Sat-ND, 24.7.96

Sat-ND 96-07-24 - Satellite and Media News

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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/ <<

*** Sat-ND summer break: August 1 to August 15 ***

Germany, UK, Austria: The bizarre football triangle
German commercial channel SAT.1 has launched a part-time TV service for
neighbouring Austria. Broadcasting via satellite, programming so far
consists of a weekly sports magazine, available only in 825,000 Austrian
cable households. 
Two major shareholders of SAT.1, Leo Kirch and publisher Axel Springer
Verlag, recently acquired the broadcast rights for Austrian football
matches through their joint venture ISPR. Most of the rights were passed on
to the Austrian pubcaster ORF. But not all, as today's first transmission
consisted of the live transmission of the match FC Tirol Innsbruck v/s FC
As there is no legal basis for commercial TV in Austria (yet,) SAT.1 uses a
satellite license issued by the UK's Independent Television Commission ITC.
The Austrian SAT.1 service is expected to be expanded in 1997. A SAT.1
press release said informational and entertainment programming would be
added next year.

Digital TV for Greece and the Balkans
A new digital television broadcast service for Greece and the Balkans
region will be announced next week. Sat-ND has learned that Post Modern
Audio/Visual studios and Butler SA set up a joint venture to offer the
service as from January 1, 1997. 
Post Modern Studios is the oldest and best established full audio/visual
production studios in Greece, and has recently converted to full digital
capability. The satellite uplink will be from its Athens studios, utilising
the Magnitude MPEG-2 system by Compression Labs Inc (CLI.)
Post Modern will be providing partial content for the programming, and has
plans to later sell subscriptions of its programming to Greek and Russian
ethnic groups in the USA.
Butler SA, the corporation's marketing arm, is currently negotiating for a
long term lease of satellite capacity. No decision has yet been made as to
which satellite system will be used. Negotiations are expected to last
through August.

Italy to participate in spy satellite project
France seems to have found another partner to replace Germany in the
military spy satellite project HELIOS 2/HORUS. Said French defence minister
Charles Millon, "the Italian Defence Minister advised us that Italy is
ready to take part." Practical details will be worked out over the coming
It is unclear whether the move will save the project, which is worth US$2.1
billion for HELIOS 2 alone, which is far less advanced than HORUS. German
defence minister Volker Rühe recently announced he didn't have the money,
saying that using US spy satellites will do just as well. The French
government has on the other hand indicated that the Americans tailored
satellite imagery which is passed on to their allies to fit their own aims.
The project of indigenous spy satellites was of "enormous importance" for
European security.

EchoStar growing fast
EchoStar Communications Corp. announced today that its digital TV service
DISH Network has reached 100,000 customers in just seven months since the
launch of their satellite ECHOSTAR 1 (119W) on December 28, 1995. Given
these figures, EchoStar claims to be the fastest growing Direct Broadcast
Satellite (DBS) provider. 
"EchoStar is growing fast, and we look forward to an escalating growth
curve with the launch of ECHOSTAR 2," said Charlie Ergen, chairman and
chief executive officer, EchoStar Communications.
ECHOSTAR 2, a Lockheed Martin Series 7000 satellite, carrying 16
transponders capable of transmitting more than 100 additional channels, is
scheduled to launch on September 10 on board an Ariane 4 rocket from
Kourou, French Guiana.
 EchoStar Communications Corp. from Englewood, Colorado, USA, describes
itself as a world-wide manufacturer and distributor of satellite television
products and the only US provider of fully MPEG2/DVB-compliant satellite
television systems. 

Digital TV? Yawn
Digital TV is coming to Germany next Sunday. Yet, there is no sign of
excitement anywhere. And it's not just because receivers aren't available.
Most Germans wouldn't buy one, anyway. A survey conducted for the weekly
magazine Die Woche reveals that just two percent of the country's TV
viewers are inclined to likely buy one. On the other hand, 89 percent said
they would not pay additional fees to receive exclusive transmissions of
sports events or spectacular movies. 
According to the survey, Germans spend DM87 (US$54) per month on average
for media. 57 percent declared they would not pay any more, while 38
percent said they might spend up to DM12 per month in addition to their
current media budget.

By Dr Sarmaz (Ministry of Truth, Tierra Abajo)

BSkyB promises to behave
BSkyB has won a legal, yet informal battle against cable operators in the
UK. Following a six-month investigation, Rupert Murdoch's pay-TV company
today was cleared of "behaving uncompetitively" by the Office of Fair
Trading (OFT).
However, in the course of the investigation BSkyB's chief executive Sam
Chisholm had to make quite a few promises. 
BSkyB channels will be partly unbundled, allowing cable operators to tailor
packages of their own. New premium channels will not be tied up with
others, as practised with the Disney channel which is available only in
conjunction with Sky Movies and The Movie Channel.
BSkyB also promised to make its videocrypt encryption technology available
to all at a published cost.
However, the OFT's chairman today said in his official statement that
BSkyB's contracts with Hollywood majors and sports bodies created a barrier
into the market, which was also limited by access to the ASTRA satellite
system. "The barriers to entry raise concerns that although BSkyB is not
acting anti-competitively, the competition process is being impaired," he

Sat-ND cares for media moguls
Silvio Berlusconi, owner of three Italian commercial channels and a
diversified media empire, has undergone a hernia operation today in a
private clinic. According to the hospital's staff, Berlusconi was in good
health and left the clinic soon after the routine operation.
I just wonder what enormous weight that man must have lifted to catch a

Transponder News
By Norbert Schlammer

GALS 1/2, 36E: Russian channel ntw switched back to 12.169 GHz lhc, coming
in stronger than recently at 12.209 GHz. 

INTELSAT 601, 27.5W: TCC was seen at 11.051 GHz h during daytime. On the
same transponder, the US Home Shopping Network (HSN) can be watched
following close-down of Discovery Channel. HSN progamming was also observed
on PAS4 (68.5E) at 11.521 GHz h as a part of the art shopping channel.

Dr Martin van der Ven reports a new radio in French language on EUTELSAT
II-F3 (16E). It is broadcast on subcarrier 7.38 MHz at 10.968 GHz v.

North German radio on ADR
By Stefan Hagedorn

Regional pubcaster NDR will commence transmissions on ASTRA (19.2E) in
digital ADR format on August 1, utilising several subcarriers on the N3
transponder. In detail:
6,12 MHz NDR 4 Special
6,30 MHz NDR 2 (Pop)
6,48 MHz NDR 3 (Classical)
6,66 MHz NDR 4 (Variety) 
6,84 MHz N-Joy Radio (Youth)
NDR 4 Special will not be, as expected, a mix of NDR's subregional FM radio
channels. Instead, it will carry programming of NDR 4's AM outlets which
are frequently used for special events, parliamentary debates, and
foreign-language magazines.

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

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