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Sat-ND, 10.-12.5.96




Sat-ND - Informationen zur Satelliten- und Medienszene

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"(c) Copyright 1996 by Sat-ND, http://www.sat-net.com/pck/"

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Peter C. Klanowski, Fax +49-451-5820055, pck@LyNet.De

This issue is sponsored by TELE-satellite, Europe's Satellite Magazine 
Have a look at their homepage! >> http://www.TELE-satellit.com/ <<


Nachrichten vom 10.-12. Mai 1996

Good Idea?
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Way back in 1992, it took a small
company from Massachusetts (USA) called Semtek International Inc. just
half a million US dollars to strike a deal with Merkuriy, one of Russia's
premier satellite operators. According to the Wall Street Journal,
Semtek's idea was to use the already existing LUCH satellites (currently
positioned on 76.4 and 95.2 degrees East) and their infrastructure for
providing Western customers with telecommunications services at rates 40
percent below the usual price. With just US$500,000, Semtek hoped to cash
in revenues of more than US$100 million. As anybody with some common sense
would argue, deals like that normally don't work. Nevertheless Semtek
seemed surprised when in 1994 a Washington based businessman by the name
of Millman appeared on the scene, maintaining to have an exclusive
contract for the very same LUCH satellites. And what's more, he seemed to
be right. Today, the rights lie with Lockheed Martin, who took them over
from Millman's Transworld Communications.
From then on, things got even more confusing. Semtek filed a lawsuit
before the Boston federal district court claiming that "long after it
climbed into bed with us," Merkuriy "found another company with deeper
pockets."  The Russians declared that their previous arrangements with
Semtek were no binding contracts at all. And Lockheed Martin, which wasn't
a defendant in the suit, let it be known that their contracts don't
involve the same satellites that were the focus the Semtek lawsuit,
anyway. 
To cut a long story short: Semtek won the case, the Russians have to pay
US$381.4 million  in theory. Of course, they won't pay a single dollar,
according to Mercuriy's general director, and in reality Semtek has no
chance of ever getting a single buck from Russia. Lockheed Martin, by the
way, is still confident about carrying out first tests on a Mercuriy
satellite slated for launch later this year. There are more law suits
pending, making it unclear whether or not Merkuriy is shut out from
proceeding with commercial marketing plans, as far as US companies are
concerned.

FIFA Kicks Off Soccer Auction
Unless your name happens to be Rupert Murdoch, you're not very likely to
have US$1 billion at your disposal. But just in case, you might want to
consider buying the TV rights for the World Soccer Championships 2002 and
2006. However, there are already eight bidders. Rupert Murdoch (of
course,) but also Disney/ABC, an American-German joint venture set up by
IMG and Bertelsmann, German ISPR (already holding the rights for Germany's
and Austria's national leagues), Swiss CWL-Lüthi (Champions League,) and
the European Broadcasting Union EBU. This consortium of pubcasters holds
the European rights for the next two World Championships. Almost ten years
ago, they had to pay just SFr 340 million for three of the events. 
Today, just the 2002 championship is likely to be worth US$1 billion, even
though there will be virtually no revenues from pay TV rights. FIFA, and
of course their sponsors, want to see the matches broadcast reach a large
audience. Thus, they will be available on free TV. But under the current
soccer rules, there's not too much space for commercials during a match.
The rules might be changed until 2002, but at least in Europe, the World
Championships could end up where the Olympics already are: on public
television.

Canadian Power DirecTV Undecided About Its Future
There is no real Canadian digital TV yet, but the announcement of a deal
between Telesat Canada and US cable company TCI (Sat-ND, 9.5.96) seems to
have shaken up the scene. Power DirecTV, an operation set up by Canadian
offsprings of US companies, declared to be interested in reviving its
plans that had been put on ice just before. Andre Desmarais, Power Corp.'s
president and chief operating officer, claims that "the approach of a
North American solution as proposed by Power DirecTv is now generally
accepted." Power Direct TV has a license for digital TV but still wants
"the regulators to make changes to ensure that the cable and the
direct-to-home television people are on a level playing field."
Nonetheless, Power Corp.'s chairman Paul Desmarais once again declared
Power DirecTv to be ''finished'' unless Ottawa makes policy changes. 

BBC To Start Extra Pay Services
The British Broadcasting Corporation has introduced a 10-year plan for
introducing digital TV and radio services. It includes setting up a
24-hour news channel and CD-quality sound services. According to BBC
director general, John Birt, the pubcaster will increase "quality, variety
and convenience of its service to the license payer." The problem,
however, is that many of those new services are not likely be covered by
the license fee (about 90 per annum.) Although every owner of a TV set
has to pay this amount, it has stayed about the same in real terms for the
last years while programming costs were soaring. The BBC's efforts to make
some cash with operations in other countries so far haven't contributed
just 72 million to its revenue stream. Plans for a US version of BBC
World have been sacked, and BBC Arab had to be closed down recently. As if
this wasn't enough, the Beeb's former partners in Saudi-Arabia say they
won't pay any compensation after cancelling the 10-year contract which was
said to be worth US$100 million.

More MTV
One channel called MTV just isn't enough. Viacom managers already
announced more MTVs five years ago, but nothing has happened so far.
Finally, MTV 2 might become a reality in late summer, at least in the USA.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that MTV 2 will bring back the more
or less chaotic free-style music TV of MTV's early years. It will consist
of nothing but music videos and will probably not even contain
commercials. There's no word yet on whether MTV 2 will also be part of
Viacom's planned European digital TV package.

Over And Out
The plug was pulled Friday night at Veronica Nieuwsradio (VNR). The all
news channel, available on AM and ASTRA, ceased broadcasting at 19:00
local time. Owing to an AM frequency inaudible at night, VNR had almost no
listeners. VNR is, however, convinced that it'll return. Next year, there
will be new frequencies to be allocated by the government. Before, there
had been some offers by Dutch investment groups, and from Americans who
claim to have 'a lot of money'.  (Jitse Groen)

Summer TV on ASTRA 1D
According to Radio Netherland's Media Network, Dutch Wereldomroep's Summer
TV will broadcast from June 1 through the end of August on ASTRA 1D,
transponder 53. It can be seen between 1800 and 2200 UTC (2000 and 2400
CEST.) The channel is targeted to Dutchmen abroad, whether they're there
permanently or just on holiday, thus programming will be in Dutch and
unscrambled. The major part will be taken over from the country's
pubcasters, but there will also be programmes produced especially for the
target audience.
Should you feel the urge to listen to Media Network's last programme
(though you missed it): It's easy, in case you have a multimedia PC and a
connection to the Internet. Thanks to Real Audio, you can listen to it by
accessing World Radio Network's archives. And if you're interested in
Zomer TV, you don't have to wait too long because the announcement was
made at the beginning of the programme. (Peter Fleury/pck)
http://www.wrn.org/

Digital Transmissions on EUTELSAT
The German EUTELSAT Agency has published a list of digital transmissions
on their Satellites. Most digital activity takes place on their Hot Bird
position 13 degrees East. A Viacom package with several regional MTV
versions, VH-1 Germany, Sci-Fi Channel and Bloomberg Financial TV is
available on 11.238 GHz. Apart from the Bloomberg channel, which is
unscrambled, all other channels use Cryptoworks scrambling. On 11.283 GHz,
Telepiù shows its three channels alongside Discovery, MTV Europe and CNNI.
Irdeto scrambling is used, only CNNI comes unscrambled. German RTL is on
11.610 GHz (unscrambled,) the US Information Agency broadcasts for Europe
on 12.567 GHz (MPEG 2,) and from Romania comes Pro TV in MPEG 1.5 on
12.576 GHz. It is available only to a closed user group. In addition,
there are two French packages on 13 degrees: an unscrambled one on 12,583
GHz with TF 1, France 2 and 3, Supervision, La Cinquième, arte, M6 and a
regional version of France 2. The other one can be found on 12.521 GHz; it
comprises eight channels from broadcaster AB which are due to be scrambled
soon.
On EUTELSAT II-3 (16 degrees East) there are several digital channels: TV
10 and The Music Factory (11.015/11.024 GHz, Dutch, unscrambled;) Wizla TV
(11.060 Hz, Polish, unscrambled;) SNAI (12.577 GHz, Italian, closed
network;) and Number 1 TV from Turkey (12.599 GHz, free.) SIS uses 12.521
GHz for up to six transmission channels in MPEG 1.5 (closed network.) On
EUTELSAT II-F2 (10 degrees East), Kral TV can be seen unscrambled on
11.631 GHz, and on EUTELSAT II-F4M (7 degrees East) there's Antena 1 from
Romania on 11.135 GHz (DVB MPEG 1.5, closed network.)
Unless otherwise noted, transmissions comply with the DVB MPEG 2 standard.

What's On Cable?
85 percent of the Dutch people want to have their say about what cable
offers. Four out of five people want the basic package to consist of Ned
1, Ned 2, Ned 3, local TV, regional TV, RTL 4, RTL 5, SBS 6, Veronica,
BRTN 1, BRTN 2 and ARD. Surprisingly the BBC is missing here. Besides,
viewers are not prepared to pay much more for their cable connection than
the current average subscription fee of around 18 Dutch guilders. (Jitse
Groen)

Sport7 buys HMG rights
Sport7 has taken over most of the sports usually transmitted by the
Holland Media Groep. The HMG has no place left to broadcast these sports,
because of the RTL 5 change to a news channel. Sport7 now has the rights
for three years of Wimbledon and the US Open. Also acquired are two games
of Oranje, 29 UEFA cup games, sublicenses for German and English football,
and the Golden Four athletics. The HMG will still air the soccer friendly
Netherlands - China, as well as the friendly against Ireland. Sport7 has
by the way won the case against Euro7, the judge ruled that mistakes can't
be made between the two stations. There is still no word on the satellite
distribution, apart from the Nethold-contract. Probably no analogue
transmission. (Jitse Groen)

Pay Per View From the Lion's Den
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., through its MGM/UA Telecommunications Group arm,
has become the first major studio to license pay per view rights to the
international pay-television group, NetHold. NetHold's subsidiary,
MultiChoice, shortly will launch digital satellite and cable platforms in
the Benelux and Nordic countries. In addition to a wide choice of local
and international television channels, NetHold will offer multiple
channels of pay per view. It will program first-run films from MGM and
United Artists, beginning with recent releases such as "Rob Roy",
"Species", "Get Shorty" and "The Birdcage", in their pay per view windows.
Terms of the non-exclusive deal were not disclosed.
For more information on MGM, access the Lion's Den at
http://www.mgmua.com/
(Jean-Louis Erneux) 

Christian Broadcaster Expands Web Presence
The Evangelische Omroep, a christian broadcaster in the Netherlands, has
started a new extensive Internet service. It's part of the Dutch omroep
server which by the way claims to be most popular Internet server in
Europe, recording 450.000 to 500.000 hits per day. Head Internet
Communications of the NOS explains its popularity with its advanced
teletext interface and the high density of Internet computers in the
Netherlands. (Jitse Groen)
http://www.omroep.nl/eo/

Golden Words I
"The United States has got some of the dumbest people in the world. It's a
disgrace. When you've got 80 channels like you do here, people watch
whatever they want. And that's the sad thing about it, because the more
cerebral, the more complex, the more forward-looking the story in the
United States, to a large extent the smaller the ratings are.''
(Ted Turner)

Golden Words II
"I am absolutely convinced that five years from now, the personal newscast
will be the mode of choice. I don't have a clue how the revenue model will
look."
(Tom Rogers, president of NBC Cable and Business Development and NBC
executive vice president)

Golden Words III
"Satisfaction Club Television is the first italian hard pay-tv."
(Anna D'Antuono, Sales Manager, Satisfaction Club TV)


SNAI-TV kehrt zurück
In Kürze wird der italienische Pferdesport-Kanal SNAI-TV wieder analog auf
Satellit zu empfangen sein. Wie Marcello Berengo Gardin mitteilte, wird
SNAI bis zum Herbst diesen Jahres auf EUTELSAT II-F2 (10 Grad Ost), 11,163
GHz h in unverschlüsseltem PAL zu sehen sein. Voraussichtlich im Oktober
wird der Kanal seine analoge Verbreitung einstellen und nur noch in
digitaler MPEG 2-Norm zur Verfügung stehen. Zum Empfang werden dann
Digital-Decoder von Scientific Atlanta benötigt, die es allerdings erst im
Herbst geben wird. (Stefan Hagedorn)

Mehr Programme, verschlechterter Empfang
Zwei neue TV Programm sind seit dieser Woche auf PAS 4 (68,4 Grad Ost) zu
finden oder in Kürze dort zu sehen sein. Davon sendet eines jedoch nur
vorübergehend analog  auf der anderen Polarisationsebene der Asienversion
von Cartoon/TNT. Es ist ein Werbetrailer für das Digitalpaket von Showtime
Network im arabischen Raum. Parallel zur C-Band-Ausstrahlung (4,117 GHz v)
sendet man auch über 11,581 GHz, h, Ton 7,56/7,74 MHz. Es sind
Programmausschnitte von Paramount Channel, Bloomberg Financial TV, VH-1,
MTV, Nickelodeon und Movie Channel zu sehen.
Am Montag  (20. Mai), "6 PM Indian Time," beginnt über 3,837 GHz, v, Home
TV in offenem PAL, Ton 6,80 MHz, zu senden. Genutzt wird der
Südasien/Mittelost-Beam. In der Vergangenheit nutzte das chinesische CCTV
International 4 diesen Transponder. Zur Zeit sind kurze Tests von Home TV
dort zu sehen. CCTV ist jetzt auf 3,837 GHz, v, zu finden, wo es auf Grund
der enormen Sendeleistung von ESPN fast nicht mehr empfangbar ist; nach
wie vor aber auch in hervorragender Qualität auf PAS 3R (43 Grad West).
(Norbert Schlammer)

Höchst Strategische Planungen der Deutschen Telekom AG in Zusammenarbeit
mit Herrn William H. Gates III (Microsoft Corp. [MSFT]), dessen Microsoft
Network (MSN) betreffend
(Zum besseren Verständnis: Das war die Überschrift.  Die Redaktion.) 
Telekom-Vorstandsmitglied Herbert May hatte am Freitag das Vergnügen,
zusammen mit Microsoft-Boß Bill Gates ein Abkommen zu unterzeichnen. Dabei
geht es um, na klar, eine "strategische Kooperation" bei Online-Diensten.
Die Deutsche Telekom soll Gates' Microsoft Network, vom proprietären
Onlineservice erst jüngst mit heißer Nadel zum Pay-Angebot im Internet
umgestrickt, mit "einer breiten, leistungsfähigen Infrastruktur"
ausstatten, die laut Microsoft "bis Ende des Jahres in Deutschland
Flächendeckung erreicht haben soll." Das ist auch bitter nötig, denn
bisher stehen lediglich einige schwach bestückte Einwahlknoten in wenigen
Großstädten zur Verfügung. Zum Deal gehört auch, daß die Telekom auch eine
schnelle Internet-Anbindung für Microsoft Network realisiert, das selbst
auch als Internet-Provider auftreten will. Damit macht sich die Telekom
notgedrungen selbst Konkurrenz, denn auch der hauseigene Dienst T-Online
bietet einen Internet-Zugang. Dort hat man es allerdings bislang nicht
geschafft, einen wirklich schnellen Zugriff aufs Netz zu realisieren.
Nutzer aller Online-Dienste werden gerne hören, was Microsoft noch so über
die Zusammenarbeit mit der Telekom zu erzählen weiß: "Besonderer Wert wird
dabei auf eine großzügige Dimensionierung der Leitungsnetze gelegt, um dem
Anwender auch bei hoher Last schnelle Verbindungen zur Verfügung zu
stellen." Ach ja, schön wär's.

Hit Me, Harry
Irgendwann demnächst wird Harry Letterschmidt, früher bekannt als Harald
Schmidt, zum hundertsten Mal als SAT.1-Nachtplapperer auf verlorenem
Posten seine Show abziehen. Im Sender weiß jeder, Letterschmidt
eingeschlossen, daß das Quotenziel von 1,3 Millionen Zuschauern (oder 13
Prozent Marktanteil) nicht erreicht wird. Programmdirektor Fred Kogel
rechtfertigt seinen megateuren Einkauf, der pro Sendung schlappe 80.000 DM
kassiert, trotzdem: "Eines Tages springt der Funke über." Oder auch nicht,
denn Harry Letterschmidt kann es egal sein. Millionär ist er auf jeden
Fall dank SAT.1, ob sein Vertrag (der auf 400 Sendungen in zwei Jahren
angelegt ist) nur durchgezogen wird oder nicht. Wenn nicht, hätte
Letterschmidt jede Menge Freizeit, aber sicherlich auch eine deftige
Abfindung zu erwarten  vielleicht sogar der bessere Deal?  Legt es Dirty
Harry womöglich mit Kotzorgien, antipolnischen Kalauern und
frauenfeindlichen Statements darauf an? Immerhin arbeitet die Sendung
inzwischen kostendeckend, doch das kann sich ändern. Im Sommer klettern
die Preise für Werbespots wieder, da wird es sich so manche Firma nochmal
überlegen. Außerdem will SAT.1 künftig die letzten Rechte an den berühmten
Lederhosen-Filmen absenden, sonst verfallen die womöglich. Folge: Erstmal
kein Letterschmidt mehr am Sonnabend. "Late-Night-Formate sind
ausschließlich Stoffe für die Woche zwischen Montag und Freitag. Am
Samstagabend braucht man Material, das weniger tagesaktuell und vielleicht
etwas einlullender ist," doziert hingegen Fernseh-Professor Kogel. Ach so.
Und in irgendwelchen Studien zieht man sich in Kogel/Letterschmidt-Kreisen
ausgerechnet am Internet-Angebot der Show hoch, das seit Ende Februar rund
sieben Millionen "Hits" verzeichnete. Müssen wir den Herrschaften wirklich
noch erklären, was es mit den "Hits" auf sich hat? Also gut, sei's drum.
Hat zum Beispiel die Indexseite des Angebots neben dem Text zusätzlich nur
neun Grafiken, produziert jeder Abruf dieser Seite alleine zehn "Hits".
Und die Letterschmidt-Site ist wahrlich grafikintensiv.
Unser Tip: Trennung in gegenseitigem Einvernehmen nach einer Schamfrist,
Letterschmidt genießt seine Millionen in der Karibik, und SAT.1 verlängert
die Rechte an den Lederhosen-Filmen -- für alle Fälle. Fred Kogel wird
Programmdirektor des digitalen TV-Pakets der Drogeriekette Schlecker.
http://www.harald-schmidt-show.de/


Thanks to our contributors 
Jean-Louis Erneux: 70671.1624@compuserve.com
Peter Fleury: pfleury@spectraweb.ch
Jitse Groen: jgl@dds.nl
Stefan Hagedorn: 100702.350@compuserve.com
Norbert Schlammer: 100415.3560@compuserve.com

========================================================
Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr. Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Klanowski,
pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
Einsender erklären sich mit Bearbeitung und Veröffentlichung
einverstanden.

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