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Sat-ND, 6.11.96




Sat-ND 96-11-06 - Satellite and Media News

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Pegasus launch a partial success
As reported yesterday, two satellites put into orbit by a Pegasus launcher
did not separate from the rocket's third stage. At least the Argentinean
SAC-B seems to have managed it finally -- somehow. Argentina's National
Commission on Space Activities today announced the satellite was in its
proper orbit and even managed to unfold its solar panels. But it has also
become clear that some of the instruments aboard the spacecraft were
damaged during the troubles that occurred while separating from the rocket.


China's ambitious launch plans
According to China's People's Daily, the country plans to launch over 30
satellites for foreign customers until the end of the century.
While some customers may have become reluctant to entrust their payloads to
Long March rockets, there are still others. A telecommunications satellite
co-produced by China and Brazil is to be launched soon, but the paper
didn't give any exact date. 
China so far launched 33 of their own and ten foreign spacecraft. However,
some of those "foreign" satellites are operated by Chinese off-shore
companies. The success rate for Long March launches currently is at 87
percent, which is significantly below that of many other launch suppliers.

Hot Bird 2: Will it ever go up?
According to Vanessa O'Connor, Eutelsat Press Manager, the Hot Bird 2
launch has been rescheduled again. International Launch Services (ILS) has
informed Eutelsat that its objective launch date for HB2 was reconfirmed
for November 13. I hope to receive the precise times for the launch
operations very shortly.
(Marcello Berengo Gardin)
[They should've taken an Ariane ;-) Ed.]


TV viewers in most countries still wonder what the future of digital pay-TV
may bring. As far as satellite reception of the 16th Commonwealth Games in
1998 is concerned, Malaysians will have no choice but to turn theirs dishes
to the Astro TV and radio network on MEASAT 1, 91.5E (oops! I almost typed
"Astra" there.)
The organisers of the event, which will take place in Malaysia's capital
Kuala Lumpur, today signed a joint rights contract with Astro and Hong
Kong-based, Murdoch-owned Star TV to broadcast the games in Malaysia and
the rest of Asia, respectively. Other deals have been signed with Nine
Network Australia (for a change, owned by Kerry Packer, Mr Murdoch's
biggest rival in Australia,) Television New Zealand, British Broadcasting
Corporation (BBC) and Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

No Sat-ND without TCI
Tele-Communications, Inc. announced that it has set November 12 as the date
to spin off it subsidiary TCI Satellite Entertainment, Inc. The company
said it expects to complete the spin-off in the coming weeks.
The move is seen as an attempt by TCI to further reduce its debt. TCI
Satellite Entertainment is expected to expand into the direct-broadcast
satellite market with its new capital.

Daewoo wants to put things straight
As expected, South Korean company Daewoo has run into certain troubles in
its attempt to take over Thomson Multimedia once the French stated-owned
electronics giant Thomson will been sold to Lagardere Group (Sat-ND,
16.10.96.) The price for the loss-making company, by the way, reportedly is
one French Franc.
The South Koreans try to convince the French public in newspaper ads that
they're actually the 34th largest company in the world; that they "believe
in France;" and that it already has invested in France's industry. [At
least more that FF1, I guess.] Besides, Daewoo was about the same size as
Thomson multimedia but recorded profits instead of losses, the company
claims.
The sale of Thomson will eventually be the subject of a parliamentary
debate although no vote on the issue is planned. The final decision rests
with France's Privatisation Commission, which will announce whether it
agrees to sell Thomson according to the government plan in early December.


Re. Sat-ND, 5.11.96 [ARD sues Viacom]
Unless ARD has got amazingly modern in the two years I've been in Japan no
one could ever confuse it with VH-1. What do they really think people will
do ... I can image the scene now .... an elderly couple sit down to watch
"Der Grosse Debate" - a five hour special edition about EC cheese subsidies
on ARD prime time (either that or one of those old German police drama
re-runs they always showed) and they miss the first thirty minutes waiting
for "Phil Collins Unplugged" to finish until they realise this isn't ARD
they are watching but VH-1. You can imagine the thousands of VH-1 viewers
that get mixed up and videotaped the big cheese debate instead of the
"Sting" special because they've mixed up the channels .... Oh yeah, I can
understand this <g>
(Martyn Williams)
[See why I usually try to avoid German news in Sat-ND? ;-) Ed.]


Rupert Watch
By Dr Sarmaz <DrSarmaz@aol.com>

FNC to stay out of NYC cable
New York City officials must not allow commercial networks on public access
channels onto the city's cable network. "The city's action violates
longstanding First Amendment principles that are the foundation of our
democracy," a federal judge ruled today.
The preliminary injunction issued today is likely to be appealed against by
New York's mayor's office. It planned to use two public access channels on
the city' cable network, ironically run by Time Warner, to distribute the
commercial news channels Fox News Channel (FNC) and Bloomberg TV, arguing
it acted to protect hundreds of jobs. 
Others saw the move as a part of the ongoing feud between Mr Murdoch's FNC
and Time Warner. The company was told by regulators to add a non-CNN news
channel to its cable systems following the merger with CNN operator Turner
Broadcasting. Much to the dismay of Mr Murdoch, it chose the NBC-Microsoft
joint venture MSNBC instead of FNC.

Re. Sat-ND, 3.11.96 [Wanted: Rupert Murdoch]
Blimey......does this mean I wont be able to watch Sky tv?
(John Molineaux)
[At least, it would've meant that Mr Murdoch weren't able to watch Sky TV.
Good news for all his fans: Apparently, no warrant had been issued for Mr
Murdoch's arrest. Israel's Income Tax Commission denied reports that
appeared over the last weekend in British newspapers. - Ed.]


Zeroes and Ones
By Grandpa Zheng <http://www.sat-net.com/pck/zheng/>

More good news: Cyber Promotions almost dead
A few days ago, Cyber Promotions, one of the biggest spammers on the
Internet, publicly declared it was on the verge of bankruptcy (Sat-ND,
7.9.96.) 
It was dealt another serious (and hopefully final) blow today when a U.S.
federal judge in Philadelphia today ruled that sending out unsolicited
Email was not covered by the First Amendment, which would have made it a
basic human right. Cyber Promotions was given a ten day's grace to submit
other reasons why online service AOL, the plaintiff in this case, shouldn't
be allowed to block its members from receiving Cyber Promotions' mailings.
Given the company's current state, they probably won't even be able to
afford the postage to submit anything to the court, let alone email it. 
"This decision is a win for our members, who have consistently and loudly
complained that junk e-mail is annoying, costly and often inappropriate,"
said David Phillips, AOL associate general counsel.


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

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