year.
(Craigs note, those poor Chinese people, having to put up with Humphrey Bear dubbed into Chinese)
Big bucks on the line in sports rights fight
THE free-to-air and pay TV networks are battling each other for the Federal Government’s approval to broadcast sporting events that generate up to $150m in advertising revenue.
The government is currently considering submissions made to the Australian Broadcasting Authority's (ABA) anti-siphoning list, which controls sport broadcasting rights.
A prominent media buyer this week estimated advertising expenditure generated by sports currently on the anti-siphoning list would be worth $150m in combined revenue to the holders of the television broadcast rights.
The media buyer, who asked not to be named, told B&T that ad revenue generated by the television broadcast rights was worth roughly $50m for AFL, $15m for rugby league, $30m for cricket, $25m for tennis, $5m for golf, $10m for motor racing and $5m for horse racing.
The ABA has received 10 submissions regarding the anti-siphoning list and Minister for Communications, Senator Richard Alston, will hand down the Government's decision on June 30.
AFL has requested to be removed from the list, the Australian Grand Prix has requested to remain on the list now and in the future, and Tennis Australia has requested some tennis events be removed from the list to be made available to pay TV.
Not surprisingly, the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations (FACTS) strongly supports the continuation of the list, while Fox Sports and Foxtel would prefer it was abolished.
SBS has requested some soccer and cycling events be added to the list, while Trans World International (TWI) -- an international program supplier -- submitted that several events, particularly ones played overseas, should be removed from the list.
Submissions were also received from a private citizen and a MLA.
Interactive TV service provider may list
AUSTRALIA may have a listed interactive TV service provider by the end of the year if ambitious plans by a company called My TV World prove successful.
The private Melbourne-based group plans to trial its business model with between 200 and 1000 subscribers in about two months' time before a possible national and international rollout.
Although the company will seek revenue through subscriptions, it will not need a pay TV licence as its niche focus means it will instead be defined as a narrowcaster.
But it will still compete against the foreign language pay TV services of Television & Radio Broadcasting Services (TARBS) and the World Movies channel on Foxtel, Optus Television and Austar as it will initially be launched with six foreign language channels.
Other channels will be focused on special interest groups, such as the education and disabled sectors.
Unlike the pay TV companies, My TV World will not own its distribution network or its content, will be interactive and offer video-on-demand services.
Its business model also differs from the established groups.
Customers must pay about $600 for a set-top box and then a fee per channel or package of bundled services, including high-speed internet access.
But the company estimates that deal would save most people about $1500 over two years compared to the purchase of similar services individually.
It is negotiating for access to a broadband virtual private network and has signed content deals on a revenue-sharing basis.
My TV World chief executive Anuja Rao said the group was now seeking its second round of funding.
Part may come from a federal government incubation program and the remainder from the market.
"We are currently negotiating [regarding a potential float] and are also seeking federal funding," she said.
That was based on the company's aim of being a community-based provider of interactive services.
Ms Rao said it hoped to enable non-English-speaking people to bank online in their own language, while an interactive program attached to a cooking show could direct people to local restaurants of that cuisine.
It expected to sell its "turnkey solutions" offshore.
"We will provide an overseas organisation with a package of technology and software that will allow them to do what we are doing in their home market," sales and marketing director Lance Robertson said.
Live chat in the chatroom 8.30pm Sydney time as usual tonight!
The big news for today is of course the new Mediasat mux of services on Optus B1, 12336
My own report of the signal is that its near half that of the Mediasat B3 service which makes it barely above threshold on my Nokia on my 60 cm dish. We need more reports please state dish size and receiver and location.
Can someone with Sky Nz try manually adding 12339 V and see what happens..YES 12339V not 12336V
Maharishi (Mou tv) Thai Tv5 and TRT International screenshots
New Service 1 and 2
Msat Occassional (Test was running ABC Australia, and CNBC Australia)
From my Emails & ICQ
B1 12336 V NEW MEDIASAT Reception reports
Got it here on 90cm dish/Nokia 9800s Brisbane, Australia.
Signal is about the same as the ABC feed channels on Optus B1.
JOHN KAHLER - Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
OPTUS B1 12339v 30000 Default Provider.:1 Mou 2 New Service 3 MSAT Occasi.. 4 TRT 5 New Service 6 MSAT Internet 7 Access1 Inte 8 Access1 Inte.
Regional Satellite Television Installers
PO Box 1559
2038 Zimin Drive
Katherine. NT. 0851
Phone: 0419 813 803
its a boomer here in the lower south west of WA ..full strength on my DBOX
with a 3m mesh C/KU...
Just loaded the off B1, on 1.2m solid dish in Ak, NZ
( 12339V , 30000 , 3/4 ):
3 Test Cards
2 Access- Internet
Stronger than B3. On my Pheonix333 is 27-35%,
TRT picture on B1 is better than of B3.
From the Dish
Optus B1 160E 12336 V Sr 29990 Fec 2/3
TV "MOU TV" Vpid 1160 Apid 1120
TV "THAI TV-5" Vpid 1260 Apid 1220
TV "New Service" Vpid 1360 Apid 1320
TV "MSAT Occasional TV" Vpid 1460 Apid 1420 (currently running TEST with CNBC Australia. was ABC Australia)
TV "TRT International" Vpid 1860 Apid 1820
TV "New Service" Vpid 1660 Apid 1620
All TV now 704x576 resolution, Thai TV still has the banding on it though
Radio "TRT FM" Apid 1822
Radio "VOT" Apid 1222
Radio "New Service" Apid 1122
Radio "New Service" Apid 1322
Radio "SNG IFB" Apid 1422
Data "MSAT Internet 1" Vpid 2001 Apid 2002
Data "Access 1 Internet" Vpid 1951 Apid 1952
Data "Access 1 Internet" Vpid 1770 Apid 1964
PAS 8 166E 3854 H "Power TV" has started in the Taiwanese mux here, Vpid 500 Apid 501
Thaicom 3 78.5E 12313 H "Thai TV" new mux of FTA channels here soon, Sr 28800 (This for our readers in Asia only)
Sorry havn't had time will update tommorrow
7/5/01 2ND UPDATE
NEW Service ALERT
Optus B1 12336 V NEW MEDIASAT BQ same settings as B3, 14 services loading. At my location its half the strength of the B3 service on my 60cm. Not good barely above threshold! Lets have your reports to my private email or via the mailing list.
NEW Service ALERT
Last night we had the "State of Origin" League match on B3 12336V in 16x9, did anyone manage to find it on a international transmission for our readers in other countrys? If so please let me know.
Good news to start the week a new release of DVB2000! In fact 3 new versions! have come out in the last 2 days!!As usual they prefer non direct linking to the files so go to the link below and get the latest version off the downloads page.
As I type this the latest version in 1.83.2 http://www.dominance.net/overflow/
Lets have some discussion on this in the message forum? Is it just me or is this far more reliable on low threshold signals? Also I can't get any 16:9 or letterbox mode to work.
A couple of shots of the "State of Origin" last night
From my Emails & ICQ
From Harun (KPC)
Middleweight championship big fight: Trinidad Vs Joppy on Sunday 13 May,
Indosiar (Palapa c2).
From the Dish
Pas 8 166E 3940 H "Fox Feeds" Vpid 2660 Apid 2620, Note sometimes Fox Sports or Fox News, sometimes nothing
Optus B3 156E 12336 V "State of Origin" Mediasat Card channel 16x9
I want my Foxtel, Optus tells Government
Optus Television has called on the Federal Government to introduce rules forcing its main competitor, Foxtel, to give it access to programming - setting the scene for a major regulatory battle in Canberra.
Optus argues that access to Foxtel's programming would help drive investment in interactive television services.
The managing director of Optus's consumer and multi-media division, Mr Adrian Chamberlain, said that unless Australia introduced "must-provide rules" for programming, the country risked slipping behind in the digital revolution.
Speaking at the Australian Broadcasting Authority's conference in Canberra yesterday, Mr Chamberlain said the country's pay TV industry was fragmented, sub-scale and unprofitable. "Australia has got digital TV but the value lies in interactive TV."
But Foxtel's chief executive, Mr Jim Blomfield, accused Optus of wanting to strip value out of its rival by removing, through regulation, the market advantage his company had developed. "It would be an extreme issue because we are a pure pay TV company," Mr Blomfield said.
"It would be the same as if newspapers had to truck their content over to the competitor each night."
Optus, which has about 200,000 subscribers to Foxtel's 730,000, has made numerous overtures to Foxtel to share programming, including suggesting a joint venture on content.
It is now under pressure because of agreements with Hollywood to boost subscriber numbers or share the cost of programming.
The Foxtel partners - News Ltd, Publishing & Broadcasting and Telstra - have discussed lobbying for a two-year or longer holiday from competition laws requiring them to give competitors access to their cable infrastructure.
They have agreed they are unlikely to make the $200 million to $500 million investment in upgrading the Foxtel cable system to digital unless they can have exclusive use of it.
While Foxtel has not yet put the position to Canberra, it is likely to be extremely controversial, particularly as the Seven Network has spent more than two years seeking pay TV channels through the courts.
Mr Chamberlain said Optus's proposal for mandatory non-exclusive programming would sharpen up competition and lead the two pay TV companies to invest in the digital upgrades required to introduce interactivity.
He is expected to flag Optus's willingness to invest the estimated $500 million to go digital when the company's results are released next week. Mr Chamberlain said the introduction of interactive TV would bring in the disenfranchised - those people who didn't yet have a computer at home.
They would be able to access services such as simple email, home banking, shopping services and participate in game shows using their interactive TV.
Mr Chamberlain accused Telstra of smothering the development of digital interactive services in Australia, not just through its refusal to digitise the Foxtel Network, but also through its high wholesale prices for DSL services.
DSL turns copper telephony networks into broadband networks capable of carrying video and other services.
Mr Chamberlain said Telstra's prices were 185 per cent above those of similar services in Europe.
Optus's push for non-exclusive program rules has received support from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in its report to the Besley Inquiry into regional telecommunications services. There also has been informal interest from the Department of Communications.
Internet by Satellite Usage in Asia Growing
Just how important satellites are to the uninterrupted delivery of the Internet to Asia’s geographically diverse countries was driven home in February when over 20 million Internet users in China were cut off from the Internet for two days after a fishing trawler accidentally cut one of the undersea cables connecting China to the USA.
The hue and cry from China following this outage subsided only after Intelsat used one of its satellites to restore the lost link while urgent repair on the cable were carried out. Intelsat, naturally, crowed about its achievement, saying it was “testimony to the skill and dedication of the Intelsat team, and underscores one of the advantages of using satellites for Internet.”
The Internet connection to China was cut again in March, this time because of a “short circuit” and again Intelsat came to the rescue.
Intelsat, an international satellite organization with 144 member countries, operates 19 satellites. It plans to launch 10 more satellites until 2003, half of these replacing existing satellites.
These two Internet outages highlighted the vulnerability of Asia’s Internet infrastructure and may make the case for satellites providing Internet connectivity in areas with limited fiber, which is most of Asia, by the way.
Hybrid networks consisting of fiber and satellite links optimized for Internet traffic are seen as the most advantageous solution for Asia’s peculiar geographical diversity. The satellite portion of these proposed hybrid networks are being serviced by more and more satellites.
The importance Western operators place on satellites servicing Asia’s growing Internet demand was illustrated in March when Intelsat chose China to launch one of its telecommunications satellites six years after losing one of its satellites on a Chinese rocket.
Intelsat signed an agreement with China Great Wall Industry Corporation for the latter to launch its APR 3 synchronous-orbit telecommunications satellite on a Long March 3II rocket in May 2002.
Intelsat also signed an agreement with Sino Satellite Communications Co. Ltd., (Sinosat), one of China's three state-owned satellite companies, to lease 20% of the new Intelsat satellite's capacity to Sinosat.
Intelsat expects that its services to China will increase dramatically, especially in delivering Internet-over-satellite services that are currently not provided by Sinosat 1.
Asia Internet Users Rise Rapidly
The reason for the West’s interest in Asia is clear: a market of more than two billion people including two of the world’s most populous countries (China and India); the world’s second largest economy (Japan); some of the world’s wealthiest countries (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand) and the world’s top nation in broadband Internet access (South Korea).
The number of Internet users in Asia continues to grow at a terrific pace and the percentage of Asian households with Internet connections is beginning to catch up with America and Europe.
Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea lead Asia in Internet penetration as of November 2000, according to research agency NetValue.
Denmark has the world’s highest Internet penetration with 52 percent of all households having an Internet connection. The U.S. came in second and Singapore, third, with 47 percent. Taiwan had a 42 percent Internet penetration while Korea’s 34 percent penetration was larger than the UK. Koreans are the heaviest Internet users in the world.
Koreans are also tops in the use of online audio and video usage. A strong broadband Internet-using base means that streaming audio and video usage topped 65 percent, compared to 25 percent in Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe and the US.
Hong Kong’s Internet penetration of 29 percent was higher than Germany while China’s 18.percent penetration was a shade below France’s.
Koreans are also Asia’s heaviest users of the Internet. Each Korean spent 18. hours per month on the Web, more than twice the time spent by users in leading European Internet nations. Hong Kong Internet users spent 12 hours a month online, compared to 10.8 hours surfing by Americans. Chinese Internet users spent more time online per month (seven hours) than users in the UK, France or Denmark.
Singapore and Taiwan users spend 9.9 hours and 9 hours on the Web compared to 6 hours spent online in the UK. Both Hong Kong and Singapore led the US in the use of Internet instant messaging services like AOL IM and ICQ, according to the study.
As for email usage, e-mailers in Singapore and Taiwan are the top Asian e-mailers and even send more e-mail than Europeans. Americans, however, are the world’s top e-mailers.
Asia’s Internet users are forecast to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of 45 percent until 2002. There were 76 million Internet users in the Asia-Pacific in June 2000, a number that is expected to double by 2003.
Half of the world’s top 10 Internet using countries are in Asia. These countries (Australia, China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan) accounted for 51 percent of the world’s total Internet users in January 2000.
Asia, however, lags in e-commerce, a fact attributable to the low PC and Internet penetration rates in the region’s developing economies. Only 55-66 percent of Asian Internet users have shopped online in November, compared to 73. percent of users surveyed in the US and 74 percent of users in the UK.
Studies have shown that in non-English speaking countries with high Internet penetration, local content is favored by the vast majority. In Korea, for example, 80 percent of the online population prefers local Web sites.
Cable Modems Gain Ground
The xDSL technologies (ADSL and DSL) and cable modems are becoming Asia’s primary means of broadband high-speed Internet access. Fixed wireless technologies such as Local Multipoint Distribution System (LMDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) rely on satellites to complete the Internet loop to the consumer. Although fixed wireless appears somewhat better suited to Asia’s disparate geographies, its high cost has made it third best behind xDSL and cable modems.
The demand for fixed wireless in Asia and worldwide remains enormous because there are a vast number of users worldwide that are either not served at all or are underserved by DSL and cable modems.
Fixed-wireless systems use large dish antennas mounted on rooftops to receive satellite signals. Fixed wireless (and two-way satellite) broadband can transmit data over a larger area than with DSL and cable, resulting in a lower investment cost per customer. The transmission area for wireless broadband services is wider because towers and satellites are used to deliver information, instead of copper and fiber cable. Fiber or DSL is, however, necessary for long-haul transmissions.
A fixed wireless tower can transmit over a 35-mile radius and a geo-stationary satellite can transmit to one-third of the globe. The larger number of customers served offsets the high investment requirements, enabling providers to offer wireless broadband at a competitive price.
Forester Research believes that fixed wireless still will remain a bit player in the broadband industry for many years. They say that the "big two" high-speed technologies (DSL and cable modems) seem to have nothing to worry about, at least for the time being.
Forrester predicts that cable and DSL jointly will have 86 per cent of the high-speed Net access market by 2005, with fixed wireless accounting for only 9 percent.
Business customers are the main users of fixed wireless. Small and medium sized businesses are expected to emerge as the major market for services delivered via fixed wireless technologies until 2005. By 2003, the business market should generate some 70 per cent of revenues from fixed wireless. The residential market, which today contributes 60 per cent of revenues, will account for the remaining 30 per cent.
Business broadband subscribers outnumbered residential subscribers 3.5 million to 1.9 million in 1999. This situation will be reversed by 2003, when there will be 20.7 million residential broadband subscribers and 11.3 million business subscribers.
Analysts say that fixed wireless still faces problems that keep it from being as widely used as DSL or cable modems. Wireless signals still can experience interference from buildings or even large trees between a home and the antenna, making the technology difficult to use in densely populated city areas.
And, like cable, fixed wireless is a shared-bandwidth technology. The download speed available to a subscriber will drop as more people log on in a given location.
Fixed wireless will continue to be very useful in areas where DSL or cable lines haven't been upgraded, which includes most of the USA and Asia. On the plus side for fixed wireless is that it is easier to set up wireless towers in these areas than to make the huge investments necessary to bring high-speed cable or telephone lines out to these areas.
US operators are poised to establish dominance of satellite Internet market by virtue of their vast resources. The top US satellite companies, Intelsat, PanAmSat and Loral Cyberstar, all have satellites providing satellite Internet services to Asia.
One of the few companies now taking advantage of this explosive growth of Internet in Asia is Thailand’s Shin Satellite Plc. Shin Satellite awarded a contract in August last year to Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) for the design and construction of iPSTAR-1, a high-powered geostationary satellite to be used for broadband communications applications. The contract includes training and support services, as well as an option for a second satellite.
Shin Sat will use iPSTAR-1, a spacecraft with a hybrid Ka-/Ku-band communications payload, to provide direct-to-desktop, last-mile services, including new multi-media and data services to customers in Asia, India, and Australia. The iPSTAR-1 satellite is scheduled to begin service in early 2003.
With total satellite power of approximately 14 kW, iPSTAR-1 will provide 100 beams in the Ku-band and the Ka-band -- to deliver broad coverage from its orbital location at 1200 East longitude. iPSTAR-1 is designed to provide 12 years of uninterrupted service life. iPSTAR-1 will be a 1300S, a variation of SS/L's successful 1300 satellite product line that supports power requirements between 6 and 18 kW. The 1300S satellite bus uses advanced technologies to enable satellite operators to support their customers with a wider range of services, and to deliver them with greater reliability.
One company that offers one of the best satellite connections between the US and Asia is Philippines’ Agila 2. Some 90 per cent of Agila’s standard C-Band transponders and 67 per cent of the extended C-band transponders are now leased out.
Mabuhay Philippine Satellite Corporation, operator of Agila 2, has a list of customers that include some of the biggest Internet-Over-Satellite players in the world including Loral Cyberstar, Interpacket (Veristar), Hutchison and Singapore Teleports. Additional information on Mabuhay Satellite could be obtained at www.mabuhaysat.com.
Agila 2's footprint covers the entire Asia Pacific region, including India, Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Nepal. The satellite is equipped with 30 C-Band transponders used for telecommunications, broadcast and Internet and 24 Ku transponders suitable for direct-to-home (DTH) and satellite newsgathering services.
Through its teleport partners in Hawaii, Mabuhay also offers services for video and broadcast customers. These include content contribution and distribution from the US directly to Asian cable operators; and distribution of Asian ethnic channels to the US via direct TV systems.
The company's satellite Internet service provides Internet connectivity throughout the Philippines and Asia with one-way or two-way asymmetric Internet connection up to 45 mbps direct to US gateway using small disk and receiver routers.
Report Reveals Further Internet Satellite Growth
A newly-released report of Irwin Communications, Inc. bears out the internet satellite developments not only in Asia but throughout the world. According to the Broadband Content Distribution, The Internet & Satellites, content distribution market is vibrant and growing and that technology and innovative applications continue to advance. But the industry is still recovering from many instances where management was responsible for massive over-borrowing, over-ambitious network build-out programs, acquisitions which were too aggressive, and bids for 3G licenses which may prove to be too high. In 1999 and 2000, investors found out too late that they were chasing visions and not businesses.
Now the marketeers and businessmen are moving forward again and recognize that the challenge of the next two years is to put applications into the network, to find branding opportunities and to discover what the end-user will pay for, the report says.
The report adds that satellite-based multi-casting has the capability to extend reach, eliminate terrestrial interconnections and offer the advantages of point-to-multipoint solutions. While it is claimed to be more cost-effective an example cited by Cidera in the United States showed that a 20 city multi-point network cost $207,000 per month for terrestrial services and only $36,000 per month using existing satellite alternatives.
The report could be obtained by contacting Irwin Communications at phone +1-202-223-1016 or by sending an e-mail to: email@example.com. Additional information on the report may be obtained by visiting http://www.irwincom.com .
Indosat Reports First Quarter Net Profit of US$51.8 Million
Indonesian Satellite Corporation (Indosat), the state-owned satellite operator, reported a net profit of US$51.8 million dollars for the first quarter due to a sharp increase in foreign exchange gains and despite lower operating income.
Indosat’s net profit was 24 percent higher than the US$41.7 million for the same January-to-March period in 1999. Sales for the period rose three percent to US$70.2 million from US$68.3 million in the first quarter of 2000.
Indosat said its foreign exchange gains jumped 56 percent to US$12.6 million as against US$8.1 million in the same period last year.
Income from subsidiaries rose 87 percent to US$20.1 million. Three of four subsidiaries reported profitability: Intelsat, Lintasarta, Telkomsel and TPI. Mitra Global Telekomunikasi was in the red during the first quarter, 2001.
Indosat said its international telephone traffic volume rose to 164 million minutes in the three months compared to some 160 million calls a year earlier.
Outgoing call volume was 72 million minutes against 70 million minutes, while incoming was 92 million minutes against 90 million.
TVB, ERA Revise Transponder Lease Deal
Hong Kong's Television Broadcast Ltd said on Wednesday Taiwan's ERA Communications had cut the amount of satellite transponder capacity leased from TVBI Co Ltd since March 1.
TVB, the world's largest creator of Chinese-language programming, said in a statement the newly revised sub-lease agreement would result in ERA paying US$55,208.50 less a month.
It said the reduction in transponder capacity had been mutually agreed and no penalty was being imposed on ERA.
(Craigs comment, I thought TVBI were planning to convert to a FTA service hmmm)
State of Origin match Optus B3 12336V "Mediasat" in 16x9 12363V was also in use for a short time
Yes the Lyngsat website is down currently, Feed details for the State of Origin tonight will be posted as soon as we have them!
A reminder Space Pacific report, on Mediasat Sunday night is the DVB2000 episode
From my Emails & ICQ
Robert Anthony reports via the mailing list 6/5/01
"Happy Gilmore" is airing in the clear on US NBC (with commercial
breaks) on PAS-2 3872 MHz (H) SR 6620 FEC 2/3 "NAPSA4" at 0400Z 6 MAY01.
My Humax 5400 reports the entire mux as being in the clear (as opposed
to scrambled) but this is the first time that I have seen a FTA signal
on any channel on this mux. Can someone reply with what other channels
are loaded on this mux and what the encryption scheme is?
This From ANON2
Firstly have to correct ANON 1. The MMDS service of WSTV has been running for over 6 months now. I know, as have been watching it ! Secondly when a Director of a small independant tv co.in S.E.Asia says he has the copyright for the US films his Co is broadcasting , best to take this with a pinch of salt as most unlikely to admit the opposite is he ? Finally and more importantly the channel has just changed its name and logo from WSTV PRD,( the latter standing for the Government Public Relations Dpt ,) to TTV which stands for Thai TV. The launch ceremony was shown on their MMDS service two nights ago .The reason ? Not given , however this Co. holds its broadcast licence from the PRD. Earlier this week the Director of the PRD , Wirapon Duangsoongnoen was found guilty of corruption and forgery and sacked. Any connection between the change of name and the above purely coincidental !
From the Dish
Measat 2 "RPN9" homepage is http://www.rpn9.com/
Programming looks excellent better than Studio 23!
None for today
State of Origin on Sunday, Mediasat B3 hopefully, also live on Imparja. Does anyone have a feed location for viewers in Asia?
Bill (Sydney) on the user pages has had his page updated with new images
From my Emails & ICQ
Some furthur info on the WSTV service supplied by ANON
You'll find that WSTV plans have nothing to do with Satelite. They have MMDS
rights for Thailand, and are planning to launch a free TV service on MMDS.
The reason it is free is because in Thailand if you have a Pay TV service
you cannot have paid advertising.
If they don't use the MMDS within the next few months they loose their licence!
This way they can have advertising, and the basis of their business plan is
people will pay $150 US for a MMDS STB so they get 12 channels of ???????
Additionally the service will be unencrypted. The reason they are using
Thaicom 3 is so they can link the Play-out centre at Bangkok with the
Regional MMDS hubs around Thailand.
Anyone with a Dish and STB will pick it up of Thaicom 3. They don't care,
the more the merrier!
Additionally they do have rights to the material they are using. The "MD" is
a interesting chap to say the least, not sure if you spoke Thai or English
with him as his English is not very good.
From the Dish
Lookout for "Insurection" WWF ppv from the uk starts at 4am oz est, Try Intelsat 701
Plans to split TVNZ
The Government is defending moves to split up Television New Zealand as part of its plan to emphasise the organisation's public broadcasting role.
Finance minister Michael Cullen has confirmed that the more commercially successful arms of TVNZ are likely to be split-off to create a new state-owned enterprise.
Cullen says TVNZ's transmission company, BCL, is most likely to be split off, but other profitable parts of the company will also be looked at.
"If we move to a somewhat less commercial focus for TVNZ that might not sit happily with the management of a company like BCL which is very very commercial in its approach," Cullen says
National's broadcasting spokeswoman Katherine Rich says the split amounts to political interference with the media and is a thinly-veiled attempt to make TVNZ more amenable to Government policy.
Any split would leave the television stations One Two as a crown entity without the current focus on making money.
TVNZ's chairman and his chief executive say until they hear first hand from Cullen of the Government's intentions, they
are not in a position to comment on the possible split up of the SOE.
Those critical of a split say TVNZ would have a cash-flow problem.
"I think if the profitable parts of TVNZ are split off then it will leave TVNZ immeasurably weaker and really unable to deliver on the public broadcasting objectives that the Government wants," says Paul Norris of the New Zealand Broadcasting School.
The Government says taxpayers would be likely to have to subsidise the new look TVNZ.
"There's of course significant taxpayer support through New Zealand On Air already to TVNZ but the Government might have to put forward some direct support in one form or another," Cullen says.
The charter setting programming guidelines for TVNZ should take effect next July, but there is no timetable yet for restructuring the broadcaster.
New channel Channel Guide (Thaicom 3) launching mid-May
There's a new channel on the block that has been beaming as a test signal since 2 April and its called Channel Guide.
Channel Guide officially launches on 15 or 16 May with the aim of being the "channel junction" for the television viewer, says the company's COO Ravi Deshmukh. It will be a free to air digital channel beaming off Thaicom-3.
The channel hopes to cover television, films, theatre, music and events with a very localised perspective. It will have genre-wise (also language-wise) anchored slots incorporating footage as well as interesting commentary about featured programmes.
Deshmukh appears undaunted about launching a channel at a time when the industry as a whole is facing a cash crunch with broadcasters cutting back on their projects rather than attempting new ventures.
Deshmukh says his channel provides a valuable service to the industry as a whole and expects both broadcasters and cable operators to support the channel. He aims to take his channel to 60 towns and cities across the country within the next four months.
Craigs note, no word on if this will be on the Global beam
Sony going pay 30 June at Rs 8 sticker price
Its unofficial!!! Industry sources confirmed today that Sony Entertainment will become encrypted from 30 June.
The channel will be priced at Rs 8 per subscriber with the set top box costing the cable operator Rs 6,000 initially and a balance of Rs 6,000 to be paid after six months
Industry grist had it that SET would be following Star TV and Zee TV (encryption 1 June) and would go pay by year-end but it looks like the channel calculated there is no need to wait that long.
With the target date advanced by almost six months, whether it will manage to roll out all the boxes to its cable affiliates is not clear. But the channel's management had a meeting two days ago where a decision was taken to set that as the target date. The company has to import the set top boxes, which can prove cumbersome as Zee TV has found out in the past when its boxes from Philips were delayed. Even Discovery had its set tops caught up in customs for quite a while quite a while. Hopefully Sony will not be caught on the wrong foot a la Discovery.
Sony's decision to encrypt at a time when it is losing cachet with audiences (its viewership ratings have been declining) may surprise some observers. However, the fact is that it too has been caught up in the momentum in the industry towards digital pay TV bouquets. Its bouquet consists of SET, Max, AXN and CNBC. Other channels are slated to be added to it in the not so distant future.
Sony officials declined to comment, saying that an official announcement is to be made soon.
Prasar Bharati to invite fresh bids for late night slots on DD Metro
National broadcaster Doordarshan's Metro channel's light night slot will be up for bidding again, according to reports. Prasar Bharati, which got a pathetic response in January when it invited bids for the late night slot on DD Metro, has decided to call for fresh bids, it has been reported.
Prasar Bharati made a killing when it sold six "golden hours" on DD 2 for a period of one year to Australian media magnate Kerry Packer for Rs 1210 million but its auction of the 10 pm hrs to 12:30 am slot fell flat.
How the fresh call for bids will be received might also be based on what the floor price is. Earlier the rates for different half hour slots were Rs 150 million from 10 pm, Rs 75 million from 10:30 pm, Rs 20 million from 11 pm, Rs 15 million from 10:30 pm and Rs 5 million from midnight.
It remains to be seen whether Channel Nine will again be barred from bidding as was the case last time round. Prasar Bharati may just take a cue from the earlier situation where only Pritish Nandy Communications made a bid for a one 30-minute slot and have a rethink on that issue as well.
Zee portal restructures, launches new-look zeenext.com
The Zee Group’s Internet portal company, Econnect India Ltd, has announced its plan to restructure its business strategy. Econnect India, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zee Telefilms, will now focus on entertainment-based content and website development and design for group companies as well as third parties, a Zee release states.
At the same time, www.zeenext.com, the portal maintained by Econnect, has now been relaunched with focus on entertainment and lifestyle-related content. The move is expected to ensure better synergies with the Zee Group’s core content, the release claims.
The new initiatives are aimed at helping Econnect tap new business opportunities, even as it serves as the Internet interface of the Zee Group, the release says.
One fallout of the restructuring process has been that close to 60 people have reportedly been asked to leave.
Wow! Nokia DVB2000 users check out the latest update to be released soon with Ac3 audio and widescreen modes! Go here to read up on it! Nothing much else to report for today.
These pages have had minor repairs done to them (mostly Links being fixed)
Asiasat 3,Jcsat 3, NSS703, Pal C2, Asiasat 2, Links page
From my Emails & ICQ
Chris Pickstock reports 4/05/01 4.40 pm Syd
Optus B1 12675 H "Astralinks" Vpid 308 Apid 256 "Canberra Rally, Asia Pacific Rally Series"
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 3767 H The South Korean Mux has a new Sr of : 8680.
Optus B3 156E 12376 H "Optus NRL" Channel and "Oak Commercial" have started (Irdeto encrypted)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3420 V New SR for PTV 1 of 3528 (Not available in Australia)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3424 V New SR for PTV 2 of 3333 (Not available in Australia)
Star and Taiwan's Koos complete cable digitisation deal
Finally closing a deal which has been in the making since last October, Star and the Koos Group of Taiwan today announced an agreement to digitise cable systems in Taiwan.
Star's investment in the deal will enable it to obtain an equity interest in the cable systems concerned, a company release says.
The digital rollout plan will commence in the second half of the year and the first digital cable services will be launched in early 2002. Taiwanese cable subscribers will soon be able to enjoy through digital set-top boxes high-quality digital broadcast cable signals, as well as an array of enhanced television functionalities such as parental control and a Chinese-language electronic programme guide, the release states. The digital boxes are also capable of receiving interactive premium channels and e-commerce services.
Chester Koo of the Koos Group said: "The penetration rate of Taiwan's cable TV is among the highest the world over - 80 per cent of Taiwanese households have cable TV. ...This partnership between Koos Group and Star is also a manifestation of the recognition we have been receiving from international media groups."
Star chairman and CEO James Murdoch said: "In Asia where digital and addressable cable systems are so rare, this deal further sets Star and our partners ahead of other players in the market. Partnering with Koos is a perfect match for us to roll out digital cable infrastructure in Taiwan, paving the way for the first large-scale market launch of digital set-top boxes in Asia and the introduction of interactive services in Taiwan, clearly setting the pace for the development of the pay TV business in the region."
It was in October that the Koos group's broadband Internet access and content provider GigaMedia Ltd and Star agreed to form a joint venture that would focus on developing interactive television services in Taiwan.
At the time GigaMedia and Star signed a binding memorandum of understanding to form a 50-50 jointly owned company that would operate independently.
But at the end of March the agreement was modified where Star's investment was to be for the digitisation of headends and the rollout of digital set-top boxes.
Although both parties claimed they remained committed to developing the Taiwanese interactive television market, they said the priority was to upgrade and digitise the network infrastructure.
In money terms this meant that the original plan where GigaMedia was to have injected $ 50 million into the interactive television project stood shelved.
The news sections been a bit light lately, I try and find info around the place but it is difficult at times. If you know of a good source of news about satellite or the channels we can see please let me know. I have started working on an Articles page to go up shortly. If you want to write an article on anything related to satellite tv you are welcome to. How to guides are needed urgently, also I need some help creating a FAQ as I am getting daily requests from people new to Satellite tv that are looking for one.
From my Emails & ICQ
I have an enquiry reguarding the following note on your website
"Alex in Perth reports
Measat 2 ku, it is just under threshold at 4.5db with a 2.3mt Paraclipse
hydro solid dish, normaly need about 5.5db to get lock on a Humax 5400.
Canal+ on I701 works fine on a 1.8M."
I read your site daily, and it is most usefull for me
I have a 3 m dish C band multisatelite Humax receiver.
I have been told by my instaler that I701 is below the horizon in Perth and
cannot be seen.
I WOULD LOVE TO BE ABLE TO RECEIVE FRENCH PROGRAMING OTHER THAN tv5.
COULD I HAVE MORE DETAILS ON HOW THIS IS POSSIBLE.
I ALSO LOVE TO SEE NBA BASKETBALL FEEDS
thank you for your help
DR JEAN-PIERRE GUILLON
Craigs reply, Ok its not below the horizon, but for most its only 13 degrees above the horizon so the main problem for most is trees, buildings or hills.
For many this means to get the Canal+ Ku band services in Perth you need a dish mounted up on your roof so it is clear of obstructions. If you can get Pas 2 at 169E you will have a good idea where I701 is at 180E and weather you have a clear view of it.
NBA feeds, Try California BQ on Pas 2 and also Fox Feeds also on Pas 2. Star sports Asiassat 3 also has some. If you havn't already join our mailing list see up top of the page below the image. There are several in Perth on it that may be able to help you out.
From Jean Defacon
In New Zealand, what I can get in Ku band?(free to air) With 90cm dish, it's works fine in that size?(It's ok the lnbf universal)
Please could you tell me more?
Craigs reply, A 90cm Ku dish in NZ will get you
Optus B1 , Abc Northern, (all Sky NZ channels Encrypted except for 1 FTA Test Pattern) and a couple of ocasional feed channels
Optus B3 , Mediasat (Thai TV, TRT Turkey, Maharishi, plus 2 feed channels) 41 other services are available but all are encrypted (Irdeto) such as Sky raceing, Lashkara, RTV etc.
Panamsat 2 , 2 Transponders here with Power Vu encrypted radio and tv from Australia, nothing seen FTA here, also here is Ihugs data for its Ultra service.
Thats all! not much is there!
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3854 H "Tzu Chi TV" Sr 13240, Vpid 490 Apid 491, Is the Taiwanese channel reported here a few days ago
Outfoxed by fels
FOXTEL, Australia's most successful pay TV provider, is a business treading water, going nowhere. In an industry that has burned $9 billion in less than a decade, the Foxtel shareholders have built a highly successful brand, but have yet to see a dollar in profit. Worse, they fear the glittering prize of a potential $500 million-plus a year in profits may be kept forever out of their reach. Foxtel and its shareholders Telstra, News Corporation (publisher of The Australian) and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited have a problem. It has come out of left field, and it has the partners snookered. Its name is Allan Fels, of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The history of Foxtel has been marked by bickering and tensions among the partners. Ironically, the Fels problem is the issue that could pull the partners together and get them working as one in search of a solution. But in the end, they'll need legislative changes, and that means winning more than the support of the Government. They'll also need to win the Opposition or the Democrats to succeed in the Senate, and that's a big ask.
The Foxtel imbroglio is a remarkable case study of a business adrift. Talk to the partners individually and it is plain to see there is a great deal of distrust among them; their reasons for being there are different; they have competing agendas and each commands a veto over the other. You get the impression that battered egos and tit-for-tat vetoes combine to make the Foxtel board one of the most dysfunctional in the land.
It so incenses one key player that he was moved to remark: "It is a bloody disgrace that this extraordinary combination of Australia's best and most powerful companies cannot get together to do anything. It is a searing indictment that this amazing partnership is going nowhere, doing nothing. You have all this money pissed up against the wall, and nothing is happening. It is unacceptable."
This illustrates the tensions and frustrations of Foxtel. In the past two weeks I have spoken to many of the key players among the partners and within the company itself, and it seems they are united by just two things: a desire to break the deadlock somehow, sometime, and an unwillingness to go on the record. The sensitivities are such they are willing to share perspectives off the record and as background, but not with their names attached. As a result, this report is necessarily my analysis of the state of play 5½ years after Foxtel began its pay TV transmissions on October 23, 1995.
There are four main issues confronting the Foxtel shareholders.
The first three ownership, the digitisation of the cable, and program supply agreements could probably be worked out through some top-level negotiations between the heads of News, PBL and Telstra. But the fourth issue disputes over access to the cable is the one that has them stonkered, and until or unless it is removed, there is no immediate imperative to resolve the first three.
Before the ownership issues can be understood, it is necessary to understand why each of the partners is there.
A decade ago the best delivery method for pay TV was said to be satellite. By delivering a direct-to-home signal from space, you'd achieve 100 per cent coverage of the continent for, it was thought at the time, 10 or a dozen channels. (Today satellites carry about 50 channels.) But Telstra, under then CEO Frank Blount, did its sums and decided to roll out cable past 4 million Australian homes. Telstra figured cable was a long-term money-spinner a two-way pipe into every lounge room for the delivery of entertainment, home shopping, banking and communication services. To justify the investment, it needed a cornerstone client for the cable, and pay TV fitted the bill.
Telstra's competitor, Optus, decided it, too, should have a broadband cable passing at least 2.5 million homes. The race to cable was costly, macho, chest-beating stuff, but it was flawed policy, especially as the then Labor government actively encouraged both companies to build their networks down the same streets. Doubling up infrastructure was considered good policy because it would create competition. It's a pity those advising the government forgot about market size, and the inability of a market of 6.5 million homes to support two, let alone four, pay TV providers.
Telstra abandoned its target of 4 million homes and settled for 2.5 million. Optus stopped its roll-out at about 2 million, of which 80 per cent overlap with Telstra. Investment in cable reached $5 billion. Australis Media, whose Galaxy service was the first to arrive, went broke, losing $1 billion. Austar, which has the regional pay TV franchise, is $1 billion underwater, and the Optus and Foxtel investments and losses are about $1 billion each.
And so far, not a dollar has been made in profit. There are 1.3 million pay TV subscribers at present, 60 per cent (or 720,000 subscribers) of whom receive their signals from Foxtel. Its revenues, including advertising, are about $450 million a year, on costs of $530 million. Foxtel will break even at about 850,000 customers, and if the pay TV industry can reach its goal of 35 per cent of all homes and Foxtel remains at 60 per cent of the total, its revenues will break through the $1 billion a year mark, and profits of $500 million a year will be within reach.
From Telstra's point of view, a half share of Foxtel's profits, plus a carrying fee, would amount to a nice return on its cable investment. But there's potentially more in the pipeline.
When the Foxtel agreement was being brokered between News and Telstra, News won management rights and the right to appoint the company's chief executive. But Telstra insisted it would keep ownership of all services other than pay TV. Nobody fully understood then that the future of pay TV would be digital, and an interactive digital cable into the home would have enormous profit potential.
Meanwhile, Kerry Packer, who had been dickering with Optus, switched sides and exercised an option (granted during the Super League war) to "equalise" with News in Foxtel.
There are many in the industry who will say News had an agreement with Telstra's Blount that a Packer "equalisation" would mean each party would hold 33.3 per cent of the shares. They also say Blount reneged on the deal. Whatever, Telstra now holds its original 50 per cent, while News was forced to sell half of its stake at cost to allow PBL to equalise with it.
PBL's reasons for being in the cable TV business were defensive. As owners of the top-rated Nine network of free-to-air stations, the Packers wanted to protect that business from competition for as long as possible. But it also made sense to have a foot in the subscription business to replace profits which would be shaved, in time, from the free-to-air industry.
News Limited, excluded from the free-to-air TV industry in Australia by cross-ownership and foreign ownership laws, wants an outlet for the masses of content it owns and distributes around the world. It wants to build Foxtel into an Australian version of the highly successful BSkyB pay TV, which it pioneered in Britain.
BSkyB was losing almost $2 billion a year when it was created from the merger of News Corp's Sky TV and its rival BSB consortium. Sam Chisholm, the legendary boss of Packer's Nine network in the 80s, presided over one of the greatest corporate turnarounds in history when those losses turned to billion-dollar-plus profits.
BSkyB last year invested heavily in converting its analog signal to digital, and its services are seen as the model for what News wants to achieve in Australia. But no matter what digital services Foxtel could create, they are currently outlawed on the Telstra cable.
So, Telstra is there to drive revenue through its cable; News is there to develop a TV business and an outlet for its programming; and PBL is there to protect its free-to-air operation while building a bridge to the future.
There is a general agreement among the parties that, in spite of these differing perspectives, solutions to questions of ownership, digitisation and program supply could be found if all shareholders wanted them enough. News and PBL tend to portray Telstra as the industry's lumbering giant, unable to make decisions because everything has to go through layer upon layer of bureaucracy. News's Rupert Murdoch has been especially critical of Telstra's tardiness.
But a source close to Telstra says that may not be the case for much longer. Three new faces were appointed to the Telstra board last year John Fletcher, former CEO of Brambles, Catherine Livingston, the former boss of Cochlear, and Sam Chisholm. As well, Telstra's former chief financial officer, Paul Rizzo, has departed and been replaced by David Moffat, the former head of General Electric in Australia. This "new blood" is reported to be unimpressed with past performances, and is determined that Foxtel no longer be allowed to atrophy.
A scenario is drawn that involves Chisholm replacing Rizzo as Foxtel's chairman, then driving the business down the BSkyB path by resolving the nagging issues. Chisholm, having worked for Packer and Murdoch, is regarded as a possible "honest broker", capable of devising solutions to the outstanding problems. Issues being discussed are the equalisation of shareholdings to one third each, or the floating of 25 per cent of the company so Telstra, News, PBL and the public would each hold 25 per cent.
Given past relationships and the lack of trust among the partners, agreement is unlikely either way. Telstra is in no mood to give up any of its shareholding either by equalising or by relinquishing 25 per cent to the public. "Nor would Murdoch or Packer, if they held 50 per cent," one player commented. If Foxtel is to float, Telstra would demand each shareholder's stake be proportionally diminished, which News, in particular, would be unwilling to do.
Another bugbear that would require resolution is the ownership of some of the Foxtel channels. Fox Sports, half owned by News and PBL, is the carrier's most profitable channel. Telstra is reportedly unhappy seeing profits from Fox Sports virtually underwriting News's and PBL's share of Foxtel's annual losses. Telstra was offered a share of Fox Sports, but declined. News and PBL say Telstra can't complain because its losses are also offset by fees for carrying the Foxtel services.
But clearly, it is not beyond the wit of the smartest business minds in the nation to find a resolution to these problems. The big problem is that there is no incentive to do so and that's the fault of Fels and the ACCC.
Fels's job is to ensure Australia has a competitive marketplace. He's a corporate sheriff, riding the range protecting the public from cartels, price fixing, the threat of monopolies and any perceived uncompetitive behaviour.
In a sense, he is a law unto himself. While Fels insists he always works within the law, the Trade Practices Act nevertheless gives him power to declare that any industry must come under his ability to pass judgment on and therefore, control issues relating to competition. In Foxtel's case, Fels has declared he has control over matters such as access to the Telstra cable, and the price structures for its use.
The Foxtel partners agree this is a flawed overuse of Fels's powers. They say plenty of competition exists among pay TV players, but Fels appears determined to "bust open the Telstra pipe", by insisting that program suppliers other than Foxtel should have access to the cable. He has set a fee of $2.3 million per channel per year for access to the cable and the Foxtel set-top box.
At first glance this appears to be reasonable. If a non-Foxtel player, such as the Seven network or Mike Boulos's Television and Radio Broadcasting Services (TARBS), has programming and is prepared to pay for marketing, subscription management and access, why shouldn't it use the national carrier's cable? Open access, it would seem, would help boost the overall business, and collecting all those carriage fees would seem a nice little earner for Telstra.
This gets up the Foxtel shareholders' noses. They argue they have made the billion-dollar investment; they have paid between $750 and $1000 in costs to sign up each customer; they have spent millions marketing their brand; they have hoofed it around the streets knocking on doors looking for customers; they have built the network, and they believe they have the right to earn their costs back from those customers.
But Fels's ruling says anyone can come in and use the cable, and the set-top box, for next to nothing. "We've paid $1000 for a customer and he wants to give away access to others for 50c a piece," said one player. "If you are going to spend the money you should be allowed to be the gatekeeper. Under the Fels ruling, we can be bypassed by people who try to build their businesses by spamming their marketing pitches to our customers.
"It's like saying if I had some programming I wanted to get out there and the Seven network had a bit of spare spectrum, I could say to them, 'I want it.' I'll agree to pay 15 per cent of my revenue, but I don't have any, so that's meaningless, but I demand access to your transmitter and your staff and the ACCC says I can."
At the moment, there is a limit on how many analog channels are available on the Telstra cable. Foxtel says it is just a few. But under a digital regime, more than 100 new channels would become available, and access fees per channel would logically be a lot less than the currently stipulated $2.3 million a year.
So far Fels has not "declared" the digital cable. But the Foxtel partners fear he will and they ask: Who in their right mind would invest a further $200 million to $400 million in digitising a cable that would be available to all and sundry for next to nothing?
As one partner said: "We've taken all the losses up front and Allan Fels wants to give away our profits to other people." Another said: "Why would we roll the dice to digitise when we would be compelled to give our business away at a loss? Why would you bother?"
The Fels intervention has snookered the players, at least for the time being. Attention is now being directed to a Productivity Commission draft report on the operations of the pay TV industry that raises the possibility of a 10-year "holiday" from the ACCC declaring control of the digital cable.
This would allow the industry to develop without Fels's intervention, but it would also require legislative changes. The commission's final report is not expected until later this year and any action will be in the hands of the next government.
There is no guarantee of government action. Productivity Commission reports have a habit of sinking to the foggy bottom. And, no matter who is in government, it will not control the Senate. Therefore, any legislative changes will need to have the backing of both government and opposition, or sufficient minor party senators combining with the government to ensure passage. Such political wrangling makes the future anything but clear.
The Foxtel partners say impediments to the digitisation of the cable are contributing to Aust ralia's reputation as a technological backwater, which in turn is weighing heavily against the value of the Australian dollar. It seems a high price to pay for a subscription TV system.
Thriller series Sach on DD
Doordarshan has begun telecast of a new suspense thriller Sach from 28 April.
The serial is telecast on Saturdays at 9 PM (Indian time) on the National Network. The serial has been produced and directed by Manoj Nautya and music is by Bhaskar Sekiya with screenplay is by Devpriya Dutta. Wakar and Kavita Sukhvinder are the lead players in the suspense thriller which depicts true-life stories dramatised in its original form.
Commissioning guidelines for DD programmes released
Prasar Bharati has recently issued guidelines for commissioning programmes on national broadcaster Doordarshan.
The central Commissioning unit at the Delhi headquarters of DD will tabulate annual budget requirements and forward it to to the finance wing, which will then decide budgets for various DD channels and centres.
Programmes will be commissioned to supplement in-house production efforts for the sole purpose of bringing variety into programming.
Certain genres may be excluded for commissioning, as they would be available in the sponsored category. These include soaps, sitcoms and mythologicals.
The guidelines state that DD will assess its requirements for the next year in the last quarter of the current financial year and accordingly prepare its list.
And as part of its effort to promote fresh talent, graduates from television and film institutes recognised by the University Grants Commission will be permitted to make programmes on DD, according to the new guidelines.
Doordarshan told to assess commissioned programme requirements in advance.
Doordarshan (DD) will from now on be required to assess its requirements of commissioned programmes in the last quarter of the financial year for the ensuing year, according to the Prasar Bharati guidelines for commissioning of programmes which were issued here on Tuesday.
Based on the list of such commissioned programmes, the Central Commissioning Unit (CCU) will consolidate the annual budget requirements and forward it to the finance wing. Subsequently, the finance wing will earmark the available budget to different channels and kendras.
Significantly, the guidelines state that certain genres may be excluded for commissioning, as they would be available in the sponsored category. These genres include daily soaps, sit-coms, mythological, mega-serials etc. Also, the guidelines say that the budget allocated for commissioning will be utilised by inviting eminent producers and directors including award winning producers and directors. Part of the commissioning budget will be identified and allocated for the promotion of new talent, for assigning programmes to young graduates from various film/TV institutes.
The proposals have to be assessed by the evaluation committee. If necessary, the producer may have to present his/her concept before this committee, according to the guidelines. The proposals short-listed by the evaluation committee shall be put up to a costing committee for critical evaluation of the budget requirements of the proposal. The decision taken by the costing committee shall be final and its decision will be communicated to the producer within five working days of the meeting.
The guidelines have taken into account the new media too. ''All rights including new media and any rights that may be available in future will rest with Doordarshan,'' the guidelines state.
I almost didn't do a site update today, in fact I had already uploaded the page, but then enough news came in for me to post something.
From my Emails & ICQ
Alex in Perth reports
Measat 2 ku, it is just under threshold at 4.5db with a 2.3mt Paraclipse hydro solid dish, normaly need about 5.5db to get lock on a Humax 5400. Canal+ on I701 works fine on a 1.8M
Craigs reply, Measat 2 still has FTA , Hallmark and RPN (Philipino channel) and in some locations is working fine on dishs as small as 45cm. Has anyone in NZ managed to receive it? It might need something in the 2M range of course it needs a universal LNBF as well.
From the Dish
Insat 2E 83E 3694 V "Test Card" Sr 4340, Vpid 4194, Apid 4105 (WIDE Beam, should cover Australia)
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3676 H "MRTV" Sr 6000, Fec 2/3 Vpid 308 Apid 256 (This reported yesterday as RTB feed see pic yesterday) MRTV on 3666 H also, don't know why they need 2 global transponders for the same thing.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3826 H "Hong Kong Telecom feeds" Sr 2847 Fec 2/3 ( we don't get many feeds reported on this satellite, may be worth a Nokia scan)
Nothing to report
Live chat tonight 8.30pm Sydney time onwards in the chatroom, I will be in there from 9.30pm NZ. I got my gear from Telsat they even threw in a free Cofee cup.
From my Emails & ICQ
Subject: WORLDSTAR TV
Visited their offices today in Bkk. They are currently running a test on Thaicom 3 with the intention of starting a fta 5 channel bouquet. When I told the director of Worldstar he could have copyright problems with films he seemed unaware of the problem ! He asked for the help of sat enthusiasts viewing this site to know if his prog could be seen in Australia and New Zealand so would be grateful for a few reports . If Mr Sutton will allow these to be put on his site for a couple of days I can report the result to World Star TV.
Siam Global BKK
Craigs reply, Well if its Thaicom 3 KU band it wont be comming anywhere near Australia and NZ.! so you will have to tell us what most of us are missing out on.
From the Dish
Pas 8 166E 3940 H "Fox News" Listed as "P8 ADHOC" Sr 27690, Fec 7/8, Vpid 2660, Apid 2620, Pcr 2660
Sinosat 1 110.5E 3707 V "VTV 2" has left
Sinosat 1 110.5E 4075 V "MATV" has left, try Apstar 2R 3846 H Sr 10200
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3676 H "RTB Test" Sr 6000 Fec 2/3 Global Beam
T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 17/2001 - April 29 2001 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by Tele Satellite
Editor: Branislav Pekic
(Edited Apsattv.com Edition)
PANAMSAT EXPANDS CONTRACT WITH ESPN
PanAmSat Corporation on April 23 announced that ESPN is expanding its
relationship to include nine PanAmSat satellites for worldwide program
distribution services. ESPN, the world's leading cable sports network,
will add the PAS-1R and PAS-7 satellites to the long list of PanAmSat
spacecraft that provide ESPN with a global reach. This latest agreement
will ensure the delivery of ESPN- branded programming across Europe,
Africa and the Middle East. While the Ku-band services over PAS-1R have
already begun, the agreement also calls for additional services over the
PAS-7 Indian Ocean Region satellite beginning in the first quarter of
2002. ESPN was one of PanAmSat's first customers, employing the PAS-1
satellite for its international launch in 1989. ESPN currently employs
multiple PanAmSat international and domestic U.S. satellites to achieve
global coverage. These spacecraft include the PAS- 3, PAS-4, PAS-8,
PAS-9, Galaxy 1R, Galaxy V and Galaxy XR satellites.
A&E SIGNS UP WITH PANAMASAT
PanAmSat Corporation on April 23 announced that A&E Television Networks
has signed a new long-term agreement that will extend the cable
programmer's service in the Galaxy cable neighborhood through 2018.
Under the new agreement, PanAmSat will continue to deliver the A&E
Network's cable programming to more than 75 million cable television
households across the United States. The A&E Network East Coast feed, a
PanAmSat customer on the Galaxy V domestic U.S. satellite, will continue
its service on Galaxy V's successor spacecraft, which will also be
located at the 125 degrees West orbital slot. The A&E Network East Coast
Feed will continue to take advantage of a full C-band transponder on the
Galaxy V satellite through its currently estimated end of life in 2005.
As called for in the new agreement, the cable network will remain at the
125 degrees West longitude orbital slot following the launch and service
commencement of a new spacecraft.
A S I A
MBC TO BE DISTRIBUTED ON ADD AL AWAEL PLATFORM
Arab Digital Distribution (ADD) the Middle East’s largest pay-TV
platform management firm has revealed details confirming the move by MBC
exclusively onto NileSat on it’s Al Awael pay-TV bouquet. MBC - or
Middle East Broadcasting Center - is one of the Arab World’s most
respected news and entertainment channels broadcasting from the UK. ADD
revealed that negotiations were finalised to encrypt MBC exclusively on
Al Awael thereby adding yet another strong Arabic general entertainment
channel with first class news to ADD’s Arabic bouquet. According to Dr.
John Tydeman, CEO Arab Digital Distribution, MBC will become encrypted
exclusively on the Al Awael bouquet as of the first week of May.
Building on the strengths of the Arab Radio & Television (ART) channels,
the new Al Awael bouquet provides a complete pay television experience
in the Middle East. It represents the first time a pay TV operator in
the region has combined the best elements of Arabic programming together
with supporting English language channels to produce a thirty - plus
Internet - www.adduniverse.com
CHINA - HONG KONG
YES TO LAUNCH VOD SERVICE IN MAY
Yes Television, the Hong Kong-based domestic pay-TV programme service
licencee, is finalising plans for the launch of its pilot service in
May. The service claims to be the first in Hong Kong to combine true
video-on-demand (VOD) with broadcast television and Internet access.
Content for the pilot service includes programming from Buena Vista
International, BBC Worldwide, IMG/TWI Sports, Hallmark Channel, NME
Concerts and MTV Networks Asia. CNBC Hong Kong will provide
international content and Mei Ah Film Production, Power TV, CETV, Sun
TV, Regentact and Universe Films will provide local content.
NHK FOR EUROPE ON INTELSAT
Intelsat, in co-operation with BT and Japan Telecom, on April 23
announced that NHK, the Japanese broadcaster, has chosen the power and
coverage of Intelsat for transmitting the first full-time satellite HDTV
contribution link from Europe to Japan. The service, scheduled to start
in October on the Intelsat 902 satellite at 62 degrees East, will
initially include European uplink sites in London and Paris,
transmitting to Tokyo. NHK broadcasts an HDTV channel 24 hours a day.
Japanese TV manufacturers estimate that NHK and commercial broadcasters
currently serve a digital satellite TV (7 HDTV channels and 3 SDTV
channels) audience of 1,620,000 households. NHK projects that they will
be serving 10,000,000 HDTV households within three years. The Intelsat
902 satellite is scheduled for launch in August. This satellite is one
of ten spacecraft that Intelsat is planning to launch over the next two
years. These ten satellites include seven of the Intelsat IX generation,
two Intelsat Xs and the APR-3 satellite that will serve the Asia-
Pacific region. The launch of these satellites will allow Intelsat to
create five new orbital roles.
TNC STARTS SATELLITE BROADCASTS
Tele Nouvelle-Caledonie (TNC) has begun broadcasting to a wide area of
the Pacific via satellite. TNC is one of two channels operated by the
government-owned Reseau France Outremer, the French overseas network.
The other channel is Tempo, with offers programming produced in Paris.
Both channels are free to air. Although the satellite's footprint
directly covers New Caledonia, the signal also reaches most of
Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, Fiji and parts of Polynesia.
SONY PICTURES TO LAUNCH ANIMATION CHANNEL
Sony Pictures Television Japan (SPTVJ) has announced plans to launch an
animation channel in South Korea, its first move to operate an overseas
TV station. SPTVJ, which is a satellite broadcasting arm of US-based
Sony Pictures Entertainment, has begun talks with local Korean partners
and expects to see the channel distributed by cable. Korea has 1.3
million cable households. The SPTVJ channel could also serve as a
platform to deliver Sony’s Hollywood movie content and its growing slate
of Asian-made films. The channel has some 1.2 million subscribers in its
UBC REPORTS FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
UBC on April 26 reported that its subscriber growth had slowed in the
first quarter, just as operating costs were climbing due to the
weakening of the baht. At the end of the first quarter on March 31, UBC
had 382,480 subscribers, an increase of only 1,524 from the 380,956
recorded on December 31. In the same period last year, the number of UBC
subscribers had increased by 8,858. Vasili Sgourdos, group deputy chief
financial officer, called on the government to address what he called
outdated regulations governing the pay-television business, particularly
with regard to the ban on advertising.