Sat-Birmingham News Report #: 013

Sat-Birmingham News Report #: 013

E-MAIL :  uksat@sat-net.com
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 TODAYS NEWS: Thursday 20th November 1997.

Today's Headlines:
USSB's Hubbard Takes SBCA Chair Duties
K-Mart Gets DirecTV, DSS In Time For Holiday Season
More Programming Available On 4DTV 
Iridium Plans December Launch In China
Disney Sees Fiscal Year Jump In Revenues, Earnings
ORB Fernsehen starts testing
Sky Box Office to begin soon
Zomer TV to be moved

USSB's Hubbard Takes SBCA Chair Duties

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association announced
new board officers during its meeting in Palm Springs Wednesday, a
group which constituted a mix of programming and DTH interests. 

U.S. Satellite Broadcasting President and CEO Stan E. Hubbard was
named SBCA chairman, while HBO's Vinton Bauer took the past chair

Tola Murphy-Baran of the National Football League was named vice
chair and secretary, and Christine Sheehan of MTV was named vice
chair and treasurer. 

K-Mart Gets DirecTV, DSS In Time For Holiday Season

K-Mart joined the long list of national retailers selling DirecTV, the 
DBS powerhouse which has more than 3 million subscribers going into the 
critical holiday season.

Supported by a special Christmas promotion with The Disney Channel and 
DirecTV, K-Mart will enter the DSS marketplace with RCA systems from 
Thomson Consumer Electronics. K Mart has more than 2,000 stores in the 
United States.

National retailers selling DirecTV and DSS include Radio Shack.

More Programming Available On 4DTV

NextLevel Systems' Satellite Data Networks unit announced that new
programming has been added for customers using the 4DTV digital
satellite receiver, including premium movie channels and music 

New to the 4DTV lineup are 20 channels of digital movies from Encore
Media Group, including additional STARZ! feeds and a movie plex of
Encore theme-based movies. Of these movie channels, 15 are not
available in analog. 

Showtime is also adding 15 East and West coast feeds of Showtime,
Showtime 2, Showtime Mountain, The Movie Channel, The Movie
Channel 2, Flix and Sundance Channel to the 4DTV lineup. The
channels are free to subscribers of analog Showtime packages. 

Music Choice also added nine additional digital music channels for a 
total of 40 offerings available to 4DTV customers. 

The San Diego-based unit also promoted Dorian Simpson to national
sales manager of its C-Band consumer products. Before his promotion,
Simpson was NextLevel's senior product manager for the 4DTV

Iridium Plans December Launch In China

China will carry two Iridium satellites into space for Motorola in early
December, using its Long-March-2-III rocket as the launch vehicle. 

China's Rocket Carrier Technology Research Institute developed the
modified Long March-2-III that was successfully launched in September
with inactive models of two Iridium satellites aboard, according to
state-owned China Aerospace Corp. 

Motorola will use rocket carriers in the United States, Russia and China
to launch 66 Iridium satellites, with each country launching 22, the
Xinhua news agency reported. China has recorded four successful
launches this year, a boost for its space industry after a string of 
failures between 1995 and 1996. 

Disney Sees Fiscal Year Jump In Revenues, Earnings

Disney's fiscal quarter that ended in September, and which completed
the company's fiscal year, saw net earnings jump 18 percent to $411
million while revenues rose 5 percent to $5.5 billion. 

For the fiscal year, net profit jumped 48 percent to $1.96 billion on 6
percent higher sales of $22.4 billion. The growth in profit was due 
partly to a gain on the sale of Los Angeles TV station KCAL and
charges that depressed last year's earnings. 

Disney said it speeded up its stock buyback program in the quarter,
spending $363 million to repurchase 4.6 million shares. For the year in
total, Disney repurchased 8.5 million shares at a cost of $633 million. 

In the quarter, much of the earnings growth came from Disney's "creative
content" group, which includes movie studios and the consumer products
division. Operating income for the division - before interest and taxes 
rose 20 percent to $448 million. 

The broadcasting group, which includes ABC and ESPN, increased
operating income just 1 percent to $241 million. Operating income rose
12 percent to $272 million. 

ORB Fernsehen starts testing

ORB Fernsehen (Ostdeutscher Rundfunk Brandenburg) has begun testing on
11,656 V. The transmissions appear to be regular, but carry the word
"Testbetrieb" [= test operation] at the top. The channel also has a
teletext service called ORBtext. The channels is due to start on
December 1st, as are four ADR radio stations on the same transponder.

Sky Box Office to begin soon

Sky Box Office has started testing on the four designated transponders.
On 11,597 (tp 26), Sky Movies Gold has been replaced by tests for Sky
Box Office Screen 1. Sky Movies Gold has also disappeared on 10,877 V
(tp 60), which will be the future home of Sky Box Office Screen 2.
Screens 3 and 4 will started on 10,862 H (tp 59) and 10,847 V (tp 58)
respectively. As reported earlier, all four channels will begin on
December 1st. Subscribers are advised to ring 0990 800 888 for more
information. The channels will broadcast outside of regular channel

Zomer TV to be moved

Dutch channel Zomer TV [= Summer Television] has ended on Astra 1D, due
to the tests by Sky Box Office Screen 4. Zomer TV will reappear soon on
HotBird 1, 11,283 V (tp 4) very soon, but under the new name
Wereldomroep TV [= World Broadcasting Television], and will continue to
broadcast for some time. Transponder 4 is currently occupied by Telepiú


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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.
WEBSITE:  UK Satellite Control: http://www.sat-net.com/uk-satellite

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