SAT-na February 1 1997


February 1 1997

This service is sponsored by Tele Satellit International and
Satellite Journal International.
Arianespace Flight 93 
Arianespace successfully launched two telecommunications satellites: the GE
2 satellite for the US operator, GE American Communications, and
Argentina's first telecommunications satellite, Nahuel 1A. 

Flight 93 was carried out by an ARIANE 44L, the version of the European
launcher with four liquid-propellant strap-on boosters. This launch vehicle
boosted a record payload of 4,900 kg (10,780 lbs.) into orbit. 

Lift-off from the European Space Port in Kourou, French Guiana took place
on Thursday at

7:04 p.m. local time in Kourou, 
or 5:04 p.m. in Washington DC (EST) 
or 10:04 p.m. GMT 
or 11:04 p.m. in Paris. 

Commenting on this successful first launch of the year, Arianespace
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles Bigot said, "With the launch
service industry becoming increasingly globalised, this evening's launch
underscores the pivotal role played by the European launcher on the world
stage. This evening, we are working for both North and South America. We
are helping the major private operator GE American Communications develop
its business in North America, and enabling Argentina to set up its own
satellite communications system, which will serve all of South America." 

Provisional parameters at third stage injection into geostationary transfer
orbit were: 
Perigee: 200 km. for a target of 200.0 (+/- 3) km.
Apogee: 36,000 km. for a target of 35,955 (+/- 150) km. 
Inclination: 7.01 degrees for a target of 7.00 (+/- 0.05) degrees. 

GE 2 is the fourth GE American Communications satellite to be launched by
Arianespace. It was built by Lockheed Martin Astro Space in East Windsor,
New Jersey. Equipped with 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, GE 2 will
provide telecommunications services for North America and Hawaii. Weighing
2,649 kg (5,828 lbs.) at launch, it has a design life of more than 15
All 24 of the 60-watt Ku-band transponders on the satellite are reserved
for PRIMESTAR's exclusive use.  The GE-2 satellite replaces PRIMESTAR's
SATCOM K-2 satellite in the 85 degree West longitude orbital location. The
expanded PRIMESTAR line-up will start on April 20, 1997.

Nahuel 1A is Argentina's first telecommunications satellite. The program
was launched within the scope of a contract signed with DASA of Germany,
and the satellite was built by Aerospatiale in Cannes, France. Weighing
1,790 kg (3,938 lbs.) at lift-off, it has a design life exceeding 12 years.
Nahuel 1A is equipped with 18 Ku-band transponders. Positioned over
Colombia, it will provide telecommunications and TV transmission services
for South America. The operator is the Argentine company Nahuelsat. 

        GE2     Nahuel 1A
Customer        GE Americom     DASA for Naheulsat
Manufacturer    Lockheed Martin Aerospatiale
Type    A-2100-b        Spacebus 2000
Mass at Lift-Off        2,600 kg        1,790 kg
Stabilisation   3-axis  3-axis
Payload 24 C-Band       
        24 Ku-Band      18 Ku-band (54Mhz)
Design Life     15 years        12 years
Coverage        North America   Latin and South America
Orbital Position        85 deg West     71.8 deg West

The next launch, Flight 94, is now scheduled for February 25, 1997. An
Ariane 44P launch vehicle will be used to place the Intelsat 801
telecommunications satellite into orbit for the International
Telecommunications Satellite Organisation, Intelsat. 

Comcast, ABC Form Venture 
Comcast Corporation and ABC Cable Networks have agreed to form a new
organisation to acquire a majority interest in E! Entertainment Television.

Comcast obtained the right to increase its ownership of E! Entertainment to
68.8 percent based on a recently triggered buy/sell agreement between the
owners.  Comcast already owns 10.4 percent and the remainder will be
acquired from Time Warner Inc. 

The acquisition of the shares from Time Warner is subject to compliance
with the filing and waiting period requirements under the Hart-Scott-Rodino
PanAmSat increases revenues
PanAmSat Corporation announced 1996 total revenues of $246.9 million, an
increase of 112 percent over 1995 total revenues of $116.2 million. 
Revenues for the three months ended December 31, 1996, were $69.3 million,
an increase of $25.0 million from the same period in 1995.  

PanAmSat experienced significant revenue increases during 1996 for both
broadcast and business communications services.  Broadcast services revenue
increased by 144 percent to $204.8 million, due primarily to the
commencement of video services on the PAS-3 satellite, and the continuing
increase in space segment leasing for video services on the PAS-2 and PAS-4
satellites.  Business communications services revenue grew by 32 percent to
$39.9 million as a result of the commencement of several new data network
and carrier service contracts that also originated during the year.  
The ESR2000XT PLUS is an advanced home satellite receiver that offers
global operation through multi-voltage input selection, multi-standard
operation and dual remote controls. "These multi-standard capabilities
allow the ESR2000XT PLUS to excel in both NTSC and PAL environments," says
Dan Albrecht, International Sales Manager. A switching power supply and
multi-voltage capabilities provide a wide range of voltage operation,
ensuring that the receiver can be used in applications around the world.

The receiver allows for incorporating two internal decoder modules such as
VideoCrypt and D2MAC/EuroCrypt to receive almost all encrypted programming.
The receiver offers on-screen display menus in six different languages,
including Arabic. 

The receiver comes equipped with 2000 pre-programmed channel memories
providing users with a wide variety of programming and viewing options. The
pre-programmed channels come complete with video/audio and antenna

The receiver also offers the user up to 400 favourite channel memories.
This advanced feature makes it easy for the user to move to their favourite
channels with a few simple keystrokes. The favourite channel feature
eliminates cumbersome searching through satellites to locate desired

The receiver utilises powerful software that makes installation and
customising of receiver parameters easy and convenient. Parameters such as
satellite location, audio settings, and favourite channel lists can be
customised by transferring the new information from another receiver, a
personal computer or the Drake Data Transfer Unit (DTU). All operating
parameters can also be programmed via the receiver's UHF or Infrared remote

Programming via a personal computer is accomplished with a PC interface kit
available from Drake. This interface kit allows changing a variety of
operating parameters on the receiver via a personal computer. The software
included in the PC interface kit utilises easy-to-follow display menus to
guide through operations such as assembling lists of popular programs,
customising satellite directories, and downloading receiver and satellite
parameters to the receiver. 

Drake also offers an optional DTU with the receiver. The Drake DTU allows
installers to reprogram one receiver, then transfer the new information
into the DTU. Once the information is resident in the DTU, it can be
transferred to any number of receivers. 

Other features include an easy to understand owner's manual, convenient
front panel controls, a programmable four event timer for video recording,
automatic signal peaking and an AutoSat locate system. The receiver also
employs two programmable bandwidth filters, 18 and 27 MHz, audio and video
threshold extension, and a dual input tuner for multiple LNB connections.
Four rear panel SCART connectors to other video equipment such as video
recorders and decoders. 

 Fox Sports Brasil
Fox Sports International and Globosat will launch a new
Portuguese-language, 24-hour sports channel in Brazil, to be named Fox

The new channel, set to launch during the second quarter of 1997, will be
distributed to cable exclusively via Sky Net Entertainment DBS service. 
Fox Sports will offer a mix of top local and international sports
programming, and will work together with Globosat's existing sports channel
SporTv, in developing complementary programming schedules.

This channel will add to Fox Sports' presence in Latin America.  With over
3.9 million subscribers (and a new subscriber announcement due next week),
Fox Sports Americas, a Spanish-language 24-hour cable channel, is
distributed across Mexico, Central and South America, as well as the U.S.


The CRTC has approved Shaw Communications Inc. application for DTH
satellite distribution service Homestar. While entirely owned and
controlled by Shaw, Homestar will be operated separately from Shaw's cable

Like other previously licensed DTH distributors, Homestar will provide a
wide range of television and audio programming services directly to
individual subscribers in all parts of Canada using satellite facilities.
Given the current shortage of Canadian satellite capacity, several
alternative satellite strategies have been identified to deliver the
Homestar service. The transmission technology the licensee plans to use is
the DigiCipher II digital video compression (DVC) technology. 

Homestar will distribute a basic service that includes programming from at
least one station or affiliate of all three national television
networks-CTV, CBC and Radio-Canada. It also intends to carry the
programming of Television Northern Canada (TVNC) and Cable Public Affairs
Inc. (CPAC) as part of its basic service. 

Furthermore, Homestar will offer various optional packages, in English,
French or both languages, consisting of signals from conventional,
specialty and pay TV services. Within any given package, Canadian pay
television services may be linked with up to a maximum of five channels
allocated to foreign services that are authorised for distribution by the
Commission. As well, each Canadian specialty service may be linked with one
channel allocated to authorised foreign services. 
Foreign Services

WKBW-TV Buffalo (ABC)
WGRZ-TV Buffalo (NBC)
WIVB-TV Buffalo (CBS)
WUTV-TV Buffalo (FOX)
WNED-TV Buffalo (PBS)
The Nashville Network (TNN)
The Arts and Entertainment Network (A&E)
Cable News Network (CNN)
The Weather Channel (TWC) 
CNN Headline News (CNN-2)
The Silent Network (Kaleidoscope)
The Learning Channel
Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-Span)
WGN-TV Chicago
WWOR-TV New York City
WTBS Atlanta
WPIX New York City
WSBK-TV Boston
KTLA Los Angeles
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Lifetime Television
Comedy Central

Homestar may allow subscribers to purchase only pay-per-view services,
without having to take any other package of services. 

Homestar will contribute at least 5% of each month's gross revenues to an
existing, independently administered Canadian program production fund. 

The licensee has also made commitments to provide northern residents with
free decoders and to obtain copyright clearance for programming distributed
to schools in northern communities. 
The Commission expects Homestar to distribute any available closed
captioned signals.

Given the shortage of Canadian satellite space segment available at this
time, particularly for DTH distribution undertakings, Shaw's application
raised the issue of whether the applicant has secured satellite capacity,
or has adequately formulated strategies to obtain such capacity.
In the long term, Shaw plans to use whatever new Canadian DBS satellite
capacity becomes available to it over the next two years.  Shaw has
indicated that it had filed an application with the Department of Industry
to launch two DBS satellites through Shaw DBS, a structurally-separate
company, and noted that Telesat Canada (Telesat) had filed a similar
competing application.  In the meantime, Shaw has proposed that Homestar
could find interim satellite capacity on Telesat's Anik E2 satellite
through a traffic-planning scenario devised by Shaw.  Shaw also is saying
that if Telesat is unable to accommodate Homestar on the Anik satellites,
Homestar could find interim capacity on existing U.S. DBS or U.S.
medium-power satellites.

In its intervention to the CRTC, Telesat stated that, in the immediate
future, it cannot accommodate Homestar on Telesat's current facilities. 
Among other things, Telesat said that its first priority is to restore
service to its customers affected by Anik E1's partial failure.  Telesat
also presented evidence that ExpressVu and other customers are higher than
Homestar on the Order of Priority List (OPL) for available satellite
Telesat also argued that Shaw's proposal to use U.S. satellite capacity may
not be feasible because U.S. providers of such capacity require long-term
service contracts that may put Canadian DTH undertakings entering into such
contracts offside of the government's satellite policy, once Canadian
satellite capacity becomes available.

The CRTC acknowledged Telesat's concerns that the interim options proposed
by Shaw to obtain satellite capacity are uncertain. Nevertheless, the
Commission noted that the current environment regarding satellite capacity
is subject to rapid and sometimes unforeseeable changes.  As to Shaw's long
term proposal, the Commission expects that new Canadian satellites will
become available over the next few years, and that Canadian DTH services
will have access to these common carrier facilities.
The Commission did not consider that Shaw's inability to present evidence
that it has been able, unconditionally, to secure interim satellite
capacity at this time is sufficient grounds to deny this application.  The
Commission is satisfied that Shaw has identified several alternative
satellite strategies available to it.

Finally, to ensure the necessary structural separation between Homestar and
Shaw's cable operations, Homestar has agreed to conditions of licence that
prohibit, among other things, cross-subsidisation from Shaw, joint
marketing of services, and any preferential treatment that would give it an
undue advantage in the offering of its service

Upcoming Launches

Check our web site for an updated listing of 1997 launches. Click on
"Launch Info". 

Next Atlas Launch
 Atlas IIAS/JCSat-4  --Feb. 16, 1997
Next Ariane Launch
 Ariane 4/Intelsat 801 --Feb. 25, 1997

  In Brief
 U.S. Satellite Broadcasting will offer every residential DSS owner the
rematch of Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson. Holyfield-Tyson II is
scheduled to be broadcast live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 3.
The fight will be broadcast live on U.S. Satellite Broadcasting channel
900.  The fight can be purchased by using the DSS remote control device or
by telephone. 

 Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. announced that Racimec Informatica Brasilia,
S.A., a majority owned subsidiary of GTECH Corp. (GTECH), ordered 1,600
GSAT sites and appropriate hub equipment for the national lottery of
Brazil.  The network, when installed, will become the second largest
lottery-based VSAT network in the world after the UK National Lottery. The
GSAT network for Brazil is scheduled for delivery in 1997.

(c) 1997 SAT-na/TSi

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