Sat-ND, 1.7.96

Sat-ND* 96-07-01 - Satellite and Media News
* Once more with footnotes supplied at no additional charge

This service is provided free of charge for personal use. It may be
reproduced for non-commercial reasons only, provided the following notice
is included:
"(c) Copyright 1996 by Sat-ND, http://www.sat-net.com/pck/"
Please send any contributions and comments regarding Sat-ND to
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/ <<

Caught a light sneeze*
I heard the news first from Bernd Rhein who sent me a fax this evening -
thank you very much indeed. The transponder 11.305 GHz h on AMOS 1's
Central Europe beam was fired up today, showing a test card without any
sound. "AMOS-1" is shown as identification in the upper half, and what may
be a telephone number (97236134720) in the lower half.
Although this beam is targeted at Central Europe, undistorted reception in
North Germany is possible with a 90-cm dish (3 ft.)
*A song by Tori Amos

No ordinary return*
The last word ever heard from Thaiwave, wannabe pay TV on EUTELSAT II-F3
(16E,) was a promise to be back on July 1. The channel's closedown was
explained with a truly remarkable excuse: staff were busily sending out
decoders to subscribers.
Well, guess whether they turned up today. They didn't. You might as well
guess whether some guys are sitting in a plane to Thailand right now with
their pockets full of money, laughing their heads off. Just guess.
(pck/Norbert Schlammer)
* A song by Latin Quarter

Europe improves Glonass and GPS
There is a Russian satellite navigation system called GLONASS, and there
is an American satellite navigation system called GPS. While both have
advantages and disadvantages, some clever folks in Europe had an idea.
The European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission and the European
Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) are jointly
developing EGNOS, Europe's augmentation system for satellite navigation.
This ECU 150 million project will provide civil GPS or GLONASS users with
improved accuracy, integrity and availability. Working together, the three
entities are known as the European Tripartite Group (ETG).
Recently, the ETG signed leases for the first two navigation transponders
that will be used to broadcast EGNOS signals to users. These transponders
are being flown by two INMARSAT-III satellites, located at 64E and
15.5W. Together they will cover the whole of Europe, Africa, South
America and most of Asia. The satellite at 64E was launched in April 1996
and has been operational since May 12. The other satellite is slated for
launch in August. The leases run for five years, with a possible five year
In its final set-up, EGNOS will provide three different services designed
to increase precision and reliability of GPS and Glonass. The first
service to be introduced is called Ranging. For instantaneous
determination of his position, a user has to receive signals from four
satellites. Neither GPS nor GLONASS can provide this at all times and all
locations world-wide. EGNOS will help to fill this gap by broadcasting
GPS-like navigation signals.
The other two service will be introduced between 1998 and 2000. The
Integrity Service will enable users to decide whether a navigation
satellite signal is out of tolerance before any critical situation arises.
Finally, the Wide Area Differential Service will broadcast correction
signals to improve the precision of satellite navigation. For civil users,
GPS signals are intentionally corrupted to lower the real-time precision
from 16 metres to 100 metres. The Wide Area Differential Service will
establish a precision of 5 to 10 metres.
But maybe this will even happen before the year 2000. The ETG and several
European States have started considering proposals to extend the scope of
EGNOS beyond the "Initial Operational Capability" covered by the current
ECU 150 million budget and at the same time to speed up the entry into
service of the "Full Operational Capability".

Leo's Golden Goal
According to German news magazine Focus, the International Football
(Soccer*) Association will announce the winner of a very special
competition next Wednesday. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and many
commercial companies from all around the world were bidding for the
broadcasting rights of the World Championships to be held in 2002 and
According to Focus, a group led by German media magnate Leo Kirch may have
scored the Golden Goal, or should we cling to the old expression Sudden
Death? Their record offer is said to be an amazing SFr2.8 billion (DM3.4
billion, US$2,2 billion.) Correct, that's billions, not millions. The EBU,
holding the rights for the 1998 championship in France, is reported to
have offered SFr2.2 billion. Further bidders include Capital Cities/ABC as
well as companies from Switzerland and the USA.
In a separate move, a joint venture by Kirch and German publishing house
Axel Springer Verlag AG has gained the international rights to broadcast
the US Open tennis tournament from 1997 to 2000. The ailing German sport
channel DSF has already declared its interest in acquiring the rights for
Germany. Should be no problem, as both Kirch and Springer happen to hold a
stake in DSF. However, as tennis has proven unable to refinance itself on
free-to-air TV in Germany, the US Open may well be the first tournament to
appear on pay TV. 
DSF will provide three sports channels for Leo Kirch's digital package due
to be launched at the end of this month.
* Two teams of 11 players each attempt to guide an inflated ball into goal
cages at opposite ends of a playing field. Each goal scored is worth one
point, and the team with the most goals at the end of play wins.

Buy Berlusconi
Italian investment bank IMI today announced the price for shares in the
former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's television company
Mediaset. They are to go on sale at 7,000 lire (US$4.57,) a price "taking
into account the level of interest expressed by foreign and Italian
institutional investors and the requests which have already arrived from
Italian savers." 253 million ordinary shares are offered in total, but
just 40 million will be available to the public, although Berlusconi's
channels Rete Quattro, Canale 5 and Italia Uno channels are regularly
inviting viewers to "Buy yourself a bit of your television stations."
Eight million shares are reserved for Mediaset employees, the rest is
reserved for Italian and foreign institutional investors.
Berlusconi spun Mediaset off from Fininvest last year and has since sold
stakes to investors such as German media tycoon Leo Kirch and British
Telecommunications Plc through its Albacom joint venture with an Italian

The Dutch get their paper via cable
Newspaper and now also multimedia concern De Telegraaf has formed a new
company with A2000 (cabletelevision Groot-Amsterdam and Hilversum). A2000
will take 25%, de Telegraaf the rest. The new firm, Media Groep West (not
to be confused with Noord West Media) will start electronic information
services. Their first aim is cable distribution in the A2000-area, but
nation-wide coverage via satellite is also a possibility. The first
MGW-service will start September 1, as a cable-newspaper. These so-called
'kabelkranten' were forbidden to show moving pictures by the government.
Most cable papers use moving photographs instead. Audio was always
allowed. With the new changes in the mediawet (media law), MGW will be the
first cable paper in the country to implement short news video and video
commercials in their kabelkrant. The concept of the 'kabelkrant' is very
successful in the Netherlands, with every town or region having at least
one. (Jitse Groen)

PanAmSat buzzing with sports feeds
PanAmSat Corporation announced today it expects to transmit a
record-breaking number of special events broadcasts this summer over its
global satellite system. The company is conducting approximately 500 hours
of part-time transmissions for broadcasters covering top sporting events
around the world, including the Wimbledon tennis tournament, the Canadian
Grand Prix and the Tour de France. When the Summer Olympic Games start
July 19 in Atlanta, PanAmSat already will have service agreements for more
than 9,000 hours of full-time Olympic transmissions, plus more than 500
hours of occasional broadcasts. "This summer, PanAmSat is demonstrating
its unparalleled ability to deliver live coverage of sporting events for
broadcasters around the world," said Michael Antonovich, PanAmSat's vice
president and general manager, broadcast services. "While June was a
tremendous month for PanAmSat's broadcast services department, the 1996
Summer Olympic Games look to be the biggest single event in our 12-year
On July 7, PanAmSat will open its 24-hour Olympics broadcast operations
facility in Atlanta that will provide rooftop camera positions, playback
and editing services as well as dedicated fibre optic links to PanAmSat's
teleport facility in Ellenwood, Georgia. The Ellenwood facility provides
direct transmissions access to PAS-1 (45W) and PAS-3R (43W.) In
addition, Ellenwood is linked to PanAmSat's teleport in Sylmar,
California, accessing PAS-2 (169E.)

Mellow Yellows
Rupert Murdoch wants to conquer China with his TV channels. It seems as
though China conquers the rest of the world with their programming. State
broadcaster CCTV has already secured capacity on PanAmSat Satellites to
cover the whole world with a digital package of TV channels. In order to
infiltrate Western markets with stone-age communist ideology, an even more
subversive strategy is applied: Football... I mean, soccer*.
Mexico's commercial TV Televisa, by the way a major investor in PanAmSat,
and Beijing Television (BTV) announced several agreements today to
increase programme exchange and even a joint Pacific rim football (yes...
soccer*) championship. Besides, 40 young Chinese football (er... soccer*)
players will be trained in Mexico.
Televisa will set up a 24 hour satellite channel (guess on which
satellite) bringing BTV programming to the American continent, said BTV
Director Liu Diyi. He added that co-operation agreements with Colombian
and Brazilian television companies were signed before.
* Two teams of 11 players each attempt to guide an inflated ball into goal
cages at opposite ends of a playing field. Each goal scored is worth one
point, and the team with the most goals at the end of play wins.

Transponder News
By Norbert Schlammer

* THAICOM, 78.5E
The promotional trailer for the UTV Cable Network package on 3.886 GHz h
was replaced by a simple testcard.
* ASTRA, 19.2E
German regional pubcaster NDR has denied recent rumours about abandoning
its ADR plans. The station is expected to transmit some of its seven radio
channels digitally using the ASTRA digital radio system. However, now
final decision has been taken yet.
Despite announcements from EUTELSAT sources, no new channel turned up
today at 11.055 GHz h. The transponder formerly carrying German
entertainment channel Kabel 1 is leased by Deutsche Telekom.

Web Watch

International radio... via email?
There are quite a few international broadcasters present on the World Wide
Web, and thanks to audio transmission technologies like Streamworks or
Real Audio, many of them can even be listened to. Nice, but it only works
with up-to-date phone connections and an appropriate Internet access.
"Many Dutch speakers are working as non-governmental organisations (NGO's)
in remote parts of the world," explains Radio Netherland's Diana Janssen.
"Phone connections do not permit the kind of speeds needed for the
graphics on the World-Wide Web. Electronic mail, however, is possible and
is fast becoming the way to reach remote areas without a reliable postal
This is why Radio Netherlands today launched a Dutch language newsletter
distributed around the world via email, complementing their radio
broadcasts via short-wave and satellite. 
One of the two daily issues is focusing on Dutch events, the other one
will feature Dutch views on international events. Project manager Diana
Janssen points out that this service is unique "because once you
subscribe, news from home drops into your electronic mailbox up to twice a
And this is how you do it: send an email to listserv@rnw.nl.
In the body of the message write
subscribe nieuws <your e-mail address> <your full name>
For a review of the day's news from inside The Netherlands write the
following in the body of the message:
subscribe nieuws-ned <your e-mail address> <your full name>

Billy pays the bill
Yes, he's hit the top again. William H. Gates III, simply known as Bill
Gates, is still the richest individual in the world despite heavy
competition from Asia, as Forbes magazine reports. His fortune amounts to
US$18 billion, 40 percent more than last year. (You bought your copy of
Windows 95, did you?) Just for the record, number 2 is Warren Buffett
(USA), followed by Paul Sacher (Switzerland.) Should you want to know
more, get a copy of Forbes.
Considering Mr Gates' fortune, it seemed unlikely that his joint venture
with NBC didn't have US$100 left for registration of their Web Site with
InterNIC (Sat-ND, 28.6.96.)
Well, they did pay. InterNIC Program Manager Chuck Gomes confirmed that
payment had been received June 13 and was recorded in their billing
database. But then, some kind of error occurred that InterNIC hasn't been
able to pinpoint yet. Too bad, but on the other hand: there is no such
thing as bad publicity.

Thanks to our contributors --
Norbert Schlammer: 100415.3560@compuserve.com
Jitse Groen: jgl@dds.nl

Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.

For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe, send email to
majordomo@tags1.dn.net and include the line
in the body of your message.

[Other mailing lists]