Sat-Birmingham News Report #: 007

Sat-Birmingham News Report #: 007

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 TODAYS NEWS: Saturday 8th November 1997.

Today's Headlines:
Cable & Wireless Nabs BSkyB For Pay-Per-View
Good News For News Corp., Pegasus Communications
Canada's First Direct Broadcast Satellite in Production
Defending The Big Dish
Loral Forms Partnership With India's Modi Entertainment
USSB and Don King Announce Series of Boxing Events

Cable & Wireless Nabs BSkyB For Pay-Per-View

British Sky Broadcasting and Cable & Wireless Communications
reached a pact on providing digital pay-per-view television in Britain
next year. 

Under the deal, CWC will offer BSkyB pay-per-view on analog and
digital platforms next spring, when the companies plan to coordinate the
introduction of Britain's first digital TV services. Programming, 
provided through Sky Box Office, will include movies, sports and other

The companies also said they will jointly promote and market digital

CWC, one of Britain's largest cable companies, will install a fiber 
optic link between BSkyB's Isleworth studios outside London and CWC's
own digital head-end. 

Good News For News Corp., Pegasus Communications

News Corp. lifted earnings by 9 percent to $243 million in its first
quarter on higher revenues of $2.9 billion. 

Helping results was a strong performance from Fox Television offset a
downturn at 20th Century Fox. As for satellite, News Corp.'s Star TV
had 50 percent growth in revenue in the quarter with both advertising
and subscription revenues up. Chairman Rupert Murdoch told analysts
that Star could be breaking even within 18 months. 

The higher earnings compelled NatWest Securities to raise its ratings on
News Corp. for the second time this week. The firm jumped its opinion
on News Corp.'s shares from accumulate to buy, with a $23 per-share
price target. 

Meanwhile, BT Alex Brown initiated coverage of Pegasus
Communications with a buy rating. Lehman reiterated its buy

On Thursday, Pegasus agreed to acquire Digital Television Services in
Roswell, Ga., for $250 million. DTS is the second largest independent
provider of DirecTV, serving 120,000 subscribers in 10 states and
reaching about 1.7 million households. 

Canada's First Direct Broadcast Satellite in Production

Telesat Canada updated Canadians on its progress in building the
nation's first direct broadcast satellite, which will enable a 
significant expansion in the satellite television service available to
Canadians. The company also released the first official images of the
new satellite, which will be named by a national contest open to  
all Canadians. 

"With an in-service target date of Dec. 1, 1998, Telesat's DBS satellite
will dramatically expand the frontiers of satellite television for
Canadians," said Larry Boisvert, Telesat's President and CEO. "Since
getting the green light from the federal government in April, we've been
making excellent progress in the building of our new satellite." 

Telesat confirmed that the new satellite will carry the signals of two
major customers: ExpressVu, one of Canada's two direct-to-home
television services, and a new service called Electronic Digital 
Delivery (EDD), an electronic "video store in the sky" which will allow
viewers to order movies and other programming downloaded via satellite. 

Telesat and the satellite's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin
Telecommunications, have just completed the all-important design
phase, which involves rigorous design reviews to ensure the equipment
chosen will function reliably in a variety of space conditions over its
mission life. 

Defending The Big Dish

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association defended
the big dish with a letter to the Wall Street Journal, written in 
response to perceived credit concerns involving retailers and C-Band
owners as well as subscriber losses. 

The article, titled "Lenders Wish They had Never Heard of Big Satellite
Dishes," appeared Oct. 15 in the Journal. 

While there may be a small number of dealers and owners with credit
problems, SBCA Vice President of Communications Margaret Parone
pointed out that a majority of large and small dish owners "are 
satisfied customers, and maintain close relationships with the dealers
who sold them their systems." 

The letter also addressed the article's assertion that small dish
systems have rendered C-Band dishes obsolete. "But three years after the
introduction of small dishes, 2.1 million large-dish owners still enjoy 
the benefits of hundreds of viewing choices and crystal-clear reception. 

"It's true that large-dish systems sales have declined, but this is to
be expected with the advent of any new technological development." 

Loral Forms Partnership With India's Modi Entertainment

Loral Space and Communications formed a strategic alliance with
India-based Modi Entertainment Networks (MEN), a K.K. Modi
Group company, to jointly pursue business opportunities in DTH satellite
broadcasting in India. 

The memorandum of agreement forms the basis of an exclusive
arrangement between Loral and MEN to pursue opportunities in DTH
satellite broadcasting, as well as to jointly pursue any required 
from the Indian government to provide services. It calls for the
appointment of a joint technical and business development team to
assess DTH satellite broadcasting opportunities, or any other areas
selected by Loral and MEN. 

The Indian government is currently working on the details of enacting
broadcast legislation for the country of about 1 billion people. 

MEN is part of the K.K. Modi Group (KKM), headquartered in

USSB and Don King Announce Series of Boxing Events

U.S. Satellite Broadcasting and Don King Productions announced the
debut of an exclusive boxing series on USSB, with a title fight live 
the Popono Beach Amphitheater in Florida on Dec. 13. 

The series dubbed, "U.S. Satellite Broadcasting Presents The Don King
'Only In America' Boxing Series," debuts with a championship bout
featuring current IBF junior welterweight champion "Cool" Vince Phillips
taking on No. 1 contender "Fearless" Freddie Pendleton. This exclusive
USSB event will be available to owners of the 18-inch DSS system 

As part of an agreement reached in September, U.S. Satellite
Broadcasting and Don King Productions will provide a series of
exclusive fights to DSS owners, with a minimum of four events per year. 

The debut fight begins 9 p.m. Eastern Time on Dec.13 and DSS owners
can purchase the fight for $14.95 by using the DSS remote. The bout
will be shown on USSB's Big Events Channel 900.


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    All contents (C) 1997 Neil Anthony Powell UK SATELLITE CONTROL
     Some material (c) 1997 Dominic Sedghi, www.sat-net.com/sat-uk
             and Skyreport (c) 1997 All Rights Reserved. 
       The above may not be reproduced without written consent.
       Information is subject to change and/or may be incorrect.

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