Sat-Ndm 25.5.96

Sat-ND 96-05-25 - Satellite and Media News

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Presidential satellite launched
According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, another GORIZONT satellite
was successfully launched today aboard a Proton-K rocket from the Baikonur
cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. All systems are said to be working well. The
launch comes as a bit of a surprise because GORIZONT 31 launched some
months ago was referred to as the last of its series by Russian outlets.
The new satellite will probably be called GORIZONT 32 although it is
unofficially dubbed "Presidentsky". Designed to cover western Siberia and
the Urals, the home region of Boris Yeltsin, many consider it part of the
Russian president's re-election campaign. But it will take some time to
put the satellite into position, so GORIZONT 32 will probably be
operational just in time to broadcast the first election results on June

Scandal! Shrimp boat hampers satellite launch
Hughes Communications is the world's largest private commercial satellite
operator, with 19 spacecraft owned, leased or operated on behalf of US and
international customers. Now, there's one more. GALAXY IX was launched by
a Delta 2 rocket on May 23 local time from Cape Canaveral after a delay of
some thirty minutes caused by a shrimp boat in the launch danger zone off
the Florida coast. The satellite is due to be positioned at 123W. It will
be used, amongst others,  by Viacom Inc. for redistributing their channels
including MTV, Showtime, and Nickelodeon to cable operators. Additionally,
Global Access Telecommunications Services Inc., a provider of world-wide
satellite and fibre transmission services, announced that it has entered
into a lease agreement for five C band transponders.

ABC halts all-news channel
The latest all-news channel boom in the USA may be over before a single of
the planned channels has started. So far, there have been nothing but
announcements by the major networks, and they seem to get a increasingly
realistic. Disney/ABC have put off the launch of their news channel,
mainly because the lack of capacity in US cable systems. "Rather than
engage in a bidding war for subscribers, we have decided to seek other,
more immediate ways to expand our investment in the ABC News brand," said
ABC president Robert Iger. In addition to CNN, cable operators will likely
add just one more news channel to their line-up, which in most cases
expectedly will be MSNBC. Not only because it is the first of the
newcomers (its launch date will be July 13) but also because "they've got
the money and the resources," as one analyst was quoted.
In the meantime, Fox still offers cable operators an unprecedented one-off
payment of US$10 for every single subscriber to its all-news channel due
to launch this summer. 
Nigeria wants to put things straight
The private company Minaj Systems from Obosi, Nigeria, was granted a
license to operate a satellite TV channel. According to Nigeria's
broadcasting commission, "the licence empowers the organisation to operate
world-wide satellite television signals originating from Nigeria."
Unlikely as it may seem, the country's military government hopes to shift
public opinion abroad with its international TV ambitions. It's still
unclear when the rest of the world will be able to tune into Nigeria's
home-made international TV. Another license had been issued some time ago,
but so far, there has been no life sign from license holder Daar
communications on any satellite. Reportedly, the company (which operates a
radio station in Lagos) was finally able to get hold of some TV
broadcasting equipment.

More satellites from Brazil
According to a Sao Paolo newspaper, Matra Marconi and Aerospatiale want to
invest in Brazil, "attracted by the opportunities in telecommunications
and space sectors." Matra is a partner with Globo, the country's largest
TV network, to tender for data communications and satellite television
services. Aerospatiale is negotiating with the Brazilian space institute
Inpe to launch communication satellites. 

Restrictions on digital TV?
The chairman of the US media authority FCC (Federal Communications
Commission) wants digital TV broadcasters to set aside five percent of
their airtime for educational and political programming. ''It can be
capacity that is used to educate our children; capacity that is used to
help elevate our political discourse,'' FCC chairman Reed Hundt said at a
symposium on the future of campaign television sponsored by American
University and TCI News, a unit of cable giant Tele-Communications Inc. He
added that this was ''capacity that is used to tap, at last, the potential
of TV to bring us all together in healthy, reasonable, vigorous debate
about public issues.'' Earlier, Hundt proposed to order terrestrial
broadcasters to air three hours of educational children's television a
week. The FCC itself has in the meantime called for public comment on
proposed rules for digital TV. The agency asks, among other things,
whether or not public interest obligations ought to be required of

Newspapers via satellite
International visitors to the Olympic Games in Atlanta won't have to miss
their local newspapers. Satellites are used to transmit mostly European
papers to Atlanta where they are printed out and sold for a price between
one and two US$. So far, visitors will be able to buy satellite editions
of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail (UK), Der Tagesanzeiger
(Switzerland), La Liberation (France), Aftonbladed (Sweden), Asia Times
(Bangkok), and Bild (Germany.) Negotiations with other newspapers
continue. 400,000 international visitors are expected at the Olympics.
There has already been a test run of the service provided by the company
Scitex. A German newspaper was beamed to Hong Kong via satellite, enabling
the paper to be sold one day earlier than usual. Sales reportedly climbed
by 50 percent.

More DMX to come?
Some new DMX channels may appear on ASTRA (19.2 E) in the near future. On
11.023 GHz, subcarrier 7.74 was activated. It carries a blank ADR signal.
(Stefan Hagedorn)

Kirch-TV mit Reklame
Auch innerhalb der KirchGruppe wird manchmal improvisiert, hat es den
Anschein. Wie anders sollte man die Tatsache erklären, daß ausgerechnet
das Deutsche SportFernsehen (DSF) die Werbezeitenvermarktung sämtlicher
Kanäle des geplanten Kirchschen Digitalpakets DF1 übernimmt. Ach so, Sie
haben richtig gelesen. Zwar werden Sie für DF1 etliche Märker an Gebühren
zahlen dürfen - von Reklame bleiben Sie trotzdem nicht verschont.
Verkaufen wird die Werbung das DSF, das nicht nur drei
Sport-Spartenprogramme innerhalb des Kirch-Pakets anbieten soll, sondern
mit 24,5 Prozent auch zum Imperium des fränkischen Filmhändlers und
Medienmoguls gehört.

Thanks to our contributor --
Stefan Hagedorn: DXStefan@aol.com 

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

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