Sat-Birmingham News Report #: 012

Sat-Birmingham News Report #: 012

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 TODAYS NEWS: Wednesday 19th November 1997.

British Cable, Satellite Channels Make Viewer Gains.
Another Executive Leaves BSkyB.
Time Warner Unit Buys Stake In CanalSatellite.
Frost & Sullivan Targets Mobile Satellite Systems.

British Cable, Satellite Channels Make Viewer Gains.

Britain's cable and satellite channels together claimed a 12.1 percent
audience share in the third quarter, up from 11.8 percent in the second
quarter and from 10.5 percent in the 1996 third quarter, according to a
recent study. 

The audience share of those channels outstripped audiences of both
terrestrial networks Channel 4 and BBC, according to the Institute of
Practitioners in Advertising in its quarterly Trends in Television 

Channel 4, a state-owned but commercial channel, saw its audience
share edge off to 10.6 percent in the third quarter from 10.7 percent in
the second quarter and 11.2 percent in the 1996 third quarter, the 
report said. 

BBC1, the flagship BBC station, saw a decline in audience share to 30.2
percent in the third quarter, compared to 30.9 percent in the second
quarter and 32.4 percent in the year-earlier third quarter. 

Overall, the report stated, total average daily viewing hours of 
television in Britain fell to 3.29 hours in the third quarter, down from
3.41 hours 
in the second quarter. 

Another Executive Leaves BSkyB.

Finance director of British Sky Broadcasting Richard Brooke is
expected to leave the group following the appointment of Mark Booth as
chief executive. 

Brooke will follow former chief executive Sam Chisholm and deputy
David Chance in standing down with compensation of at least one million
pounds. The three executives ran BSkyB during its crucial years of

Brooke is expected to be replaced by Nick Carrington, BSkyB's chief
financial officer. 

Time Warner Unit Buys Stake In CanalSatellite.

Time Warner's Warner Bros. unit has exercised its buy option for 10
percent of CanalSatellite, the satellite television service owned by
France's pay TV group Canal Plus, the French company's chairman said

Pierre Lescure told financial daily La Tribune that the option, which is
due to expire at the end of December, would be exercised through an
increase in CanalSatellite's capital. 

"This is a major event, because the biggest film studio in the world is
joining us in satellite television," Lescure told La Tribune. 

Lescure said Warner Bros. has been associated with Canal Plus for 13

Frost & Sullivan Targets Mobile Satellite Systems.

According to new research from Frost & Sullivan, Big LEO and MEO
systems under development will benefit from liberalization of 
international communications regulations, improved digital technologies,
and declining hardware and service prices. 

"The latest breakthrough is the widespread development of low earth
orbiting (LEO) and medium earth orbiting (MEO) satellite networks,
which promise seamless global communications anytime, anywhere," said
Telecommunications Industry Analyst Jose del Rosario. "For the near
term, satellite phones are being positioned as a backup system for
cellular telephony. This ensures that an existing market can be readily

Subscribers are expected to increase from 450,000, when the market
begins to be realized in 1999, to over 7 million in 2004. Overall 
revenues  are expected to grow at a decreasing positive rate as a result
of substantial price declines in handset and air time charges. 

Substantial price declines in satellite services for both air time and
handset prices are expected to be comparable to cellular costs by the
next century. This development is expected to take market share away
from cellular, PCS, paging and other wireless technologies, especially 
in countries with inadequate or congested terrestrial wireless networks. 

Frost & Sullivan said Iridium is clearly in the lead of becoming the 
first global wireless system since it has successfully launched 39 of
66 satellites in its planned LEO constellation. The Motorola-backed
may actually succeed in introducing its services sometime in 1998.


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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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