Some changes happening tommorow on B3 Aurora 12532 V various services "moving" to 12407 V. Zee on Globecast remains FTA some changes there should happen Tuesday. They should be adding a well known Hindi channel.
Tarbs U.S service some info coming in. Tarbs are welcome to email me and supply the full info if they wish to.
Just a reminder the mailing list is not for non commercial use, commercial use of the feeds info is NOT acceptable its intended for hobbiest use only. People found to be missusing the mailing list will be banned!
From my Emails & ICQ
From SSS (OPTUS)
We wish to advise that the Radio Italia service provided on the Aurora
platform, was terminated this morning. This was done at the direction of
our customer, Satellite Music Australia.
Any enquiries should be directed to Radio Italia on 02 99588595.
Satellite Support Services.
Service Out of this World!
(Craigs comment, I was told a couple of days ago that this ones headed for Pas 8 Tarbs. Not sure if its true or not)
From a U.S satellite forum
The new DHT (DSS)by TARBS currently testing on G10R they are 2 channels there and 1 on PASS 9,the systems will be free to the consuner and free instalation you can have up to 2 receivers and no access fee for the 2 receiver they will start with 56 channels for now, the channels will be FTA till January, after the 1st off the year they will have up to 108 channels and the montly fee for all international and American programing will be $ 34.95 flat rate and all the channels will open one package for all ,some channels from Globcast and Dishnet will move there, the receiver will have 2 common interfase cam slots and the dish will be a Elliptical with 2 LNBS look for more channels to start testing within 2 weeks ,
(Craigs comment, not sure how accurate any of this info is. Probably they will use the dual setup to take the 40 or so U.S channels off a DirectTV satellite, perhaps using the second card slot? Also brings up the question will the other slot have a TARBS MDS cam?)
I have a satellite tv web site up and running.
It's based on what tv services can be received from
my system in Perth. It may be useful to some of your
web visitors and even your self. There is a fast
loading frequency list which also includes relative
signal strength levels(some of the fine details are
still being entered).
You can include the web site address in your links
section of your web site if you wish.
I have included a link to apsattv in my links section.
If you don't want a link to your page just let me
know and I'll take it out.
The site address is as follows :
From the Dish
Optus B3 156E 12336 V "SET Asia, Zee TV Australia and Zee Cinema Australia" are Fta at the moment..
Agila 2 146E 3717 H "TCT" has started Fta, Sr 2600, Fec 5/6, PIDs 308/256.
Agila 2 146E 3730 H "RPN 9" has started , enc., Sr 3000, Fec 3/4, SID 9, PIDs 1160/1120.
Agila 2 146E 4072 H "RPN 9 and IBC 13" have left .
Agila 2 146E 4083 H "HTV" has left .
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "ETTV Life, Unique Satellite TV, JET TV, SET International and BNE TV Network" are encrypted again.
Koreasat 2 113E Updates on 12530 H: DIY has started on 12530 H, clear, SID 4, PIDs 160/161.Best of Best Home Shopping has replaced Shopping Channel on PIDs 210/211,fta.Radio Korea is Fta.DIY has left 12706 H, moved to 12530 H.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3900 V "Indus Vision and Indus Music have left " again, replaced by info cards.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3774 H "Reuters World News Service" has moved from to 3923 H, Fta ,Sr 4000, Fec 3/4.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3610 V "PTV 1 has replaced PTV News" from , 06-17 PKT.
Intelsat 904 60E 4160 RHC "Asian games feeds" Sr 6110 Fec 3/4
Intelsat 904 60E 4173 RHC "Asian games feeds" Sr 6110 Fec 3/4
Intelsat 904 60E 4183 RHC "Asian games feeds" Sr 6110 Fec 3/4
Minister plays down pay TV pressure
Richard Alston believes in allowing the networks to multi-channel sooner rather than later.
Sorry, boys. Richard Alston has a tough new message for the Foxtel partners as they wait to see whether Allan Fels will finally approve their grand pay TV deal with Optus.
If they do get a tick from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission next month, the Minister for Communications clearly thinks it is a good idea to quickly permit the networks to multi-channel sooner rather than later.
That may leave Foxtel spluttering with rage, but Alston seems remarkably relaxed about any claims of unfairness or suggestions it will make it even harder to make pay TV financially viable. Nor will he listen to any argument that the industry was promised several more years at least before it had to face such a threat.
"People always have anticipations and they will always tell you they build their business on a certain basis, which you will disrupt," Alston says.
The real argument is over timing. Foxtel insists the government's commitment was to hold off until after it conducted a review in 2005, effectively putting off multi-channelling until at least January 1, 2007, and that it is only on this basis that the struggling pay TV industry is prepared to spend the $600 million on digitising.
But Alston insists that the government has already conducted its review ahead of time and there is nothing to prevent the government moving earlier.
Alston has been the longest serving Minister for Communications and there's rarely a time when the portfolio is not riven by the pressures of politics, money and influence.
But the situation in telecommunications and media right now is particularly "fluid", to use one of Alston's favourite words.
Is the long battle to sell the rest of Telstra reaching a new stage, courtesy of the brawling Democrats? Will Alston be able to get support for his proposed changes to media laws introduced last week to allow more cross-ownership and foreign control? What does the meltdown in telecommunications markets mean for Australia? Will the deal announced with such fanfare by Foxtel and Optus as the only salvation for pay TV be allowed to happen?
The uncertainty is underpinned by the one enduring reality of the Australian media and telecommunications industry. The familiar big names - Rupert and Lachlan, Kerry and James, little Kerry, Ziggy and Bob and Sam - are linked together in a web of competing interests that it is impossible to unravel.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in pay TV. It's also why Alston's comments on the appeal of multi-channelling are like throwing a political hand grenade into Foxtel headquarters.
Foxtel is 50 per cent owned by Telstra and 25 per cent each by News and PBL. The common view is that the prospect of immediate multi-channelling is a sop to a disgruntled Kerry Stokes of Seven, the only person arguing for it. Stokes is also furious at the pay TV deal and the terms under which Foxtel would permit his offerings to be shown.
But Alston makes it plain he won't be swayed by the complaints that pay TV can't afford to have such competition and that it would be forced to withdraw from its commitment to digitise if multi-channelling goes ahead.
"I think you will find a commitment to digitalisation will be part of the Foxtel-Optus deal," he says. "We will make decisions on the merits, not because people make threats.
"At the end of the day, pays are in the multi-channelling business and if they digitise they will be multi-channelling to the tune of 400 to 500 channels, whereas the most the free-to-airs could muster would be three or four each, so it is fairly one-sided."
And forget crying poor.
"You don't expect to get back a multi-million investment overnight. It's always going to take whatever it might be, 10 or 15 years, to recover," the minister says. "You are in pay TV for the long haul, so the fact that someone hasn't recovered their investment at this point doesn't tell you the thing's a dog."
He also takes aim at the controversial Fox Sports deal where the owners of Fox Sport, News and PBL charge Foxtel dearly for the programming.
"There is also that argument that the other two shareholders apart from Telstra are already getting their money back up-front from programming," he says. "Now no one quite knows how much, but prices that are being paid do seem to be higher than prices generally paid for programming elsewhere.
"So to me it is an argument of convenience to say, simply because we are not making ongoing profits we need ongoing industry protection. This issue is whether this is a viable industry. If it ends up being a quasi-monopoly, well, I think you'd have to say it's got some pretty good prospects over the years because it wouldn't have anyone else to compete with."
So where does this leave all the players? Having already spent $858 million on a pay TV business that has yet to turn a profit, the Foxtel partners want to make sure they're going to get their money back on digital.
Arguing they need "regulatory certainty" for the investment, they've made their promise to digitise conditional on there being "no relevant regulatory change".
Foxtel explicitly states in its proposed undertakings to the ACCC that: "a regulatory change means the government passing legislation which has the effect of allowing open broadcasters to multi-channel prior to January 2007."
So will Australians' hopes of digital pay TV and interactive services be dashed if the government does thumb its nose at the pay TV industry over multi-channelling?
A Foxtel spokesman said yesterday that multi-channelling would massively change the whole broadcasting industry and would mean an about-face by the government.
But while Foxtel boss Kim Williams and his cohorts are big on rhetoric, they won't be pinned down on whether they actually will rescind their digital commitment.
One complication is the differing ambitions among the Foxtel partners despite the attempts to portray themselves as united. Telstra believes that its ability to sell packages of pay TV and telephony services is worth the potential strengthening of Optus as a competitor on the vital local-call loop. But it wouldn't be interested if this ability was restricted by the ACCC. The digital upgrade is also subject to approval by the individual boards of News, PBL and Telstra, and approval by the Foxtel board itself, with whispers the "subject to board approval" line was only inserted at the eleventh hour on Telstra's insistence.
Nor is Telstra the only Foxtel partner with mixed feelings about the Foxtel deal.
As the owner of the Nine Network as well, PBL has an ambivalent attitude. The original pay TV investment was a defensive move, aimed at ensuring whatever advertising dollars Nine Network lost to pay TV would still find their way back to the Packer coffers via Foxtel.
But the way the pay TV machinations are unfolding, Nine could lose out on both counts from the extra competition. Both Nine and Ten are bitterly opposed to multi-channelling, claiming it would further fragment advertising. Given that Nine is Kerry's favourite child in the PBL family, and the big man is now firmly gripping the reins over at Park Street, the spectre of multi-channelling may further weaken his commitment to spending more on pay TV.
And what if the government scraps any idea of issuing a fourth commercial TV licence from 2007 when the current moratorium ends? Even Alston says: "You have got to ask yourself why do you necessarily want to have a fourth channel?"
That would definitely help sweeten the multi-channelling pill for Nine and Ten.
There is also talk that News is already cosying up to Ten on the assumption that cross-media rules will change. According to the conspiracy theory, Foxtel/Optus is approved and multi-channelling is allowed while a fourth commercial TV licence is scrapped. With cross-media rules relaxed, News buys Ten, which most closely resembles the News-owned Fox Network in the US and, like PBL, ends up in competition with itself in Foxtel.
Confused? Alston laughs at all the conspiracy theories, including the one about his imminent departure to London having fixed everyone up.
He insists he has no plans to leave the portfolio. "There are always people in the queue in our business and maybe some dissatisfied customers who would like me to move on," he jokes.
"I think you probably live a lot longer in the portfolio if you have a healthy degree of scepticism, and it saves time."
Foxtel and Neighbourhood Cable deal
INDEPENDENT broadband cable company Neighbourhood Cable has struck a deal with Foxtel on the provision of pay TV content.
The regional operator said the deal, which would benefit customers in the Victorian towns of Mildura, Ballarat and Geelong, ensured Neighbourhood remained an independent provider of pay TV services.
"We are satisfied that the commercial arrangements between Foxtel and Optus, and between Foxtel and Telstra, will not have a negative impact on our business," Neighbourhood chief operating officer Fred Grossman said.
Mr Grossman said Neighbourhood had been concerned it would lose out as a result of the proposed changes to the industry.
"However, Foxtel has shown that it was prepared to work with us to ensure that we retain our commercial independence, which is good news for our customers and the industry generally," he said.
Foxtel earlier this month gave 12 undertakings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in a bid to get its pay TV content sharing deal with Optus approved.
The ACCC blocked the original Foxtel-Optus proposal in June, citing potential breaches of the Trade Practices Act in areas including the acquisition of content and the likely dominance of the Foxtel distribution network.
Mr Grossman said he was now confident the "long overdue" restructure of the pay TV industry would benefit consumers and operators.
"We are particularly pleased to see that the restructure will also provide significant benefits to small infrastructure providers such as Neighbourhood Cable," he said.
While the deal with Foxtel was confidential, Mr Grossman said Foxtel had "demonstrated its commitment to fostering a sustainable pay TV industry".
The deadline for submissions on the controversial Foxtel-Optus pay TV deal was last Friday.
Pine Gap gears for war with eye on Iraq
The top priority for the Australian-US satellite ground station at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs, has been shifted to intelligence gathering in Iraq, including target identification, ahead of a threatened US-led first strike.
Well-placed sources say Pine Gap will also be able to directly transmit information to commanders in Iraq during a conflict. This would include directing the firing of missiles and the dropping of bombs.
In addition, Pine Gap is equipped to detect the launch of any Scud missiles fired by Iraq at its neighbours, including Israel.
Michael McKinley, a strategic analyst at the Australian National University in Canberra, said yesterday that the US had been boosting its satellite capability since the 1991 Gulf War, including the level of information feeding into Pine Gap.
"What you are looking at with Pine Gap is a lot of signals intercepts and photo reconnaissance," he said.
"Certainly in relation to identifying specific targets, Pine Gap is important. The Pine Gap contribution is very much more significant than any sending of Australian soldiers.
"The public record concerning the functions of Pine Gap does not leave any doubt that there is a contribution being made now."
In the event of a war, Dr McKinley said, Pine Gap would have a wider role in missile intercept operations. "It will be part of the regional missile defence system."
During the Gulf War, Israeli reports praised Australia for relaying Scud missile launch warnings from the Nurrungar joint US-Australian facility in South Australia, but that task has now been assigned to Pine Gap.
"I think it is prudent to assume they still have some Scud missiles," Dr McKinley said.
The Defence Minister, Robert Hill, last month visited Pine Gap, which is one of the world's largest and most advanced satellite ground stations.
At Pine Gap there are senior US personnel from the National Security Agency, the leading signals interception body, the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates intelligence satellites, and the CIA.
It has 26 antennas, 14 of them with white domes, and accompanying the huge technological upgrade has been a big increase to more than 850 Australian and US personnel.
The senior Australian official is John McCarthy, who had a previous stint at Pine Gap during the Gulf War.
Dr Ron Huisken, a former director-general of alliance policy at the Australian Department of Defence who had responsibility for Pine Gap, said yesterday that the importance of the ground station had been enhanced since the September 11 attacks.
"With the imminent prospect of an attack on Iraq, it will now be the top priority for Pine Gap. It does not just become important when the firing starts; as an intelligence facility it does a lot of work before the conflict."
Pine Gap already receives intelligence information from three geo-stationary satellites over the Indian Ocean, and another satellite above Indonesia is to be linked to the ground station this year.
It can intercept a range of microwave communications - including mobile telephone, telex and the Internet - and is now tapping into the transmission of information related to Iraqi military planning.
The sophisticated new antennas mean that Pine Gap is also able to locate mobile radio and radar transmitters.
During a military campaign against Iraq, dissemination of targeting and other information from Pine Gap to commanders in the field would be aided by specialist US cryptologic personnel already stationed there.
Warriors fans in the dark
League fans were feeling as wild as the weather last night when Sky's television service was interrupted in the middle of the historic Warriors game.
Thunderstorms swept across the North Island as a cold front rolled eastward.
Sky chief executive John Fellet couldn't say how many fans were left without a picture during the Warriors NRL semifinal clash with the Sharks.
He said customers with UHF connections lost their picture for a few seconds because of power cuts.
Those with the digital service had worse luck as satellite images struggled to pierce the thunder clouds, causing several frustrating interruptions.
More than 2000 households in Matangi, near Hamilton, lost power for 10 minutes at 6.24pm, leaving fans turning to their battery-powered radios for the latest score.
IPSTAR SATELLITE: Launch quandary for ShinSat
Company in the dark about whether Transport Ministry or NTC will give it the best royalty deal after blast-off
Shin Satellite is having a difficult time deciding if its iPSTAR satellite should be launched late next year under its |existing Transport and Com-|munications Ministry concession or under a licence from the national telecom regulator, which may or may not be in existence by that time.
ShinSat needs to bag either a concession or a license before the scheduled blast-off of the US$250 million (Bt100 billion) broadband Internet satellite - Asia's first - or risk losing foreign financing and its 120-degree East orbital slot for the bird.
ShinSat executive chairman Dumrong Kasemseth said the company does not know whether to wait for the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the creation of which remains shrouded in confusion.
A telecom industry source said ShinSat is in a quandary, as it has no idea whether paying annual licensing fees to the proposed NTC would be less expensive than paying annual royalties to the ministry.
"Plus, nobody knows for sure when the NTC will be formed," the source said.
Last year ShinSat told the ministry that iPSTAR Co preferred to apply for an NTC license. If ShinSat is forced to include iPSTAR as part of its concession with its existing three Thaicom satellites, the new bird would get cooped up in the telecom concession conversion process.
To facilitate this, iPSTAR Co was set up to operate iPSTAR separately from the Thaicoms.
ShinSat's 30-year concession from the ministry requires it to pay a royalty of 15.5 per cent of its orbiting satellites' combined revenues during the 2001-2006 period. Thereafter the rate rises to 17.5 per cent until 2011, 20.5 per cent in the 2011-2016 period and 22.5 per cent until 2021.
"Last year ShinSat paid Bt570 million to the ministry out of its Bt5.14 billion total revenues and Bt1.56 billion profit. This year it is expected to pay Bt800 million to the ministry," a telecom analyst at a foreign brokerage said.
The former satellite monopoly earned Bt804 million in profit on Bt2.42 billion in sales during the first half of this year.
The conversion process is mainly aimed at freeing all telecom players from having to pay hefty royalties to the state telecom agencies.
The original conversion plan had the telecom firms handing over to the state telecoms the equivalent of their royalties over the remaining life of their concessions in one lump sum in return for a release from paying annual instalments.
But the conversion process was aborted early this year, following public criticism that the conversion guidelines favoured certain telecoms.
"However, we still have some time to think about iPSTAR's future," Dumrong said.
Dumrong can relax. A source at the communications ministry said the ministry recently told ShinSat, which was founded by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, that it would welcome iPSTAR at any time if it wants to enter its concession.
India to launch 8 more satellites
MUMBAI: India will have more powerful eyes in the sky in the coming years. They will focus on oceans, forests and the weather.
Eight indigenously-developed remote sensing satellites with enhanced capabilities are slated to go into orbit, chairperson of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K.Kasturirangan told TNN on Saturday.
These will add to similar satellites which India has already placed in orbit in previous years. India will then operate one of the largest families of remote sensing satellites.
He said these new-generation satellites will be carried by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The satellite to be used for mapping has been designated as “Cartosat-2,’’ and there will be two such missions. The one which will carry out ocean studies is called “Oceansat,’’ and there will be a meteorological satellite.
The launch of this advanced meteorological satellite will follow “Metsat,’’ an indigenously-developed weather satellite, which was placed in orbit on September 24. It may be recalled that it was carried by the PSLV launched from Sriharikota on September 12.
He said that in mid-2003 a satellite designated as “Resourcesat,’’ will be put into orbit by the PSLV. Its mission will be mainly related to agriculture.
The ISRO chief said that the capabilities of future INSAT satellites were being strengthened in order to provide among other things improved internet connectivity.
The INSAT-3A satellite will be put in orbit towards the end of this year or the beginning of next year. It will be carried by an Ariane rocket from the European spaceport of Kourou in French Guyana.
The launch of the second Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle will take place in the first quarter of 2003 from Sriharikota. It will put in orbit an experimental communication satellite, “G SAT-2,’’ which will have among its payload an instrument developed at the TIFR for studying the sun.
No update Sundays
Zee Channels on B3 remain FTA at the moment due to a minor problem they had on Friday. As is the usual case they switch the encryption off due to it being the weekend and nobody is available for phone support. Look for changes to this mux next week.
Humaxes being recalled not sure about this what it involves. I wonder if they recall ALL units, if they can refuse to take back units that have been "modified" that certainly could cause problems!
From my Emails & ICQ
Palapa C2 all the 4040 H mux have gone.......
From Bill Richards
4090 V Sr 21000 Fec 3/4
Vpid512 Apid640 SID1 NITV
Vpid513 Apid641 SID2 TVC Chile
Vpid514 Apid642 SID3 Colour Test Card
Vpid515 Apid643 SID4 Colour Test Card
Vpid516 Apid644 SID5 Colour Test Card
Vpid517 Apid645 SID6 Colour Test Card
Vpid518 Apid646 SID7 Colour Test Card
Vpid519 Apid647 SID8 Colour Test Card
Vpid520 Apid648 SID9 Colour Test Card
Also Radio Chs RAD01 - RAD09 pids 660 SID10 thru to 668 SID18 no audio yet.
I suspect perhaps a TARBS Mux here going by the Labeling used for the Radio Chs.
From various people Saturday
1.30pm Syd time
B1, 12420V Sr 6980 Fec 3/4 "Afl related"
B1, 12430V Sr 6110 Fec 3/4 "Afl related"
From Lindsay MUGGRIDGE
AFL Grand Final now Live on ABC Asia Pacific FTA
From John Mcdermot 27/09/02
Optus B1 12430V Sr 6980 Nunyar FB - blank screen at present.VPID 308 APID 256
The TVBS Mux is also avaiable at Pas 8 C band now at 3836 V 22000 3/4 .
TVBS Vid 160 Aud 80 PCR 160
TVBS News Vid 161 AUD 84 PCR 161.
TVBS Gold VID 162 AUD 88 PCR 162
Much Vid 163 AUD 92 PCR 163
Era News VID 164 AUD 96 PCR 164
Asia VID 166 AUD 100 PCR 166
TVBS-News USA (FTA) VID 166 AUD 104 PCR 166
Asia Plus Vid 167 Aud 108 PCR 167.
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 3901 H "TV Chile" has left , replaced by a test card.
PAS 2 169E 4090 V A new mux has started Fta, Sr 21000, Fec 3/4, SIDs 1-9,PIDs 512/640-520/648, line-up: NITV, TV Chile and seven test cards.
PAS 8 166E 3836 V An Era Bouquet has started on , Viaccess 1, Sr 22000, Fec 3/4,PIDs 160/80-167/108, line-up: TVBS, TVBS Newsnet, TVBS Golden, Much TV,ERA News, TVBS Asia, TVBS Newsnet USA (Fta) and Asia Plus.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3900 V "Indus Vision and Indus Music" are back ,Fta, Sr 27900, Fec 7/8, PIDs 1220/1221 and 1230/1231.
Gorizont 31 103E 3675 R "Telekanal Rossiya" has started on , SECAM, 7.00 MHz.
ST 1 88E 3582 H "TVBS has again replaced TVBS Asia", enc., PIDs 38/39.
Express 6A 80E 4125 R "TV XXI is encrypted again".
HUMAX recalls set-top boxes :
Sept 27, 2002 - Around 40,000 IRCI STBs recall worldwide
HUMAX Co., Ltd. (www.humaxdigital.com), one of the world leading digital
set-top box manufacturers, announced today to recall approximately 40,000
set-top boxes, including products in the distribution networks worldwide.
Along with the anti-piracy movement of broadcasting operators and CAS
(Conditional Access System) companies, HUMAX continues to only support
legal applications by recalling the product IRCI that is known to be
vulnerable to pirate intruders.
Underneath this recall event lies HUMAX's strong will and leading position
against illegal activities that are currently deteriorating the growth of
healthy PayTV market. The recalled IRCI products are to be strengthened
with enhanced security features.
Pubtabs given ray of hope
Talks between Racing Victoria Ltd and the Australian Hotels Association might have temporarily averted the planned shutdown of many of the state's Pubtab outlets from Monday.
Although RVL chief executive Neville Fielke said his meeting on Wednesday night with AHA representatives was "open and productive", AHA president Alan Giles said yesterday it was up the individual operators whether they maintained Pubtab services.
The AHA warned last month that October 1 was the deadline for some resolution in the long-running issue involving Pubtabs.
Fielke made it clear yesterday that RVL could not go it alone in dealing with the Pubtab dispute and it was up to Tabcorp and Sky Channel to come to the party.
He said a solution could be reached provided that there was cooperation between all parties involved.
But Tabcorp's general manager (marketing and sales) Jamie Powell said yesterday he believed all the problems with Pubtab operations, which make up the bulk of Tabcorp's retail wagering network, stemmed from the cost of the Sky Channel picture.
"We are working as closely as we possibly can with Racing Victoria and the Pubtab operators but the cost of Sky Channel remains the basic issue," Powell said.
Fielke said the RVL view was that the dispute had to be settled to the benefit of the punter "first and foremost", but any solution had to also address as a priority the needs of Pubtab operators in country Victoria.
"Any suggestion that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to this dispute is simplistic and not workable, as there is no such thing as an average Pubtab," Fielke said.
He said that while RVL was still completing the details of the resolution proposal, the broad outline put to the AHA was geared towards long-term benefits to the Pubtab operators and a fundamental assessment of the distribution network.
"We are not interested in a Band-Aid fix," Fielke said.
In earlier talks, Fielke had described the AHA's claims that $23 million was needed to make the Pubtab network viable as unrealistic.
Giles said the AHA position was that the figure was not unreasonable in terms of the returns to Tabcorp and the racing industry from betting turnover and that it would take at least $15 million to prevent the gradual degeneration of the Pubtab network as operators cut costs.
Fielke said RVL had called a summit meeting of all the parties concerned in the next fortnight.
Police probe Wulai for source of suspicious signals
Taiwan officials yesterday responded to Chinese claims that signals interfering with transmissions from its SINOSAT satellite originated in Wulai, 45km outside of Taipei.
Personnel from the Directorate General of Telecommunications of the Ministry of Transportation and Communication inspected the area yesterday, accompanied by two policemen from the telecommunications police force who were equipped with measuring equipment.
The group first probed Fushan Primary School for suspicious transmissions. Fushan is located 8km from the coordinates that China has given, which places the alleged source of interference in the vicinity of the Tana farm and the Neitung recreational area in the Wulai mountain protectorate.
Technical personnel said that if a suspicious signal was detected, the area could be narrowed down and the source could then be located by measuring the signal's strength.
To find the signal, however, measuring equipment would have to be aimed directly at the transmission link, which would have to be transmitting actively at the time. If the source was mobile, it would be very difficult to locate.
The Directorate General has also dispatched six vehicles equipped with measuring equipment to patrol the mountain areas in Wulai and Yangming Mountain in Taipei.
The Taipei Prosecutors Office says that interfering with normal transmissions is a violation of the Criminal Code that can lead to a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
In related news, Wu Le-tian, who yesterday claimed to be responsible for Falun Gong transmissions which China claims have interfered with its transmissions, was arrested in a hotel in Shihlin yesterday. Wu was also wanted by the Shihlin Prosecutors Office for libel.
MEN to add four channels by November
Modi Entertainment Network expects to add four channels to its bouquet by November.
The distribution network, which has national broadcaster Doordarshan's DD Sports, the Dubai-based Taj Entertainment Network's Ten Sports, the Hallmark channel and the two French channels Fashion TV and music channel MCM as part of its bouquet, will be adding on four more channels by November, Rajan Kaaicker, CEO distribution group, MEN, told indiantelevision.com today.
Kaaicker, said discussions were at an advanced stage and the new additions would include a sports channel, a news channel, and two music channels catering to separate categories. Kaaicker, while refusing to divulge the names of the channels, however, described them as "amongst the best of the best" in their individual categories. Queried as to whether the channels would include any standalone channels already available in India, Kaaicker was however, noncommital.
Not much to finish the week with, I heard a whisper of new channels on B3 next week.
From my Emails & ICQ
Nothing to report
From the Dish
Pas 2 169E 4080 V "NITV" Sr 21200, Fec 7/8 ( not sure how accurate this one is it came from Satcodx.
Measat 2 148E 12532 H A C Sky Net mux has started , Viaccess, Sr 41500, Fec3/4,PIDs 256/257-512/513, line-up: JET TV, ETTV International, PTS, MAC TV,CTV, CTS, FTV, Hollywood Movie Channel, Tzu Chi TV, TTV, H&W eTV, Hot
Channel, CCTV 4, Phoenix InfoNews, Sun TV, Guangdong TV and Fujian TV. (On a new beam Indonesian beam, so lets have some reports as to if it makes it into Australia like the oddly skewed Vietnam beam does)
Agila 2 146E 4072 H "IBC 13" has started, enc., PIDs 1260/1220.
Sinosat 1 110.5E 4076 V "SBN has started" Fta, Sr 6200, Fec 2/3, PIDs 1110/1211.
Gorizont 31 103E Gorizont 31 has arrived at 103 East.
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 H "A KTN promo has started", Fta, PIDs 39/42.
Express A1R 40E 3675 R "Two test cards have started" , Fta, SIDs 1-2, PIDs 512/650-513/660.
Gilat To Provide Shared Hubs Services Via Satellite To JSAT
Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. today announced it has been selected by JSAT Corporation to install a Skystar Advantage hub and two-way satellite communications network.
JSAT intends to use the VSAT equipment to provide shared-hub services to companies in a variety of industries throughout Japan. JSAT, Japan's largest satellite operator and the largest satellite operator in Asia, supplies communications and broadcasting services through eight satellites positioned in seven orbital slots.
Norikazu Yabushita, Executive Officer for Sales & Marketing Group, said, "JSAT is confident that the demand for VSAT networking services in Japan will grow and is committed to becoming one of the country's leading shared-hub service providers. Gilat's two-way VSAT platform provides an excellent solution for the various types of applications we provide."
Erez Antebi, Gilat's General Manager for Asia, Africa and Pacific Rim, said, "With this agreement, we continue our strong relationship with Japan's leading satellite operator. This contract also demonstrates Gilat's continued expansion of its business in Japan. We look forward to working closely with JSAT to ensure the highest possible level of service for their company and their customers."
Antebi Added, "Tens of thousands of users throughout Asia now have access to Gilat VSAT technology in the enterprise computing, rural telephony and Internet markets. It is rewarding to know that our technology will be used to bring the power of VSAT technology - with its data and voice applications - to users throughout Japan. Continuing our successful relationship with JSAT helps ensure we will maintain our leadership in the Japanese VSAT market."
Satellite hacking easy with know-how, experts say
It would be easy for someone with a little expertise to hijack a mainland television satellite, telecommunications experts said.
Roger Smith, of the Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union, said the culprits would need to know the coverage area of the satellite, its frequency band and the location from where its signals were normally transmitted. "It's just like a reflected mirror in terms of electronic signals," he said.
Mr Smith said the hijackers would have had to deal with security measures such as access codes. "An amateur can't beam TV signals via the satellites as there is a complicated decoding method involved," said Cheung Sing-wai, associate professor with the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Hong Kong University.
In all the cases where Falun Gong messages have been beamed over hijacked mainland satellites, it was reported that those responsible had the access codes, rendering the security system useless.
The observers said it was technically possible for a government to pinpoint the source of a hacking attempt, but it would be difficult to arrest a suspect. Most countries had the technology to trace the source of rogue signals, Mr Smith said.
However, an official in Taipei said finding the hackers would not be easy. Lin Ching-chih, of the Ministry of Transport and Communication, said Taiwanese authorities had been unable to make an arrest.
He said the hackers could have used a moving vehicle as a platform for transmission.
Sorry for the late update I have been playing with a new KU LNBF. This one was tested by a Technician in NZ along with 22 others! it was only beaten in performance by a 0.3 dB NF unit from the U.K! It's a BK525 from Taiwan (also sold as Autosat) and get this the sticker says 1.0 dB Noise figure but in reality its more like a 0.5. As you know I have a 90cm and 76cm for Ku. With the Bk525 on the 76cm its beating all my previous highest signal levels off the 90cm/Hills Lnbf combo. It does better than the Sharp I usually use as well. But before you rush out and try to find one just a reminder there can be a wide variation in LNBF performance even if from the same batch so please don't think that all BK525 1.0 dB Noise figure LNBF'S perform as good as this one. If anyone locates a batch of the hot performing ones please let me know. A followup article about LNBF's will appear in a few weeks
Sorry about the news section, Google news is down
Some figures below off the Nokias tuner, yes I know pretty meaningless but I will do REAL figures once I get my meter.
For those who Don't understand how it works Nokias signal levels reported in Hex, e.g goes 69,6A,6B.6C,6D,6E,6F then 70
Optus B3 with 90cm and Hills LNBF best readings
12336 V 6E
12407 V 7C
12532 V 71
12658 V 75
Optus B3 with 76cm and BK525 LNBF best readings
12336 V 6B
12407 V 80
12532 V 76
12658 V 76
Now some figures from today, unfortunatly it was overcast and raining, so figures probably lower than they should be
Optus B3 with 90cm and BK525 LNBF
12336 V 6E
12407 V 86
12532 V 7F
12658 V 7F
From My Emails & ICQ
I need an e-mail address of Kti Satellite Dish Company in Dubai.
Thank you in advance
(Craigs comment, try here http://www.ktidish.com/contact_information.htm )
Seen on Panamsat 10 last night
(Craigs comment, this is due to program rights issues SET MAX channel has the rights this tournament. Dordashan only has the terrestrial rights. Its quite obvious as to why they had to move off the Wide beam)
From George (Thailand)
Pas 8 3836 V 22000 TVBS mux confirmed same as Pas 2
From the Dish
Optus B1 160E 12320 V "Data" Sr 8000 Fec 1/2, back?
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3900 V "Indus Vision and Indus Music" have left , moved to 3760 H.
Express A1R 40E 3675 R "Kultura Telekanal" has started on , Fta, Sr 29755, Fec 7/8, SID 3, PIDs 514/670.
(Can anyone in Western Aus get this one, I know its low but check the footprint maps)
Digital advertising access to regions now possible
Advertisers can now access regional TVNZ advertising through the Sky Digital service.
Advertisers have six regional options through TVNZ's free-to-air network, but only the Auckland region has been available through Sky Digital.
There will be three Sky Digital regional advertising areas, one covering the South Island and two in the North Island.
Sky and TVNZ signed a deal in July to offer regional advertising on Sky Digital.
Thanks to all who turned up in chatroom. Interesting to hear that some would be prepared to pay $20 a month for a single ethnic channel vs $62 a month for maybe 3. Providing the channel was a top quality one and not some 3rd rate noname channel.
The Asian games are due to start shortly, so there should be some feeds up there hopefully, also reguler coverage will be on RTM1 Malysia (Analog, FTA 91.5E) and also Doordashan (83E)
Sky NZ seems to be getting all worked up over the fact that they have renamed the unpopular Sundance channel it still sounds unappealing. Have to wait and see what the new schedule for it is like.
There are actual new channels due to come to Sky by the end of the year. Shine TV, and also a Rural TV channel. Also where is Disney? perhaps they are planning to launch that at Christmas?
From my Email & ICQ
Nothing to report
From the Dish
Pas 8 166E 3836 V "Mystery possibly TVBS new mux test" Sr 22000 Fec 3/4
Pas 8 166E 3974 V "Discovery and Animal planet test feed?" Sr 6620 Fec 2/3
Optus B1 160E 12420 V Analog ? seen last night?
Yamal 102 90E 3714 L The Russkij Paket is now encrypted.
Yamal 102 90E 3725 L Radio Rossii has started fta, APID 256.
ST 1 88E 3582 H "TVBS Asia has replaced TVBS" , enc., PIDs 38/39.
LMI 1 75E 3459 H "TV Lanka and the occasional feeds" have left .
NSS 703 57E 3980 R "GCV, Sun International and Surya International" have started on ,Irdeto, PIDs 52/51, 70/69 and 73/72.
RIALTO COMES TO THE SMALL SCREEN
The all-new Rialto Channel is to launch on SKY from November 1, featuring a mix of movies, documentaries and entertainment programming.
Headlining the new Rialto Channel are some fantastic key film titles that have seen great success at the Rialto Cinema. Darren Aronofsky's acclaimed REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, starring Golden Globe winner Jennifer Connelly, the Academy Award Winning Foreign Film, NO MANS LAND, and the hilarious spoof on Hollywood film making STATE AND MAIN, starring Sarah Jessica Parker are just some of the many new titles that will be seen for the first time on New Zealand television on Rialto Channel.
Rialto Channel has also secured huge hits such as THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and the recently critically acclaimed GOSFORD PARK, one of Rialto Cinemas' top movies of 2002.
Commitment to New Zealand product is also a feature of the channel's programming with both the acclaimed Kiwi films RAIN by director Christine Jeffs, and the 2001 Best Film of the Year, SNAKESKIN debuting exclusively on Rialto. Rialto Channel is committed to supporting young up-coming New Zealand filmmakers by screening short films from various technical institutes & film schools throughout the country.
The most watched documentary series in America ever, Ken Burns' BASEBALL will be a highlight of Rialto Channel's new line-up of documentaries and entertainment. Burns, the director/producer of previous high-rater, JAZZ, won an Emmy for his epic nine episode series on the history of Baseball, which not only examines the sport but also gives remarkable insight into the national psyche of Americans.
New series entitled MUSIC BEHIND THE SCENES, and FILM GENERE documenting how music is created for film plus regular screenings of LATER WITH JOOLS HOLLAND, flesh out the entertainment line-up.
Previously operating as Sundance under a licensing arrangement with Sundance Channel in the United States, the all-new Rialto Channel will retain important working contacts with Sundance US. The channel has a long term and valued relationship with SKY Television, however, it has always been privately owned and programmed in New Zealand.
The re-brand and re-launch heralds the closer relationship with Rialto Entertainment, the driving force behind the channels sister cinema chain Rialto Cinemas and independent film distribution company, Essential Films, headed by Kelly Rogers and David Ross.
The decision to re-launch the channel co-coincides with the now 50 percent shareholding of new investor, Andrew Hawken.
Hawken, who was a previous founding shareholder with successful electricity retailer Empower, is delighted to be involved with the Rialto Channel, through a keen interest in the entertainment sector.
Says Hawken, "we are committed to constant improvement in content, showing proven quality films as well as gems discovered at the festivals around the world".
SKY Chief Executive John Fellet is very excited about the new relationship with such a strong New Zealand brand as 'Rialto'. Since the inception of Sundance Channel in 1999, it has proven itself as a very important addition to the Sky service" says Fellet.
"I have no doubt that Rialto Channels new content lineup will provide a fantastic venue for New Zealand entertainment seekers".
Management of the channel will remain unchanged with Glenn Usmar as Channel Programmer and Shona Dale as General Manager.
For further information contact:
Shona Dale, General Manager, Sundance Channel
Ph: (09) 525 8315
Mb: 027 280 9520
Helen Goudge, Marketing Manager, Rialto Cinemas
Ph: (09) 306 0226
Mb: 027 4468 343
SKY TV Launches Rialto Channel
The all-new Rialto Channel is to launch on SKY from November 1. The Sundance Channel will re-brand and re-launch under the name of its key shareholder Rialto Entertainment, aligning the channel more closely with its sister cinema chain, Rialto Cinemas.
Rialto Entertainment, headed by directors David Ross and Kelly Rogers, is the driving force behind the successful national chain of cinemas Rialto Cinemas, and also owns the independent film distribution company, Essential Films.
Rialto Channel will maintain its current content of independent and festival film product however, the closer association with Rialto Entertainment will give the channel greater opportunities to broaden its programming with access to new and better film titles.
The channel previously operated as Sundance under a licencing arrangement with Sundance in the United States, with whom it will retain important working contacts. The channel has a long term and valued relationship with SKY Television, however, it has always been privately owned and programmed in New Zealand.
The decision to change the name of the channel and improve its content co-coincides with the now 50 percent shareholding of new investor, Andrew Hawken who recently purchased the combined shareholdings of former Force Corporation majority shareholder Peter Francis, Auckland Health Chairman Wayne Brown and John Barnett the Managing Director of South Pacific Pictures.
Hawken, who was a founding shareholder with successful electricity retailer Empower, is excited about being involved with the Rialto Channel, mainly through a keen interest in the entertainment sector.
"The Rialto cinema chain is established throughout New Zealand and has an outstanding brand recommendation," says Hawken. "The types of films shown at Rialto cinemas, are the same types shown on Sundance so it was logical to bring the two organisations together under one consistent name."
Under Hawken and Rialto Entertainment, the channel has already seen an increase to its subscriber base by 30%, making it currently one of Sky's top performers.
Hawken brings sales and marketing expertise to the venture from his proven success with Empower while Rialto Entertainment can source the best movie titles from around the world.
Hawken explains, "the name Rialto will be synonymous as New Zealand's brand leader of the best in quality movies, documentaries and entertainment on the small and the big screen".
SKY Chief Executive Officer John Fellet, is very excited about the new relationship with such a strong New Zealand brand as 'Rialto'.
"Since the inception of Sundance Channel in 1999, it has proven itself as a very important addition to the Sky service", says Fellet.
"I have no doubt that the new content lineup along with the valued brand will offer our subscribers an exceptional movie & entertainment service that will see the channel continue to grow from strength to strength."
Management of the channel will remain unchanged with Glenn Usmar as Channel Programmer and Shona Dale as General Manager.
PubTABs set to ditch Sky Channel
AS MANY as 60 PubTAB operators are ready to switch off and drop out by Monday.
The PubTABs gave the racing industry an ultimatum in late August that unless the cost of the live Sky Channel feed and Tabcorp operating overheads were reduced by October 1, many of the state's 484 PubTAB operators could walk away from the service.
And in the lead-up to the spring carnival, thy are now planning to do exactly that.
Between 50 and 60 PubTABs, including some major operators, will cease betting and turn off the Sky Channel picture by Monday's deadline.
Australian Hoteliers Association chief executive Alan Giles said unless measures were taken, further PubTABs would follow suit at the end of next month.
Racing Victoria chairman Graham Duff wants the matter resolved immediately. He said all parties were talking through the issues and RV chief executive Neville Fielke would meet Giles this afternoon.
Earlier this week, representatives from the three racing codes met to discuss the issue.
Racing Victoria is confident it can arrange a meeting for all parties involved in the dispute in the next fortnight and resolve the issue.
"Without getting into any specifics, we are trying very, very hard to find common ground," Duff said. "Our attitude is that we don't want any PubTABs to close."
Duff said Racing Victoria was working towards a long-term solution and not just a Band-Aid one.
"We want to get all the parties to the table and we can all lay out our concerns and thoughts on the future," he said.
Giles said the two main problems were the cost of overheads in hotels and the cost of the Sky Channel picture.
"Tabcorp have come back to us with a number of cost-cutting suggestions, but in the finish all they do is run down the service for the punter," he said.
Giles said he had given his members the option of either continuing to deliver the service at a loss, or cease operations.
He said his members were looking for a reduction in Sky Channel costs -- which he believed should be cut in half -- and a boost in Tabcorp betting commissions
He said the racing industry should subsidise the picture provided by Sky Channel.
Wagering Tabcorp general manager of marketing and sales Jamie Powell said, in his view, the only problem was Sky Channel's exorbitant fees.
"We are trying to help the retailers cut their costs and most operators are keen to work with us. Not all operators are running at a loss," he said.
Falun Gong again hack China TV
China views Falun Gong as an evil cult and direct threat to its rule
BEIJING, China (AP) -- Supporters of the outlawed Falun Gong movement have hacked into China's top TV satellite system, beaming flashes of their own material across the vast land during programming aimed at millions of rural Chinese.
In a full-throttled condemnation Tuesday night on its national newscast and through its official news agency, the Chinese government blamed a pirated broadcast operation from Taiwan for the "TV hijacking" and demanded authorities on the island track down and punish the culprits.
"Why do some Falun Gong die-hards dare to blemish modern civilization in such a barefaced manner?" the Xinhua News Agency said in a blistering editorial that accompanied a 1,100-word report about the incursion.
Xinhua said the commandeering of a signal from Sino Satellite, or Sinosat, began September 9 and affected signals of a service designed to enable remote villages to see broadcasts from China Central Television, or CCTV, the leading government-run network.
The hacking also interrupted transmission of the China Education TV Station and some provincial-level TV stations, Xinhua said.
It cut off television entirely for viewers in some rural and mountainous areas. Other interruptions happened Saturday during China's Moon Festival, Xinhua said.
"This seriously damaged the rights and interests of the audience and affected the normal education order of schools as well as the learning activities of students," Zhang Tianlin, vice president of the education station, was quoted as saying.
Broadcasts promoting Falun Gong flashed for some moments on five TV channels, broadcast officials said, and service interruptions continued for more than an hour.
It was unclear if the interruptions were caused by Falun Gong itself or by attempts to block its broadcasts.
Falun Gong has made a practice in recent months of hacking into local TV feeds and broadcasts, often broadcasting pirate transmissions to tout the benefits of the group and persuade the citizenry that Chinese authorities have treated it unfairly.
China says such transmissions have "disrupted the public order" and go against international communications standards.
The television break-ins have embarrassed the government, which calls the protest videos "reactionary propaganda" and says they threaten social stability. It considers Falun Gong -- and the support it has -- a direct threat to communist rule.
Levi Browde, a U.S.-based Falun Gong spokesman, said he had no information about any transmissions originating from Taiwan -- or any made in recent days. But he praised the "heroic act," which he said was not internationally orchestrated.
"In the environment they're in, they have no voice on TV, radio or any media in China," Browde said.
Such a broadcast "pulls back the veil on the lies and deception upon which the propaganda campaign against Falun Gong has been built."
No immediate Taiwan response
Previous hackings have targeted cities and regions, but this appears to be the first time Falun Gong supporters have breached such a widely distributed nationwide signal.
Officials said they were certain the hacking originated in Taiwan.
An official with the Taiwan Affairs Office, which handles relations with the island's government, said Taiwan authorities must track down and punish the hackers.
"The Taiwan side is responsible for stopping the criminal activity immediately," said the official, whom Xinhua did not name.
In Taipei, Taiwan's government did not immediately respond to the accusation.
Though Taiwan operates as a sovereign nation, Beijing considers it part of China and referred to the hacking as originating in "Taiwan province."
John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, an organization that follows security issues, said jamming broadcasts is expensive and requires expertise, but is not difficult, though replacing them with your own is quite challenging.
"It's definitely not something you could try at home. You could not do it from your backyard," Pike said. "It would have to be somebody who had a lot of money and also had a location they thought they could do it from without getting immediately caught."
To combat such incidents, Pike said the Chinese government could transmit at higher power or could appeal to the government where the rogue transmissions originate, which, under international law, would be obligated to take action.
Last week, 15 people convicted of breaking into a cable system to show Falun Gong videos were sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
The sentences were among the longest yet imposed in the campaign to crush the spiritual movement, which had millions of followers before it was banned.
Thousands of Falun Gong followers have been detained since the group was outlawed in 1999.
Most are released after a few months, though a government official told The Associated Press earlier this year that nearly 1,300 had been sentenced to prison.
Indosat bid winner to be announced in Dec
Prospective buyers to submit non-binding bids by last week of Oct
THE Indonesian government plans to announce by mid-December the winning bidder in its sale of a 42 per cent stake in PT Indonesian Satellite Corp, the State Enterprise Ministry said in a statement.
Prospective buyers of the stake - including ST Telemedia - in Indonesia's main international call operator will submit non-binding bids by the last week of October, according to the ministry's proposed timetable. The government will pick short-listed bidders that week.
Their final bids are due by the fourth week of November, the statement added.
The government, which owns 56.9 per cent of Indosat, plans to sell most of that to help plug a 40.5 trillion rupiah (S$8 billion) Budget deficit this year.
Indonesia plans to distribute a prospectus on the company to potential bidders this week, said a government official at the State Enterprise Ministry. Credit Suisse First Boston and PT Danareksa Sekuritas are advising the government in the sale.
Earlier this month, the government met a number of telecommunications companies, including Telekom Malaysia and Singapore Technologies Telemedia, to promote the sale. Last week, Australia's Telstra Corp also said it may consider bidding for Indosat.
Meanwhile, PT Indonesian Satellite Corp said its audited first-half profit fell 13 per cent on higher operating costs.
Indosat, the seventh-largest Indonesian company by market value, earned 525 billion rupiah, or 507.11 rupiah basic earnings per share, in the half, it said in a statement published in newspapers.
It restated first-half 2001 profit to 604 billion rupiah from 654 billion rupiah it had reported in October.
Operating costs rose 53 per cent to 2.24 trillion rupiah. First-half sales rose 26 per cent to 3.16 trillion rupiah from a revised 2.50 trillion rupiah in the year-earlier half.
Cellular service units contributed 46 per cent of sales.
Last month, Indosat said unaudited first-half profit fell 8 per cent to 535.5 billion rupiah, or 517.2 rupiah a share, from a restated profit of 581 billion rupiah in a year-earlier period.
The company reported a foreign exchange gain of 499 billion rupiah, compared with a loss in the year-ago half of 85.4 billion rupiah. - Bloomberg
Livechat tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd time onwards in the chatroom.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Mr T
When TV MODA first appeared on Thaicom 3 four days ago, I emailed them to ask if they were going to remain free to air, and if they were, to offer any support in the way of advertising and promotion.
I now know why I did not receive any replies, (unless they took an extended holiday).
As of yesterday their signal was scrambled, (perhaps funnelled might be a better word), so that very few people will be watching them from now on, compared to the possible vast audience they could have had if they remained free and relying on income from sponsors and sales of items on display. (The sale of fashion outfits, not the girls...silly!)
I am still working on an invention but need more ideas.........How can we block the sun and then make people pay for it. Perhaps the councils could get involved here and make some money by imposing a surcharge on solar panels? After all, the sun is a rich source of signals, and who cares if the sales of sunscreen drops.
Keep up the good work Craig,
(Craigs comment, I can't see a problem, its pretty obvious anything new appearing on Thaicom3 is probably for Tarbs distribution. Its not like TV Moda is a major channel of any importance. Italian fashion would be a tiny niche channel. Lyngsats not listing it there anymore. I note Tarbs in the U.S is carrying it.)
From the Dish
Measat 2 148E 11602 H It's CTS on , Viaccess 1, PIDs 336/337, not CTV.
Palapa C2 113E 3926 H "Bali TV" has new pids 4194/4195.
Koreasat 2 113E 12731 H Cinema Network TV has started, Fta SID 26, PIDs 1536/1552.JoongAng Home Shopping on PIDs 512/528 and the test card have left this mux.
ST 1 88E 3632 V All channels in the MMBN mux are Fta.
Express 6A 80E 4125 R New SR for this mux 27500.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3480 H New SR for TARBS World TV is 26667.
Loral, HK's APT Satellite in joint satellite deal
NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Satellite company Loral Space & Communications Ltd. (nyse: LOR - news - people) on Monday said it reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Co. Ltd. to jointly own a satellite scheduled to enter service in the third quarter of 2003.
Loral, which sells satellites and satellite services, said it will pay $115 million in increments through 2008 for its 50 percent interest in the satellite, which it calls Telstar 14. The transaction will not affect Loral's projected cash and capital expenditure plans through 2004.
The new satellite, made by Loral's satellite manufacturing unit, will provide voice, video and data services to China, India and East Asia. The new satellite will also be used to carry entertainment and multimedia service for major Asian cities to and from the United States through Hawaii.
"The addition of Telstar 14 to Loral's fleet supplements our existing capacity over Asia, where we currently have one satellite, Telstar 10, operating at a capacity utilization rate in excess of 75 percent," Bernard Schwartz, chairman and chief executive of Loral, said.
"Telstar 14's wide coverage area is well suited to broadcast, broadband and government opportunities from India to China to the U.S. via Hawaii -- all markets we've identified as having high growth potential," he said in a news release.
APT Satellite is a satellite operator in Asia, owned by a consortium of companies in China, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore. It provides satellite transponder and telecommunications services for international and Asia-Pacific broadcasting and communications organizations.
Trojan Horses In The Sky
By Mark Long -- e-inSITE, 9/23/2002
Loral Space & Communications has announced that its Loral Orion subsidiary has reached an agreement with agreed with Hong Kong's APT Satellite (APT) under which the company will obtain a 50 percent ownership take in APT's forthcoming APSTAR-V satellite in exchange for $115 million: $57.5 million in advance of the spacecraft's launch next year and the remainder in incremental payments through 2008.
While other U.S.-based satellite companies have taken the long and winding road of applying to the FCC for advance permission to operate satellite communications systems, both here at home as well as abroad, Loral has twice before elected to take a less cumbersome approach to gaining accessed to coveted satellite frequencies and orbital positions targeting various overseas markets. The company has previous gone to the well to obtain capacity on the Agila-1 satellite from Manila-based Mabuhay Satellite Corp. as well as the APT's in-orbit APSTAR I-R satellite, which serves the needs of various customers located in the Indian Ocean region.
'This is a low-risk opportunity for Loral to add attractive capacity over time, at very favorable terms,' said chairman and CEO Bernard L. Schwartz in a prepared statement. 'With no change to our funding requirements, we are increasing our revenue potential earlier than expected. From an operating perspective, the addition of Telstar 14 to Loral's fleet supplements our existing capacity over Asia, where we currently have one satellite...operating at a capacity utilization rate in excess of 75 percent.'
The new APSTAR V spacecraft is scheduled to enter service in 3Q03, at which time Loral's capacity on the satellite will be designated Telstar 14. The high-powered C/Ku-band hybrid satellite is currently being manufactured by Space Systems/Loral. APSTAR-V is abased on SS/L's 1300 platform.
Following its launch next year, APSTAR V will operate 38 C-band and 16 Ku-band transponders from and The satellite is expected to deliver voice, video and data services to China, India and East Asia via the Ku-band as well as a variety of C-band services that will be targeted at the entire Asia-Pacific region, including Australia and Hawaii. In addition, the new satellite will interface with a teleport in Hawaii that will be responsible for relaying entertainment and multimedia services between major Asian cities and the U.S. mainland.
ERC panel calls on govt to lift curbs on satellite dishes
Singapore's residential skyline may look very different, if another of the ERC's working groups has its way.
It has unveiled a bold vision to grow Singapore's info-comm technology sector and build a "Living Digital Hub", and its blueprint includes allowing ordinary Singaporeans to install satellite dishes on their rooftops.
Satellite dishes are currently restricted in Singapore to prevent access to undesirable content.
Wilson Tan, Chairman, InfoComm Tech Working Group, Economic Review Committee, said, "Since we're now able to get a lot of information from the Internet, why not lift the restriction on satellites and allow free flow of information to come in and also allow industries, private sector or public sector to benefit from this additional mode of opportunity to receive information."
It also hinders the communications sector and denies people access to different media services.
For example, BSkyB in Britain offers interactive TV services through direct-to-home satellites.
The working group has also urged the government to adopt a lighter hand towards media control, arguing that strict censorship hinders creativity.
It has also suggested raising ownership limits in media companies to encourage global players to invest in local companies.
Mr Tan said, "What we want to do is to ensure that foreign organisations will find it interesting and worthwhile to come to Singapore. They'll bring their technology, bring their know-how.
"They'll also bring content which Singapore may not have and that is the key to what we want, which is creating more innovation, creating more opportunities for Singapore companies to latch on to new technologies and finally, also creating more job opportunities for Singapore in the creative space environment."
RUSSIA'S NTV STARTS BROADCASTING IN USA
MOSCOW, SEPTEMBER 23, RIA NOVOSTI - Russia's NTV MIR TV-channel that is an international broadcasting channel of the NTV TV company announced that it had signed a contract with EchoStar company - the largest satellite communication company in the USA. This company provides satellite telecasting under DishNetwork trademark.
The NTV MIR channel told RIA Novosti on Monday that according to the agreement, EchoStar starts commercial broadcasting of international version of NTV MIR on American territory through DishNetwork on September 25.
According to NTV, broadcasting in the USA will be carried out under NTV America trademark and the audience will be able to watch NTV programs from Russia, as well as programs made in the USA for NTV America.
In the near future, Australia and New Zealand will be included into the list of countries /European countries, Middle East countries, the USA/ where NTV MIR broadcasts in, said the company.
Tarbs has started testing to the U.S market. They have 4 transponders on Galaxy 10R at 123W, looks like they will transmit 13 channels on each. I expect they will add 1 or 2 more soon. They are broadcasting mostly testcards at the moment. Not available to us of course. No word on what conditional access system they are using.
Sky NZ on B1, has shuffled around a few services mainly on 12581V and 12608V, nothing new fta though. Also I see Sky Sport Extra is back.
From my Emails & ICQ
NSS703 57deg E
3980 H Sr 28000 Fec 3/4
The following additions have been made to the package
Sun Int Vid 70 Aud 69 PCR 70 SID 13 PMT 88 Encryption Irdeto
Surya Int Vid 73 Aud 72 PCR 73 SID 14 PMT 89 Encryption Irdeto
GCV Vid 52 Aud 51 PCR 52 SID 7 PMT 81 Encryption Irdeto
A screenshot from Zee TV international (Asiasat 3) (yes i know its encrypted)
From Glenn Gibson 22/09/02
Astralinks testcard for TEN Rally seen on B1, 12428V, 6110, 3/4
From Bill Richards 21/09/02
Pas 2 3967 V "NTL UKI-175 E" Unidentified Feed Encrypted in NTL, Sr 5632, Fec 3/4 Vpid 308 Apid 256
Asiasat 2 3966V Sr 6666 Fec 3/4, U.K Football with Chinese Audio, Seen 21/09/02
(Craigs comment, this is probably the feed for the regional Chinese channels that are sharing the coverage of the U.K Soccer)
From the Dish
Intelsat 701 180E 10975 H "Star Academy" has started , Mediaguard, PIDs 512/650 and 513/660.
PAS 8 166E 4180 H A test card has started , Fta, SID 3, PIDs 7000/7010.
Measat 2 148E 4085 V "Occasional GMA Network feeds", PIDs 1360/1320.
Measat 2 148E 4085 V "Occasional GMA Network feeds", PIDs 1260/1220.
Measat 2 148E 11602 "Hafa TV, CTV and A-Skynet Info (clear)" have started on , Viaccess 1, PIDs 256/257, 480/481 and 512/513. Tzu Chi TV is now ftaAgila 2 146E 3890 H "Occasional feeds", Sr 14075, Fec 5/6.
Agila 2 146E 3923 H "Occasional feeds", Sr 2554, Fec 7/8.
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "ETTV Life, Unique Satellite TV, JET TV, SET International and BNE TV" are Fta
Palapa C2 113E 4040 H "Metro TV" has started , Fta PIDs 5153/5154.
Palapa C2 113E 4184 V "TPI is still Fta.
Koreasat 2 113E 12682 H EDU TV 1-7 have started , Fta , Sr 13737, Fec 3/4, SIDs 1-7,PIDs 512/650-518/710.
Koreasat 2 113E 12370 H "Cinema TV" has started, Fta, PIDs 1560/1520.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3799 H "APTN Asia" is now Fta.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3773 H "Reuters World Service News" is Fta.
Yamal 102 90E 3527 L "Radio Tver" has started Fta, APID 256.
Express 6A 80E 4125 R "TV XXI" is now Fta.
Express 6A 80E 4125 R "EART Telenet has replaced Nasha Muzika" Fta, PIDs 165/100.
Express 6A 80E 4125 R "Radio Arsenal" has started Fta, APID 101.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H TV Moda has left .
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3480 H "TV 5 Global Network, VTV 4 and ATN Bangla have replaced ATV, TGRT, Kanal D Fun and Kanal 7" Fta, PIDs 512/640-514/642.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 4108 V The MAK TV Network mux has left .
Intelsat 906 58.5E Intelsat 906 is now geostationary at 58.5 East.
And just for local interest, Tarbs U.S details
Galaxy 10R 123 West
Pink Plus, Alpha TV, RTS Sat, INN, Marco Polo, Alice, TV Moda, TelePace,
Syria Satellite Channel and a test cards have started on 11920 V, clear,SIDs 1-13, PIDs 512/640- 524/652.
13 TARBS test cards have started on 11720 V and 12080 V, clear, SR 28066, FEC 3/4, PIDs 512/640-524/652.
Sahara TV Set To Go Digital
Kolkata: Sahara TV will go digital shortly, according to a Kolkata-based Sahara official.
The transformation work is in advanced stages and the conversion from analog mode to digital, is likely to be completed by November.
?Work on the digital system has been on for the past few months and an expert team is working hard to put the entire process in place,” he said.
The final switch-over of Sahara channel could also coincide with the channel’s earth station at Noida becoming fully functional. Sahara is aired by Singapore-based AsiaSat 3S satellite. Plans are on to start uplinking and beaming its existing channel and the proposed news channel through the digital route.
Pak. to launch first satellite by December
Pakistan is to launch its first satellite by December, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Prof Attau-ur-Rehman said today.
"The first satellite will have 34 transponders, including six to be reserved for educational institutions which would be linked with one other," Rehman was quoted by the Dawn.
The government was committed to putting the country on the track of development and progress, he said and added that there was considerable increase in Budget allocations for science and technology.
FedSat Launch from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center Reset to December
Australia’s Federation Satellite-1 (FedSat-1) will be launched in December, a month later than originally intended, aboard Japan’s H-2A rocket.
FedSat-1 will be the first foreign satellite launched on the H-2A and is the first satellite built in Australia in over 30 years, The 60 kilogram FedSat-1 will carry out joint scientific experiments for both Australia and Japan. It will be carried into orbit along with the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite II (ADEOS-II). FedSat-1 was to have been launched June 2001, the centenary of the Commonwealth of Australia, but the launch was postponed for a variety of reasons. FedSat-1 is a low cost microsatellite that will give Australian scientists and engineers valuable data about the space environment, and experience in space engineering and in practical applications of space technologies.
The Cooperative Research Center for Satellite Systems (CRCSS), which developed the spacecraft, will supply NASDA with scientific data from the flight in exchange for the launch service. The FedSat microsatellite project began in 1998 and is designed to demonstrate Australia's capability to design, build and operate small satellites. FedSat-1 will carry advanced communication, space science, navigation and computing payloads. It is the first satellite built in Australia since WRESAT and Oscar V in the period 1967-1970.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Geoff Garrett said Australia has extremely high hopes for FedSat, which will end a long drought in Australian satellite flights. “The scientific data it returns will be helpful for our own research, and will also contribute to research efforts in Japan. The two countries have cooperated on scientific space projects and practical applications of space technology for decades and we are delighted to continue and strengthen this collaboration.”
NASDA President Shuichiro Yamanouchi said this cooperation through FedSat is a very significant mission for NASDA, especially since it will be the very first foreign satellite onboard the H-2A together with the Advanced Earth Observing Satellite II (ADEOS-II). “We would like to accomplish our role by launching FedSat successfully, and hope that FedSat will greatly benefit our scientific research. We are pleased to share this journey of FedSat with our colleagues in Australia," he said.
The H-2A rocket, over 53 m tall, is able to carry up to 6 tonnes into geostationary orbit, and a larger amount into lower orbits. It is powered by solid-fuel strap on boosters and cryogenic main engines burning liquid hydrogen and oxygen.
FedSat-1 was built by a team of about 15 engineers and scientists at the CRCSS Project Office at Auspace Limited in Mitchell, a suburb of Canberra. Most of the payloads were developed in other CRCSS laboratories in NSW, Queensland and South Australia. The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration supplied one payload.
Boeing Eyes Upgraded 601, Puzzled by Early 702 Flaw
Boeing Satellite Systems plans to offer an upgraded BSS 601 satellite next year, making newer technology from the larger BSS 702 spacecraft available in a medium-size satellite.
The working name of the new version is 601+, and it is to include later-generation avionics and xenon-ion propulsion system (XIPS) thrusters from the 702, as well as triple-junction solar cells with a higher power-to-weight ratio. The 601+ would be able to provide 10 kw. to the payload versus 8.5 kw. on the current spacecraft, which closes the gap in the product line--the 702 provides 10-18 kw. depending on the size of array chosen.
Though it is improving its medium satellite, Boeing does not see a particular trend toward that size. The company has a backlog of 702s and is bidding that bus for the Navy's Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) UHF follow-on satellite, while about 86 601s have been sold--the most popular satellite ever, an official noted. The standard 601 carries 48-60 transponders while the 702 goes up to 100 transponders, "so if you want 70-80 transponders you might want the 601+," he added.
Civil and military sales are about equal at Boeing. Around 1990 they were 70% military, then switched to about 70% commercial in the mid-1990s, and now have shifted to a 50/50 mix.
The long typical 15-year life of modern satellites may outlast their markets, and the company is moving toward reconfigurable satellites, company president Randy H. Brinkley recently told the International Satellite Communications Exchange conference in Long Beach, Calif. To handle new markets, their Earth-coverage patterns can be altered with phased-array antennas and communications schemes can be varied with onboard digital signal processing.
The three Spaceway 702 satellites being built for Hughes Network Systems will be reconfigurable with both the phased array antenna and onboard processing. The first one is set for launch next year. Capacity of the two-way Ka-band system is 10 gigabits per sec. and the two-meter (6.6-ft.) 1,500-element transmit antenna forms more than 100 hopping spot beams. The data rate is comparable to 5-8 current Ka-band satellites. Initial use will be high-speed business communications, in effect putting a T1 line and Internet protocol network into areas that are not so wired. The Wideband Gapfiller satellite for the Defense Dept., set for first launch in 2004, also has a phased array and onboard processing.
The 601+ will not immediately have both these reconfigurable features, but could in 3-4 years if there is customer demand, a company official said.
Boeing is still not sure what caused solar-cell reflecting concentrators to lose their shine on the first six 702s, but they know the problem is with the concentrators and not the cells themselves (AW&ST Oct. 15, 2001, p. 82). The trough concentrators were a clever way to boost solar power with less weight and cost (AW&ST Feb. 28, 2000, p. 56). But data show that the inflight loss of array power is averaging 6% per year--much higher than the 1.5% per year that would be expected from normal degradation of the solar cells themselves.
Subsequent 702s have abandoned the concentrators and incorporated the more-efficient triple-junction cells as well as adding another panel of cells to maintain power.
The six affected spacecraft were launched from December 1999 to May 2001 and their rates of degradation and power margin vary. Those with perhaps 80 conventional transponders lose capacity in tiny steps as they turn off one transponder at a time with dropping power, but others with fewer large blocks of digital equipment lose capacity in large chunks. The Thuraya-1 mobile communications satellite falls in the latter category, but fortunately has surplus power and a degradation rate of less than the 6% average. However, in June Thuraya's owners advanced the launch of Thuraya-2 to January 2003, but told the Long Beach conference that the date has now been relaxed to summer 2003.
Insurers for the six spacecraft are facing various losses, and have been wondering when Boeing discovered there was a problem in the 17 months from the first to the last launch. Company officials say they became aware of the problem in September 2001, four months after the last launch, and immediately started briefing customers. "There always is some decline in power output, and it wasn't apparent there was a fleet decline until that September," a company official said. The prelaunch tests of the new concentrator system were "extensive and beyond normal industry practice," he said. "But you can't simulate all of the space environment on the ground. We don't know for sure yet what we missed."
Manufacturers give their lifetime expectations for satellites but there is little or no warranty of that performance, said Peter D. Nesgos, a satellite finance attorney with the law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy. Instead they may lose incentive payments of 10-30%.
In the 702 case, the effect is not catastrophic loss but a shorter satellite life--for example, if Thuraya had the average 6% annual loss then the 11 kw. end-of-lifetime power would be reached in about three years rather than the expected 12 years. One result could be a prorated insurance payment to Thuraya.
But Nesgos said some insurance contracts have a "constructive total loss" clause, which states that if satellite capacity drops below a certain fraction, the satellite is considered to be a total loss from day one and the operator will receive full payment from the insurer. That threshold has historically been about 50% but has increased to 60-70% loss of capacity in the last 1-1.5 years. Likewise, the rates for on-orbit insurance have increased to 2-5% from a 1-3% range before, he estimated.
T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 38/2002 22 September 2002 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition
FORMULA 1 MAY BE FREE-TO-AIR
Formula One digital broadcasts may be offered for free to terrestrial TV
stations around the world in a bid to stem falling audience figures, the
Financial Times reported on September 21. The change may hurt revenue at
Formula One teams and pay-TV companies such as the U.K.’s BSkyB, which
shows the auto races on a pay-per-view basis and charges subscribers £12
for each event. The Formula One holding company, SLEC, is 25 percent-owned
by Bernie Ecclestone. The rest is held by three banks that got the stake
from Kirch Holding after the German media company filed for protection from
creditors in June.
A S I A
NEW MEMBERS FOR CASBAA
The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) has
announced 17 new memberships taken out in the past six months. The addition
of 15 Corporate Members and 17 Associate Members since the beginning of
2002, and the widening membership is seen by the Association as an
endorsement of its role in promoting and growing the cable and satellite
industry in Asia. The new CASBAA member companies are MediaCorp News; CLSA
Emerging Markets; DST Innovis; Eutelsat Broadband Network and Singapore
Cable Vision along with new Associate members, Churchill Whitfield; CMM
Intelligence; On Media; Mindshare; NTL; Haldanes; RR Satellite
Communications; Lehman, Lee & Xu; Telecom Venture Group and Vivendi Universal.
GLOOMY FUTURE FOR FOXTEL WITHOUT OPTUS
Kim Williams, chief executive of Foxtel, Australia’s largest pay-TV
company, said on September 17 the industry faces an uncertain future if the
country’s antitrust regulator rejects its merger plans with rival Optus TV
again. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission blocked their first
merger attempt in June, based on concerns the combination would create a
monopoly in major cities, where they have no other competitors. But Foxtel
and Optus TV argue that they haven’t made a cent out of subscriber
television, which has swallowed up A$8 billion since 1995, and say a merger
would give them more bargaining power with Hollywood studios. Foxtel is
Australia’s largest pay-TV company, with about 800,000 subscribers. Austar
is second, with about 430,000 subscribers, and Optus Television is third,
with about 270,000. Foxtel is half-owned by Telstra Corp., Australia’s
dominant telecommunications company. Its partners, each with a 25% stake,
are Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Kerry Packer’s Publishing &
Broadcasting Ltd. Optus TV is owned by Singtel Optus Pty., a unit of
Singapore Telecommunications. Since their first merger proposal was blocked
by the ACCC, Foxtel and Optus TV have made further undertakings by offering
national network access to competitors, including Austar United
Communications, the nation’s largest regional pay-TV operator. They have
also agreed to spend more than A$600 million upgrading the sector for
digital transmission. Under the revised arrangement, Optus Television will
carry Foxtel channels, but no longer on an exclusive basis. Also, Optus
will allow a third party to use its cable to deliver services to some
customers. Optus Television will continue to offer at least seven channels
not currently offered by Foxtel for at least three years, and two
Optus-compiled channels for at least three years, starting with the Ovation
and MTV channels.
PBL TO SUPPORT FOXTEL POSITION
Publishing & Broadcasting is set to break ranks with its fellow Foxtel
shareholders to support a push by Australian FTA TV networks for a
restructuring of Foxtel’s A$1.3 billion proposed alliance with Optus,
according to the Australian Financial Review. PBL, which owns the
free-to-air Nine television network and has 25% stake in pay-TV concern
Foxtel, has agreed to support a joint submission from Seven Network,
Network Ten, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the Special Broadcasting
Service, calling for the guaranteed retransmission of their signals on
Foxtel’s future digital cable and satellite networks.
SINGTEL COULD SAVE A$30 MILLION IN CASE OF FOXTEL-OPTUS MERGER
SingTel Optus would save about A$30 million annually if its revised
Foxtel-Optus pay-TV merger is successful, SingTel Optus Chief Operating
Officer Paul O’Sullivan said on September 16. O’Sullivan is confident the
merger of Optus Television and Foxtel will be approved by the ACCC in the
coming weeks after the regulator has completed a three-week industry
inquiry into the proposal. SingTel Optus has already started to rationalize
capital expenditure on the pay-TV operations by exiting television
productions, he said.
ABC TV ARRIVES IN JAPAN
ABC Asia Pacific TV is now accessible across Japan, marking the first time
an Australian based TV channel has been broadcast in its entirety to that
country. The re-broadcasting of ABC Asia Pacific has been made possible
through an arrangement with Les amis Co Ltd - a Japanese based satellite
programme delivery platform, which transmits international services by
helping networks gain entry into Japan’s extensive cable network.
Internet - http://http://abcasiapacific.com
SUN AND GEMINI TO BECOME PAY-TV SERVICES
Sun Network’s Indian cable channels Sun and Gemini TV will likely step up
from free-to-air to pay-TV, according to local press reports. Sun and
sister channel Teja are expected to be offered to viewers for an Rs10 per
month fee. Sun and Gemini are popular with Indian viewers and between them
account for a significant portion of the most-watched shows on cable.
GOVERNMENT POSTPONES DECISION ON NEW MEDIA LAW
The Indonesian government has postponed a decision on a controversial new
broadcasting bill that would restrict the amount of foreign programming on
radio and television stations. Some media analysts suggested that the
government was attacking the freedom of the press. Now, Information and
Communications Minister Syamsul Muarif says that the purpose of the bill
has been widely misunderstood, and more time is needed both for campaigning
and for considering all the relevant factors. Muarif told reporters that he
hopes there will only be a short delay, and a decision can be reached by
the end of October. Under the proposed measures, domestic broadcasters
would be limited to 40 per cent foreign-made programmes, or risk up to five
years in jail. A number of international broadcasting organizations, such
as the BBC and the Voice of America, make extensive use of programme
placement on Indonesian stations.
No update sunday
Taking a break from updating the site this weekend, back Monday
Running late , not much to say up here today things quiet.
I hope to run the Linkchecker over the site later on tonight, and also add the last few months History into the history section
From my Emails & ICQ
Nothing to report
From the Dish
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3672 H Show TV has replaced TGRT on , clear, PIDs 2081/2082.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3923 H "Occasional Reuters feeds", Sr 4000, Fec 3/4.
Yamal 102 90E 3645 L "ART Telenet" has left , replaced by a Kultura test card.
ST 1 88E 3582 H "TVBS" has replaced SET International, enc., PIDs 38/39.
Galileo Receivers - In Search Of Signals To Ignore
Developed by ESA in collaboration with the European Union and co-funded by the two organisations on a 50-50 basis, Galileo is a complete civil system, designed to be operational from 2008 and to provide the world in general and Europeans in particular with an accurate, secure and certified satellite positioning system. Credits: ESA - J. Huart
Galileo, Europe's billion-euro satellite navigation system, will provide a guaranteed service when it becomes fully operational in about 2008. However, radio signals broadcast by other users in the Galileo frequency band could interfere with reception in some areas. This summer the European Space Agency has been investigating where the interference is and what to do about it.
A Mercedes van has been touring the hotspots of Europe -- not beaches and resorts, but airports, military installations and similar venues where radio signals within the frequency band allotted to Galileo are sometimes used for legitimate purposes, such as helping aircraft to land safely. If nothing were done about it, these local signals could blank out the much weaker signals from the Galileo satellites resulting in 'outage' over the surrounding area.
The problem is not confined to Galileo. Outages of the US GPS signal over a 100 km radius have been reported in some parts of Europe.
When fully developed, Galileo will consist of 30 satellites in circular orbits about 24,000 km above the Earth. The satellites will broadcast signals from which users with Galileo receivers will be able to tell the precise time and determine their positions with greater accuracy than ever before.
There will be a number of different signals from Galileo each fulfilling well defined functions.
Some will be reserved for public services, such as the emergency services; some will be for operators of commercial services, such as road traffic information services; some will be for use where safety of life is critical, such as aircraft landing; and some will be for mass market applications(for example through an open access signal) for anyone with a hand held receiver. The impact of satellite navigation services on modern life is expected to be similar to that of the mobile phone, so taking steps to avoid outage due to interference signals is important.
The specially equipped van started its journey at Vienna airport in April, close to the home of the Joanneum Research group who designed the equipment in the van and then conducted the search campaign. The task was to locate interference sources and measure the characteristics of the signals. The plan is to design Galileo receivers in such a way that they can function in the presence of interference signals.
The van journeyed across five countries, visiting various hotspots including harbours and meteorological sites as well as military and civil airfields. "We made routine measurements as we went along, as well as when we got to our destinations," says Norbert Witternigg from the Joanneum Institute who travelled with the van. "When we found an unexpected source, we stopped to make directional measurements to find out where it was coming from."
Some of these unexpected signals could have come from legitimate sources, some could have been generated by malfunctioning equipment designed to transmit at a different frequency, but some could have been due to illegal transmissions. Broadcasters of signals require a licence, so the authorities will be investigating.
There were a few hitches along the way. In France, the van had to stop for two days for repairs. And in Le Havre the police wanted to know what this van was doing close to the harbour. "We were asked what we were exactly measuring, so we had to explain," says Witternigg.
The tour is now finished, and the results are being analysed. They will be presented to the Galileo project specialists in a workshop at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands) on 12 December 2002.
The design of Galileo will not only allow users to safely navigate in the presence of unwanted interference, it will also ensure inter-operability with the existing satellite navigation systems (the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS system) with which the frequency bands are shared.
Murdoch TV firm back in the dock
A television company controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation was yesterday facing a second lawsuit in six months alleging that it defrauded a rival and misappropriated trade secrets.
DirecTV, the biggest satellite television firm in the US and a company that Mr Murdoch narrowly failed to buy last year, has launched the action against NDS, the Middlesex supplier of smart cards that prevent pirating.
The lawsuit comes six months after Canal Plus Technologies (CPT) of France began a $3bn legal action against NDS alleging it helped fund hackers who published secrets on the internet about its pay-TV technology.
The DirecTV suit, filed under seal in a US district court in Los Angeles, makes a series of allegations against NDS including breach of contract, fraud, breach of warranty and misappropriation of trade secrets.
Bob Marsocci, a spokesman for DirecTV, said: "We filed the complaint because NDS breached our contract and defrauded us. We have a very strong case and will present that in court."
DirecTV is seeking damages, the delivery of software which it claims is required by contract and an injunction to prevent any further breaches.
NDS, which has dismissed CPT's allegations as baseless, last night insisted the new case was without merit.
"NDS intends to vigorously defend the action and assert counterclaims against DirecTV," it said in a statement.
DirecTV has worked alongside NDS to develop conditional access to its satellite network since the service was launched in 1994. Three years ago they signed an agreement to transfer the technology to DirecTV, effectively ending the relationship. The lawsuit is partly to ensure that transfer still takes place.
Mr Murdoch was bitterly disappointed when News Corp lost the race to buy DirecTV from General Motors.
Zee launches channel for Mideast viewers
India's Zee TV expects to generate higher advertising revenues from its Middle East operations with the launch of a dedicated channel for regional viewers.
Down the line, there will also be increases in regional subscriber numbers for Zee's pay television services, which currently stand at 150,000. The number of overall viewers is about one million.
This is also a market segment that is seeing heavy duty competition for viewer attention, with the likes of Sony Entertainment Channel, Star TV and a host of Indian regional language channels in the fray.
"Dubai and the whole Middle East is a very important market for us. We have had consistent feedback from our viewers here that sometimes they miss out on their favourite programmes due to inconvenient airing time - too early for UAE prime time," said Sandeep Goyal, group chief executive of Zee Telefilms Ltd.
With the launch of a separate channel for the Middle East, Zee expects to move in step with the prime time viewing trends here. Earlier, it was governed by the requirements of its Indian viewership, which was effectively 90 minutes ahead of the time here.
The new channel will continue to have programming primarily developed for the Indian broadcast. However, there will be emphasis on developing some of its more popular programmes locally.
The uplink will be done out of Singapore on an Asiasat satellite. Apart from the Middle East, the coverage extends to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. There are plans to add Maldives or Mauritius at a later date.
There are no moves on Zee's part to shift its uplink closer to the Middle East, confirmed a senior official.
"Singapore already provides the uplink for our Indian operations. At the moment, we do not see any economic sense to effect any changes," said Abhijit Saxena, senior vice-president for international business, Zee Telefilms.
Since there are no major changes to content, the cost of setting up a new channel has not been "heavy".
"Our Middle East revenues had flattened out since advertising was restricted to post 11 pm Indian standard time. This has changed with the creation of the new channel," said Saxena. "Our start up costs mostly relate to technical aspects."
Zee TV became a pay channel in July, 2001. In the region, it and its sister channels - Zee Cinema, Zee Music and Zee News - are distributed by Add-Pehla, E-Vision and BRTC.
TV access about to get better off base
They’re on their way.
Military exchange managers throughout the Pacific are awaiting delivery later this month of decoders and satellite dish antennas now being shipped to base exchanges.
The technology will let American troops, Defense Department employees and their families off base watch the same television programming now offered to those living on base.
Jerry McMahan, services operations manager for the Navy Exchange’s Japan District, said Wednesday decoders already have been received in stores at Yokosuka, Atsugi and Sasebo Naval bases.
?We’re just waiting for the antennas to arrive, maybe by the end of the month,” he said. “Then we’ll be in business.”
NEX will require a $50 deposit for each decoder and a monthly leasing fee of $25, the same as AAFES.
?We’ll be selling the smaller size dish antenna at $69,” he said.
?We expect a shipment to arrive by the end of the month,” Master Sgt. Howard Smith, Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman in Okinawa, said Tuesday.
Only selected AAFES exchanges in mainland Japan, Okinawa and South Korea will have decoders for rent at $25 monthly.
Customers also will have to purchase one of two small dish antennas to capture the American Forces Network Direct-to-Home satellite signal.
On Okinawa, Kadena Air Base and Camp Foster will sell antennas and lease decoders.
Mainland Japan AAFES stores at Misawa and Yokota Air Bases and Camp Zama will offer the equipment, as will Osan Air Base, Yongsan, and Camps Casey and Walker in South Korea.
Smith said customers at Misawa Air Base in northern Japan, and those living in Okinawa, will have to buy a 88-centimeter dish antenna retailing for $99.
In mainland Japan and South Korea, where bases and camps are more directly positioned under the orbiting satellite’s signal “footprint,” a smaller 64-centimeter dish can be purchased for $69.
Antennas come with hardware to mount on a wall or pole. AAFES stores will recommend local sources for installing and aligning antennas.
A coaxial cable for linking the antenna and television to the decoder also must be purchased at nominal cost.
Smith said AAFES Power Zone electronic departments will carry the antennas.
Customers wanting to rent decoders will have to use AAFES Military Star Card accounts.
Once hooked up, off-base residents’ televisions will receive AFN Plus, a five-channel package offering a range of entertainment on the Direct-to-Home service.
?Viewers will see AFN news, sports, Spectrum, and AFN Pacific and Atlantic feeds,” said Master Sgt. Tracie Adams, superintendent of AFN-Tokyo at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo.
She said future expansion of satellite offerings also is planned.
*s we expand, we’ll be adding the Family Channel but there is no specific date when that will happen,” she said.
Also, Adams said, “We’re testing equipment right now that will allow AFN to insert local information like now being seen on the commander’s access channel.” The information, inserted at the March Air Reserve Base headquarters of AFRTS in California, then will be sent to individual bases in the Far East. The exact start date for this service still is being determined.
Smith said the decoder is part of an elaborate security system to prevent those not from the U.S. military community, but living near military installations, from intercepting the AFN signal. Only authorized exchange customers will be able to rent the decoders.
When all stores have supplies of decoders and satellites, Smith said, a widespread advertising campaign will be launched announcing that the equipment is available for leasing and sales.
American Forces Radio and Television Service officials in California have estimated that 13,000 to 15,000 military and DOD people live off bases in the Far East.
Based on sign-up rates in Europe, where Direct-to-Home service has been available for several years, almost all of them could be potential customers.
Jail for Falun Gong TV hackers
HONG KONG, China -- Prison terms of between four and 20 years have been handed down to 15 members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement for hijacking state television broadcasts in China, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Falun Gong followers were convicted by Changchun Intermediary People's Court in northeastern China's Jilin province of damaging radio and television property and of conspiring to use the outlawed group to undermine law enforcement, the Xinhua report said.
State television broadcasts in the northeastern city of Changchun were interrupted on March 5 by footage of Falun Gong's U.S.-based leader Li Hongzhi and a film accusing the government of staging the fiery deaths of alleged followers in Tiananmen Square last year.
The television takeover was one of the most defiant protests by members of the Falun Gong, whose once regular demonstrations in Tiananmen Square had diminished since a government crackdown arrested group leaders and sent thousands of followers to "re-education" camps.
In June this year, state-run satellite signals were also hijacked during the soccer World Cup finals and Falun Gong propaganda was aired. The hacking was on a channel the Chinese government uses to beam TV to remote areas of China that have little access to outside news.
Falun Gong, based on traditional Chinese religions and meditation exercises, acquired millions of followers in the mid-1990s before it was banned by Beijing in July 1999 and denounced as an "evil cult."
Since it was outlawed, thousands of members have been detained and activists based outside China claim hundreds have died and been tortured while in custody.
Can those who usually get TPI off Palapa C2, try it and see if its FTA still or if it was just encrypted for certain programs due to copyright issues. If it has encrypted which encryption format are they using. I will try my contact at Satelindo and see if they can give furthur details on whats happening with it.
George TV, Optus B1, Sky NZ mux is running the D.J event and FTA not sure what will be the next event on this service.
From my Emails & ICQ
Asiasat 2 100.5 Deg E
3923 H "Reuters Singapore" FTA Sr 4000 Fec 3/4 Vid 312 Aud 256 Text 273 Sid 1 PMT 32
3800 H Sr 5632 Fec 3/4 APTN Asia running FTA, all parameters still the same.
3774 H Sr 5632 Fec 3/4 Reuters World News Service running FTA, all parameters still the same.
From the Dish
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "ETTV Life" has started, Viaccess 1, PIDs 1040/1041.New PIDs for ETTV News: 1152/1153.
Palapa C2 113E 4184 V "TPI" is now encrypted. (Anyone have more reports of this maybe temp only? not sure why they would encrypt this)
PAS 10 68.5E 4105 H Occasional feeds, Sr 5632, Fec 3/4.
The great pay TV swindle
Wollongong has become a hotbed of pay TV piracy in NSW.
Hacked digital smart cards are being sold on the black market operating in Illawarra pubs and clubs.
The cards allow pirates to tap into unlimited channel packages (worth up to $385 a month when including special events) for the cost of a basic subscription ($46 a month).
"It's rampant in Wollongong," Detective Senior Constable Jason Stevenson, of Wollongong police, said.
But unfortunately for the industry, which loses about $50million a year through illegal connections, police can't do much about it.
Snr Const Stevenson said that although using hacked "smart cards" to unlawfully access pay TV signals was common in the Illawarra, arrests and successful convictions were rare.
"From the dealings we have with people, we know it's pretty common, but it's not illegal to own one of the cards," he said.
"We have to actually prove people are using them to obtain benefit."
Snr Const Stevenson's comments came after the August 23 conviction of a Figtree man for using a pirated smart card and the August 29 arrest of a Unanderra man for selling or supplying the pirated devices.
The latter charge is more serious, carrying a maximum penalty of a $60,000 fine and five years' jail.
The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association is the governing body for the industry in Australia.
Executive director Debra Richards said the subscription television industry lost about $50million in revenue annually because of piracy, a figure she called a "conservative estimate".
"We look at about five to 10 per cent of connections being done illegally," she said.
"We've invested more than $8billion in the industry in terms of infrastructure and jobs and we don't want to see that undermined. It's not fair.
"We have also technical countermeasures that we implement so pirate cards don't work anymore. But those countermeasures can be circumvented (by the pirates) so we've got to implement further countermeasures."
Ms Richards said Austar and Foxtel regularly received calls from people whose pirated cards had been rendered useless by the industry's technological code scrambling.
"We have to tell them that they're not subscribers. Some people aren't aware that they actually bought a pirated service," she said.
Ms Richards said ASTRA's agenda was to inform people piracy was a crime, and prevent them from being hoodwinked into criminal activity.
This was despite Austar and Foxtel spokespeople as recently as last year describing subscription television piracy as a "minor problem" and "not a major business inhibitor".
"We've taken the view that pirate activity hasn't stopped simply from us saying 'it's not a problem'. We're now saying it's a problem," Ms Richards said.
She said ASTRA had increased its activity in the past three months to combat piracy.
That means more private fraud investigators "in the field" (that is, at pubs and clubs suspected of harbouring pirate activity), more technological code scrambling of existing signals and greater liaison with police.
ABC heavyweight steps into the pay TV stoush
Russell Balding believes that all ABC channels and services should be carried on all platform so they are accessible to all Australians.
ABC managing director Russell Balding used his first official public speech to weigh into the pay TV debate, supporting the Ten Network's proposal for a common digital set-top box to accommodate the free-to-air broadcasters.
Ownership of the set-top box has become a key battleground for the pay TV operators and their free-to-air rivals, particularly since Foxtel produced its undertakings to allow the $1.3 billion content merger with Optus to proceed.
Mr Balding also pushed the idea of a "dual-tuner" box, an argument supported by Ten executive chairman Nick Falloon. The technology would enable receiving free-to-air and subscription television signals.
"The ABC believes that all its channels and services should be carried on all pay TV platforms and any common free-to-air/pay platform so they are accessible to all Australians," he told a Melbourne Press Club function yesterday.
He used the opportunity to lobby for a legislated access regime instead of just undertakings, and pressed for a "must carry" provision that guarantees the public broadcaster a platform on commercial pay TV.
"You can have all the retransmission agreements in the world, but they can still be quite easily undone further down the track," he said. "Legislation though, can only be undone by the parliament."
Mr Balding said the ABC would be instrumental in driving growth of digital TV in Australia because of the rich content it would offer.
Delaying the introduction of quotas for high-definition television, which enhances picture quality, for three to five years would accelerate the growth of digital TV. This gives the broadcaster breathing space to assess audience demands of its programs offered in digital.
Scrapping genre restrictions for multi-channelling would help the ABC broaden the appeal of programs broadcast on digital channels.
Meanwhile, Mr Falloon yesterday cautioned that consumers would be hugely disadvantaged if common set-top box ownership was overlooked. Viewers would be forced to spend more on hardware to receive free-to-air and pay TV digital signals.
He also said the $1.3 billion programming alliance effectively eroded consumer choice as Optus would act as reseller of Foxtel programming. This argument will be highlighted in Ten's submission to the regulator on September 27.
Kerry Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting has also apparently agreed to support a joint submission by Seven, Ten, ABC and SBS pressing for the guaranteed retransmission of their signals on Foxtel's future digital cable and satellite networks.
All are concerned the Foxtel-Optus deal does not guarantee future interactive services by the free-to-air networks. Kerry Stokes' Seven Network is also questioning Foxtel's annual cost estimates for third-party access. Seven will argue that Foxtel's proposed $750,000 access fee could blow out to $2.5 million, rendering the investment economically unviable.
Foxtel partners play the waiting game
Will their performance convince the ACCC? It won't be long before we find out.
It's white-knuckle time for Foxtel shareholders News Corp, PBL and Telstra.
In a couple of weeks they'll know whether their concessions have been generous enough to shift the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission from its original position that Foxtel's plan to share pay TV programming with rival Optus could create a pay TV monopoly.
Foxtel has bet the farm on the Optus deal going ahead, claiming it's the pay TV industry's (and therefore Foxtel's) only hope of making a buck one day.
Foxtel chief Kim Williams has opted for the tunnel vision approach - refusing publicly to even contemplate the prospect of the deal not getting up. Sources say he has only recently begun to talk privately of Plan B.
Knocked back the first time around, Foxtel has seemingly bent over backwards to modify its proposal to ensure it doesn't stifle competition. Infrastructure players such as TransAct will be able to resell the Foxtel service, just like Optus and Telstra. And aspiring pay TV content providers will be able to broadcast their channels over the Foxtel cable and satellite for a minimum charge of $1.25 million (although some claim the real cost will be closer to $2.5 million).
To convince the ACCC it is acting in the best interests of the nation, Foxtel has also pledged to spend $600 million upgrading the Telstra analog cable network to digital, paving the way for interactive services.
Market commentators have roundly praised Foxtel's undertakings as eminently fair. But the competition issues are a little less clear-cut when the implications for News, PBL and Telstra are taken into account.
It's no secret PBL and Telstra originally invested in Foxtel for defensive reasons - the Packers to ensure what advertising dollars their Nine Network lost to pay TV eventually flowed back to PBL via Foxtel, and Telstra to protect its dominance in telecommunications.
Some find it difficult to believe their motivations have changed much since then. (It could be argued News Corp, having prospered from the success of its UK pay TV play BSkyB, is really the only Foxtel shareholder which wants the company to succeed for its own sake.)
The ACCC is struggling to view the Optus deal as anything other than a way for Telstra to entrench its telephony dominance. Publicly the commission is reserving its judgement on the undertakings until it gauges the market's reaction.
Ten Network chairman Nick Falloon has already accused Foxtel of pricing third-party access so high as to deter any potential competition. Fairfax and Seven have yet to comment publicly on the undertakings, but both maintain the pay TV deal amounts to a virtual monopoly. And the free-to-air TV networks want Foxtel to guarantee it will retransmit their signals.
But the key issue is whether Foxtel's proposed undertakings can be enforced. Despite being legally granted access to the Telstra cable, Seven Network's C7 pay TV sports channel never made it to air on Foxtel and folded this year. ACCC chairman Allan Fels has admitted the new undertakings will have to eventually be made into law if the deal proceeds.
Even if the ACCC says no again, it may not kill the deal. There have been indications the Foxtel shareholders might have a bit left to give.
But if Foxtel's sole reason for striking the deal is to spur pay TV subscriber growth and therefore profitability, is it focusing on the wrong issue? Sure, Optus delivers an extra 270,000 customers, and there is the chance Hollywood studios will have a fit of magnanimity and renegotiate Foxtel's crippling movie contracts.
But sport is the real lure for potential subscribers.
PBL and News know this - the profits they receive from their Fox Sports channels (cunningly included in the basic service every Foxtel subscriber receives) offset the losses they incur on their Foxtel investment.
Unfortunately for the Australian pay TV sector, the Government's stringent anti-siphoning laws which prevent popular sports being shown live on pay TV have denied the industry this growth driver.
Some argue Foxtel's energies would be better spent persuading the Government to water down these laws, rather than pursuing the Optus deal, which will lumber it with an extra $600 million in programming costs.
That's unless the conspiracy theorists are right, and the deal is more about furthering the interests of News Corp, PBL and Telstra than it is about Foxtel.
APT Satellite Expands Capacity with Harmonic Digital Headend Systems
-DiviCom® Digital Video Encoders and Statistical Multiplexers-
SUNNYVALE, CA - September 18, 2002 - Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT) today announced APT Satellite Holdings Limited (Stock Code: 1045 or ATS) ("APT") has significantly expanded the broadcast capacity of its existing satellites by deploying Harmonic’s DiviCom® digital video encoders and statistical multiplexing systems. By fitting more television channels into the existing bandwidth, these highly efficient MPEG-2 video solutions enable APT to increase its revenue potential and the return on its satellite network investments while maintaining the original picture quality.
A leading provider of satellite network services throughout the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Asia-Pacific region, APT leases capacity to content providers and other broadcast networks. International broadcasters such as Disney, HBO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Hallmark Entertainment, Galaxy and Viacom are leasing bandwidth on APT’s Apstar-I and Apstar IIR satellites while, at the same time, prominent regional broadcastersincluding CCTV, China Entertainment, One Leader and Po Hsinare leasing capacity on Apstar-IA.
Satellite network bandwidth, unlike that of a land-based network, is extremely expensive to upgrade once deployed. Typically, adding bandwidth means launching a new satellite. The advanced compression and noise reduction capabilities of Harmonic’s DiviCom MPEG-2 encoders combined with Harmonic’s powerful DiviTrackXETM statistical multiplexing increase the effective bandwidth of their existing network, yielding a more practical way to expand their revenue generating capacity. By implementing this Harmonic-based solution, APT was able to more than double the number of leasable channels it offers.
?We chose Harmonic for a number of reasons,” said Mr. Chen Zhaobin, Executive Director and President of APT Satellite Holdings Limited. “First, the DiviCom encoders and statistical multiplexing systems enable us to increase our revenue generating capacity while providing excellent channel quality to our broadcast customers. Second, the Harmonic solution is MPEG-2/DVB compliant and fully meets our high standards. And third, Harmonic has provided exceptional support services in addition to a comprehensive system solution.”
?In a competitive market, APT is enhancing the economics of its business and, at the same time, offering new options, such as managing the encoding systems, that reduce the internal operating costs for its broadcast customers, ” said Dr. Yaron Simler, President of Harmonic’s Convergent Systems Division. “By providing the encoders and statistical multiplexing equipment, APT is better able to support its customers’ diverse broadcast requirements, while maximizing available bandwidth and maintaining the highest video quality. We look forward to working with APT as it further develops its service offerings.”
NTT DoCoMo Communications Satellite in Operation
Tokyo (JCNN) - NTT DoCoMo (TSE: 9437 / NYSE: DCM) announced September 17 that its third communications satellite, N-STAR c, began operating on September 14.
The satellite was launched on July 6, 2002, by Arianespace, a European space transportation company. Since its launch, the N-STAR c has been undergoing orbital testing to insure that it was functioning properly before attempting communication services.
Up until now, NTT DoCoMo has been using two satellites, the N-STAR a and N-STAR b, to provide its WideStar(R) satellite mobile communications services. NTT hopes that the use of a third satellite will insure its high-quality mobile communications services.
(Craigs comment I think this bird is at 136E, I don't think it offers TV)
China to launch two more satellites in 2005
China will send two oceanic and meteorological satellites to the skies in 2005 in its run-up to building a sophisticated earth observation system, utility officials said yesterday in Beijing.
The satellites will be more advanced than the HY-1A and FY-1D satellites launched atop a Long March rocket in mid-May.
After four months of in-orbit testing, both satellites were delivered by their maker, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, for use by the meteorological and oceanic agencies yesterday.
One of the new satellites, the HY-1B (HY are the initials for the Chinese word for "ocean"), will be sent into orbit in 2005 to replace the HY-1A, when the life-span of the country's first-ever oceanic satellite expires, said Lin Mingshen of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).
The 395-kilogram new satellite, which costs 300 million yuan (US$36 million) to manufacture, will provide the image of the entire globe's waters and lands every 24 hours, compared with the 72 hours it takes the HY-1A, said Lin, deputy chief designer of the satellite's ground application system.
Like its precursor, the HY-1B is also an ocean colour monitoring satellite, but it will provide more precise data about the colour and temperature of the ocean's surface, and also monitor pollution and aid in mitigating disasters, Lin said.
The other new satellite is a second generation polar orbiting weather satellite, the FY-3 (FY are the initials for the Chinese words for "wind and cloud").
The pictures returned from the FY-3 will aid not only accurate weather prediction but also give a better understanding of global weather systems, according to Zhang Guangwu, an official with the China Meteorological Administration.
Yesterday's kick-off preparations for the new oceanic and meteorological satellites indicate China has moved closer toward its ambition of forming a stereoscopic observation system by 2010 to dynamically monitor the country's land, atmosphere, and oceanic environment, experts said.
Following these two satellites scheduled to be launched in 2005, China also plans to place into space a chain of satellites to monitor the dynamic environment of the oceans and then focus on the comprehensive oceanic environment, said SOA's Lin.
The State Council budgeted 5.2 billion yuan (US$626 million) in 2000 to support development of meteorological satellites to meet the demands of national economic development, Zhang said.
Development of a new generation geo-stationary weather satellites is expected to start by the end of 2005, he said.
KEO satellite targets end 2003 launch
MUMBAI : The KEO satellite scheduled to orbit around 1800 kilometers above earth for 50,000 years will be launched at the end of next year.
The announcement was made on Tuesday at a media briefing organised by the French Embassy in Mumbai. The winged satellite will be a secondary passenger on an Ariane rocket and will carry billions of messages from all parts of the globe free of cost. These will consist of what we wish to tell our descendants about our lives and our hopes for the future. As of now, the cut off date for sending messages is the end of the year.
The project has over 30 companies working and collaborating for free. They include Arianespace, Intespace which is providing flight conformity and wing deployment tests, International Space University, Carre Noir who created the KEO logo, Radio France Internationale, Sokatel, Air Franceand Lingway which provides solutions in language processing.
There will also be a glass disk containing a mosaic of faces representing diverse ethnic groups on Earth. So far, KEO claims to have received thousands of messages from over 60 languages. Though the bulk are from the US, Canada and Europe the company is trying to reach out to the developing regions and India marks a starts towards that endeavour. The creator of KEO Jean Marc Phillipe says UNESCO has elected it as the project of the 21st century. "We chose the name KEO as it reflects the spirit of sharing. This is not simply another satellite orbiting into space. This is a humanitarian concept which gives people from different cultures, races a chance to bury their differences and come together in order to collectively express themselves. 50,000 years is the mirror date to a milestone in the evolution of our species. 50,000 years represents only one per cent of the evolution of the human species that appeared on earth five million years ago."
For orbit KEO has two choices. Since its mass was recently lightened, it may be injected into an elliptical orbit or into a circular one with a range of several thousand kilometres. For symbolic reasons, KEO has been adorned with two wings. Folded in the cap of the rocket during the launch, the wings will function once the satellite is in orbit due to the sublimation of the small naphthalene spheres under the Earth's shadow and its exposure to the sun's rays. To allow the wings to flutter KEO is using a technology called ‘shape memory alloys’. The metallic alloys are able to assume different shapes according to different temperature ranges. After a couple of years, the unprotected wings will be shed leaving the core sphere to continue its journey alone in space.
SN TV Shuts Shop After Year-long Run
Mumbai: SN TV has wrapped up its operations after a year-long run, as it failed to obtain permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and information & broadcasting ministry to remit foreign exchange.
Launched in February 2001, SN TV was a comedy and shopping network channel, promoted by the Kolkata-based Emami Group, Mumbai-based advertising agency Prachar Communications, Atul Saraf, who is a partner in the 7 Star cable network and Kishore Mohta, who runs the Sanskar Channel.
SN TV was on Thaicom and couldn’t pay the Bangkok-based satellite its transponder fees as it did not have the permission to remit foreign exchange from RBI. According to sources, Thaicom was paid consultancy fees for the first year of the channel’s operations, but it was not sufficient to cover the transponder charges. The channel still owes Thaicom an undisclosed amount, the source added.
SN TV could not garner adequate advertising revenues and faced major financial problems ever since its launch. Atul Saraf, one of the promoters blames it on faulty marketing strategy. “There was no proper push towards programming and marketing. We were waiting to get RBI permission,” he said.
Meanwhile, the promoters have parted ways. “If I re-launch the channel, I will change its name. I am looking for new investors and will make a fresh bid for the RBI permission,” said Mr Saraf, adding that 500 hours of comedy programming was with the company, yet to be exploited.
For those that can no longer get into the chat room, it's because WIN XP does not come with the Java Engine installed you need to download it if you are running XP and the chatroom isn't working. Use the Windows update site to get the link.
From my Emails & ICQ
Pas 10 screenshots, "Feeds"
new programm started on intelsat 701-180e
btla-test card replaced with "star academy"programm
sid 1-vpid 512-a pid 650
2-vpid 513-a pid 660
found at 5 am on the 18sept.2002
From Rudino Penny
Pal c2 4040 sr 28125,Channel 4 video pid 4129 audio pid 4130,Scopus video pid 5153 audio pid 5154,only blank screens at the moment.
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3860 H "TTV, CTV, CTS and FTV" are FTA.
Palapa C2 113E 4040 H "Quick Channel" has left .
Palapa C2 113E 4040 H "A test card has started" Fta, PIDs 4129/4130.
Koreasat 2 113E 12370 H The test card has left .
Koreasat 2 113E 12731 H A test card has started Fta, SID 29, PIDs 1872/1873.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3713 H "MSTV" has started , Fta, SID 2, PIDs 650/651.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3551 H "TV Moda" has started Fta, PIDs 2529/2530.
PAS 10 68.5E 4184 H Five test cards have started, Fta, Sr 19850, Fec 3/4,SIDs 5001-5005, PIDs 1160/1120-1560/1520.
PAS 10 68.5E 3808 V "A Ten Sports test card" has started Fta, PIDs 39/42.
Austar to rejoin customer hunt next year
After a self-imposed 18-month hiatus, Austar will resume its push for regional pay TV customers next February, regardless of whether the proposed Foxtel/Optus program-sharing deal proceeds.
Austar chief John Porter said yesterday there was little point in pursuing subscriber growth while the deal hung in the balance. Instead, the unprofitable regional pay TV company has spent the past nine months conserving cash and cutting costs.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will reveal next month whether Foxtel's promises to digitise its cable network and provide third party access to its pay TV content and infrastructure alleviate competition concerns.
Regardless of the outcome of the ACCC's decision, Austar will begin actively chasing new subscribers again in February when it starts transmitting its service on the Optus C1 satellite. The C1 satellite extends Austar's coverage into far north Queensland, Alice Springs and Tasmania, delivering it a potential 250,000 extra homes.
"We'll pursue a more profitable growth strategy at this point, attracting customers we can maintain," Mr Porter said.
To persuade its bankers to refinance its $400 million loan, Austar was forced to restructure its business last December, selling non-core assets, sacking a third of its 1200 staff, writing down the value of assets and booking a $682 million 2001 loss.
As part of its renewed focus on the regional market, Austar sold its metropolitan ISP business AustarMetro to Virtual Communities yesterday. Mr Porter refused to quantify the sale price, other than saying it was less than $5 million and more than $2 million.
Should the ACCC block the revised Foxtel deal, Mr Porter claimed this would have little impact on Austar. "There is no real downside to Austar if the deal doesn't go through, but there is some upside if it goes ahead."
(Craigs comment, February? wishfull thinking how many times has this thing been delayed?)
Prime cuts coming if no Austar deal
Prime Television has warned it will have to cut back local TV services unless it can strike a deal with rural satellite broadcaster Austar over retransmission of its digital free-to-air signal.
Prime chief executive Brent Harman said the viability of local TV services would be under threat unless the free-to-air signal was independently transmitted through Austar's digital set-top boxes.
He said rural advertisers would cut the amount they spent with the regional affiliate stations as audience levels declined. Regional audiences would have to buy separate digital set-top boxes to get a free-to-air signal from the local networks.
"It is barely economically possible to provide local services now," Mr Harman said.
The Ten Network has previously argued that rural TV advertisers could lose their audiences as the pay TV networks would carry city channels into the bush, making it harder for country broadcasters to sell advertising.
It supports the use of a dual tuner in the rollout of digital set-top boxes, which would allow a single box to be used for both pay and free-to-air television.
Austar chief executive John Porter said he had held preliminary talks with some regional TV executives and the Federal Government about the issue. "Redistributing those regional signals is, I think, a good idea - it's probably the only way I can see that the regional networks can have a comprehensible regional strategy," he said.
"The only barrier is the fact that you have in the regions a plethora of licence areas - nobody could afford to put up a separate signal on satellite, it would be a prohibitive investment."
Southern Cross Broadcasting chief executive Tony Bell said: "All we want is to ensure our digital signal can be received, even on a terrestrial level, through the pay TV set-top box. "We believe that's what the consumer will demand otherwise they will only receive the analogue service without them attaching another digital receiver to their TV."
Southern Cross and Prime plan to lodge submissions to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the government in the next fortnight.
Mr Porter also said Austar would resume its push for regional pay TV customers next February, regardless of whether the proposed Foxtel/Optus program sharing deal proceeded.
Meanwhile, Austar yesterday announced it had sold its metropolitan Internet business, AustarMetro, to Internet service provider Virtual Communities for an undisclosed amount.
The sale allows Austar to focus on its core regional businesses which include pay TV, Internet and mobile phones.
Orbital Completes On-Orbit Delivery Of N-STAR c To NTT DoCoMo
Orbital Sciences Corporation has completed the final on-orbit delivery of the N-STAR c satellite has been made to NTT DoCoMo after the spacecraft successfully completed a comprehensive series of tests and performance check- out procedures.
Built by a Lockheed Martin/Orbital team, N-STAR c is the first spacecraft based on Orbital's state-of-the-art STAR-2 small geosynchronous (GEO) communications satellite platform.
Since its launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket on July 5, 2002, a team of Lockheed Martin and Orbital engineers conducted a thorough evaluation of the operating systems of the satellite platform, the onboard communications payload and the ground system. In late August, operational control of the satellite system was transferred to NTT DoCoMo.
"We are delighted with the performance of the first spacecraft based on our STAR-2 platform," said Dr. Ali Atia, head of Orbital's GEO communications satellite business unit.
"The performance check-out of the STAR-2 satellite platform went very smoothly, reflecting the confidence we have in our industry-leading small GEO satellite products."
For the N-STAR c program, Lockheed Martin served as prime contractor, providing the entire payload, which was integrated onto Orbital's STAR-2 small GEO platform. The satellite was assembled and integrated at Lockheed Martin facilities in Newtown, PA.
NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Japan's premier mobile communications company, provides wireless voice and data communications to tens of millions of subscribers. NTT DoCoMo is the creator of W-CDMA air interface technology, the new de facto global industry standard, as well as the groundbreaking mobile i-mode service.
NDS hits 30 m mark on pay-TV subscribers
AMSTERDAM (HOLLAND): News Corp subsidiary NDS claims that it has become the world's first company to supply smartcards to 30 million active digital pay-TV subscribers.
The declaration comes after the highest-ever revenues in any quarter for NDS announced in August 2002 , which were £65.0 million and a 20 per cent increase over the last quarter of the previous financial year. For the full year, revenues increased 12 per cent from £215.6 million to £240.8 million, with conditional access revenues at £41.7 million for the quarter, a company release states.
2002 continued to be a record year for NDS and growth has been strong in US, UK, Israel and Asia-Pacific. In addition, NDS recently reached an agreement with Scientific-Atlanta to implement its conditional access technology into Explorer® digital interactive set-tops that will be provided to Cablevision.
In June this year, Motorola agreed to integrate NDS interactive and conditional access solutions with their digital set-top boxes. In the UK and Israel NDS customers have continued to experience growth in subscriber numbers as they offer advanced interactive television on low cost set-top boxes. Asia-Pacific has been boosted by the launch of SkyLife in Korea and initial roll-out of set-top boxes is now occurring in China. Sichuan Provincial Network launched its digital interactive TV service in May 2002, using NDS's end-to-end solutions, including the Open VideoGuard™ conditional access system.
Martial-Arts Channel Aims To Leap Onto Cable TV
JACKIE CHAN and Jet Li may be big action stars, but do they have enough juice to justify a cable network devoted solely to fists of fury?
Larry Kasanoff hopes so, and despite long odds, he plans to launch a martial-arts channel early next year. The producer of "Mortal Kombat" films, who also worked with "Terminator" director James Cameron to create production company Lightstorm Entertainment, has a big vision for Blackbelt TV, which will telecast fights, movies and even some Japanese animation.
"We want to do the same thing for the martial arts that MTV did for music," says Mr. Kasanoff, who expects the Los Angeles-based channel to hit the market with at least four million cable and satellite subscribers.
It's no secret that fights and violence are big business on cable television. Wrestling shows often pull in top ratings on Viacom Inc.'s MTV and TNN channels. And for all the hype HBO gets for "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City," the AOL Time Warner Inc. channel's heavy load of boxing is just as important in keeping many subscribers on board. Zuffa LLC, which produces ultimate fighting, a mixed martial arts-style of battle, has had growing success with pay-per-view bouts. And as ever, advertisers are clamoring for ways to reach men 18 to 34 years of age: Violence and action are proven lures.
Still, getting Blackbelt TV to audiences may be tougher than surviving a bout with "The Replacement Killers" star Chow Yun Fat. For starters, most successful cable channels are owned by big media concerns with the clout to launch new networks. Convincing cable operators to pick up a new independent channel is made harder due to their difficulty in passing on the cost of new programming to subscribers: Congress could impose new rate regulations if fees go much higher.
Mr. Kasanoff, who has assembled a team of executives with experience at the Discovery Channel and Walt Disney Co., declines to say how many cable operators have agreed to carry the channel. Instead, he talks about its low costs, putting the break-even point at $60 million, and appeal to viewers.
He has secured international rights to about 15,000 hours of programming so far, from Hong Kong movies to David Carradine's Kung Fu television program. Blackbelt aims to offer an international version of the service at some point. Sony, which sold programming to Blackbelt TV, has warrants to invest in the channel.
Most of the movies and fights that Blackbelt has acquired are inexpensive because they are from overseas, often in Mandarin or Cantonese, or were sitting on big studios' shelves. "The prices we're spending per hour of programming vary from $2,500 to a few hundred thousand dollars per hour, Mr. Kasanoff says. By contrast, reruns of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" on TNN fetch $1.6 million per episode.
Blackbelt doesn't plan to invest much on original programming at first, but will enhance the fights with visual effects and graphics. If that's not enough, Mr. Kasanoff says, "our entire network is hosted by women."
The upstart channel may face a match down the road. The Martial Arts Action Network, an Orlando, Fla., channel, is hoping to launch service in the late spring. Tony Interdonato, CEO of Martial Arts Action Network and a former producer, says his channel has about 17,000 hours of programming. He concedes he's targeting a small niche but says he "won't go down without a fight."
To make itself more appealing to operators wary of adding new services, Blackbelt TV may offer itself as a free service for a year or two. While on the surface that sounds like a no-lose deal, operators don't see it that way.
"We have a saying in this industry, `The first bag of heroin is always free,'" says Fred Dressler, senior vice president of programming at AOL's Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest operator. The problem, he says, is that adding new channels no longer translates into new subscribers. Eventually, he adds, a channel will want a license fee and it's hard to charge subscribers to cover the expense. Mr. Dressler declined to comment on Blackbelt's prospects.
Mr. Kasanoff knows he'll have to chop through a few industry bricks to make Blackbelt a success, but he remains confident. "We know people like to watch this stuff," he says. Being small, he adds, may even give his outfit an edge: "Conglomerates by their nature are not entrepreneurial. They'd rather spend $100 on a sure thing than $110 on something risky."
Not that he sees Blackbelt fighting solo for life. He wouldn't mind if it followed the same path as the Sci-Fi Channel, which began as a small network dependent on reruns and is now part of Vivendi Universal SA. "A scrappy independent that sold out and became big and huge?" he says. "That would be great."
Livechat tonight in the chatroom 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd time onwards all welcome at either time.
If anyone sees anything on those Asiasat 2 feeds please let me know, though I think some are mpg 4:2:2 those with nokia may like to record the stream using DVBrecorder and play back via pc!
From my Emails & ICQ
From CA Zeek
Could anyone offer advice regarding Arabic programmes either pay or FTA.
It is a request from a client.
Replies I will appeciate!
(Craigs comment, Asiasat 2 is your best bet here for FTA stuff, but they seem to change quite often. There is of course Tarbs Pas 8 service with a number of Arabic channels. Check the TArbs website for more info)
Pas 10 CCTV5 Screenshot
From the Dish
Asiasat 3 105.5E 4129H "CCTV 5" seen in the CCTV mux here (CCTV 5 is the Chinese National Sports channel)
Asiasat 2 100.5E "Feeds reported on a Taiwanese site" Sunday? Football? some may be Mpg 4:2:2 or encrypted lets have some reports if you find anything there.
4107V Sr 5632 Fec 3/4 SECO 2
4089V Sr 5632 Fec 3/4 SECO 1
4071V Sr 5632 Fec 3/4 CCTVDSNG
3966V ??? details unknown Nokia people please check the pics of the football had this freq on them.
.4053V Sr 5632 Fec 3/4 BEIJING
3954V Sr 6666 Fec 7/8 CYASA 4
3946V Sr 6666 Fec 7/8 CYASA 3
3936V Sr 6666 Fec 7/8 CYASA 1
3926V Sr 6666 Fec 7/8 CYASA 2
3904V Sr 6666 Fec 7/8 ITRAI - 2
Foxtel's 'insulting' deal: Ten
TEN Network executive chairman Nick Falloon says pay-TV group Foxtel must make further concessions on its program-sharing deal with Optus, including a fairer access system and guaranteed cable retransmission of Ten's digital TV signals.
Foxtel and rival Optus have pledged 12 undertakings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to overcome its concerns the deal is anti-competitive. But Mr Falloon believes they should go even further. "The undertakings are not worth the paper they're written on," he said.
"It took me a week to read them and they do absolutely nothing. The Government must be insulted by these undertakings."
Mr Falloon labelled the cost of access to Foxtel as prohibitive, calculating it at about $1.5 million per channel. Foxtel said the minimum cost was $1.25 million.
Mr Falloon complained the access calculation was too complex and should be based on a cost per subscriber. He also wants Ten's digital TV signal and any extra services (such as program enhancements) retransmitted on Telstra's cable, and said dual satellite and free TV receiving boxes were needed in rural areas where cable did not reach.
"There is no way in the world this country is going to get two set-top box platforms - we cannot afford more than one," he said. "Without that (a dual box) consumers in the bush are dead."
A Foxtel spokesperson said the company would retransmit Ten's primary digital TV service on cable for free, but it must pay to transmit any extra services. And he said set-top box engineers opposed the creation of a one-off dual-purpose box for Australia.
"The Ten Network should accept responsibility for delivering its services to viewers and not look for a free ride from subscription TV," the Fox spokesperson said. "What does he propose to do for the other 78 per cent of homes not connected to a subscription TV service?"
Foxtel's undertakings are certain to come in for some 'stress testing'
However, the undertakings revealed a week-and-a-half ago were never going to satisfy those most directly threatened by a synthetic pay TV monopoly.
Network Ten's executive chairman, Nick Falloon, was first out of the blocks at the weekend, attacking the deal as creating a "multiplicity of monopolies" and accusing the parties to the undertakings of writing their own laws to entrench those monopolies. Kerry Stokes and Seven Network are not far away from mounting their own assault.
Although Foxtel's Kim Williams was quick to return Falloon's fire yesterday - describing him colourfully as "adept with a tar brush" - it is notable that Ten and Seven are not attacking the broad structure of the deal but its detail.
There has been acceptance that the pay TV regime needs to be rationalised and should be rationalised. The debate now is about how the various parties protect and optimise their positions.
Ten, Seven, perhaps John Fairfax and others will, within the three weeks allotted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, subject the undertakings to a form of stress-testing that is positive, given that the fine detail of any undertakings the ACCC eventually agrees to will have long-lasting effects and will not necessarily be confined to the pay TV sector.
A core uncertainty for the ACCC relates to the fact that approval of the deal will create Australia's first mass-market digital TV platform.
The free-to-air version of digital TV is in its infancy and its development has been stifled by the Federal Government's decision to choose a spectrum-intensive digital standard that makes it too expensive to achieve rapid take-up and limits the ability of the broadcasters to exploit the full range of digital potential.
If Foxtel digitises its platform it will have a digital first-mover advantage. It will have an effective monopoly on much of the best content. It will have privileged access to the two main cable networks and most of the satellite capacity. And it will have the only substantial set-top infrastructure and the subscriber management and billing systems to support any model of pay TV or interactive TV.
The undertakings are designed to alleviate concerns about the extent to which Foxtel can use the market power it has gained to lock out content suppliers or infrastructure owners. Incidentally, it has created much of that market power for itself.
Falloon has a particular long-standing concern about what he described at the weekend as a set-top monopoly.
Given that the pay TV sector services only about 22 per cent of Australian homes and (because the average Australian household has more than one TV set) probably only about 15 per cent of the TVs, it is difficult to regard Foxtel's control of its set-top as a monopoly.
With the free-to-airs slowly rolling out their digital regime, there are other digital set-tops (about 25,000) already in the market. For that matter, Optus, Austar and others have their own set-tops. The government is separately considering whether there should be a standard set-top for digital TV and whether there ought to be one box for both pay TV and free-to-air digital.
The real concern underpinning Falloon's criticism of the undertakings seems to relate to the combination of Foxtel's set-top and the subscriber management and billing systems that constitute the Foxtel pay TV platform.
As indicated, at face value that should not be much of a concern. If only 22 per cent of households have pay TV, that means there are 78 per cent of households with TVs that don't get pay TV and therefore will not have a Foxtel set-top. Indeed, only a little more than half the set-tops now deployed are Foxtel's, and only half of them relate to its cable-based service.
Even if Foxtel and the rest of the industry - helped by the merger, the enhanced content it will be able to offer and the potential for interactivity provided by digitisation - were to double the penetration over the next five years, most Australian households would still not have a Foxtel set-top.
To access digital TV, of course, they are going to need someone's set-top.
The free-to-air networks don't have a commercial relationship with viewers. They get their revenue from advertising. Even in a digital TV environment, that remains their core business model.
After 2007, when the artificial shackles on their offerings will probably be removed, they may want to offer some interactivity - and charge for it.
To do that, they will need access to reasonably sophisticated set-tops, a "back channel" and subscriber management and billing systems. Rather than creating their own set-top universes, and the systems for managing customers and billing them, they want to get access to Foxtel's.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, for the free-to-airs to justify the investment required to duplicate the Foxtel platform, given that they would be receiving only incremental revenue from interactive services. The alternative of a free ride, or subsidised ride, on Foxtel would be compelling.
Foxtel, although it has said it will provide access to its set-top universe, has ruled out offering access to its subscriber management and billing platform. Falloon seems to want to exploit the vulnerability created by the content-sharing deal to try to open up access to the entire Foxtel platform.
In their desire to entrench their oligopoly, the free-to-airs could be blamed for helping to create a regime that handicaps their future. They could have argued for a lower digital standard, multi-channelling and the ability to offer subscription services but, with the notable exception of Kerry Stokes, they did not.
They snookered themselves in their desperation to crowd out the broadcast spectrum and lock out potential competitors. Typically, Kerry Packer, with an interest in Foxtel and Fox Sports, hedged his bets.
It is a legitimate discussion point to claim that the Foxtel/Optus deal will not just entrench Foxtel as effectively the monopoly pay TV service but also entrench its platform as the gate-keeper to interactive TV services.
It is also reasonable to argue that the national interest, and the interests of consumers, might be better served where there was one set-top that accommodated both pay TV and free-to-air requirements and shared infrastructure for managing and billing customers.
It is equally reasonable of Foxtel to argue that it has made a huge, thus far loss-making, investment in its platform and in creating a customer base.
Foxtel's is not the only service, its platform is not the only platform for subscription management and billing, and, in theory, at least, there is nothing to stop the free-to-airs from duplicating its platform.
Why should it give prospective competitors in interactive TV a free or subsidised ride?
Part of the problem facing the ACCC is that it is charged with assessing the effect of the proposed deal, and of the quality of the undertakings offered, on today's pay TV landscape.
It is not in the business of trying to guess what the eventually digital landscape might look like and attempting to reshape it through the undertakings. The undertakings do deal with the most obvious concerns - access for content providers and access to content for content purchasers.
The larger, longer-term picture is properly a matter for government policy, although the history of government involvement in the media sector suggests that the less involvement there is, the better for everyone concerned, including consumers.
Over the next week or so, the Foxtel/Optus deal will be probed, and every weakness and every element of vagueness will be highlighted.
Its opponents, while trying to exploit Foxtel's need for the deal to improve its own position, will also try to delay and frustrate approval.
Separating the legitimate issues from the filibusters will be a challenge for the ACCC.
Probe launched into Shinawatra company
A fact-finding panel has been set up to look into alleged tax evasion involving CS Communications, a firm whose major shareholders are members of the Shinawatra family.
Customs Department chief Manit Witthayatem ordered the investigation in response to Democrat MP Sirichoke Sopha's allegation during the May censure debate that CS Communications had used forged papers in importing equipment for use in a satellite system in order to avoid paying tax in full.
CS Communications is an affiliate of Shin Corporation, founded by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Mr Sirichoke accused Customs of turning a blind eye to the alleged scam, which he said had cost the state tens of millions of baht in unpaid tax.
India To Offer Cheaper Taxi Rides Into Space With Polar Launcher
India is stacked and ready to join the space age
In the burgeoning world market for satellite launches and space services, India offers the cheapest taxi rides on its rockets.
On Thursday afternoon , for a mere 15 million U.S. dollars, India launched a meteorological satellite into "geo-synchronous" transfer orbit some 36,000 kilometres above the equator using a modified version of its highly successful space workhorse, the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV).
So far, the versatile PSLVs have been limited to injecting satellites, both Indian and foreign, into polar, "sun-synchronous" orbits in a loop around the poles at a modest height of between 800 and 900 km. "If we succeed with this, we can then think of launching communications satellites on the PSLV," said P S Goel, one of the directors of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which has its headquarters in the southern city of Bangalore.
Launching communications satellites is expensive because they have to be positioned 36,000 km out in space and that calls for larger rockets with larger motors using more sophisticated fuels than the PSLV.
In October last year, India used the PSLV to simultaneously inject three satellites into space, the equivalent of cramming more passengers into a taxi. The 'piggyback' riders on the PSLV (called PSLV-C3) included a German satellite and a Belgian one moving along with an Indian passenger.
India collected a million dollars for transporting Germany's 92 kg Bispectral and Infrared Remote Detection (BIRD) satellite and another million dollars from Belgium for its Project for Onboard Autonomy (PROBA) satellite, weighing 94 kilogrammes.
All three were low-orbit, remote-sensing satellites.
Although BIRD and PROBA were almost of equal weight, their owners wanted them placed in different orbits - BIRD in a circular orbit at 569 km and PROBA in a higher elliptical orbit varying in altitude between 568 km and 638 km.
Antrix Corp, the commercial arm of ISRO , marked its entry into commercial launches in 1999 when a PSLV (PSLV-C2) successfully carried into space South Korea's KITSAT satellite and Germany's TUBSAT along with its own OCEANSAT.
With each new mission, the PSLV's lifting capabilities have been enhanced from a 40 kg payload in a 1980 launch until its present capacity to either place a three-tonne satellite in low-earth orbit or put a 1,050 satellite like Wednesday's METSAT into high geo-synchronous orbit.
According to V R Katti , programme director, to help along the PSLV (PSLV-C4), METSAT itself was built lighter using space-age, carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) instead of aluminium. "CFRP met the requirements of being light while still being a good conductor of electricity," he said.
ISRO officials say that when India spent 20 million dollars for a PSLV launch three years ago, China spent 12 times as much for a comparable Long March 3B rocket. The officials expected a rising demand for the launch of low-orbit satellites and the PSLV perfectly fit the bill especially because of its record for reliability.
There are four areas where Antrix Corp. has positioned itself in the space bazaar - launching satellites, supplying sub-systems for satellites made in other countries, and providing services for tracking and monitoring at the master control facility in Hassan town in southern Karnataka state.
Antrix also leases transponders aboard its INSAT series of communication satellites that are built indigenously but launched by the French Arianespace agency. Besides that, it operates a constellation of five remote-sensing satellites.
On average, the Indian Space Research Organisation earns more than 100 million dollars from commercial sales of broadcasting, weather and meteorological data to various agencies such as the EOSAT Corp. in the United States through Antrix Corp.
Besides the earnings, India's satellites have had an enormous impact domestically and helps broadcasters, cellular telephone operators and farmers. The METSAT, for instance, is expected to help more reliable weather forecasting.
Meanwhile, space research organisation reports progress on its bigger Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV), which uses the controversial cryogenic (super cold) engine technology imported from Russia against opposition from the United States because of its possible use in building inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM)s.
According to an Indian space research official, an indigenous version of the Russian cryogenic engine has been successfully test-fired at a facility in southern Tamil Nadu state earlier this year.
In April last year, India successfully carried out a test flight of its GSLV using Russian engines and once fully operational, it will make India's space programme completely independent and halve the cost of getting its heavier satellites launched by foreign agencies.
For the moment though, each GSLV launch costs 300 million dollars and ISRO's first try in March, last year, ended in an aborted launch, although the vehicle itself was safe.
There has also been criticism of India's satellite programme, particularly that its earth-observation birds as having military capability, but ISR's chairman K Kasturirangan has denied this.
"Whether you call earth observation just that or spying is a matter or interpretation," he said, adding that there was "a policy on how high resolution data should be used consistent with the country's security considerations".
India lays emphasis on international cooperation for its space programme. For example, in March this year the Indian Space Research Organisation signed a memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) that covers cooperation in satellite technology and training programmes.
ISRO and the French National Space Agency (CNES) are jointly studying the climate using the joint satellite mission 'Megha Tropiques', under which a PSLV is due to launch a French satellite in 2005.
And to finish with..not sure which channel they are talking about here SET MAX maybe?
Cricket-Devotees try to sell game to stumped Japanese
TOKYO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Japan's international cricket team have suffered some stunning defeats during their short time at the crease.
In their maiden international tournament seven years ago, the side were hit for a colossal 457 runs in a one-day match against fellow featherweights Fiji and were bowled out by the United Arab Emirates for a humiliating 17 runs.
"At the first tournament I think everyone cried because they didn't expect to be beaten like that," said Naoaki Saida, a swing bowler and middle-order batsman in the national team for the past four years.
To help both their dismal record and the development of cricket in a nation crazy about baseball -- not to mention soccer, since the World Cup they co-hosted in June -- the Japanese are turning for the first time to outside talent.
Foreign-born players have long formed the backbone of minor sides in Asia, such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Now six foreigners -- four Pakistanis, one Indian and one Zimbabwean -- have been selected for the Japan squad but their brief will be to groom future match-winners as much as to help win a few matches themselves.
"The Japanese players, particularly those who have played overseas and have benefited from those experiences, know that playing with foreign players who actually do try to help you is the best way to learn the game," said Robb McKenna, an Australian who is one of two coaches of the national team.
The best players in the Japanese team learned their cricket during long stays in nations steeped in the game.
The others, attracted by cricket's leisurely pace which is a far cry from the highly regimented way other sports are practised and played in Japan, took up the game at one of the 10 universities in Tokyo that offer it.
Saida, 27, got his first taste when he was 11 during a year in England, winning a place in his primary school's first 11 on the strength of hitting and fielding skills he had honed playing baseball in Japan.
"In Japan everything moves fast, everything is so 'quick, quick, quick'. But cricket is in a completely different world," he said.
"I'm able to relax, lie on the ground watching players play, waiting for my turn. There is no other sport like that."
The inclusion of foreign-born players in the national team is part of a wider effort to promote cricket in Japan that includes merging weekend expatriate and Japanese leagues and introducing the game to primary schools.
"We have no young cricketers in Japan. Most start in university," said Tetsuo Fuji, the captain of the national team and another refugee from baseball.
"That's a problem -- to make a cricket culture in Japan."
The Japan Cricket Association faces an uphill task convincing others to lay down their aluminium baseball bats for the heavier, flat-faced slab of willow used in a sport whose merits are not immediately obvious in Japan.
Subscribers to the infamous Japanese work ethic may find it difficult to digest a game that eats up a whole day and requires an expanse of grass in a nation squeezed for space.
Tracking down a suitable ground around Tokyo, where most of the 60 or so teams in Japan are based, is tricky.
Groundkeepers, fearing the damage the alien activity might do to their baseball or soccer fields, are reluctant to let cricketers use their highly coveted patches of turf.
Matches are usually consigned to rolled-out artificial pitches on reclaimed riverside grounds that stay soaked for days during the midsummer rainy season and after typhoons.
A new satellite television channel specialising in programmes from the Indian subcontinent may help the cause, as it plans to broadcast international cricket -- including test matches and next February's World Cup -- in Japan for the first time.
One goal of the channel is to boost the profile of the sport, said Yasufumi Ogawa, co-founder of Masala Entertainment, which has formed an alliance with the Japan Cricket Association and plans to begin broadcasts in December.
The Japanese national team, however, do not expect television to cover their games any time soon. Cricket in Japan is still in its infancy even though the first games were played more than 130 years ago by visiting foreign sailors.
But team members are proud of the strides made since the routs suffered during their first international matches.
"In each successive tournament we've managed to do something new," said Saida.
"In the third ACC (Asia Cricket Council) trophy we managed to get more than 100 runs in a game. Before that we couldn't get over 100 -- we were all out in the 70s or 80s."
In February, Japan beat South Korea and Indonesia -- hardly cricket heavyweights but the victories earned Japan the title of East Asian Champions.
Even the series of crushing defeats seven years ago had their moment when two batsmen in the side from Bangladesh, now a test-playing nation, were dismissed by Tetsuo Fuji with consecutive balls -- the first bowled with his right arm, the second with his left.
Another day lots of news items, please don't mention the cricket Australia certainly got its revenge. Speaking of cricket.. The number 68.5E comes to mind ;-)
From my Emails & ICQ
From John Mcdermott
Feed seen on the weekend
AFL Feed from the MCG on Optus B1 12370H 6110 3/4 for Network 10
From the Dish
Nothing to report
SHIN SATELLITE: SSA, rival yet to form orbit deal
AsiaSat 4 is set to be so close to iPSTAR that their signals may jam
Shin Satellite Plc (SSA) and Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co (AsiaSat) have yet to agree on exactly where their respective iPSTAR and AsiaSat 4 satellites will orbit, following concerns that they could end up being so close to each other that they jam each other's signals.
Hong Kong-based AsiaSat is due to launch its AsiaSat 4 satellite late this year or early next year. Shin is set to launch iPSTAR late next year.
Going into orbit without a frequency-coordination agreement means neither of the two satellites will be able to beam their full-strength service signals in areas where their "footprints" overlap as this may cause signal jamming.
The two companies have reserved adjacent orbital slots - 122 degrees East and 120 degrees East - aiming to target the same customers in the vast Asia-Pacific region, which includes India and China.
The US$250-million (Bt10.7 billion) iPSTAR will be the first Internet broadband satellite to be launched from Asia to serve growing demand for high-speed Internet access. It will also be a new source of revenue for SSA, a company founded by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The Post and Telegraph Department recently asked the Chinese IT Ministry to help speed up the coordination process but there has been no response from it as yet, said the department's deputy director-general Rianchai Reowilaisuk.
But SSA executive chairman Dumrong Kasemseth insisted that the problem is not as serious as some may think.
"Though AsiaSat 4 will be launched before us we can still tackle the problem," Dumrong said.
The company has already come to an agreement with AsiaSat over the Ka band frequency beam and is negotiating for a similar agreement on the Ku band, he added.
AsiaSat 4, iPSTAR, the Office of the Telecom Authority of Hong Kong, the Chinese IT Ministry, and the Post and Telegraph Department convened in Bangkok in June to discuss the technical problems, Dumrong said.
AsiaSat's corporate affairs manager, Winnie Pang, told The Nation that a number of meetings with SSA have been held and discussions are still ongoing, but no agreement has been reached as yet.
Problems related to the two satellite projects were raised during unofficial talks between the Thai and Chinese governments during an official visit by Thaksin to China last year.
The China Railway Communication, which forged an initial agreement last year to be the national service operator (NSO) for iPSTAR in China, has yet to sign the official NSO contract with SSA, pending SSA's success in ironing out the problems with AsiaSat.
The conflict between Thailand and Hong Kong over their satellites dates back to 1992, when SSA's Thaicom1 satellite was set to be launched to 101 degrees East, while AsiaSat 1, then owned by the government of Hong Kong, was due to get an orbital slot at 100.5 degrees East.
After combative negotiations between Thailand and Hong Kong, Thaicom1 was forced to abandon its position and move to 78.5 degrees.
AsiaSat 1 retained its position but was forced to give up another reserved slot at 77 degrees to make room for Thaicom1.
A second conflict erupted in 1996 involving Thaicom3 and China's Apstar 1A. Thaicom3 was due to be launched to 120 degrees East, while Apstar was to take a 121-degree orbit. The positions were considered too close and likely to cause technical problems.
After negotiations between the Thai and Chinese governments, Apstar was allowed to take the position for one year before moving to a new orbit. The deal was aborted after Apstar 1A crashed during launch.
Foxtel, Ten duel over Optus
A WAR of words has erupted between Foxtel chief Kim Williams and Ten supremo Nick Falloon over the pay television group's crucial revised programming alliance with Optus.
Mr Falloon fired the first salvo over the weekend when he claimed the reworked Foxtel-Optus deal would be rejected by the nation's competition watchdog and needed legislative guarantees before approval.
The Ten chief described the new agreement unveiled by Mr Williams just over a week ago as anti-competitive and said new undertakings given by Foxtel and Optus were unenforceable.
Mr Falloon said he did not think the redrawn deal would get up, and he favoured legislative controls to ensure Foxtel-Optus and their owners did not create monopolistic situations.
His claims drew an angry reaction from Mr Williams yesterday.
Falloon is an adept hand with a tar brush," the Foxtel chief said. "But he cannot expect to dismiss Foxtel's comprehensive undertakings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission simply by assertion."
Mr Williams said Mr Falloon's claims that monopolies would be created in content delivery, set-top units and for digital broadcasting were "demonstrably untrue".
"Mr Falloon says these things are clear," he said.
"The only thing which is abundantly clear is that Mr Falloon has not thoroughly read and objectively digested any of the comprehensive materials submitted by Foxtel (or the allied material from Austar and Optus) to the ACCC. If he had done so his concerns would be removed."
The ACCC blocked the initial proposal in June, citing potential breaches of the Trade Practices Act in areas including the acquisition of content, and the likely dominance of the Foxtel distribution network.
In Foxtel's revised deal the pay-TV group unveiled a 12-point package it hoped would convince Professor Allan Fels to wave through the deal in coming weeks.
Foxtel's owners plan to spend $600 million on a digital pay-TV service and give rivals access to its platform, with about 15 per cent of the initial 144 channels earmarked for rivals.
However Mr Falloon said Foxtel's revised undertakings were clearly unenforceable by third parties and completely unworkable in terms of seekers of access to the Foxtel platform.
He said such monopoly issues potentially included a digital monopoly for digital interactive services; also noting the issue of Telstra seeking approval to bundle pay-TV with its telephony services.
New Foxtel deal won't get through, Ten's Falloon says
The redrawn Foxtel-Optus pay TV deal will be rejected by the competition watchdog and needs legislative guarantees before approval, according to Ten Network boss Nick Falloon.
Mr Falloon said the new agreement remained anti-competitive and new undertakings given by Foxtel and Optus were unenforceable.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission blocked the initial proposal in June, citing potential breaches of the Trade Practices Act in areas including the acquisition of content and the likely dominance of the Foxtel distribution network.
Optus and Foxtel put forward a new proposal earlier this month.
Mr Falloon said he did not think the redrawn deal would get up and he favoured legislative controls to ensure Foxtel-Optus and their owners did not create monopolistic situations.
"If you look at what's happened so far, the ACCC has clearly said that the deal, first time round and this time round, is anti-competitive on a number of fronts," Mr Falloon told Business Sunday.
Foxtel's owners plan to spend $600 million on a digital pay TV service and give rivals access to its platform.
Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams said Foxtel addressed each of the ACCC's concerns.
Mr Falloon's claims were "demonstrably untrue", Mr Williams said.
A spokesman for Optus said that suggesting the undertakings be followed by legislation was nothing new.
"It is in accordance with what is contemplated by all parties," he said.
Subscription Televison Welcomes National Party Support -- Austar United Communications
AUSTAR, FOXTEL and Optus today welcomed the NSW National Party's support for the proposed restructuring of the subscription television sector.
The NSW National Party passed a motion at its recent meeting of its central council, supporting FOXTELs proposed content sharing agreement with Optus and recognising the important role the subscription television sector plays in delivering news,
entertainment and information services to regional and rural audiences.
AUSTAR Chief Executive Officer, John Porter, said: "AUSTAR believes the proposed content sharing agreement will help stimulate growth in the subscription television sector and this in turn will be beneficial to consumers throughout Australia, particularly those living in rural and regional areas."
FOXTEL Chief Executive Officer, Kim Williams, said: "We are extremely pleased the National Party has recognised the importance of subscription TV in Australia. Our agreement with Optus must proceed to ensure that subscription television becomes economically sustainable, reliable and can expand competition and new services."
Optus' Chief Executive Officer, Chris Anderson, said: "A sustainable subscription TV sector means continued and improved
services for all Australians. It also enables Optus to compete strongly in broadband and local loop services."
Mr Porter added: "Following this transaction, both Optus and FOXTEL have committed to digitise their cable networks. The result will be the development of new interactive and other broadband services which AUSTAR will be able to share. This will ensure that regional and rural Australia keeps pace with the cities in the development of exciting new technologies."
The NSW National Party motion said that "in considering the proposed Foxtel/Optus content-sharing agreement, the National Party encourages the ACCC to recognise the essential services provided by pay TV and the ongoing viability of this industry."
The National Party's letter of endorsement is attached below.
NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA - NSW
9 September 2002
Professor Allan Fels AO
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
GPO Box 3648
SYDNEY NSW 1044,
Dear Professor Fels
I am writing to you regarding the emerging pay TV industy.
The NSW Nationals are keen to ensure that rural and regional
consumers derive the maximum benefit from the exciting developments
in this area.
For years, many rural and regional consumers have not been able to
access all free to air channels due to difficulties with signal
reception and pay TV offers many the chance to connect with this
The following motion was passed at a recent meeting of our Party's
"That Central Council recognises the importance of the emerging
pay TV industry and encourages further technological innovation and
lower content costs. Further, in considering the proposed
Foxtel/Optus content-sharing agreement, the National Party
encourages the ACCC to recognise the essential services provided by
pay TV and the ongoing viability of this industry."
Your consideration of this motion over coming months is greatly appreciated.
SOURCE: Austar United Communications
HK APT Revenue Down 6%
APT Satellite Holdings Ltd. has announced its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2002. The satellite operator said revenues dropped six percent to HK$176.6 million from the comparable HK$187.8 million last year.
After tax profits sank to HK$30.6 million from HK$52.8 million as a result of a weak market for satellite transponders. APT operates three in-orbit geostationary satellites comprising Apstar I, Apstar IA and Apstar IIR. The Group is to launch Apstar V, a high power satellite with 38 C-band and 16 Ku-band transponders, in late 2003 to replace the Apstar I.
The Group has also committed to developing Apstar VB, which is a high power satellite of substantially similar capacities to be delivered for launch in late 2004, as the backup satellite for Apstar V.
Japanese space agency uses backup thrusters to lift satellite near planned orbit path after main engines stall
TOKYO - Japan's space agency said it steered a new satellite near its planned orbit Saturday using backup thrusters, after the main engines stalled.
The communications satellite, which was propelled into space atop an H-2A rocket, exhausted the fuel in its main tank Friday before reaching its geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers (22,320 miles) above the earth's surface, said Isamu Matsumoto, an official at the National Space Development Agency of Japan.
But agency officials fired the satellite's backup thrusters, normally used for minor position adjustments, for about a half hour to lift it nearly 4,000 kilometers (2,480 miles) Saturday, the agency said. The satellite is expected to drift into its orbit path over the next month, it said.
The delay wasn't expected to impair the satellite's mission or shorten its expected seven-year life span, Matsumoto said.
The H-2A, developed by Japan, lifted off successfully on Tuesday carrying two satellites a communications satellite to help relay transmissions between the International Space Station ( news - web sites) and earth and an experimental probe to test re-entry technology.
The rocket the third H-2A launch since August 2001 is the centerpiece of this country's space program, which has been plagued with a recent series of glitches, cost overruns and scheduling delays. The H-2A's successful liftoff was seen as crucial to Japan's hopes to compete in the global commercial satellite-launching business
Sony to boost revenues via distribution
With advertising revenues reaching saturation point, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) India, is looking at its distribution setup to boost revenues.
The company is planning to adopt an aggressive strategy on this front in a bid to change the revenue mix from advertising and distribution towards a 50:50 ratio from the current 85:15 in favour of advertising.
According to Mr Rajat Jain, executive director and business head, SET Max, “The growth in advertising revenues across the industry have been tapering off with growth rates now just around 10 per cent, from an earlier level of around 50 per cent. With ad rates more or less reaching a saturation point, a lot of emphasis needs to be placed on the distribution side of the business.”
The size of the cable and satellite advertising market in India is currently estimated at around Rs 4,000 crore with about 90 per cent of this revenue going in favour of the movies and entertainment channels and only around 10 per cent favouring sports channels. On the other hand, the annual revenues of the cable business is estimated in the region of Rs 8,000 crore according to industry analysts, considering an average of Rs 200 per household for a 40 million base. Only a fraction of this revenue comes to the broadcasters as the cable operators pocket most of this.
According to industry experts, this situation is mainly due to largescale under-declaration of the subscriber base by the cable operators to pay channels. While Sony reaches around 31 million households in India according to industry estimates, its subscriber base is less than 15 per cent of that figure.
However, the company has been getting tough with cable distributors and had only last week switched off signals to the Hathway network in the Delhi over the issue of under-declaration. With the company toughening its stance on the issue and in light of its new strategy, such occurences are likely to become more frequent in future, say company officials.
T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 37/2002 15 September 2002 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition
A S I A
AUSTAR AND FOXTEL SIGN DEAL
Austar United Communications announced its role in the proposed new
television industry arrangements, which will secure the future of digital
television for regional and rural Australia and provide long term benefits
for Austar. Austar has reached agreements with FOXTEL and Optus, subject to
board approvals and any necessary regulatory consents, which will see
Austar become a customer of FOXTEL's satellite platform and Austar and
FOXTEL will cooperate in content creation. It will also ensure that Austar
customers will obtain access to any new services FOXTEL develops, including
near video on demand (NVOD), interactive TV services and new channels. The
agreements will ensure that regional and rural consumers have access to the
best subscription television service available, equal to or superior to
that offered in the major capital cities. The key terms of the conditional
agreements to be entered into with FOXTEL and Optus, provide for:
- dissolution of the existing satellite joint venture between Austar and Optus;
Austar to migrate satellite services to a new satellite platform, with no
disruption to service;
- Austar's consent to be given for distribution of XYZ programming to Optus
and Telstra; options to renew current programming arrangements for FOXTEL
related channels in Austar territories;
- Austar to be able to sublicense programming to telecommunications
providers which wish to bundle pay TV services or to infrastructure
operators within Austar's service area; and
- Austar to be given access to any new services developed or acquired by
FOXTEL, including near video on demand (NVOD) offerings.
According to John Porter, Chief Executive of Austar, "the launch of the C1
satellite, which these arrangements help to secure, will see satellite
coverage extended to areas such as Tasmania and North Queensland, which
currently are beyond range."
CHINA - HONG KONG
ATV WORLD CHANNEL ON HALLMARK
In Hong Kong, terrestrial network ATV World Channel has signed a deal with
Hallmark Channel, giving the US-based international channel a two-hour
programme block on the Chinese network. Entitled Hallmark Channel Special,
the Sunday primetime block launched over the weekend, offering a regular
diet of Hallmark's original telefilms to some 1.5 million homes. The new
block will add to Hallmark's existing footprint of 19 million homes across
the Asia-Pacific region.
PHOENIX NEWS CHANNEL DELAYED
A meeting in November of the main Chinese Communist Party will further
delay the rollout of Phoenix Satellite Holding's news channel with
regulators unwilling to upset the status quo before the gathering in
Beijing. Phoenix, 38 per cent - owned by News Corp's STAR TV - said that it
was continuing to meet with Chinese regulators about launching the InfoNews
channel, but that there had been no progress on the issue over the last six
months in the run up to the 16th Party Congress due to start November 8.
Phoenix's Deputy CEO Leung Noong-kong said that overall his company was in
the same position as other foreign broadcasters seeking landing rights into
the Chinese market because they were being held up by conservative elements.
HOME CINEMA INTRODUCES PRE-PAID CARDS
Home Cinema has launched a pre-paid card for Middle East television viewers
to access to the latest Arabic and international pay-TV movies. Available
in three denominations of 1, 5 and 10 Home Cinema credits - the card
simplifies ordering Home Cinema pay-per-view movies from Showtime. The
cards are now available from Showtime, with subscribers who purchase a 10
credit Home Cinema card receiving a free extra credit.
ZEE AND SET RELENT ON SERVICE TAX
Zee Telefilms and Sony Entertainment TV have relented on the 5% service tax
that has driven a wedge between broadcasters and advertisers. The two
Indian national broadcasters have incorporated the extra charge into
existing ad rates, according to local press. Ratings and ad revenue leader
Star has refused to relent and continues to block commercials from
advertisers who refuse to pay the additional fee. Zee and SET had
previously taken ads off air. Confusion arose after broadcaster and
advertiser groups insisted the other side should bear the cost of the tax,
introduced last year.
CONTROVERSIAL MEDIA BILL DELAYED
The Indonesian government has delayed plans to pass a new media law that
critics say would stifle freedom of information, according to September 12
press reports. The bill, which would bar local outlets from relaying
foreign news programs and allow the government to temporarily shut down
news broadcasts deemed to violate the law, originally was to be ratified by
parliament at the end of this month. But the government now plans to
consider suggestions from the public on how to amend the bill, the Kompas
newspaper quoted Information Minister Syamsul Muarif as saying. The laws
are now scheduled to be ratified at the end of October, he was quoted as
saying. Local broadcasters and media watchdogs have slammed the proposed
laws as a setback to the freedom of information. Local TV and radio
stations that rebroadcast foreign news programs by the BBC, VOA and Radio
Australia were especially concerned. Foreign sports programs would be
exempted from the ban, according to the bill. Government officials have
said the laws are designed to limit "unfair" reporting of Indonesia and the
promotion of Western viewpoints. The vaguely worded bill also permits the
government to temporarily shut down local news broadcasts it claims violate
the law, or which show pornographic or "sadistic" scenes. The bill also
would limit foreign investment in local TV stations to 20%, and require
national broadcasters to become regional by forming partnerships with local
SKY PERFECTV GETS EUROPEAN LEAGUE FOOTBALL
DTH operator Sky Perfect has acquired exclusive local broadcast rights to
the top Italian league. The three year deal starts this season. Sky is
banking on the popularity of foreign football with Japanese viewers, having
already snapped up rights to the Dutch and Belgian leagues.
GOVERNMENT SETS UP DIGITAL TV WORKING GROUP
The Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and
Telecommunications formed a study group on September 13 to explore how to
best use terrestrial digital TV broadcasting, to be launched late next
year, for local government services. The group, made up of officials from
private firms and local governments, is expected to meet five times through
next March before adopting a proposal for the national government. At the
first meeting, the group selected Mitsutoshi Hatori, a professor at the
National Institute of Informatics, as its chairman. The group will
specifically work on measures to enable consumers to use local government
services on TVs, such as making reservations at public gyms and other
facilities and confirming the status of library books, officials said.
Terrestrial digital broadcasting is considered an effective way to provide
public services, especially for the elderly who tend to shun personal
computers, they said.
Sunday no update
Boxing tommorow around lunch time? Vargas and De La Hoya, listed as a PPV on Sky NZ from 1pm NZ onwards. Might be worth a look for a feed. The should also be a V8 Supercars race feed in the usual places on B1 tommorow.
Sky NZ "Business Link" has now be renamed to "George TV" don't expect a new channel though it looks like its a one off event the Georgefm website mentions it also. It looks like Sky is selling short term space for small events such as this and putting them also on channel 250 on the Sky box.
XXX without mosaics has been reported by those with cards for the St 1 88E MMBN service...
New Satfacts magazine out, Items include Modifying "Fatcams" , Simba 2001 receiver review, more Optus C1 info
From my Emails & ICQ
Nothing to report
From the Dish
Pas 8 166E 3707 V Sr 5043 fec ? "New mux??? needs checking Asian site reports, ABS-CBN,APTN, Reuters Tv, perhaps just a temp feed?"
Optus B1 160E 12430 V ""V8 Supercars, feed" Sr 6110 Fec 3/4
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3713 H "Macau Travel Satellite TV" started in the mux here (Reload it)
Linkworks, PanAmSat to start 'bandwidth on demand' service
Linkworks has teamed up with satellite operator PanAmSat to provide a "bandwidth on demand" service for New Zealand and Australian businesses starting in late November.
The Porirua-based company which makes the equipment to receive the service is currently acquiring a site in Wellington to build an earth station. The land will house a 4.5m satellite dish and control hub which will feed on-demand satellite data circuits to businesses here and across the Tasman.
Linkworks vice president of business development Keith Ramsay said users will pay for the circuits on PanAmSat's PAS-2 satellite on a kilobit per hour basis. Two-way data rates from 64 kilobits per second and up to 8 megabits per second delivered over a Ku-band will provide applications such as video conferencing, telemedicine, data networking and internet.
Businesses wanting to use the service will have to install 1.8m dishes and Linkwork's NetworkAdvantage equipment at their premises costing about $15,000 at each end. Ramsay said the gear can either be bought outright or leased.
Ramsay said pricing was likely to be around 12 cents per kilobit hour - meaning a two way 64Kbps service would cost $15.36 per hour. A customer buying such a service for five hours per day, five days per week would clock up a monthly charge of $1,536.
"The thing to remember is that this charge is for anywhere in the Australia and New Zealand footprint of PAS-2," said Ramsay.
He said the system overcomes one of the main problems with satellite networks - the high cost of having to buy bandwidth 365 days a year, 24 hours a day whether the link is in use or not.
Ramsay said the Linkworks system to manage satellite bandwidth had been three years in development and had been helped by a $100,000 research grant from Technology New Zealand. Ramsay and vice president of engineering Don Peat, established Satelink which they sold in 1995 to United States satellite communications maker EFData for a seven-figure sum.
Intelsat and BT Broadcast Services Partner to Provide End-to-End Video Solutions
From Press Release
Date: 13 September 2002
Release Number: 2002 -25
Intelsat and BT Broadcast Services Partner to Provide End-to-End Video Solutions
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 13 September 2002 - Intelsat and BT Broadcast
Services have formed an alliance to provide the international broadcasting
community with end-to-end video solutions and extended video distribution
networks. BT has secured a 10-year lease for additional capacity on the
Intelsat 902 satellite at 62ºE that boasts global beam coverage of
approximately 30 percent of the world's surface. The two companies have
agreed to combine their separate occasional use television (OUTV) networks
on the satellite to provide end-to-end service to customers via a jointly
managed network, where both partners will sell satellite capacity and
terrestrial infrastructure elements.
Broadcast customers will be able to experience one-stop shopping by
scheduling, booking and ordering end-to-end transmissions, including
uplink/downlink, digital compression, space segment and terrestrial
connectivity between key cities in Europe, Asia and Africa from a single
The partnership with BT will enable Intelsat to move more quickly into
end-to-end digital video services by leveraging BT's established
relationships with worldwide uplinkers to sell video services directly to
end customers. It also allows Intelsat to take advantage of pre-established
arrangements and relationships that BT has previously put in place with many
broadcasters. By partnering with Intelsat, BT will enhance its capabilities
by having access to additional satellite capacity that Intelsat will also
sell, along with ground facilities and earth stations to expand their OUTV
"Cooperating with BT on this effort will open our doors to customers
starting to come directly to us to provide them with cost-effective digital
end-to-end solutions for occasional use," said Harry Mahon, Intelsat Vice
President, Sales, Worldwide Video Services speaking today at the
International Broadcasting Convention being held here. "This partnership
will allow us and BT to leverage and pool our strengths to supply video
customers with additional services, capabilities and conveniences like
one-stop shopping and increased global reach."
Paul Claydon, Head of Occasional Services at BT Broadcast Services added,
"By increasing our capacity on the Intelsat 902 satellite we can be much
more flexible in how we offer capacity and in the additional video solutions
that our customers will now have access to. Combining our efforts and
networks like this really creates a win-win situation for the video market
by delivering high-quality and cost-effective solutions."
BT's digital end-to-end services are operational and available now with
Intelsat adding additional scheduling capabilities by November of this year.
Japanese satellite makes third orbit attempt
TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- Japan's space agency was trying to steer a new satellite into its planned orbit Saturday, after two previous attempts to do so failed when the main thrusters stalled, an agency official said.
The communications satellite, which was propelled into space atop an H-2A rocket, exhausted the fuel in its main tank Friday before reaching its geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers (22,320 miles) above the earth's surface, said Isamu Matsumoto, a National Space Development Agency of Japan official.
Agency officials were attempting to use backup thrusters, normally used for minor position adjustments, to put it on course, he said.
The delay wasn't expected to impair its mission or shorten its expected seven-year life span, he said.
The H-2A, developed by Japan, lifted off successfully on Tuesday carrying two satellites -- a communications satellite to help relay transmissions between the International Space Station and earth and an experimental probe to test re-entry technology.
The rocket -- the third H-2A launch since August 2001 -- is the centerpiece of this country's space program, which has been plagued with a recent series of glitches, cost overruns and scheduling delays. The H-2A's successful liftoff was seen as crucial to Japan's hopes to compete in the global commercial satellite-launching business.
Asian satellite television station to cut 100 Hong Kong jobs
HONG KONG (AP) - News Corp.'s Star Television group will either reassign or lay off 100 employees when it closes its Hong Kong satellite uplink facility, a newspaper reported Saturday.
Jannie Poon Lai-king, Vice president for Corporate Affairs and Publicity, told the South China Morning Post that Star would first try to reassign the 100 workers - mostly technicians - within its parent company, News Corp., owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
The changes will take place early next year
She added that Star plans to outsource its uplinking, which is the transfer of programming content to a satellite - a move that might result in considerable savings.
"Today, there are many competitively priced uplink providers in the market,'' Poon was quoted as saying.
Hong Kong-based Star broadcasts in 53 Asian countries and has a viewership of over 63 million, according to its company Web site.
Calls placed to Star's corporate headquarters Saturday morning were not immediately answered. - AP
TV Today plans English news channel by Jan.’03
After the successful launch of its Hindi news channel Aaj Tak, TV Today Network is now planning to have an English news channel by January next year. The launch of the channel is strategically planned just before the proposed launch of the Prannoy Roy-promoted NDTV’s news channel by March next year.
“It will be a pure news channel but in English. We are the leading Hindi news channel in the country and thus it makes sense for us to extend our expertise in the English language too. We have decided on a January launch and presently we are finalising the formalities,” Mr G. Krishnan, chief executive officer, TV Today, told The Asian Age.
However, Mr Krishnan did not divulge the format of the English channel and only said, “We are working on the details and will finalise the format soon.” But according to industry sources, the English news channel will have a different format from that of Aaj Tak since they will be targeting a niche audience. “The new channel will have to have a different format from that of Aaj Tak. Apart from news, the channel might have debates on current affairs mostly on the lines of the present Star News format,” a media analyst said.
The company is currently on a recruitment drive for the new channel. “We are looking for good professionals and will be recruiting for our editorial team as well as the technical team,” Mr Krishnan said and added that the channel might get uplinked from the existing teleport in Delhi. However, he declined to comment on the amount it will be investing in the new channel.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet on Friday approved the FDI in TV Today by allowing Mauritius-based equity investment company, GE Capital, to pick up 7.5 per cent stake for Rs 10.5 crores.
Christian TV channel launched in city
CHENNAI: Trinity Broadcasting Network, a Christian channel, with programmes for all ages on basic principles, family values and marriage besides cartoons, was launched here on Friday.
Talking to reporters here at the launch, the coordinator for the channel in India, Rev M Prakash, said the channel was being telecast to 60 countries from Manila.
He said in a couple of months, the round-the-clock English channel would be telecast in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi for about two hours daily.
The channel had gone off the air for about a year.
Very quiet today hardly worth even doing a site update, oh well the Crickets on so I will be watching that, Aus vs NZ is on Sunday. It should be a good match Australia are sure to be up for revenge considering how many times NZ beat them earlier this year.
Several of the ICC Cricket matches are on Dordashan, for those that still receive it.
I should have a new KU LNBF to play with this weekend, I will try it out see if I see any improvement over the Sharp and Hills that I use at the moment.
I am always on the lookout for new sources for the new section that I can check each day for news items. If you know of some good news search engines or other satellite news websites please email me.
From my Emails & ICQ
From R. Singh (India)
Hello good sir i am reading your site in india everyday i am enjoy saterlite free tv from all country.
I am use big fellow who is 12 in size. my problem in the morning when i wake he is not standing up straight he no longer move up and down. please can u be giving me help so that my wife can be enjoying tv again
sorry for my english
(Craigs comment, Nice to hear from you R.Singh it sounds like your actuator has broken or locked up. It may be time to get a new one. Be sure to get a extra long heavy duty one Once you fit that then your big fellow should be moving and your wife should be enjoying it once more.)
From the Dish
Lyngsats on a break for a few days, Let me know if you see anything worth reporting
Metsat in orbit
Metsat, India’s first exclusive meteorological satellite, was successfully injected into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) by PSLV-C4, 21 minutes after the launch vehicle soared majestically into the sky from Satish Dhawan Space Centre here this evening.
The 44.4-metre-tall rocket, weighing 295 tonnes and carrying the all-weather satellite, lifted off from here at 3.57 p.m.
?The launch and the injection of the satellite into the GTO (4.18 p.m.) have taken place with clockwise precision,” ISRO officials said.
For meteorological observation, the satellite carries a very high resolution radiometer, capable of imaging the earth in the visible, thermal infrared and water vapour bands. Metsat also carries a data relay transponder for collecting data from unattended meteorological platforms.
It will relay the data sent by these platforms to the Meteorological Data Utilisation Centre in New Delhi. Such platforms have been installed all over the country.
Unlike the earlier multi-functional satellites, the exclusive weather satellite is expected to help in more accurate prediction of monsoon and cyclones. Meteorological services were earlier combined with telecommunication and broadcasting in the Insat satellites.
Families of ISRO employees, who had gathered to witness the historic launch, burst into applause when the 295-tonne vehicle blasted off.
Scenes of ecstasy and jubilation were witnessed at the Mission Control Centre as computer screens flashed the sequence of the injection of the satellite into the GTO.
An extremely delighted ISRO chief, Dr K. Kasturirangan, shared his joy with fellow scientists by hugging and shaking hands with them.
For its flight to GTO, PSLV-C4 had undergone some major changes, including improvements in the solid-propellant third stage and liquid-propellant fourth and terminal stage. PTI, UNI
Orbital Completes Final Check of N-STAR c For NTT DoCoMo
From Communications today
Orbital Sciences [ORB] announced that the final on-orbit delivery of the N-STAR c satellite has been made to NTT DoCoMo [DCM] after the spacecraft successfully completed a series of tests and performance check- out procedures. Built by a Lockheed Martin [LMT]/Orbital team, N-STAR c is the first spacecraft based on Orbital's STAR-2 small geosynchronous (GEO) communications satellite platform.
For the N-STAR c program, Lockheed Martin served as prime contractor and provided the entire payload, which was integrated onto Orbital's STAR-2 small GEO platform. The satellite was assembled and integrated at Lockheed Martin facilities in Newtown, Pa.
Steady Growth For New GEO Sats As Data Demand Increases
Futron Corporation has released its latest ten-year forecast of the demand for satellite services. The forecast shows that the business, while somewhat volatile, has a solid base and strong growth potential still ahead. Satellites will continue to be required to meet key telecommunications service needs. However, these needs are not spread uniformly in either time or geography, and each individual market demonstrates distinct patterns of demand.
"Dot-com bombs, telecom meltdowns, mobile satellite bankruptcies, fiber everywhere. These and other issues have raised alarms about the future of the satellite business. And while that future is not likely to follow a straightforward path, opportunities do exist for those willing to navigate a flexible course."
Because of the long-lead time involved in satellite ventures, market forecasting is particularly important for this industry. Futron responded to this need over six years ago when it developed its first global forecast of satellite services.
Depending on client needs, Futron leverages this forecast to project the demand for satellites and launch vehicles. Futron's forecast covers the next ten years and it has several unique features:
It internally funded. As such, it is completely independent of all current or proposed satellite systems or organizations.
It is based on the demand for satellite services. This is a more rigorous and comprehensive approach than a supply-based forecast for a ten-year period.
It is a global forecast, evaluating over 200 countries and territories individually. It also uniquely forecasts sixteen different satellite markets.
Key findings of the Futron Forecast show that in both the short and longer term, there are opportunities as well as issues to be faced.
The number of on-orbit geostationary commercial satellites grows by some 30% from 2001 to 2011.
Demand for satellite services grows much more quickly than the number of satellites as a result of data compression, increasing number of transponders per satellite, and longer satellite life. Thus, in 36-MHz transponder equivalents, underlying demand grows by more than 75%.
The largest demand growth will come in consumer services, such as last-mile broadband and DTH, expanding at a much faster pace than infrastructure services such as trunk telephony or ISP-to-backbone services.
Success for satellite services will require careful timing to catch windows of opportunity as they appear in different regions. This is particularly true for the large, fast-growing, and extremely price-sensitive consumer services markets.
Eastern Europe and the nations of the former Soviet Union lead in growth of broadcast channels, posting an average annual growth of 15 percent.
Asia just beats out Eastern Europe for leadership in cable channel growth, with an anticipated 13 percent average annual gain forecast through 2011. However, advances in digitization and compression keep transponder growth below the growth in channels for both the broadcast and cable markets.
Modest successes in high-definition and interactive television applications in the Western economies and Japan help keep broadcast and cable transponder requirements steady in North America and Japan, and in healthy growth figures of about 5 percent annually in Western Europe.
High growth in DTH television applications, including aggressive growth in the developing economies of Asia and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, lead to a global forecast of DTH transponders that grows at an average annual rate of 10 percent. However, higher revenues per subscriber allow the Americas to retain its position as the leading market for DTH revenues.
There will be exponential growth in Internet content availability and user bandwidth needs. The average user's bandwidth requirements grow ten-fold from 2001-2011.
Growth in and size of end-user satellite telephone services markets will depend on ability of satellite companies to build out their services to the most rural of the rural markets.
(Craigs comment, the full PDF of this report is available from the address below
ICC Cricket tournament starts tonight 6pm Syd live from Sri Lanka be on the lookout for a feed somewhere
The Business Link feed on Sky, was running Fonterra AGM, this was also listed on Sky TV channel 250 and available on all reguler Sky boxes.
Plenty of Asiasat 2 Feed freqs listed today, its been ages since I updated the feeds pages, I will add them in. Speaking of the feeds pages they are more a historic archive of what was seen than a guide to where to look to find certain events.
Not much other news to report
From my Emails & ICQ
Nothing to report
From the Dish
Jcsat 2a 154E 12421? and the 12277? Live Sports feeds, SR 4820 FEC 3/4 Japan beam?
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3886 V "Occasional APTN feeds" Sr 5632, Fec 3/4
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3904 V "Occasional APTN feeds" Sr 5632, Fec 3/4
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3914 V "Occasional APTN feeds" Sr 5632, Fec 3/4
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3675 H "Ocassional Satlink feeds" Sr 5632 Fec 3/4
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3684 H "Ocassional Satlink feeds" Sr 5632 Fec 3/4
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3754 V "Ocassional Satlink feeds" Sr 5632 Fec 3/4
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3965 H "Ocassional Satlink feeds" Sr 5632 Fec 3/4
Asiasat 2 100.5E 4085 V "Ocassional Satlink feeds" Sr 5632 Fec 3/4
Asiasat 2 100.5E 4182 V "Ocassional Satlink feeds" Sr 5632 Fec 3/4
Asiasat 2 100.5E 4191 V "Ocassional Satlink feeds" Sr 5632 Fec 3/4
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "Jame-Jam TV Network 3" has replaced Sahar Universal Network Fta, PIDs 523/651.
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 V "SuperSport 6" has moved from here to 3863 V, Irdeto 2, PIDs 523/651.
Japan Welcomes ABC Asia Pacific
Press Release 12 September 2002
ABC Asia Pacific TV is now accessible across Japan, marking the first
time an Australian based television channel has been broadcast in its entirety to that country.
Announcing the breakthrough, ABC Asia Pacific Acting Head, Mr John Doherty, said accessing the Japanese market was a great achievement,given the short history of the new service, on air for the past eight months. "Japan is an important market for us, given the strong trade and economic relations between the two countries, obviously the potential audience is huge,” said Mr Doherty.
The re-broadcasting of ABC Asia Pacific has been made possible through an arrangement with Les amis Co Ltd - a Japanese based satellite program delivery platform, which transmits international services by helping networks gain entry into Japan’s extensive cable network. “We are very honoured and grateful to be a part of broadcasting ABC Asia Pacific TV for the first time in Japan,” said Osamu Murakami, CEO of Les amis Ltd. “I believe that broadcasting ABC Asia Pacific TV in Japan will be good news for Australians living in Japan and it will also give an opportunity for Japanese to know more about the Australian life and culture,” Mr Murakami said.
With the rollout of ABC Asia Pacific comes an important complementary website service located at http://abcasiapacific.com
"Our website offers a distinctive service and provides an exciting opportunity for Japan's online audience to find out more about
Australia,” said Damien Dempsey, Executive Producer. Some of the features included TV guides, tuning information, program feature sites and a comprehensive, up to the minute Asia Pacific and Australian news service.
*t our Ask Australia section you can discover more information aboutAustralia on topics such as education, lifestyle, work, travel and business,” said Mr Dempsey.
For further information contact:
ABC Corporate Affairs,
+61 3 96261063 or +61 3 438 292 369
(Craigs comment, ABC Asia Pacific is available to Japan on Pas 8 KU 12366H on the North East Asia Beam, see lyngsat site for details)
Thaicom, VSNL in joint broadcasting platform deal
NONTHABURI (Thailand): Recently privatised international telecommunication operator Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) and Thailand's Shin Satellite have signed a contract to provide premium satellite television transmission services to the Indian market.
VSNL plans to transmit more than 30 television channels on Thaicom and will jointly uplink satellite TV transmissions using VSNL's uplink facilities in Mumbai and Delhi using Shin Satellite's Thaicom 3 satellite, an official release says. The satellite, widely acknowledged as a "hotbird" in India due to the vast number of satellite dishes currently pointed at it, will act as a platform to provide a plethora of services for the Indian market. This arrangement is in line with the India government's plans to make mandatory the uplinking of Indian indigenous channels from Indian soil, the release says.
Shin Satellite and VSNL plan to support each other by taking advantage of their current strengths in the highly competitive Indian market. VSNL has one of the biggest operations base in India while Shin Satellite has the largest customer base of any foreign satellite in the country and is able to offer a highly effective and competitive service.
Shin Satellite now serves over 30 independent Indian television channels and 10 major Internet service providers. It is the major provider of satellite capacity to the government of India through contracts with the Department of Space. According to the release, the partnership with VSNL is a strategic move for Shin Satellite as it plans to expand services dramatically over the next few years.
For iPSTAR, meanwhile, VSNL is slated to work with Shin Satellite in the operation of an iPSTAR gateway to provide broadband Internet services.
Yongsit Rojsrivichaikul, vice-president of Shin Satellite was quoted in the release as saying: "We are honoured to have VSNL as our partner in India. The Indian market has tremendous potential and we also have large existing customer base, therefore, we require a capable and credible partner, contributing local expertise and business strengths. By cooperating with VSNL, we are confident that we can further expand our business substantially and strengthen our market position in India."
Thai PM's son sells 367m shares to sister at 1 baht each
Panthongtae Shinawatra, the prime minister's son, has sold half of his shares in Shin Corporation, the telecom conglomerate his father founded, to his younger sister _ purportedly to avoid being the focus of public attention over his enormous wealth.
The Securities Exchange Commission reported on Monday that the only son of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had offloaded 367 million shares to his sister, Pinthongtha. The shares were sold at one baht each, as opposed to yesterday's stock trading price of 10.60 baht.
The sale, reportedly made on Mr Thaksin's order, was to ``spread out'' the shares among the Shinawatra siblings.
Mr Thaksin gave an assurance the share sale between his children was thoroughly above board.
``It was nothing more than a brother and sister sharing things,'' he said. Miss Pinthongtha was entitled to her part of the assets as she recently reached the legal age.
The sale had reduced Mr Panthongtae's portion of shares he held in Shin Corp to 12.49%. The 23-year-old is now left with 366.95 million shares in the company, relegating him from the biggest shareholder to third biggest.
He has been overtaken by Banpote Damapong, elder brother of Khunying Pojaman, Mr Thaksin's wife, who has 13.77% of shares, followed by Miss Pinthongtha with 12.50%. Mr Panthongtae trails third with 12.49%, Ample Rich Investments fourth with 7.8% and Singapore Telecom fifth with 5.8%.
Mr Banpote was given the shares by Mr Thaksin. The transfer landed the prime minister in the Constitutional Court on a charge of concealing his assets through proxy ownership.
Mr Thaksin was acquitted.
Although Mr Panthongtae and Miss Pinthongtha have a combined 25% stake in Shin Corp, it is thought their holding is only nominal and their father runs the show.
Mr Panthongtae, dubbed the country's richest man, has often been cast in a negative light by the media. He was recently allegedly caught cheating in an exam at Ramkhamhaeng University where he is a third-year political science student.
A stock broker source said the sale was exempted from tax as the shares were not traded on the stock market.
Kasem Sirisampan, a former charter writer, said the sale of shares to Miss Pinthongtha did not seem to be a tactic to evade the National Counter Corruption Commission's scrutiny of the Shinawatra family's assets. It was more a case of asset splitting to spread financial risk.
The charter bars cabinet ministers from owning more than 5% of the shares in a company. Excess shares need to be transferred to a company operated by a juristic entity, which handles them.
The restriction was to prevent ministers abusing their cabinet positions for vested corporate gain, he said.
1 year ago today I was sitting at my pc, doing something on the net when I was interrupted by an ICQ message from Christian Lyngmark telling me to turn on my tv set. That a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, I switched on terrestrial Tvnz which as it usually does overnight was running BBCworld. I then saw the horrific footage of the 2nd plane hit the tower live. The rest of the early hours are a bit of a blur but I remember around 5 or 6 a.m when I went to bed leaving the dish on B3 Globecast and watching live coverage from Dwelle and TRT. Many will recall in the days after Fox News on Asiasat 3 being FTA, my big dish stayed mostly tuned into it.
People are experiencing problems with KU I701 Canal+ most probably Solar outage related.
From my Emails & ICQ
B1, 12608V "Business link" (Sky NZ) Sr 22500 Fec 3/4 Vpid 512 Apid 650, seen FTA with Music, today
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 12410 H "Venus-Eye" has left .
Palapa C2 113E 3727 H Sr 2660 Fec 3/4 "mystery:"
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3760 H "Indus Vision" is Fta still.
Yamal 102 90E 3725 L "GTRK Dalnevostochnaya" has started, Fta, Sr 3200, Fec 3/4, PIDs 4194/4195.
Insat 2E 83E 3525 V "Maa TV" is now encrypted.
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3640 H "Sahar Universal Network 1" has replaced Jame-Jam TV Network 3 Fta, PIDs 523/651.
New Zealand Really Likes the Dish
According to Screen Digest and its latest figures on worldwide satellite TV penetration, New Zealand is devoted to satellite TV.
According to the magazine's worldwide DTH data released earlier this summer, New Zealand's satellite TV service - Sky Television - has a household penetration of 22.6 percent. Last month, Sky Television said it crossed the 500,000 subscriber mark.
In second place are the United Kingdom and Ireland, both served by British Sky Broadcasting. Satellite TV in the two countries has a household penetration of 21.6 percent.
Satellite TV services in the United States (which include small dish as well as C-Band services) are in the 17 percent-18 percent ballpark, when looking at total TV household data.
(Craigs comment, This report is a load of rubbish! those 500000 subscribers are not all on the digital satellite service. Skys website list 360000 on DBS satellite, with 138189 being still on the UHF service. Out of a total of near 1.4 million tv households
Clear skies for Japan satellite
TOKYO, Japan -- Space officials breathed a collective sigh of relief in Japan following the successful launch of a rocket that put a satellite and test module into orbit
The launch of the homegrown H-2A rocket had been deemed crucial for the future of the country's space program and was the subject of close scrutiny following a series of glitches and budget blow-outs that jeopardized the country's commercial satellite industry.
Japan, which has succeeded in sending a probe into lunar orbit, had struggled to perfect its rocket technology and subsequently fell far behind the United States' Delta rockets and Europe's Ariane.
It is also seeing a new rival in China, which has announced ambitious plans to send astronauts into space. Though Japanese astronauts have been on the U.S. Space Shuttle, Japan has no manned program of its own.
The two stage, 57-meter (188-foot) rocket lifted off on schedule in clear weather from the Tanegashima Space Center on a small island off the coast of Kyushu, southern Japan.
A cheer went up as the black, white and orange rocket blasted into the blue evening skies.
Junko Takashina, a spokeswoman for Japan's space agency, said the launch was a success, with the two satellites separating as planned from the rocket shortly after its liftoff, reported The Associated Press.
The H-2A is the centerpiece of Japan's space program and the focus of Japan's hopes to join the commercial satellite launching business. This is its third H-2A -- the first was launched in August 2001 and the second in February last year.
Space station mission
Japan's H-2A program has been bumpy at best. Though the first launch was a sucess, the February launch ended in failure, with one of the probes lost in space.
Test countdowns for the current rocket were called off twice late last month when engineers detected problems with a fuel valve and a gauge that monitors the flow of liquid oxygen to the engines.
In July, NASDA had to completely replace an engine on the 10.2 billion yen ($85.7 million) rocket because of flaws in valves and the sealant used between rocket stages.
Tuesday's mission is to carry a communications relay satellite to help relay transmissions between the International Space Station and Earth and an experimental probe to test re-entry technology.
Despite the setbacks, Japanese space officials have pledged 11 more launches over the next three years, including Tuesday's.
The government plans to privatize the H-2A rocket business in 2005.
The Science and Technology Ministry was expected to decide in November to hand over the manufacturing technology of the H-2A rockets to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), government sources have said.
The transfer of the H-2A manufacturing technology to MHI from NASDA will pave the way for MHI to expand into the aerospace business, including rocket manufacturing and satellite launches.
Shin Satellite deal
Shin Satellite said it had signed an agreement with the Indian international telecommunications operator Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) to provide premium satellite television transmission services to the Indian market.
Shin Satellite serves more than 30 independent Indian TV channels and 10 Internet service providers. It is the major provider of satellite capacity to the Indian government through contracts with the Department of Space.
Livechat 9pm NZ and 8.30 Syd time onwards in the chatroom tonight.
Not much at all to report today
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards
Seen on Pas 8 , Thai TV (Tarbs)
From the Dish
Optus B3 156E 12313 H, 'Austar Movie Network Preview Channel" has started Fta, PIDs 204/205.
Koreasat 2 113E 12680 H "One Korea Net and Digital Chosun 2-3" have left .
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3760 H "Indus Vision" is now encrypted.
Yamal 102 90E 3823 R "GTRK Dalnevostochnaya" has left .
Insat 2E 83E 3830 V Occasional feeds, Sr 5000, Fec 3/4, wide beam.
T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 36/2002 - 8 September 2002 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition
A S I A
INTELSAT TO CARRY AFRTS PROGRAMMING
Intelsat, working with ARTEL, the business solutions provider, is delivering satellite direct-to-home (DTH) services through the AFRTS to individuals living in more than 15,000 households in Korea and Japan. Intelsat's solution enables AFRTS to deliver four distinct services on six television channels, a program guide and 11 radio programming services through the American Forces Network (AFN), a worldwide radio and broadcast network, to keep Americans outside the U.S. informed of current events. The radio stations include a primary news, talk and sports channel that broadcasts over 500 live professional and collegiate sports each year, seven music stations, Fox Sports Plus and ESPN Sport Plus. The television channels include a wide selection of the network and cable programming that is seen daily in the U.S. AFRTS also utilises three other Intelsat satellites to distribute AFN and Direct-to-Sailor (DTS) services to Americans located throughout the world.
ESPN ON FOXTEL
US-based pay-TV sports channel ESPN became available on Foxtel in Australia on September 1. The News Limited part-owned and managed Foxtel has attracted potential litigation from free-to-air television broadcaster Seven Network because of this arrangement. In April 2002, in spite of court rulings in its favour, Seven Network closed its sports pay-TV entity C7, after failing to have the channel broadcast on Foxtel. Seven Network still hopes to become a pay-TV broadcaster, and the first transmission of ESPN on Foxtel, after two years of negotiations, demonstrates that this eventuality may be achievable.
FOXTEL MOVES STEP CLOSER TO MERGER
Foxtel has moved a step closer to securing its $1.3 billion proposal to rationalise programming within Australia's pay-TV sector but faces fierce opposition from media rivals in the coming weeks. Australia's dominant pay-TV broadcaster on September 5 unveiled a complex set of undertakings designed to placate competition concerns and push through the radical content-sharing agreement forged almost eight months ago. Foxtel has spent more than three months framing 12 detailed concessions to allow the deal, rejected by the regulator in June, to proceed. They include a $600 million commitment to upgrade its network to digital by October 2003, which will expand the number of channels available to subscribers and pay-TV aspirants. The deal is designed to cut customer churn and bring down the cost of expensive programming, with Foxtel assuming Optus's $619 million in content liabilities. Optus and Austar have also provided a number of legally enforceable undertakings to facilitate the programming accord. Should the deal receive the green light, Foxtel will initially offer subscribers 120 channels including interactive services. The capacity will increase to well over 400 channels after the three-year transition period is completed. Currently, Foxtel carries 50 channels on its analogue network. Optus, which has threatened to withdraw from pay TV unless the deal is approved, will maintain its own set of channels for three years in addition to Foxtel programming. Pay-TV aspirants will have to pay $750,000 for a channel on the network and an ongoing share of subscriber revenue from the channel. Foxtel proposes to open up its digital network to third parties once it has converted the first 100,000 analogue subscribers, which could take about six months. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it is seeking comment on the draft undertaking offered by Foxtel, Optus, Telstra Corp Ltd and Austar United Communications Ltd in relation to the proposed Foxtel/Optus pay-TV alliance.
SEVEN CLAIMS FOXTEL’S UNDERTAKING INADEQUATE
Seven Network said on September 5 new undertakings by pay-TV concerns Foxtel and Optus don't adequately address key issues raised by the country's competition watchdog. "Today's announcements do not adequately address the four issues initially raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as primary areas of concern: including the consolidation of power in program and sports rights acquisition, bundling and the difficulties caused by market dominance in carriage and content," the free-to-air television broadcaster said in a statement.
AUSTAR SIGNS PAY-TV DEAL WITH OPTUS
Austar United Communications said on September 5 it reached agreements with the two largest pay-TV companies that operate in metropolitan areas. Austar has signed deals with Foxtel and Optus that will see Austar become a customer of Foxtel's satellite platform and distribute programming to both Foxtel and Optus. Foxtel is 50%-controlled by Telstra Corp, with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd. each holding 25%. Optus is a unit of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. The undertakings between the companies will give Austar access to new services developed by Foxtel, including video-on-demand, interactive TV and new channels. Foxtel and Optus want to merge their pay-television operations to stem burgeoning losses and give them more bargaining power with Hollywood studios.
CHINA - HONG KONG
CHANGES FOR CCTV CHANNELS
As of September 2, CCTV’s two international channels will cease sharing programmes. CCTV-4 will broadcast exclusively in Chinese. CCTV-9 will broadcast exclusively in English.” “CCTV-4 will broadcast live updated news at the top of every hour, four times as often as its present schedule. CCTV-9 will carry more programmes about nature and science and also extend its news coverage.”
STAR TV EXPECTS PROFITS IN 2003
News Corporation has invested close to $2 billion into its Asian pay-TV operation, STAR TV over a decade. After years of losses, an operating profit of between $10-20 million is expected in fiscal 2003. STAR CEO James Murdoch says the firm is on track to achieve profitability, but there are still problems facing the pay-TV sector. Around 36 per cent of the roughly 500 million Asia Pacific households with television have cable. A higher penetration rate is required for pay-TV to be regarded by advertisers as a rival to national broadcasters. Low cable fees are another difficulty.
TVB REPORTS FIRST HALF RESULTS
Television Broadcasts said on September 4 its interim net profit plunged 35% on year as the decline in local advertising revenue outweighed improving international operations. The broadcaster’s net profit for the six months ended June 30 was HK$161.9 million, compared with HK$247.2 million a year ago. Profit contribution from its two local terrestrial TV channels - major sources of its core advertising revenue - plunged 57% on year to HK$143.1 million, as revenue declined 21% in the first half amid a worsening economy. Profits from its program-licensing operation climbed 58% on year, due to telecast licensing in Southeast Asia and North America.
REVENUES DOWN AT PHOENIX
Revenues at Asian DTH platform operator Phoenix have slipped through 2002 to HK$685 million from 713.7 million last year. The News Corp.- and Liu Changle-controlled Chinese language broadcaster saw operating costs rise as it rolled out new channels against the backdrop of a weak advertising market. There was a one off charge of HK$44.7 million from the acquisition of the Phoenix Chinese News and Entertainment channel (which airs in Europe) last year. Operating loss at InfoNews, which has just been awarded preliminary approval to air in Taiwan, and other news and entertainment channels widened to HK$211.8 million from HK$105.5 last year.
BAN IMPOSED ON RELAY OF FOREIGN TV STATIONS
The Indonesian government and the House of Representatives (DPR) have agreed to impose a ban by law over local broadcasting companies from relaying the programs of foreign stations, according to a report by the national news agency Antara. Syamsul Muarif, the Indonesian minister of communication and information said that the agreement was reached during final deliberations in the House on the draft law on broadcasting. The ban was to prevent foreign parties from manipulating local media to air programs serving the former's interest, he said. Local television and radio stations were however still permitted to relay certain foreign programs, the minister said. "Occasional programs such as sports and other international programs can be relayed. The restriction applies to routine programs," he stressed. Routine events, including news, are not allowed to be broadcast through local television and radio stations, Syamsul said. Indosiar television station once a week rebroadcasts the news of the US-based Voice of America (VOA) and Jakarta's radio station Elshinta that of London-based BBC. Radio 68H is collaborating with Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
NEW SUBSCRIBER FIGURES FOR SKYPERFECTV
According to the latest figures from Net Sat Cable Japan, a leading research source studying the country's media markets, SkyPerfecTV netted more than 12,000 subscribers in July, taking its total to 3.243 million.
Internet - http://www.sarjam.com
ABS-CBN SIGNS DEBT SWAP DEAL
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation has come to an agreement with its creditors regarding its short-term debt. Most of the company's creditors have agreed to a deal whereby Php3 billion of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation's Php3.8 billion worth of short-term loans will be exchanged for five-year notes. BNP Paribas SA and Standard Chartered Bank plc were the only two dissenters, preferring to call in their respective debts of $US3.6 million and Php100 million immediately.
PHOENIX TO START BROADCASTING TO TAIWAN
Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite Television expects to start broadcasting in Taiwan early next year after Taipei reversed an earlier decision banning the network. Liu Changle, chief executive officer of Phoenix Television, and Arthur Iap Kuo-hsing, director-general of Taiwan’s Government Information Office, separately confirmed to Taiwan’s United Daily News [Lien Ho Pao] that Phoenix had been given the go-ahead to broadcast on the island’s cable TV system. The green light for Phoenix came only a week after Taiwan lifted its decades-old ban on advertisements for mainland products, services and property, bringing a potential windfall for the broadcaster in a market where more than 80 per cent of households subscribe to cable TV. Mr Liu is also the controlling shareholder of Hong Kong-based Asia Television, which was last month given permission by mainland authorities to broadcast its two free-to-air channels into Guangdong. Taiwan-based satellite TV networks, including Asia Plus and Eastern Television, are still waiting for Beijing’s permission to broadcast on Chinese cable TV systems after making sizeable investments in Hong Kong.
Update a little late, A lovelly day here so I was out in the yard playing with a 90cm dish on B3. Seeing what I could get from the H side of it. Results were as expected nothing anywhere near enough signal to lock. Just the tinyest hint that some signal was there. I guess i need a bigger dish, and a better KU feed. I will take another look once I get my signal meter.
This months issue of Consumer magazine has corrected the mistake they made last month about Tv3/4, Prime being FTA on B1. Like they said they would in the email they sent to me when i corrected them about it.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Dave Knight
Subject: [Apsattv] A feed for the insomniacs
Optus B3, 12336 V, 30000, 2/3.
All Ireland Hurling Championship Final: Clare v Kilkenny.
Hurling, A cross between Aussie Rules, Hockey and Soccer.
(Craigs comment, Setanta Sports service that runs here ocassionally)
Subject: [Apsattv] Channel 9 Feed US Open Mens Final
Currently Channel 9 Feed of US Open Mens Final from NY on Pas 2 3992V 26570 7/8. Channel 3
(Craigs comment, I guess its ok to post this it should be finished by now)
From the Dish
PAS 8 166E 3829 H New APIDs for China Radio International 1122 and 1322.
Optus B1 160E 12688 H "DIG Radio" has started , Fta, APID 2321.
Optus B3 156E 12313 H Walking With Beasts has left .
Koreasat 3 116E 12410 H A SkyLife mux has started on , enc., SR 27490, FEC 3/4, SIDs 601-612, PIDs 1552/1553-1728/1729, line-up: Comedy TV, Q Channel, SBS Drama +, Nongsusan TV, CCTV 4, KBS TV 2, Midnight Channel, Beauty TV,LG Homeshopping, SkyChoice, OUN and Citizen TV.
Koreasat 3 116E 12490 H GGTV, GEMBC, JEI TV, EBS Plus 2, ABS, Cine Forever, MTV Korea, CJ 39 Shopping and Hyundai Home Shopping have started on , enc.,SID 801-809, PIDs 2064/2065-2192/2193.
Koreasat 3 116E 12530 H Health Sky TV, Sky PBC and Dong Ah TV have started on , enc.,SIDs 810-812, PIDs 2208/2209-2240/2241.
AAP 1 108.2E 12704 H "FGTV Sat" has started Fta, Sr 3700, Fec3/4, PIDs 350/257,NE Asian beam.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 3976 V New PIDs for I-Cable : 36/37.
PAS 10 68.5E 4154 H The MTV India info card has left .
PAS 10 68.5E 4182 V "BBC World India and BBC World Service" are back on , PAL, 6.60 and 7.20 MHz.
Access to Foxtel network may be a dog of a deal
There's not much danger of anyone actually using the new Foxtel access regime to put their channels on the pay-TV network. Nor, for that matter, does there seem much danger of Foxtel making a profit any time soon.
Foxtel wasn't exactly designed to make a profit, of course, although there'll be more chance of it doing so eventually, once the deal with Optus is approved - as it now will be.
Foxtel chief Kim Williams not only issued the "most comprehensive set of undertakings in the history of the ACCC" on Thursday, but also the longest, most complicated press release ever. But there are only a couple of things the casual observer needs to know:
A wholesale price (retail minus x) has been struck for the various pay-TV channels known as Foxtel and they are now being offered to other operators on an all-or-nothing basis.
The price that Foxtel/Telstra charges content owners for access to its network has been reduced from $2.3 million per channel per year to $750,000.
But, first, it's worth looking at how we got to this point.
Foxtel was designed to do two things. One of its shareholders, Telstra, wanted to use it to strangle its main competitor, Optus, while the other original shareholder, News Corp, wanted to use it as a vehicle to flog content that it owned or had the rights to. Late-arriving shareholder Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, has the same use for Foxtel as News.
Each shareholder has achieved its aims. Optus has been strangled and now needs this deal with Foxtel to survive, while News and PBL are making plenty of money from the Fox Sports channel, the Movie Partnership, and the various other content supplying businesses they own in various proportions.
The reason Foxtel loses money is that it pays very high prices to those content suppliers that are controlled by its shareholders, News and PBL, as well as to Hollywood movie studios. Thus it can be seen that Foxtel's losses represent, in a way, the fee that Telstra pays News and PBL to assist in the murder of Optus.
Until now, Telstra has demanded that no content-sharing deals be done with the intended victim or any other communications network owner, even though News and PBL have always been keen to get Fox Sports and their other content to a wider audience so they can make more money.
The breakthrough that allowed the Foxtel/Optus deal was that Telstra checked Optus's pulse and saw that it was more or less dead. And, more importantly, Telstra got the high-speed delivery technology for its copper wires, called ADSL, off the ground.
Telstra believes that the long-term future of communication to homes, including entertainment in the lounge room, lies in high-speed point-to-point broadband networks like ADSL and fibre-to-the-kerb/home, not point-to-multipoint broadcast networks like the hybrid fibre/coaxial cable and satellite that Foxtel uses.
HFC cable and the Foxtel business model are simply transitions to what Telstra believes will be the end game.
Whether Telstra chief Ziggy Switkowski is right or not doesn't matter in this context: Telstra is less concerned than it was about competition from cable, which means it is less concerned than before about whether Foxtel is an open or closed system.
As for this week's undertakings, there were a couple of quite funny things in it. Foxtel has suddenly discovered four extra channels that it can make available for "access seekers" when previously it swore black and blue that the absolute maximum was six until the network went digital. Apparently someone moved a filing cabinet one day and there they were.
The core of the undertakings is the discovery of those four extra channels, to make 10, and cutting the rent for them from $2.3 million a year each to $750,000 a year, plus costs. The wholesaling of Foxtel channels to other networks and digitisation of their own network are no big deal because they were going to do that anyway.
But the reduction in rent is important. For 18 months the Seven Network has been complaining about the high rent and the terms and conditions imposed by Foxtel for access, and has been, with John Fairfax, the main advocate of reform.
Let's pretend for a moment that Seven Network actually has pay-TV channels to sell (which it doesn't), and let's pretend that it's not just mounting the whole exercise to force the government to allow multichannelling on terrestrial digital broadcasting. (Multichannelling was blocked to protect the pay-TV operators - Seven believes it should get multichannelling now as a quid pro quo for the Foxtel/Optus deal going ahead).
Seven has been trying to get its pretend channels into Foxtel's "basic" package - that is, the entry-level $39.95 a month suite of channels you have to buy just to get the set-top box in your house. (To get movies you pay a further $12.95 and for the AFL it's $5 more.)
Seven didn't want to ask subscribers who were already paying $57.90 a month for Foxtel channels to cough up an extra $5 or $10 for old episodes of Blue Heelers or the Korean golf open. This, they realised, would not be profitable.
Getting into the basic package means a channel provider receives a guaranteed slice of the $39.95, because nobody can work out exactly how many of the subscribers are in it to get Seven's or anyone else's channels. Kim Williams alone gets to decide what he wants to include in "basic" and how much he will pay for it. It comes down purely to a subjective judgement: the more popular he thinks a channel will be, the more he is likely to pay for it.
Foxtel's undertakings dangle the prospect of inclusion in "basic" as a carrot, but it's not a serious prospect unless the channels are very good.
The only real question is whether Seven or anyone else will be able to make money by selling channels via access to the Foxtel network under terms contained in the undertakings. That is very unlikely.
Even with just $750,000 a year rent plus a small share of Foxtel's network costs (which will be apportioned according to audience or revenue share), you would probably need at least 100,000 subscribers at $5 a month to break even. When people are already paying $57.90 or more to Foxtel, that is a tough sell - unless it's pornography.
And anyway, leaving aside all the noise that Seven and Fairfax are making, there's only one business in Australia that already has TV channels that can be put on Foxtel, and that's Mike and Regina Boulos's Television and Radio Broadcasting Service.
I rang Mike Boulos in Athens on Friday. He currently sells 65 channels - seven in English (including CNN, ESPN, Turner classic movies, and music) and the rest in a variety of foreign languages (there are eight Italian channels, for example) - via satellite and his own set-top boxes to about 130,000 customers.
His business is based on an all-or-nothing model: customers pay $62.95 and get access to all 65 channels, even if they only speak English and Greek and can't understand the other 50.
There is no possibility of anyone paying $39.95 for Foxtel basic plus $62.95 a month to get access to Mike Boulos's channels on the Foxtel network, even if Kim Williams was prepared to let him have 65 channels once the network was digitised, and even if he could afford $750,000 for each (which he can't).
So forget Mike Boulos as an "access seeker". Seven really just wants multichannelling on digital free-to-air so it can - possibly - preserve its market share. And Fairfax? Apparently the idea is for a news channel or two to lever off the newspaper franchises.
Fairfax has prepared a business plan for this, which I haven't seen, but presumably it looks OK or else the company would bow out of the debate and stick to print.
But it will be far easier to lose money as a Foxtel "access seeker" than to make it.
PanAmSat, Intelsat Launch Rival Bids to Acquire Eutelsat
PARIS -- PanAmSat Corp. (SPOT, news) (SPOT, news) and Intelsat, the No. 2 and No. 3 global satellite operators, have quietly launched rival moves to acquire Eutelsat SA, Europe's largest satellite-services company, industry officials told The Wall Street Journal.
No agreements have been reached. The talks are likely to drag on for weeks, and so far only Intelsat has submitted a formal offer, described by these officials as a hostile bid totaling $3.5 billion to $4 billion. But a deal with either suitor would significantly accelerate the industry consolidation already underway and create an international powerhouse, with a combined fleet of at least 38 satellites and annual revenue of more than $1.5 billion. Its size and geographic reach would reshape the industry, which already is in turmoil due to excess capacity and falling stock prices.
If Eutelsat, of Paris, ends up combining with Intelsat, incorporated in Bermuda but with headquarters in Washington, D.C., or PanAmSat, of Wilton, Conn., the new entity would rival SES Global SA of Luxembourg, the industry heavyweight with 29 wholly-owned satellites plus stakes in 13 others. SES touched off the consolidation trend in 2000 by acquiring General Electric Co.'s (GE, news) satellite-services unit in a friendly transaction.
Intelsat, by contrast, lobbed in a bid that caught Eutelsat's board and executives off guard. Veteran industry officials said the surprise offer is likely to touch off a flurry of moves and countermoves by the three companies and their investment bankers.
Eutelsat, Intelsat and PanAmSat all declined to comment, but industry officials familiar with the issue said the maneuvering has begun in earnest. Eutelsat's predicament also could spark offers for a portion of the company from private-equity groups that have been circling around it for months, they said.
Korean Ministry to Participate in TBW Satellite Business
South Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) will take a more active part in the telecommunications, broadcasting and weather (TBW) satellite business.
Reversing its previous passive stance on the issue, MIC said that it has decided to load a Ka-band transponder into one of its satellites to be launched in 2008 instead of on Koreasat-5 set for launch in 2005. MIC plans to develop Ka and Ku-band transponders by investing US$37.6 million to carry them into Koreasat 5. The TBW satellite project will widen service ranges to information on weather and the ocean as part of a mid and long-term space development plan by the National Science & Technology Council. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Korea Aerospace Industries, Korean Air, Kospace and Telwave are jointly developing Ku (36MHz) and Ka-band transponders and antennas
JSAT May Rise; Nippon TV To Take Stake
Satellite operator JSAT Corporation announced that Nippon Television Network will acquire 5.87% stake in the company on September 18.
JSAT Corporation is Japan’s largest satellite operator with seven in-orbit satellites of its own and majority ownership in two satellites co-owned with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT).
In March 2000, JSAT and NTT Communications Corporation (or NTT-C, a subsidiary of NTT) entered into a partnership to take advantage of the vast potential of the satellite business. NTT-C is the fifth-largest investor in JSAT and has transferred ownership of the capacity on two N-STAR satellites (NSTARa and NSTARb) to JSAT.
The agreement allows JSAT to compete with large international satellite operators on a stronger footing. Other goals of the partnership with NTT-C are to develop Asia's market for satellite communications and strengthen Internet and e-commerce offerings.
What a Catch! The Outdoor Channel lands a string of new viewers and advertisers
If puttering about the garden is your thing, you've got hgtv. If you're a weekend chef, there's the Food Network. And today more and more stalkers of deer and bass have the Outdoor Channel, which has fashioned itself as the nation's only cable and satellite channel dedicated primarily to hunting and fishing. Though a tiny player among the TV giants, the channel saw its revenue climb 30% last year, to more than $12 million, and it turned a $1.1 million profit. It's expecting a big boost in viewership next month, when satellite programmer DirecTV will begin including the Outdoor Channel TOC to its fans in a sports-programming package it offers to its 10 million subscribers.
While many large networks like ESPN and tnn show a little fishing and hunting, those pursuits account for 70% of the programming on TOC. Viewers can pick up tips about the liveliest trout streams and pheasant ranges in North America, along with pointers on how to bag the game. The closest thing the channel has to a rival, Comcast's Outdoor Life Network (which has a licensing agreement with a unit of AOL Time Warner, TIME magazine's parent company), reaches three times as many viewers but focuses much more on sports like cycling and kayaking. Another difference: TOC runs regular shows on country music and gold prospecting. Its eclectic mix is carried on cable systems from San Diego to Miami, plus the satellite Dish Network.
Like so many other entrepreneurial tales, the story of the Outdoor Channel starts in a garage this one at the Post Falls, Idaho, home of George and Wilma Massie. Avid weekend gold panners, the Massies launched a for-profit gold-prospecting club in 1968. They moved their business in 1976 to California, where George won a little fame four years later when he found a million-dollar pocket of nuggets in the Mother Lode area. In the late 1980s their son Tom, now 37, began filming George's gold-hunting expeditions and lectures footage that the Massies turned into an infomercial called The Gold Prospecting Show. "It kinda just evolved into a program," recalls son Perry, who today is 40 and CEO of Global Outdoors, the publicly traded firm in Temecula, Calif., that owns 84% of the channel.
George died in 1993, the year his gold-prospecting club spawned the Outdoor Channel. Within two years, the channel was dominated by hunting and fishing shows and was being distributed by a few carriers in the Southeast. By the end of 1998 it had 5 million subscribers; last year it reached 15 million. Despite the industry's advertising slump, ad revenue grew 18% last year, to $8.6 million. Says Daryl Daigre, vice president of marketing for Mossy Oak, a camouflage-and-hunting-accessories chain: "They deliver our ultimate consumer to us." While larger networks are queasy about showing the actual felling of animals, the Outdoor Channel shows the "kill shot"--but tastefully. It avoids blood and guts unless skinning and butchering are the topics, as they were in a recent episode of Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild, a popular show whose host is the rock star and hunter.
Much of the channel's programming is hard to distinguish from advertising. Companies like Mossy Oak and Primos, a maker of devices that mimic the calls of game birds and animals, produce popular programs that showcase their wares. It probably doesn't bother the channel's fans, many of whom are eager for news of the latest gear, like high-tech crossbows and electronic fish finders. The 38 million Americans who fished and hunted last year spent $41 billion on equipment alone a number that doubtless keeps the Outdoor Channel's executives smiling
(Craigs comment, Why am I publishing this item? Its a good example. I have been mentioning the last few days content is needed for Pay TV providers in the Asia Pacific region. This channel would be ideal once time shifted into Aus and Nz timezones with a few local shows added in and some local advertising support. In fact why stop there? it would probably be a hit in Asia as well.
Dhoots to launch 24-hr Hindi news channel
The Dhoot brothers, promoters of the Videocon group, have decided to launch a 24-hour Hindi business news channel called Bharat Business Channel (BBC).
The Dhoots are routing this through a newly floated joint venture, also named Bharat Business Channel.
The Dhoots will hold a 60 per cent stake in the joint venture, while the balance 40 per cent will be held by a US-based media firm. Later, the US-based company is expected to hike its stake to 51 per cent.
The initial investment in the venture is likely to be around Rs 50 crore.
Venugopal Dhoot, chairman of Videocon Group, said, “The channel would be launched by the end of this year or within the first quarter of next year.”
Dhoot refused to divulge the name of the US partner citing confidentiality clauses in the agreement with the partner but said that the media company currently does not have a presence in India.
BBC has already tied up with SingTel Group, a leading integrated communications service provider in the Asia Pacific region for hiring space on transponder to telecast news for the channel and the footprints can be received both in India and the Middle East.
The company has also entered into a technical tie-up with the UK-based Avid which would provide total technical solutions for the channel.
The foray into media is part of the group’s diversification plan to enter new businesses.
?The general entertainment channel space is crowded and there is more scope for news channels,” Dhoot said.
Another reason for launching a news channel stems from the fact that there is no other 24-hour Hindi business news channel.
With regard to content for the news channel, Dhoot said that the company will be sourcing content from outside news producers.
The Dhoots are currently in talks with a number of news content providers. It is understood that the company would use space in Videocon Towers at Delhi’s Jhandewalan Extension and its office space at Nariman Point in Mumbai for the project.
The 5,000 sq ft Mumbai space and the 20,000 sq ft Delhi space will be used as studios.
Media analysts say that the success of Aaj Tak, the general Hindi news channel, has exploded the myth that only English news channels are successful. The Sahara group has also lined up the launch of another general news channel in Hindi.
The Rupert Murdoch-promoted STAR, too, is planning to launch a news channel which will have a large element of Hindi content.
No update Sunday
Sky NZ has announced that it plans to market it's UHF pay tv service via well known retailer "The Warehouse" There is nothing special on offer through this deal, they are not selling the equipment and the discounted install fee is quite often advertised for the same amount on tv during reguler promotions. So why are they promoting the UHF service so heavily? its quite simple they make a quicker profit through the UHF customers. . The pricing of the UHF service remains the same as well. No mention is made of if they will also sell the Digital service through the Warehouse. I wonder if they plan to phase out a few Sky regional outlets now that they will be selling the service via the Warehouse stores?
Birdsville races on B1 today, this was a bit different as mentioned the other week this feed was supposed to go internationally to the U.S. Did anyone spot it anywhere?
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards
1010 UTC 6/9/02
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3672 H Sr 13635 Fec 3/4
Vpid33 Apid34 SID1 ATV
Vpid1057 Apid1058 SID2 Kanal D
Vpid2081 Apid2082 SID3 TGRT
(Craigs comment, looks like a new mux for Tarbs)
From Dave Knight
B1, 12397H Sr 7200 3/4
"Mt Buller World Aerials' Feed for Channel Seven.
B1, 12420V Sr 6980 Fec 3/4 "Birdsville raceday"
From the Dish
Thaicom 3 78.5E 3672 H "ATV, Kanal D and TGRT" have started, Fta, Sr 13635, Fec 3/4, SID 1-3, PIDs 33/34, 1057/1058 and 2081/2082, global beam. ( I think these are just test "source signals" and there should be something new here from Tarbs)
Sky and Warehouse link up to sell UHF services
Discount retailer the Warehouse and pay TV company Sky Network Television have joined forces to market Sky's UHF subscriptions.
Subscriptions to Sky's UHF service that includes SKY Sport, SKY Movies, SKY 1, Discovery Channel and CNN will be on sale at 67 of the Warehouse's 78 stores from the beginning of October.
The stores selling Sky are all located within UHF service zones.
Warehouse shoppers will be able to purchase the first month's Sky subscription and a discounted installation fee from The Warehouse and then ring Sky direct to arrange for the UHF aerial and decoder to be installed.
The ongoing customer relationship is with Sky.
"Traditionally Sky has used direct channels for all its sales. We have avoided a traditional retail sales model because of the complicated nature of our packages and services," Sky chief executive John Fellet said.
"Under this arrangement we get the upsides of a retail presence while still retaining a direct relationship with the customer from the outset," he said.
"With its history of delivering a bargain, The Warehouse is ideally suited for selling the UHF product because it's the most cost effective way to get hooked up to Sky TV."
Mr Fellet said the long term future for Sky was in its digital services, but UHF still had huge value because of its fixed cost to the company.
Customers could get Sky installed through The Warehouse for $20, then pay a monthly subscription fee priced from $29.96.
Shares in Sky TV last traded yesterday at $3.70, while The Warehouse jumped 8c to $7.35 in early trade
Consumers yet to see prices for pay TV packages
Soon there could be more than 100 channels available on pay TV, but no-one is saying how much it will cost viewers.
A redrawn merger proposal of the pay TV services offered by Foxtel and Optus, launched with much fanfare on Thursday, gives little indication of what consumers will pay for program packages.
The two players remain tightlipped in terms of what subscribers will pay on top of the basic service charges that Foxtel has announced will be capped at a monthly price of $47.95.
Foxtel plans to spend $600 million on a digital pay TV service, eventually opening up hundreds of channels and interactivity to consumers via its content sharing deal with Optus.
It will offer its channels via satellite or cable through a tier service, where viewers pay higher costs for however many channels they take - for example movie or sports offerings - on top of the basic package.
In a bid to win approval for the new Foxtel-Optus deal, Foxtel promised the cost of its basic satellite package would not rise above $47.95 a month for the next three years, subject to inflation.
Foxtel's basic cable service now costs $37.95, but Foxtel spokesman Mark Furness said it had not been decided whether that would increase.
"The basic price of the Foxtel service will not rise above the current satellite price, whether or not the cable price rises is a matter for commercial consideration," he said.
"Our desire is to keep the entry point as attractive as possible," he said.
Mr Furness said Foxtel had yet to announce any prices for tier packages on top of the basic package.
But he noted it had, independent of the content sharing agreement, reached a deal to carry the movie channels - Warner, Disney, MGM, Dreamworks - currently carried on Optus and Austar.
"But it's a bit like going to a restaurant and if you have an entree then a main then dessert, you're going to pay more," he said.
"We haven't determined those (prices), we've only just cut the deal."
Optus is also understood to be capping price increases, although the Singapore Telecommunications Ltd-owned company would not comment on whether it would lift its basic service cost from the current $37.95 a month.
Optus is thought likely to remain at or below Foxtel's price, but the company will probably await a final ruling from the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission on the deal before announcing charging details.
The planned digital network has a target date of October 2003, but before that Optus customers will be able to purchase Foxtel content as part of their package.
Optus subscribers already have access to some Foxtel programs, including two Fox Sports channels, and the Fox Footy channel.
Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams said the planned digital network could initially offer up to 144 channels, with around 15 per cent or more than 24 of those earmarked for rivals.
Under the proposal, neither Foxtel nor Optus can exclusively acquire the rights to Antenna, BBC World, Cartoon Network, CNBC, CNN, Disney, National Geographic, RAI, Sky News, Sky Racing, Sundance Channel, Turner Classic Movies, and TVSN.
(Craigs comment, like I said yesterday 144 channels of what? Channels don't just appear out of thin air. Who will distribute these new channels into the Asia Pacific region for the Pay providers to carry?)
Intelsat 906 Launch Successful: Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia to
Receive High Power Telephony, Video & Internet Solutions
From Press Release
Date: 6 September 2002
Release Number: 2002-22
Washington D.C., 6 September 2002 - Intelsat announced today that at 2:44
a.m. EDT the Intelsat 906 satellite was successfully launched aboard an
Ariane 44L vehicle. The satellite is expected to be operational this October.
The Intelsat 906 launch is the sixth in a nine-satellite campaign to replace
and to enhance system capacity by the end of 2003. The 906 satellite will
be deployed at 64ºE and will offer capacity for telephony, corporate
networks, Internet, video and hybrid space/terrestrial solutions to
customers on its 72 C-band and 22 Ku-band transponders (measured in 36 MHz
equivalent units). The satellite will provide high power Ku-band spot beam
coverage for Western Europe and part of Asia and additional C-band capacity
to customers in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
The high power and coverage area of the Intelsat 906 satellite makes it
ideal to support Ku-band video applications on the Indian subcontinent as
well as all of Intelsat's GlobalConnexsm solutions, including Internet trunking and IPL.
Intelsat, Ltd. CEO Conny Kullman stated, "We are pleased to add the Intelsat
906 to our fleet, a new powerful spacecraft that will allow our customers to
use less expensive ground equipment and to obtain services with greater
throughput. The IX series satellites provide Intelsat with
technology-enhanced capacity to meet customer demand and allow us to roll
out new services."
The Intelsat 906 satellite will replace the Intelsat 804, which currently
holds the 64ºE orbital slot but will be moved to a new location at 176ºE to
support additional customer demand in the Pacific. As an extension of this
deployment, and pending regulatory approval, the 906 launch also allows
Intelsat to place a satellite in a new role at 85ºE to serve China, India
and other parts of Asia.
Intelsat's next launch, the Intelsat 907 satellite, is scheduled to take
place from French Guiana, aboard an Ariane 44L launch vehicle, during the
first quarter of next year.
Intelsat, Ltd. offers telephony, corporate network, video and Internet
solutions around the globe via capacity on 24 geosynchronous satellites in
prime orbital locations. Customers in approximately 200 countries and
territories rely on Intelsat satellites and staff for quality connections,
global reach and reliability. For more information, visit www.intelsat.com.
+1 202 944 8223
Ariane rocket launches INTELSAT satellite
KOUROU, French Guiana (Reuters) - A European Ariane rocket placed a communications satellite for Washington-based global satellite operator INTELSAT into orbit after a textbook launch from equatorial French Guiana early on Friday.
The Ariane 44L rocket equipped with four liquid strap-on boosters -- the most powerful in the Ariane-4 series -- blasted off at 3:44 a.m. (0644 GMT) from the European Space Agency (ESA) launch centre in Kourou on the northeast coast of South America.
The rocket lit-up a clear equatorial night sky and was visible from the ground for over two minutes.
Twenty-one minutes after launch, space officials said the INTELSAT 906 satellite separated from the Ariane rocket to begin its minimum 13 year mission providing Internet, broadcast, telephony and corporate network services from its orbital position above the Indian ocean.
INTELSAT 906 weighed 4.7 metric tonnes (10,400 lb) at launch and was built in California by Space Systems/Loral.
"This satellite will supply complementary services to our customers in Africa, Asia and Europe," INTELSAT satellite manager Terry Edwards said.
Specialists estimated the cost of the satellite, launch and insurance at over $250 million.
Friday's flight was the 154th Ariane mission since Western Europe began launching the series in 1979. It was the tenth Ariane rocket launch this year.
TWO ARIANE-4 ROCKETS REMAIN
Ariane-4, first launched in 1988, has a success rate of over 97 percent, but its days are numbered.
The rocket, which can launch payloads with a maximum weight of 5 metric tonnes, will be taken out of service after two more launches.
It will be replaced by the more powerful, new generation Ariane-5 rocket that has already flown 13 times.
Ariane-5 can launch payloads with a maximum weight of 6.8 metric tonnes. An upgraded version that will orbit up to 10 tonnes is slated for launch before the end of the year.
Ariane-5's career started off with a spectacular failure during its maiden test launch in June 1996, exploding 37 seconds after lift-off sending four uninsured scientific satellites worth $500 million plunging into mangrove swamps on French Guiana's coast.
Last month, Ariane's biggest competitor International Launch Services (ILS) a US-Russian-Ukrainian joint venture led by Lockheed Martin successfully flew its first Atlas-5 rocket carrying a European Eutelsat satellite.
Atlas-5 competes directly with Ariane-5 in the commercial satellite launch market hit badly by the world telecommunications slowdown and larger economic troubles following the September 11 suicide attacks.
Boeing plans to introduce its Delta-4 rocket before the end of the year capable of launching similar payloads.
Lehman retracts statement about Shin Satellite default
Payments to builder `in full compliance'
The US investment bank Lehman Brothers has retracted a statement suggesting that Shin Satellite Plc might have defaulted on a $21-million payment to satellite builder Space Systems/Loral.
Shin Satellite had dismissed the research report as totally unfounded.
Loral had disclosed earlier that a ``foreign customer'' had refused to make a $21-million payment unless Loral received an export licence. As a result, Loral notified the customer that it was in default, said the research report, written by Lehman analyst William Kidd and published on Aug 15.
``We suspect that the customer referred to could be Shin Satellite,'' the report said.
Yesterday Lehman Brothers issued a statement saying: ``Shin Satellite management has informed us that it is not the customer referred to in Loral's ... disclosure. Importantly, today we were able to separately verify that Shin was not the customer in question.''
Shin Satellite, in a statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said its payments to Loral for the Thaicom-4 satellite, also known as iPSTAR-1, had been in full compliance.
``The company has notified Lehman Brothers in New York of the falseness of the reference to the company ... and requested it take immediate remedial steps to prevent further damage.''
Shin Satellite chairman Dumrong Kasemset said the report had had an adverse impact on the company's reputation as well as its share price.
Shin Satellite shares closed down 30 satang at 19 baht yesterday.
More news on the changing Australian pay tv situation, but don't get carried away when you see figures like 480 channels mentioned a large amount of them will just be timeshifted and NVOD programming. Pay tv providers in the Asia Pacific region are severely limited as to the channels that are available to them for redistribution in pay tv packages. Most being sourced off the Panamsats, bringing in new channels to our region is a costly business with Transponder rental costs as well the feed often needs to be customized for the local market. This could be a big problem for Asia Pacific region Pay tv providers as time goes on.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bill Richards
Couldnt find any FTA promos on any of the AS3 3820v speedcast chs
From the Dish
PAS 2 169E 12637 V "Win TV West" has left (unconfirmed)
Optus B3 156E 12564 H "The Soundtrack Channel Pacific" has left , replaced by a test card.
Palapa C2 113E 3760 H The ten test cards are still/back on , Fta, Sr 26100, Fec 3/4,with new PIDs.
Asiasat 3 105.5E 3840 H "Star Chinese" has started on , Videoguard, Sr 26850, Fec 7/8, SID 1756, PIDs 512/640.
Apstar 2R 76.5E 4108 V "MAK Prime promo and a MAK Music promo" have started, Fta, PIDs 1160/1120 and 1260/1220.
TransACT walking the Telstra tightrope
A LANDMARK deal between Foxtel and Canberra-based TransACT said more about the new shape of Australia's pay-TV industry than the mountain of documents Foxtel released yesterday.
While industry and media types were trying to digest the hundreds of pages Foxtel dumped to support its pitch to Allan Fels on why it should effectively take control of the pay-TV industry, Foxtel chief Kim Williams backed action with words and announced a deal selling Foxtel programming to TransACT, a telephony and pay-TV group.
It's a small start but a sign of things to come.
TransACT shareholders include venture capital interests, gas company AGL, the Commonwealth Bank and the Canberra utility ACTW. What it has done for its 20,000 customers is strike a commercial deal with Foxtel to start bundling Foxtel programming with its broadband internet and telephony services.
It expects to be offering a full suite of Foxtel pay-TV channels by Christmas for just under $50 a month.
With this deal Williams offers a compelling reason for Fels and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to look favourably on a new-look Foxtel, offering access and deals to all comers.
Michael Del Gigante, the chief of TransACT, said the company had been attempting to get access to Foxtel's content for at least a couple of years, but there had been a change in attitude to wholesale deals this year under Williams, who joined Foxtel in December last year.
It was in March this year that Optus finally threw in the towel and looked for an escape from its crippling movie contracts with Hollywood. It gave the game up for Foxtel, with the sweetener that Foxtel took on the $619 million liabilities Optus carried.
The fear from companies like newspaper publisher Fairfax and Kerry Stokes' Seven Network is that Foxtel will sit at the centre of the pay-TV industry with its content platform and its set-top boxes and stifle competition, but that is not what worries Del Gigante.
In fact, in this new deal there are clearly significant concessions from Foxtel to mitigate industry fears it is set to become a mini-Telstra, owner of the content and the platform and reaping monopoly rents.
Foxtel is managed by 25 per cent shareholder News Limited (publisher of The Australian) and also boasts Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting as a 25 per cent shareholder.
But then there's Telstra with 50 per cent in Foxtel, and that's where some real hurdles remain, according to Del Gigante.
Clearly Fels is concerned about that too - he has already labelled Telstra's holding in Foxtel as a conflict of interest.
Telstra has filed for exemptions under the Trades Practices Act to allow it to offer discounts and bundle Foxtel programming into its own suite of telephony and internet offerings.
That comes as Telstra builds a fortress in internet land, offering free downloads only for Telstra customers on Telstra-related sites, like the increasingly popular Australian rules footy site, www.afl. com.au. Only a company that owns the infrastructure and the content could do something like that.
It leaves TransACT - which was on life support last year, but is now looking more stable as it starts to build its customer base - extremely vulnerable.
For example, if in TransACT's backyard Telstra launched a targeted promotion, with a discount on pay TV and internet and telephony - all the things that TransACT is offering - Del Gigante would be powerless to stop the customers streaming out the door.
"My fear is more to do with what Telstra is allowed to do," Del Gigante says of yesterday's Foxtel announcement. "Telstra owns 50 per cent of Foxtel and by bundling (Foxtel programming) that will leave them in a powerful position."
Del Gigante is vehemently against Telstra's push to be exempted from the Trade Practices Act for so-called third line forcing - where, in this case, Telstra's customers are effectively forced to buy Foxtel's product as well so they can qualify for the discounts on offer.
"We will be writing to the ACCC to strongly oppose it," he says.
Little wonder. After more than a year of trying, TransACT just managed to get access to Foxtel's pay-TV programming, only to face the possibility of Telstra offering the same platform soon.
"They are such a dominant player already," Del Gigante says.
"It just makes it hard for fledgling players like us."
Foxtel offers gateway for pay-TV viewers
PAY-TV viewers will be offered up to 480 channels, with one-third set aside for new pay-TV companies, as part of the industry's second bid to win approval from the competition watchdog for a $1.3 billion restructure.
Under the revised deal, Foxtel - 25 per cent owned by News Ltd, publisher of The Australian - will evolve from a simple pay-TV business to a gateway for all pay-TV newcomers.
Foxtel and competitors Optus and Austar's first proposal was rejected by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in June.
Yesterday Foxtel revealed plans for a $600 million digital upgrade by October next year, expanding its channel capacity from 50 to 480.
Foxtel has also offered two community channels free carriage on its digital service.
One will be a general community channel, developed with input from the federal Government.
The other is an education channel that Foxtel hopes to create with the Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee, TAFE and other groups.
Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams said the digital technology would also enable more interactive television.
Future digital set-top boxes would also have personal video recorders included in them, meaning people may no longer need video recorders. "These concessions will create jobs and investment, drive the arrival of the digital age, create unprecedented choice for consumers and give regionals the same access to pay-TV as city areas," he said.
Foxtel, Optus and Austar have also promised to sell their content to other pay-TV companies, and Foxtel said it had reached a deal with Transact in Canberra this week.
Optus chief executive Chris Anderson said viewers would be able to "pick and pay" for the pay-TV services they wanted.
And he again warned that Optus would withdraw from pay-TV, and possibly local telephony, if the restructure deal were not agreed.
Foxtel also agreed to cap the price of its basic package at the satellite rate of $49.95 a month for three years and to maintain expenditure on new Australian content at existing levels.
But opponents of the deal were unmoved.
"We remain highly concerned about the substance, effectiveness and workability of the undertakings," a spokesman for newspaper group John Fairfax Holdings said.
The Seven Network also maintained its opposition.
Pay TV revamp may mean 480 channels
Australia's 1.5 million pay TV subscribers could get access to nearly 500 channels as part of a revised deal to shake up the industry.
The amended Foxtel-Optus programming deal announced yesterday will expand the choice of channels and aims to bring the industry into the black after years of big losses.
Foxtel has agreed to spend $600 million upgrading its pay TV network to digital in October, 2003, as part of extensive concessions aimed at alleviating competition concerns.
This will dramatically expand the network's capacity from the 50 channels on its analogue network. But it is unclear whether subscribers will have to pay extra for a digital set-top box to receive the improved picture quality.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission blocked the original content-sharing deal in June on the ground that it was anti-competitive.
It is hoped the rejuvenated content alliance will accelerate the take-up of digital TV and give subscribers a vast range of interactive services.
But it faces rigorous scrutiny from rival media groups when the ACCC launches its market inquiries today. Commission chairman Allan Fels is expected to deliver his decision in October.
John Fairfax Holdings, owner of The Age, together with the Seven Network and Channel Ten attacked the original proposal, fearing it would entrench Foxtel's dominance and create a powerful programming monopoly.
Under the landmark agreement, Foxtel has agreed to provide its competitors with access to its network and programming.
This exposes subscribers to a much broader selection of programming from a diverse range of media operators.
The deal allows pay TV aspirants such as Seven, Ten, Fairfax and other media companies to set up their own subscription services or establish individual channels.
If the proposal gains regulatory approval, online and telecommunications groups will be able to "bundle" Foxtel's pay TV content into discount package deals with its phone and Internet services - something Optus has already been doing.
Foxtel's basic monthly retail price of $47.95 will be capped for three years. Optus said it would adjust prices for its 270,000 customers to reflect the increased number of channels - up to 480 could be available in three years.
Although Optus plans to carry Foxtel channels, including Showtime and Encore movie channels, it will continue to offer at least seven channels not available on Foxtel. These include Ovation, MTV and ABC Kids.
The content plan also allows for two new community-based channels, including one dedicated to education. Foxtel will fund all transmission and carriage costs for these.
The education channel will transmit 24 hours a day. Content would be provided by the education sector, Foxtel's director of corporate affairs Mark Furness said yesterday. Schools, TAFE institutes and universities would create, fund and have editorial control over the programs.
These could include documentaries, broadcasts of educational conferences, and programs linked to curriculums and teacher training.
Regional subscribers are also expected to benefit. Regional satellite operator Austar will expand its reach as part of the agreement.
Media analyst Steve Allen said that if the deal failed, choice would be narrowed as Optus had threatened to shut its loss-making pay TV arm.
Pay-TV movie deal on way
FULL coverage of mainstream Hollywood movies on pay-TV moved a step closer with new moves from Foxtel and Optus to get their program sharing deal approved.
The companies yesterday promised the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission they would broadcast in digital, allow rivals to buy their content and reduce their exclusive programming.
The merger would fix the frustrating phenomenon for film fans of having to subscribe to both channels to get the full range of movies.
But the nation's 1.5 million subscribers will have to pay more to get the new movie channels available.
The ACCC blocked the proposed content sharing deal in June saying it breached the Trade Practices Act.
But it will now consider a series of undertakings from the networks, which were released yesterday, as well as comment from any affected parties.
Foxtel and Optus had earlier reached agreement to share sports coverage with Optus showing Fox Sports and 2 as well as the Fox Footy channel.
The main point of difference between the services is in movies with each having exclusive deals with different Hollywood studios.
As well as creating shared movie channels, the content merger would also see some of Foxtel's entertainment channels -- including Lifestyle, Fox 8 and Nickelodeon -- offered on Optus's network.
While the range of available channels would be the same for all subscribers if the merger goes ahead, both networks would be free to package their offerings differently.
Foxtel has undertaken not to increase the price of its basic service for the next three years.
The main benefits of the deal may be in the future with the conversion to digital expanding the array of possible channels from 50 to 600.
The channels want the merger to end the losses they have suffered while simultaneously rolling out cable.
The deal would allow Telstra and Optus to offer a full pay-TV service to many of their telephone subscribers at a discount rate.
Both Foxtel and Optus believe their undertakings will overcome the ACCC's competition concerns.
The channels have also pledged to offer their programming to rival companies who have established their own cable networks with the ACCC to arbitrate if a price cannot be agreed.
The revised Foxtel/ Optus proposal remains subject to ACCC approval, with the watchdog seeking comment about it over the next three weeks.
Telstra Corp Ltd owns 50 per cent of Foxtel, with News Corp and Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd each holding 25 per cent.
China satellite clampdown after pirate broadcasts
BEIJING, China (Reuters) -- China has launched a nationwide clampdown on satellite networks in the wake of a string of pirate broadcasts on state television by the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, state media reported.
The campaign, ordered by the Ministry of Information Industry, aimed to curb the illegal use of satellite broadcasting equipment and "harmful interference," the official Xinhua news agency said.
Although the report did not mention Falun Gong, the orders come roughly one week after the outlawed group hijacked a network in a city near Beijing and aired 70 minutes of propaganda.
"There have been gross instances of setting up and using satellite communications earth stations without authorization, changing the properties of earth stations and the satellites in use without authorization, even sending signals to satellites unrelated to their work," Xinhua said.
The actions had "severely disrupted the business of legal communications users and orderly communications and affected social stability," it quoted a ministry official as saying. It gave few details of the proposed clean-up plan.
Falun Gong's U.S.-based information Centrex said in a statement the group's adherents had hijacked airwaves on August 23 and 27 in the Hebei province city of Baoding.
Television station officials and police in Baoding denied the incident had happened. "Such things could never have happened here," one television official said.
But a police official in neighboring Xushui county, some 130 km (80 miles) south of Beijing, said that he had heard of the illegal broadcasts, that at least five Falun Gong followers had been arrested and that security had been heightened in the area.
The broadcasts, the latest in a string of high-tech stunts in a propaganda blitz by the group, come at a highly sensitive time before a pivotal Communist Party Congress due to start on November 8.
But to the embarrassment of the government, Falun Gong members have tapped into cable channels in other Chinese cities several times, and from July 23-30 interrupted satellite transmissions, upping the technological ante in a cat-and-mouse game with the authorities.
With the party congress, at which a reshuffle of the top leadership is expected, just two months away, China is tightening its grip on media organizations to ensure the meeting goes off without a hitch.
A source at China Central Television told Reuters the state television network had tightened security to prevent similar Falun Gong attacks.
"Incidents like programs being hijacked have happened mostly in remote areas. But there are fears that the same could happen on CCTV," the source said.
CCTV had installed steel gates at each of its two entrances to prevent vehicles from forcing their way through and had stepped up checks of people and vehicles entering the grounds, he said.
Falun Gong once staged mass demonstrations in China, but a government ban and effective crackdown have led to dwindling protests and more creative ways of spreading their message.
Falun Gong says as many as 1,600 followers have been killed in a crackdown since the movement was outlawed in 1999 after thousands of adherents shocked authorities by surrounding the leadership compound in Beijing demanding recognition.
The government says only a handful have died, mostly from suicide or natural causes.
Lots of activity in the Australian pay tv scene, read the news section for the details.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Carl Ling
Lotus (Lian Hua) on Asiasat2 4148V has started broadcasting
From the Dish
JCSAT 3 128E 3960 V "MAC TV and Tzu Chi TV"are still Fta.
Koreasat 3 116E All KCTA channels have left 12590 V, 12630 V and 12670 V.WEN TV, SBS Drama Plus, Weather News Korea and Real Estate Network have started in the KCTA mux on 12550 V, PowerVu, SIDs 71-74, PIDs 1660/1620-1860/1820 and 1060/1020.
Palapa C2 113E 3760 H All test cards have left .( I don't think anyone really expected that service they were promoting to actually start up)
Asiasat 2 100.5E 4148 V A Lotus Satellite TV promo has started , Fta, PIDs 650/651.
Asiasat 2 100.5E 3660 V New VPID for Jame-Jam TV Network 3 : 2695.
Yamal 102 90E 3588 L "TV Nord" is back , Fta, Sr 4285, Fec 3/4, PIDs 308/256.
Insat 2E 83E 4070 V "DD National" has started, Fta, Sr 5000, Fec 3/4, PIDs 308/256, zone beam.
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 H "Christian Voice Radio" has started, Fta, APID 2622.
Intelsat 906 will be located at 64 East, not 27.5 West as previously planned. To replace Intelsat 804 I have not checked out the beams of this one it may cover Australia
Foxtel digital assault
FOXTEL today unveiled a set of 12 undertakings to meet Australian Competition and Consumer Commission concerns over the proposed Foxtel Optus pay TV supply deal, including a targeted date for the $600 million plus digitisation of Foxtel in October 2003.
Foxtel chief Kim Williams ... Foxtel is offering the ACCC 'the most comprehensive package of undertakings in Australian corporate history by scope, extent and dollar value'.
Foxtel chief executive officer Kim Williams said the digital service would provide consumers with more than 100 subscription television channels and interactive services.
Foxtel, which is also 25 per cent owned and managed by News Limited (publisher of news.com.au), would provide open access to the digital network to allow independent content providers to supply channels.
"These new channels will include two not-for-profit channels for the use of the education and community sectors, where we will provide carriage and transmission at no cost," he said.
Mr Williams said there 12 elements in the undertakings package were aimed to "ensure this vital agreement is pro-competitive and comprehensively meets the concerns of the ACCC".
"We welcome the ACCC's market inquiry it ensures our undertakings are properly understood and openly tested."
Mr Williams said the subscription television industry as it is currently is "unsustainable", burdened by high costs and unparalleled heavy regulation and continues to lose substantial sums of money.
"The solution is straight forward. Foxtel and Optus must be able to share programming in order to stabilise costs and move to a sustainable model that can take this nation to the digital future with expanded services and choice for all Australians," Mr Williams said.
He said there were substantial benefits under the proposal for people in regional Australia and the major regional subscription television operator Austar.
He said Foxtel was offering the commission "the most comprehensive package of undertakings in Australian corporate history by scope, extent and dollar value".
The ACCC will seek comment from parties over the next three weeks.
Immediately following the Foxtel announcement, the competition watchdog said it would refrain from commenting on the undertakings.
A spokeswoman for the ACCC said the undertakings would be posted on the ACCC's website this afternoon without comment.
Earlier today ACCC commissioner Ross Jones said the watchdog would release an issues paper regarding the fresh undertakings from Optus and Foxtel.
"Then we'll go out and make market inquiries on that," he said.
Analysts say Foxtel would be reshaped from a pay-TV group into a mostly satellite pay-TV operator if the deal to share content with rival Optus gets the all clear.
The Australian newspaper this week reported that Aegis Research (formerly Assirt) believes the deal, if it wins approval from ACCC chairman Allan Fels, would make Foxtel a "content company" - a wholesaler of pay-TV content to Telstra, Optus and others.
The newspaper quoted Aegis as saying that the move should spark an attack on Foxtel's cable subscriber base and force Foxtel to focus on the faster growing satellite subscription sector.
"Although a potential loss of cable pay-TV customers may seem fatal to Foxtel's business plan, we believe the migration away from cable and into content provision for the pay-TV industry is a big positive for Foxtel in reaching profitability," Aegis media analyst Julia Hall wrote.
Foxtel provides satellite pay-TV in areas not covered by cable, such as Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Geelong, Melbourne and Newcastle.
Foxtel has a revenue-sharing arrangement with its 50 per cent owner, Telstra, which is paid 15 per cent of its cable revenues in transmission costs.
The analyst said that "with the move away from cable, Foxtel is expected to avoid this margin loss to Telstra ... " the newspaper reported.
The 12 undertakings given by Foxtel include:
A commitment to make the full digital investment.
To deliver a transparent open access regime in the digital environment.
To deliver a massive reduction in recovery of installed customer cost bases in the pricing of digital access.
An immediate analogue access undertaking for cable set top units.
A downstream supply undertaking to other infrastructure operators.
A price cap on the Foxtel basic service through the next three years.
Agreed to limit the exclusive acquisition of channels currently shared with Optus that are not affiliated and also to limit exclusivity on acquiring the movie network services.
An additional guaranteed access for a minimum percentage of non-affiliated channels in Foxtel's basic service.
Proposed amendments to the content supply agreements by deleting the first and last right over Optus' subscription television assets and enabling third party access to the Optus cable.
Manage any potential 3G rights, internet and high speed broadband rights, within defined parameters with comparable third-party supply arrangements.
Offered to grant free carriage and transmission services to two special community channels.
Offered to maintain the current direct spending level on independent Australian content.
Pay television concern Austar United Communications today said it has reached agreements with Foxtel and Optus under which it would become a customer of Foxtel's satellite platform.
Austar said it and Foxtel would co-operate on pay TV content creation.
Austar said its role in the proposed new pay TV industry arrangements would help secure the future of digital television for regional and rural Australia.
Chief executive John Porter said the arrangements would ensure that Austar customers obtain access to any new services Foxtel develops, including near video on demand, interactive TV services and new channels.
Mr Porter said the key terms of the conditional agreements to be entered into with Foxtel and Optus would provide for the dissolution of the existing satellite joint venture between Austar and Optus.
It would also provide for:
Austar to migrate satellite services to a new satellite platform.
Austar's consent to be given for distribution of XYZ programming to Optus and Telstra.
Options to renew current programming arrangements for Foxtel related channels in Austar territories.
Austar to be able to sub-licence programming to telecommunications providers which wish to bundle pay TV services or to infrastructure operators within Austar's service areas.
He said Austar did not believe that anything in the proposed agreements would breach the Trade Practices Act.
Mr Williams said 15 per cent of digitised capacity, as part of the Foxtel Optus agreement, would be set aside for access seekers.
This equated to around 24 channels.
He said the channels would be priced through an auction process, with a $750,000 reserve price.
Mr Williams said Foxtel was also seeking to recover historical investment in the pay TV industry, however it was offering a concession of not less than $578 million to what it had previously sought in terms of investment.
Mr Williams said Telstra would also set aside 10 channels for access seekers on analogue platforms and these would also be offered at a price of $750,000.
He said Foxtel would provide the Foxtel Pay TV service to infrastructure operators who rolled out their own set top units.
Mr Williams said Foxtel had just concluded a commercial deal with pay TV provider TransAct for the supply of Foxtel programming.
Mr Williams said for the next three years, Foxtel would cap the price of its basic package, subject only to consumer price index movements.
Telstra shares were four cents higher at $4.93 and shares in Optus owner, Singapore Telecommunications, were up two cents to $1.46 at 1052 AEST.
Foxtel gives pay TV undertakings
FOXTEL has given a set of 12 undertakings to meet Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) concerns over the proposed Foxtel-Optus pay television supply deal.
Foxtel chief executive officer Kim Williams said today the commitments included a targeted date for the $600 million plus digitisation of Foxtel in October 2003.
"The digital service will provide consumers with over 100 subscription television channels and interactive services," Mr Williams said.
Foxtel would also provide open access to the digital network to allow independent content providers to supply channels.
"The digital service will provide consumers with over 100 subscription television channels and interactive services," he said.
"These new channels will include two not for profit channels for the use of the education and community sectors, where we will provide carriage and transmission at no cost."
Mr Williams said there were 12 elements in all in the undertakings package, aimed to "ensure this vital agreement is pro-competitive and comprehensively meets the concerns of the ACCC".
"We welcome the ACCC's market inquiry. It ensures our undertakings are properly understood and openly tested."
Austar United to dissolve satellite jv with SingTel Optus
Austar United Communications Ltd said it reached an agreement to dissolve its existing 50/50 satellite joint venture with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd's Optus, following which it will migrate satellite services to a new platform under Foxtel.
Austar said the joint venture was set up in late 1998.
The agreement is subject to board and necessary regulatory approval, Austar said.
It said the agreement will see Austar become a customer of Foxtel's satellite platform and Austar and Foxtel will cooperate in content creation.
Austar customers will obtain access to any new services Foxtel develops, including near video on demand, interactive TV services and new channels.
Austar and Foxtel will also give consent to Telstra and Optus to onsell XYZ programming.
XYZ is a 50/50 joint venture between Austar and Foxtel. Optus and Telstra currently require consent from Austar and Foxtel to onsell the XYZ programming.
Austar will also be able to sublicence programming to telecommunications providers which intend to bundle pay TV services or to infrastructure operators within Austar's service area.
Austar chief executive John Porter said: "These proposed agreements will provide tremendous long term benefits to Austar and to consumers in regional Australia.
"First, they allow us to obtain any of the upside which will flow from industry rationalisation. This should result in greater stability and, in time, a lower cost base.
"Secondly, there will be tangible benefits for Austar, such as increased revenue generated by XYZ, access to new services and satellite carriage arrangements which are financially favourable.
"Thirdly, Austar customers will continue to receive all of the premium programming available in Australia and potentially a whole lot more," he said.
Porter said the launch of the C1 satellite will see satellite coverage extended to areas such as Tasmania and North Queensland, which currently are beyond range.
"We expect this to add about 200,000 homes to our service area, many of these in places where decent free to air reception is unavailable," he said.
Austar said it does not believe anything in the proposed agreements would breach the Trade Practice Act. However, it will need approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Foxtel is owned 50% by Telstra, 25% by Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, and 25% by News Corp.
SingTel Optus releases undertakings to ACCC for pay-TV alliance with Foxtel
Singapore Telecommunications Ltd's Optus unit has released details of undertakings made to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for its proposed content supply arrangement with Foxtel.
In a statement, Optus said it has agreed not to acquire rights to shared channels on an exclusive basis and will amend its agreement with Foxtel to allow a third party to use its cable to deliver subscription television services to customers who take Optus' Access Package.
Optus said it will continue to offer at least seven channels not currently offered by Foxtel and two Optus-compiled channels, being Ovation and MTV, for at least three years.
It has also undertaken to continue to independently source and show Australian drama on one of its Optus compiled channels for at least three years and will maintain its current level of spending on Australian drama content on the Optus compiled channels for three years.
Optus has also agreed to remove the clause from its agreement with Foxtel that grants Foxtel and its shareholders first and last right of refusal should the Optus cable ever be sold.
Optus chief executive Chris Anderson said the undertaking should allay the ACCC's concerns, with the deal "good for competition, good for our customers and good for Optus".
"It will help fix a structurally flawed industry and allow Optus to improve its competitive position in pay television, local loop telephony and broadband," he said.
Jakarta plans to ban foreign shows on local stations
JAKARTA - Indonesian broadcasting stations will be barred from relaying programmes from foreign broadcasters, with the exception of sports, if a new proposal is passed.
A government team, looking into drawing up broadcasting laws, said the proposal was aimed at protecting local stations, according to a report in the local Kompas daily.
Viewing and listening to foreign programmes will still be allowed through satellite, but not through local channels,' said team member Djoko Susilo.
Another member of the team, Mr Effendy Choirie, said the idea was to protect local stations and to ensure that they utilised broadcast frequencies optimally.
'Foreign news is sometimes disruptive and Western influence will continue to flow into the country. Sports programmes should also be controlled. For instance, sports events which display violence should be banned,' he said.
Mr Djoko said that several foreign embassies, in particular the US embassy, had expressed their dismay over this move as many foreign broadcasters relayed signals through local stations. Among them are Voice of America, the ABC and the BBC.
'I hear they are lobbying against this, charging that this is a restriction on freedom. They have also invested in infrastructure in Indonesia,' he said.
But Press and Broadcasting Community Coordinator Leo Batubara said the move was against the spirit of openness and democracy.
'This move will lead to reciprocal action from abroad against Indonesia similar to the time when Information Minister Harmoko banned foreign ads and was met by threats to boycott imports of Indonesian garments and shoes,' he said.
DIGITAL UPDATE OF RUSSIAN SATELLITE TV BROADCASTING TO COST $42M
Space Communications, a 100-percent state-owned company, in cooperationwith the Russian State Television and Radio Company (VGTRK) has developed technical solutions aimed at creating a digital package of Russian television programs. As head of the Radio, Television and SatelliteCommunications Department of the Russian Communications Minister VasilyPavlov reported in Dubna at the 3rd annual conference "The Modern Trends ofthe Development of Distribution Networks and Television Broadcasting Networks in Russia And the Countries of the CIS", the task of transferring analogue broadcasting to digital standards should be accomplished on a stage-by-stage basis within the next three years. The projected costs of the project aimed at updating satellite broadcasting system and switching to digital technologies are around $42m. In view of this, the Communications Ministry, the Press and Media Ministry, the Russian Television Broadcasting Network and the Foreign Ministry will discuss the issue of the government's support of this project with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Finance Ministry. Theproject is proposed to be included into Russia's investment program for2003-2005..
Space 'tugboats' could save aging satellites
(CNN) -- Could a new spacecraft ferry old satellites back into working orbits and extend their operational lifetimes by more than a decade?
The Orbital Recovery Corp. thinks so. The U.S.-based company plans to show a design for such an orbital tugboat this week at an international conference in Paris.
Communications satellites often have fuel supplies that last 10 years or more. When their tanks near empty, they are usually placed in a much higher orbit and retired, at a safe distance from working satellites.
"Today there is no viable way to prolong the usual life of these very expensive and capable telecom satellites, resulting in a wasteful loss of valuable assets every year," said Walt Anderson, chief executive officer of Orbital Recovery.
"With the Geosynch Spacecraft Life Extension System, we have an effective solution ... which requires no special interface for the on-orbit rendezvous docking."
A GLES craft would dock with a satellite, reposition it, and serve as the de facto guidance and propulsion system, extending the satellite's operational life span by 10 years, according to Orbital Recovery.
But whether aerospace customers line up remains too early to tell.
"Docking in space is difficult, not just the actual docking, but the safety aspects," said Max Meerman, an engineer with Surrey Satellites in Great Britain.
"There have been very few actually dockings in space and only one or two with spacecraft that were not designed to be recaptured."
The first automated docking in orbit took place in 1967 between two unmanned Soviet Soyuz spacecraft, said Nick Johnson, an orbital debris specialist with NASA.
"The concept of refueling or servicing operational spacecraft is not new," he said.
Meerman is concerned that such a procedure could threaten other satellites in so-called geostationary or geosynchronous orbit.
A satellite in a geostationary orbit, often called a GEO orbit, circles the Earth above the equator at a height of about 23,000 miles (36,000 kilometers).
Following the Earth's rotation, they seem to be "stationary" over a fixed position. GEO orbits are popular with telecommunication satellites, which beam everything from phone calls to television programming to particular regions.
"Trying to dock with a working spacecraft in the operational GEO belt could potentially create debris right there. This would endanger every GEO satellite," Meerman said.
Moreover, Meerman questions the value of salvaging an older satellite.
"This may not be the latest digital spacecraft that operators really want. Spacecraft also lose capability toward the end of their lives: Solar panels degrade. Thermal surfaces and batteries will have degraded," he said.
Nevertheless, Orbital Recovery is upbeat about the prospects. It thinks it can save satellite operators money because the cost to launch a small tugboat would only be a fraction of a large, new satellite.
The company, which has identified more than 40 telecommunications satellites in orbit that could receive a career boost from GLES, hopes to launch a space tugboat as early as 2004.
Another very quiet day
Solar Outage time of the year so be aware of that if you suddenly lose signal from any service. This includes your pay tv provider losing its feed of various channels
From my Emails & ICQ
From Jeff (W.A)
Subject: Star TV on Asiasat 3S
I've noticed Star TV now putting a digital signal on the old analog Channel V 3840 horizontal transponder.
Just one scrambled service "Star Chinese"
The specs...3840Mhz Horizontal Symbol rate 26850 FEC 7/8.
From the Dish
Koreasat 2 113E 12701 H New FEC for FS-TV :3000.
Asiasat3 105.5E 3820 V "Speedcast Data mux"has 2 NTSC video channel running FTA Miriamax movies promo? Sr 27500 Fec 3/4
Express 6A 80E 3975 R Occasional feeds on , Sr 3000, Fec3/4.
PAS 10 68.5E 4182 V "BBC World India and BBC World Service" have left (PAL), replaced by an info card.
PAS 10 68.5E 4064 H "B4U Movies India" is encrypted in Nagravision, not Irdeto.
NDS Readies PVR System
NDS Readies PVR System - NDS Group, News Corp.'s TV
technology company, is taking the wraps off enhanced capabilities for its XTV, a new
end-to-end PVR system. XTV will offer TV operators new ways to attract subscribers and generate
revenues beyond PVR's current VCR-like capabilities, NDS said. Applications include:
A personal jukebox - which allows viewers to create their own music albums and access clips
on demand from the hard disk; Video-based interactive games; a travel guide; and interactive advertising.
(Craigs comment, I expect we won't see this in NZ for Sky TV for years)
Intelsat Provides DTH to the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS)
From Press Release
Date: 03 September 2002
Release Number: 2002-21
London, UK, 03 September 2002 - Intelsat, working with ARTEL, Inc, the
business solutions provider, is delivering satellite direct-to-home (DTH)
services through the AFRTS to individuals living in more than 15,000
households in Korea and Japan.
Intelsat's solution enables AFRTS to deliver four distinct services on six
television channels, a program guide and 11 radio programming services
through the American Forces Network (AFN), a worldwide radio and broadcast
network, to keep Americans outside the U.S. informed of current events. The
radio stations include a primary news, talk and sports channel that
broadcasts over 500 live professional and collegiate sports each year, seven
music stations, Fox Sports Plus and ESPN Sport Plus. The television
channels include a wide selection of the network and cable programming that
is seen daily in the U.S.
"We specifically asked for Intelsat type capacity for this solution because
of their strong regional coverage and high reliability," said Andreas
Friedrich, Chief of Plans, Policy and Operations for AFRTS. "The quality of
the Intelsat signal is excellent and exceeded expectations during the trial
phase. We are planning to expand to six distinct TV services during the
next few years."
Abbas Yazdani, ARTEL, Inc. President & CEO, stated, "ARTEL and Intelsat
demonstrated that, working together, we could provide the best broadcast
quality for AFRTS' specific DTH needs. This network serves as a great
example of how we strive to continually exceed the expectations and evolving
needs of broadcasters around the world."
"The Intelsat 802 not only sends powerful and clear DTH signals, but allows
the AFRTS to use antennas as small as 60 centimeters," added Malcolm
Campbell, Intelsat Vice President of Global Sales & Customer Support. "This
is a good example of Intelsat's ability to serve the communications-specific
needs of government entities around the world."
AFRTS also utilizes three other Intelsat satellites to distribute AFN and
Direct-to-Sailor (DTS) services to Americans located throughout the world.
SCM Microsystems to provide broadcast security technology for Chinese digital TV market
SCM Microsystems will provide its secure broadcast decryption technology to DTVIA Conditional Access System Co. Ltd., a provider of conditional access systems to the Chinese digital television industry.
SCM will provide DTVIA with open standards-based conditional access modules (CAMs) as well as the software development kit to enable DTVIA to port its conditional access software onto the modules. The resulting ChinaCrypt CAMs will help DTVIA tap an abundance of set-top boxes that already have a Common Interface slot installed.
According to a company release, this joint collaboration boosts ChinaCrypt's competitiveness in the local and international digital TV broadcast industry and augments SCM's range of CAMs for the pay TV and content protection industry. The ChinaCrypt CAMs comply with the DVB Common Interface (CI) standard. President of DTVIA Conditional Access System Shuai Hongyu says, "SCM's Conditional Access Module platform is definitely a state-of-the-art solution. The solution adds a new dimension to our technology by offering ChinaCrypt CAM with plug-and-play convenience. A truly consumer centric environment is now achievable. From a set-top box supplier's standpoint, the CAM allows boxes to expand and upgrade in order to meet dynamic consumer needs. This partnership is a win-win situation for all."
SCM sees its partnership with ChinaCrypt as paving the way for open-standards in digital TV worldwide. Using the company's expertise in DTV technology, ChinaCrypt can offer a truly secure access system for broadcast companies throughout China. By entering a market that is taking the first step toward digital TV security, SCM claims to be gaining an early lead in setting future standards worldwide.
Based on official figures, there are more than 1,300 approved cable broadcast stations and more than 4,000 cable TV providers in China. The National Digital Network backbone with nationwide coverage envisions a cable TV subscriber base of 127 million by 2005, equivalent to 28.5 per cent of TV households globally, the release says.
(Craigs comment, considering where most cheap satellite receivers in our part of the world come from maybe we should expect to see some models on the local market come with "China Crypt" embedded)
Live satellite related chat tonight 9pm NZ and 8.30pm Syd time onwards in the chatroom
TVNZ mux on B1, 12456 V now NDS Videoguard, still FTA though and it now also carrys the E.P.G like the rest of Skys services do. See Bob Coopers message below for details.
There is a very interesting item in the news section about the new "Geosynch Spacecraft Life Extension System" not to sure how it all works but if it allows more satellites to be used then that could be good.
From my Emails & ICQ
From Bob Cooper, (Satfacts magazine)
Teletext on Sky officially starts today as TVNZ & Sky Digital commence the
TVNZ Regional Service, which in simple terms provides three regional
advertising versions of TVNZ channels to Sky Digital subscribers. In
simple terms again Sky Digital viewers north of Taupo will receive the
Auckland advertisements, between Taupo and Cook Strait will receive
Wellington advertisements, and everyone south of Cook Strait will receive
Christchurch orientated advertisements. This is consistent generally with
our analogue services which provide six different regional advertising
The delivery of the different versions of TVNZ channels into the Sky
decoder is transparent to the subscriber and there is no action required on
their part, however those who wish to view closed captions (Teletext Line
21/334), or Teletext generally, will need to of course have a Teletext
equipped TV set and be already able to view Teletext that is delivered via
the vertical blanking interval (VBI).
Sky Digital subscribers south of Taupo will today have access to Teletext
on both TV ONE and TV2, however due to delays in supply of new equipment at
TVNZ, Sky Digital subscribers north of Taupo will only have access to
Teletext on TV ONE. By the end of September Teletext will be available on
both TVNZ channels for Sky Digital subscribers north of Taupo.
FTA STB viewers can of course select any of these channels for viewing.
Teletext will similarly be available on all six channels by end of the
month. FTA viewers have the additional benefit that some STBs deliver
Teletext both via the VBI and OSD, (on screen display). This latter
facility, if it exists in the STB, will provide Teletext viewing on any TV
set or video monitor since the information is delivered as a graphical
image in the video stream output of the set top box. The image quality
however is not as good as the standard VBI image quality.
Teletext via a Teletext equipped TV set is activated by the TV set remote
control unit. Teletext via OSD is activated by the set-top-box remote
"Eurosport News Int",(ESP News) has Started on Asiasat 2, Frequency 3,660 GHZ, Polarization vertical, symbol rate
27,500 , Video PID 2816, Audio PID 8191, scrambled but Teletext OK.
From the Dish
Optus B3 156E 12407 V SBS South East, SBS Western, SBS Radio South East, SBS Radio Northern and SBS Radio Western have started on , Irdeto 1, PIDs 512/644,515/656 and 645/647.
Koreasat 2 113E 12530 H Radio Korea has started, enc., SID 5, APID 251.
Yamal 102 90E 3729 L "Khabarovsk TV" has started on , Sr 4283, Fec 3/4, PIDs 308/256.
Fels set to reveal all on pay TV deal
The competition watchdog will disclose details of Foxtel's revised $1.3 billion content merger with Optus at the end of the week.
The complexity of the amended deal has delayed the approval process and a decision is not expected until October - nearly eight months after the accord was announced.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Allan Fels had hoped to start market inquiries with rival media players early this week.
Foxtel will divulge details of the legally enforceable undertakings that it has worked on over the past three months. These will be revealed at a media briefing on Thursday.
Last week, Foxtel's 50 per cent owner Telstra dismissed rumours of disunity among the Foxtel partners regarding the undertakings, insisting all shareholders had agreed on the amended conditions of the deal.
The ACCC has said the Foxtel/Optus proposal breaches the Trade Practices Act by reducing competition in the purchase and supply of pay TV content, the supply of pay TV services, and access to Foxtel's network.
As part of Foxtel's undertakings to deal with the regulator's concerns, the broadcaster has agreed to open its network to competition, supply content to third parties and invest more than $500 million converting its network to digital.
Last week, Foxtel's 25 per cent owner News Limited said subscriber growth had slowed because of the uncertainty created by the ACCC's deliberations.
Orbital Recovery Corporation Begins Development of Space "Tug"
To Prolong the Lifetime of Operational Telecommunications Satellites
Paris, France; Los Angeles, CA; Washington, D.C, September 2, 2002 - A unique new spacecraft system that will extend the useful life of multi-million dollar telecommunications satellites by 10 years or more is in development for a first flight in 2004.
The Geosynch Spacecraft Life Extension System (SLES)TM is a novel concept that will significantly prolong the operating lifetimes of valuable telecommunications satellites - which today are junked when their on-board fuel supply runs out.
Definition work on the SLES has been completed by Orbital Recovery Corporation, which is now creating its industrial team by seeking competitive bids for spacecraft hardware and systems from international suppliers.
Orbital Recovery Corporation is unveiling the SLES this week at the World Summit for Satellite Financing in Paris, France, where the concept is being presented to telecommunications operators, satellite manufacturers, insurers and space industry contractors.
The SLES will operate as an orbital "tugboat," supplying the propulsion, navigation and guidance to keep a telecom satellite in its proper orbital slot for many years. Another application is the rescue of spacecraft that have been placed in a wrong orbit by their launch vehicles, or which have become stranded in an incorrect orbital location during positioning maneuvers.
Telecommunications satellites typically cost $250 million - and they are designed for an average useful on-orbit life of 10-15 years. Once their on-board propellant load is depleted, the satellites are boosted into a disposal orbit and decommissioned even though their revenue-generating communications relay payloads continue to function.
An effective solution for any satellite
"Today, there is no viable way to prolong the useful life of these very expensive and capable telecom satellites, resulting in the wasteful loss of valuable assets every year," said Walt Anderson, a telecommunications industry entrepreneur and Orbital Recovery Corporation's chief executive officer. "With the SLES, we have an effective solution that works with any satellite, and which requires no special interface for the on-orbit rendezvous and docking."
The SLES is designed to easily mate with all telecommunications satellites now in space or on the drawing boards. After launch, the SLES will rendezvous with the telecommunications satellite, approaching it from below for docking. The linkup will use a proprietary docking device that connects to the telecom satellite's apogee kick motor.
Control of the SLES will be handled by Orbital Recovery Corporation following its launch and during the initial free-flight phase. Docking and checkout of the SLES with its telecommunications satellite target will be a joint effort of Orbital Recovery Corporation and the telecom satellite operator. Once the docking and checkout has been completed, long-term control will be handed over to the satellite operator - with technical support and service by Orbital Recovery Corporation throughout the operating lifetime.
Orbital Recovery Corporation has identified more than 40 telecommunications satellites currently in orbit that are candidates for life extension using the SLES.
The company is targeting the first SLES mission for 2004, with two more deployments the following year and three annually after 2005.
A straightforward design with flight proven hardware
Flight proven, off-the-shelf hardware will be used in production of the SLES spacecraft to keep costs down and ensure high reliability. The SLES will be built around a main bus that contains the spacecraft control/management systems and the primary ion propulsion system.
Ion thruster packs on deployable booms will provide attitude control for the SLES and the telecommunications satellite to which it is mated. These booms are extended to provide sufficient thruster impulse for control of the SLES/telecom satellite combination. Large deployable solar panels provide power for the SLES' on-board systems, as well as for the ion propulsion system.
The SLES' liftoff weight is targeted at 500-800 kg., and the spacecraft is sized for launch as a secondary payload on a large commercial vehicle such as Europe's Ariane 5, or as a primary payload on an inexpensive launcher as the Russian Dnepr.
Orbital Recovery Corporation has offices in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, California.
Press & media contact:
The InfoWEST Group
Media relations agency for Orbital Recovery Corporation
Tel: +1 703 560-6330
U.S. mobile: +1 703 615-3646
International GSM: +33 (0)6 80 85 86 25
Space tug could revive sleeping satellites
A "space tug" concept capable of dragging communications satellites that have run out of fuel back into an operational orbit will be unveiled on Wednesday at a conference in France.
The Geosynch Spacecraft Life Extension System (GLES) would extend the life of many telecommunications satellites still capable of functioning properly but drifting without fuel, says the US company behind its design, Orbital Recovery.
"Today, there is no viable way to prolong the useful life of these very expensive and capable telecom satellites, resulting in the wasteful loss of valuable assets," says Walt Anderson, Orbital Recovery Corporation's chief executive officer.
Communications satellites normally have about 15 years of fuel on-board. When this runs out they are then taken out of operation and moved into a safe orbit. Being able to reposition a drifting satellite could extend its life for a valuable 10 years, leading a number of groups to investigate ways of reviving them.
But Max Meerman, principle engineer with Surrey Satellites in the UK, says attaching the SLES to a satellite would be very risky. Most satellites are not designed to be maneouvered in this way and any slight mishandling could easily ruin the operation, he believes.
"It's a very, very critical operation," he told New Scientist. "A bounce could send it into a spin from which it couldn't be recovered." SLES would clasp hold of a lifeless satellite by approaching from below and attaching itself to one of the satellite's motors.
Meerman also points out that a rescue craft like SLES is prone to the same launch risks as any space-bound craft. He says the program could cost more than placing a new satellite in orbit if everything does not work precisely as planned.
If the necessary funding can be obtained, Orbital Recovery plans to launch the first SLES in 2004. The company has identified 43 different satellites that it believes could be brought back to life by SLES.
Bangladesh government seizes ETV transmission equipment
MUMBAI: The Bangladesh government on Sunday seized transmission equipment of Ekushey Television, which was forced to go off air from Thursday last.
According to reports in the Daily Star, the ministry of post and telecommunication seized key parts of the equipment for satellite news gathering and satellite earth station at the ETV Bhaban, fearing that the channel may try clandestine satellite transmission.
ETV is meanwhile trying to formulate an appropriate legal response to the confiscation of its equipment, which was done in accordance with section 5 of country's Telegraph Act, 1885. The ministry has reportedly seized the equipment as ETV continued its telecast till 10:40 pm on 29 August even though the Supreme Court had declared the company's license illegal at 11:40 am that day.
Satellite reports confirm that Asiasat 3S has stopped the transmission of both Ekushey TV and Ekushey World from 1 September.
Bangladesh's first terrestrial television channel, ETV's terrestrial broadcast was shut down by the government last Thursday after the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld a High Court Division verdict declaring the license of the ETV illegal.
Closure of private TV channel condemned
DHAKA Sept. 2. The closure of the country's first terrestrial private TV network, Ekushe Television (ETV), by the Begum Khaleda Zia Government has raised concern about the future of independent media in Bangladesh.
The Government closed down the two-year-old hugely successful venture, seized its transmission equipment and posted police in the ETV office barely hours after the Supreme Court on July 29 declared its licence "illegal" after a protracted legal battle.
The 100-crore taka venture, started with 42 per cent foreign investment, procured its licence during the tenure of the previous Government led by Sheikh Hasina. ETV became popular within months of its inception and was perceived to be unbiased in its news presentation. Viewers in the country earlier had access only to the state-controlled Bangladesh Television (BTV).
Activists and the intelligentsia have criticised the closure of the Ekushe TV, saying it was a "display of ruthless attitude by the Government in silencing an independent voice".
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court dismissed a review petition filed by Ekushe's chairman, A.S. Mahmood, against an earlier High Court order cancelling the group's licence on the ground that it was obtained illegally.
The Government asked ETV to stop its terrestrial and satellite transmissions within hours of the court order. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission reportedly did not accept a fresh application for a licence submitted by the Ekushe network.
A public interest litigation had been filed by the president of the pro-government faction of the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), and two teachers of the Dhaka University challenging the legality of the licence issued to Ekushe TV.
Dr. Kamal Hossain, who appeared in the landmark case on behalf of the U.S. investors, said, "This is not a public litigation. The writ petitioners and their counsels have a political identity and ill motive".
Newspaper reports claimed the petitioners had links with fundamentalists, particularly with the Jamaat-e-Islami, which is now a partner of the Begum Khaleda Zia-led alliance. Analysts say the network's documentaries on the country's war of liberation may have alarmed some quarters.
MEL to bring in 4 foreign channels
NEW DELHI: The K K Modi Group company, Modi Entertainment Limited, is in plans to usher four new foreign channels into the country, possibly through the joint venture route.
Modi Entertainment officials said that the four channels belonged to the sports, music, lifestyle and entertainment genre. However, the officials didn’t name these chan-nels, sighting ongoing discussions.
These officials said if the four channels come in through the JV route with Modi Entertainment, then the company will represent these channels in India.
However, there is also the possibility of the channels appointing MEL their distribution company in the country.
Currently, Modi Entertainment distributes Doordarshan’s sole pay channel, DD Sports, and the Hallmark channel. Modi Entertainment CEO Rajan Kaaicker told ET that DD Sports is hiking its cable subscription rate/subscriber/month from Rs 7.15 to Rs 8.95.
?This is part of our routine price revision for DD Sports and there is nothing unusual about it.” Of the four sports channels beamed in India, DD Sports has the cheapest subscription rates.
Interestingly, Modi Entertainment had few days back filed a case against DD Sports, on the basis of news reports that the channel was planning to go free-to-air. MEL has obtained a stay on any such move by DD Sports.
According to industry sources, there was one one line of thinking in DD that once conditional access system comes in, DD Sports may stand to gain as a free-to-air channel, since it would be the only free-to-air sports channel in the basic tier, and hence can drive the basic tier of channels.
The K K Modi group currently distributes two of the three 24-hour sports channels in India. While Modi Entertainment distributes DD Sports, another group entity, Cable Distribution Network distributes TEN Sports, besides the B4U bouquet.
According to Kaicker, DD Sports was pretty hot property, since it has rights to five cricket series India is playing at home, till December 2005.
However, it will be Doordarshan’s terrestrial channel, DD1, and not DD Sports, that has the rights to show all the matches in this month’s ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka, and 60 of the 74 matches in next year’s World Cup cricket.
Both these tournaments will be simulcast by SET Max on cable and DD1 on the terrestrial network.
(Craigs comment, I wonder if one of them could be Eurosports?)
All users with Ozemail accounts are asked to check your isp as to why they are bouncing emails from my mailing list.
Does anyone have details of the Hong Kong Jockey Clubs race broadcasts? which satellite? and a schedule. These use to be via Pas 2 I think?
Abc Northern on B1 had some audio problems yesterday but they seemed to have fixed it quickly
Changes mentioned last week to happen on B3 Aurora have started happening.
In the news section the French are considering banning late night porno on tv! Thats won't be popular with Canal+ XXL viewers!
Satfacts section updated
From my Emails & ICQ
From Chris Pickstock
Subject: [Apsattv] Aurora on B3
SBS SE and SBS WA have started on 12407 V, B3. Aurora card needed.
Still running on 12532 V as well.
Telekom 1 4085 H tp 10 Trans TV DVB 6000 - 3/4 33 36 In Indonesia encrypted 2
days ago ..without no reason ... but the issue it cause they start 20 hours for a day
and 24 hours for saturday & sunday......... that's all bud.......hiehihe
Subject: [Apsattv] Serie A Italy
Try on TPI & SCTV.
As far as it's confirmed, TPI on PALAPA will trans. The Serie A Sunday
matches (2 matches).
TPI has replaced RCTI for trans. the Serie A.
SCTV will trans. the Saturday match (not confirmed yet).
All of this are FTA.
U can tune in Palapa and Telkom 1 since Indonesian stations are the best for soccer FTA trans.
Below this are stations that trans. soccer matches live on Saturday and Sunday.
RCTI - Bundesliga - Germany. - Palapa
TPI & SCTV - Serie A - Italy - Palapa
Trans TV - La Liga - Spain - Telkom 1
TV 7 - Premiere League - England - Telkom 1
RCTI will trans. the Tuesday & Wednesday matches of European Champion League.
I will try to post what matches that will be trans. every Friday & Tuesday in this mail list.
From the Dish
Koreasat 3 116E Updates in KCTA, PowerVu: mHome CGV has replaced NTV on ch 19.M-Net on ch 27 is now in clear.
Palapa C2 113E 3604 H "Kantor Berita Radio" has moved here from 3622 H, Fta, SR 2900, Fec 3/4, APID 1211.
Palapa C2 113E 10970 H "Ar-Rahman, GlobalTV,Metro TV,TEST" Sr 28125 (maybe just a test signal source.)
ChinaStar 1 87.5E 4091 H A China Stock TV test card has started, Fta, Sr 5632, Fec 3/4, PIDs 308/256.
PAS 10 68.5E 3836 H "B4U Movies India" has left , replaced by a test card.
PAS 10 68.5E 3974 V "Indian mux?? new? or feed" Sr 19850 Fec 3/4 Encrypted
PAS 10 68.5E 4064 H "B4U Movies India" has started , Irdeto, PIDs 1160/1120.
Plug pulled on Sky deal with Telecom
Sky TV and Telecom's bundling deal of pay-TV and telecommunications products has been withdrawn while they hammer out a fresh arrangement.
No date is set for a resumption.
Meanwhile, TelstraClear has had 20 percent growth in its Wellington and Christchurch residential customer base since its formation in December last year. It now has 50,000 customers, and attributes this growth to its bundle of products at a competitive price and all-in-one bill.
Sky TV's package with telephone and Internet services was stopped "in the last few months."
Sky TV director of communications Tony O'Brien said the three-year agreement stopped a few months ago when the number of customers taking the packages reached "north of 40,000".
It had been a one-year trial, starting in May 2000. After the first year it was extended for two more, to May 2003. However, it had contained "a ceiling on the number of subscribers".
Sky chief executive John Fellet said two weeks ago at the company's annual result that he was worried Sky and Telecom had not reached agreement about the future of a package deal. Sky had gained about 44,000 customers from the arrangement.
Chief financial officer Jason Hollingworth said the deal was not bringing in the returns Sky TV was looking for.
Mr O'Brien said on Friday that "both parties were working together to see if we can come up with a long-term plan while neither party is actually comfortable with all parts of the deal." Telecom has a 12 percent stake in Sky TV.
Telecom group marketing manager Sandra Geange said in the future, with new equipment, Telecom would be able to transmit the Sky programming. However, the new arrangement being negotiated would be a continuation of the reselling arrangement with Sky TV.
TelstraClear's 50,000 residential customers comprise 38,000 in Wellington and 12,000 in Christchurch.
TelstraClear head of residential and small business Steve Jackson said the growth in customers followed a concerted sales effort by a door-to-door sales team and a call centre team. Its line rentals were 25 percent cheaper than Telecom's standard residential rate.
Phoenix wins Taiwan broadcast rights -- again
HONG KONG, China -- Phoenix Satellite Television has won preliminary approval to broadcast in Taiwan -- for the second time.
The Hong Kong-based broadcaster is finalizing the paperwork and expects to enter the market by the end of 2002.
"Taiwan has already approved the entry of Phoenix Satellite Television," CEO Liu Changle told Taiwan's United Daily News.
"Currently we are taking the last procedural steps and expect to be in by next year," he added.
Agreement reached in principle
An official with Taiwan's Government Information Office confirmed that it had agreed "in principle" to let Phoenix broadcast in Taiwan. But no timetable has been decided.
"There are some procedural matters we need to deal with before it can broadcast here," the official told Reuters news agency.
Phoenix won preliminary approval to broadcast its InfoNews Channel to select parts of Taiwan last year. But the information office revoked the preparatory license.
Rival broadcasters complained that Mandarin-language Phoenix was pro-Beijing in its news coverage.
Liu is also a former officer with a propaganda arm of the People's Liberation Army, and his past and tight ties with mainland authorities added to the controversy.
Taiwan split with mainland China after a 1949 civil war. China believes Taiwan is a renegade Chinese province that should reunite with the mainland, by force if necessary.
Liu's connections helped ensure Phoenix was allowed to broadcast into China unofficially for five years, before recently winning government approval.
Liu is also the largest shareholder of ATV, or Asia Television, Hong Kong's second-largest broadcaster. It won approval last month to broadcast on cable television in China's Guangdong province, neighboring Hong Kong. (Full story)
Phoenix appealed against the revocation of its license, and has now won.
Arthur Lap Kuo-hsing, director general of the Government Information Office, told the United Daily News that the office decided it was unfair to penalize Phoenix for actions taken during its trial period.
Phoenix reports earnings on Tuesday and is likely to post a loss of around HK$178 million ($23 million).
Its shares are down 2.86 percent at HK$0.68 on Monday morning, underperforming the 1.61 percent fall on the Hang Seng index.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Liu's Today's Asia Ltd. each own 37.6 percent of Phoenix.
(Craigs comment, the mux of Pheonix channels operate FTA on Asiasat 3)
Hong Kong-based TV station wins right to broadcast following appeal
FROM THE FLAMES: Phoenix Television had lost its license in Taiwan following complaints its programming was biased toward Beijing
Government authorities will allow Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television to broadcast here again despite being a China-funded and pro-Beijing network, a report said yesterday.
Phoenix TV was expected to restart broadcasts in Taiwan as early as next year after it is granted approval from government regulators, a local Chinese-language newspaper cited station chairman Liu Changle as saying.
Its permission to broadcast was revoked last year after a test run of its news programs was deemed pro-China and lacking objectivity, the newspaper said.
Phoenix took legal action against the government over the revocation of the license and the ruling came down recently in favor of the television station, the paper cited Arthur Iap, director general of the Government Information Office, as saying.
The ruling was on the grounds that Phoenix's permission should not be revoked based on its test run programs, the newspaper said.
Phoenix, funded by Hong Kong-based Star Television and Chinese investors, some linked to China's state-owned enterprises, has some 160 million viewers in China, in addition to those in Hong Kong, the report said.
Liu told the paper in an interview that Phoenix would be able to expand its advertising revenues after entering Taiwan, which was expected to allow Chinese advertisements in Taiwan soon.
Phoenix is the second most popular satellite television station in China after the state-run Central Chinese Television
French debating whether to ban late-night television porn
PARIS (AP) For nearly two decades it has been France's Saturday night naughtiness: no-holds-barred pornography, beamed to TV sets in millions of homes across the land.
All the while, few people complained about ''le porno du Samedi soir,'' as the French cheerfully call it until this summer. Then government-appointed regulators touched off a cultural debate by urging channels to drop the porn, and at the same time lobbying the legislature for the power to force compliance if TV executives don't go along.
The TV porn started back in 1984, when pioneering broadcaster Canal Plus introduced X-rated films on the first Saturday of the month to help build its image as a brash and racy new alternative to France's stuffy old channels.
Canal Plus, France's first pay-TV channel, has since blossomed into a darling of the cultural establishment, because it provides much-needed financial support to French filmmakers battling Hollywood domination.
But regulators and others say TV porn has gotten out of hand. They cite concerns that the increasing amount of such shows threatens the moral and mental well-being of young people.
It's not that France, long known for sexual openness and liberal mores, has suddenly grown prudish. Rather, the debate exposes the intensity of French fears that young people are becoming caught up by drugs, violence, sex and crime.
Crime, particularly increasing youth crime, was a dominant topic of presidential and parliamentary elections last spring. Among cases that made headlines: gang rapes of teenagers by other teens.
Few lay the blame for such violence squarely at pornography's door. But some experts argue that porn may help push some young criminals over the edge, and more generally that it degrades women and encourages unsafe sex practices.
One of the first actions of the center-right government that won June legislative elections was to commission political philosopher Blandine Kriegel to study violence on TV, including sexual violence.
''Doctors, psychologists, teachers and educators, lawyers, judges, journalists and finally parents think that violent images remain too easily accessible and available on television,'' said Culture Minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon. ''The government cannot remain indifferent to such a situation.''
The TV watchdog, the Conseil Superieur de L'Audiovisuel, says five French broadcast, cable and satellite channels carry 103 X-rated shows each month. When pay-per-view movies are included, the number rises to 943.
''Erotic programs always sell. Sex still interests people,'' said Richard Maroko, programming director for AB Groupe, whose porn channel XXL reaches 1 million cable and satellite subscribers.
But Maroko, speaking in a phone interview, said he did not want to comment about the proposed ban on TV porn. ''Too complicated,'' he said.
Other TV executives and critics of the proposed ban say singling out television will not stop young people from seeing porn on the Internet or videotapes, and say no prohibition can curb adolescent curiosity about sex. They also argue that banning porn from TV would infringe the rights of adults who watch it.
Canal Plus, which claims 4.9 million subscribers, says it has no intention of changing its programming. It says it broadcasts porn only between midnight and 5 a.m. and, in any event, parents can prevent children watching by unplugging the special receiver needed watch Canal broadcasts.
According to a study commissioned by the regulatory commission, 11 percent of children ages 4 to 12 in households that subscribe to Canal Plus see at least one minute of porn a year.
Some critics suggest part of the answer would be to punish adults who let children watch.
But for well-known French pornographer John B. Root the problem is not one of genre, but of the poor quality of many of today's porn movies.
''No one would have thought to make porn the scapegoat for society's ills if it offered amusing, well-made films, aphrodisiac works, stories of desire and of pleasure,'' Root wrote in an impassioned appeal against the proposed ban. ''Its subject matter is physical love a subject that has offered masterpieces to painting, sculpture and literature.''
T S I C H A N N E L N E W S - Number 35/2002 1 September 2002 -
A weekly roundup of global TV news sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Editor: Branislav Pekic
Edited Apsattv.com Edition
A S I A
TELSTRA HOPES FOR POSITIVE FOXTEL RULING
Telstra Corp.'s Chief Executive Ziggy Switkowski said on August 28 he is
expecting a decision from regulators on the proposed pay-TV alliance
between its Foxtel joint venture and rival Optus by the end of October. The
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission rejected the proposed
alliance in June, but having received undertakings from both Foxtel and
Optus aimed at alleviating its concerns, the ACCC is now canvassing the
opinions of interested parties before making a final decision. Foxtel is
50%-controlled by Telstra, with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Kerry
Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting each holding 25%. Optus is a unit of
HIGH DEFINITION TV QUOTAS EXTENDED
Communications Minister Richard Alston said on August 27 the government
will delay the introduction of high definition television quotas for six
months to July 1, 2003. The quotas, requiring free-to-air broadcasters to
provide 20 hours of high definition television a week, were to have been
introduced in January 2003. Alston told journalists the government remains
committed to high definition television but needs more time to mull changes
to its digital television and datacasting regime to encourage consumer
take-up of digital equipment. "It is technology in it's infancy, it is
obviously the way of the future, it is really a matter of timing," he said.
SEVEN NETWORK RELEASES FINANCIAL RESULTS
Seven Network released the network's 2001-02 financial results on August
27, which showed its earnings before interest and taxation had risen to
AUS$138.3 million, a 32% improvement on the previous year's result. In the
12 months to June 29, Seven had an operating profit before taxation was
AUS$101 million, 115% up on the previous year.
SOUTHERN STAR TO LAUNCH TV CHANNEL
Film and TV producer and distributor the Southern Star Group is aiming to
have a subscription television channel devoted to Australian programming
ready to roll next year in the United Kingdom or United States. "The U.S.
would be my preferred option because they are going to be so hungry for
alternative programming starting next year," Southern Star executive
chairman Neil Balnaves said after the group's annual general meeting.
ETV TAKEN OFF AIR
Bangladesh's only independent TV station has been taken off the air after
losing a legal battle over its broadcasting rights. Bangladesh's Supreme
Court on August 28 formally revoked the broadcasting license of Ekushey
Television, known as ETV, citing irregularities in how the station obtained
its license. Hours after the court ruling, ETV's transmission was switched
off. The popular television channel broadcast a variety of news and
entertainment programs. The station, which received its broadcast license
in 1998, was Bangladesh's first private national television network. The
station began its first broadcast in 2000. ETV, however, has continued its
CHINA - HONG KONG
CHANGES AT CCTV-4
China Central Television’s international channel (CCTV-4) will be
completely revising its programming on the eve of its 10th anniversary of
operations. After the revision, with this set of programmes CCTV-4 will
become the first Chinese-language channel in China to “focus on news and
provide constant updates,” and CCTV will also increase the amount of its
daily first-run programming aimed at Taiwan by 71 per cent. Starting from 2
September, CCTV’s international channel will rotate eight-hour blocks of
programmes on special subjects, literature and sports. After the initial
broadcast, CCTV will rerun each block twice for the convenience of viewing
audiences in the three major time zones having high concentrations of
Chinese and overseas Chinese - in the Asia-Pacific region, in north and
south America, and in Europe and Africa. The China Central TV English
channel (CCTV-9) will make similar adjustments to correspond to the
revisions made by the China Central TV international channel.
ATV MANAGER INTERESTED IN ATV STAKE
Lai Sun Development Co. and eSun Holdings confirmed on August 28 that Asia
Television Chief Executive Chan Wing Kee has approached them about a
possible purchase of their stakes in ATV and portal HKATV.com. Investment
holding company Lai Sun Development owns 32.75% of the number two
free-to-air broadcaster in Hong Kong. It also has a 49.99% stake in media
and entertainment company eSun, which has a 50% stake in HKATV.com. The two
listed companies said in a notice they have not reached an agreement with
Chan on the price, the terms or timing of any proposed sale. Chan has
expressed interest in buying the stakes following media company Tom.com
Ltd.'s earlier withdrawal from a planned acquisition.
HALLMARK LAUNCHES ON ATV WORLD
Hallmark Channel has finally found a launching pad in Hong Kong. The
channel will launch the "Hallmark Channel Special" on Sunday on the
terrestrial ATV World channel. The two-hour program block, which will air
in primetime Sundays, will feature original Hallmark productions. ATV,
which recently received the green light to air on cable in the southern
Chinese province of Guangdong, is watched by 1.5 million homes in Hong Kong.
CNBC INDIA PLANS TO SCRAMBLE PROGRAMMING
CNBC India, a joint venture between TV18 and CNBC Asia, is considering the
introduction of a conditional access system (CAS), according to the
channel’s chief executive Haresh Chawla. Speaking with Financial Express on
August 26, Mr Chawla said that CNBC would be able to derive advantage out
of CAS as ‘‘it directly impacts life’’. Incidentally, Sony, which
distributes the CNBC channel as part of its bouquet in India, has been
critical of the way CAS is being rolled out, though it supports CAS in
principle. The Cable TV Network Amendment Bill 2002, which will enable
introduction of CAS, is yet to be cleared in the Rajya Sabha, and the
government does not appear to be in a hurry to do so. CNBC’s contract with
Sony expires after March 2003 and after that, its contract may be renewed
with Sony or it may move over to another bouquet.
OVER 3,500 RADIO AND TV TRANSMITTERS OPERATIONAL
According to the Deputy Director General of Islamic Republic of Iran
Broadcasting (IRIB), Farhang Goudarzi, a total of 3,500 radio and
television transmitters are now operational in the country. Talking to the
Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency, Goudarzi said the figure includes 100
high power transmitters. He also disclosed that the first part of the
programme to change from analogue to digital transmission, a plan that
demands huge investment, has been implemented in recent months. IRIB
currently operates ten radio and TV networks. Goudarzi called for further
public co-operation in preserving and maintaining IRIB installations,
especially those located in remote and arduous areas.
AL-ALAM TO LAUNCH GLOBAL SERVICE
A test card has been observed for Al-Alam, the soon-to-be-launched new
Arabic-language satellite news channel from Islamic Republic of Iran
Broadcasting. The test card for Al-Alam (Arabic for "World") News Channel
was observed on August 28 on Eutelsat Hotbird 3 (13 degrees east),
frequency 12,437 GHz/H. The test card also provides signal information on
other satellites (including Arabsat 26 East, AsiaSat 100.5 East, and
Telstar 97 West. The TV's Internet site (http://www.alalamnews.net/)
provides the same information.
ABS-CBN IN TALKS FOR FUNDING FACILITY
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp, the Philippines' largest media broadcast
network, on August 29 said it is in talks for a funding facility, the
proceeds of which will be used for debt refinancing and to cover working
capital. The company didn't disclose the exact amount of the loan it is
seeking. The company said no definite date has been set for the signing of
the planned facility. According to a BPI Securities company report on
ABS-CBN, the broadcast network's total interest-bearing debt as of the end
of the first half amounted to 6.36 billion pesos, of which PHP3.88 billion
are short-term liabilities.
No update Sunday