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Sat-ND, 12.11.96




Sat-ND 96-11-12 - Satellite and Media News, pretty weird sometimes

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=========================================================

Westinghouse spins off fridge biz
Even though it already owned some broadcast business, it looked a bit
strange when Westinghouse Electric Corp., a company known for refrigerators
and other domestic appliances, took over the U.S. networks CBS (TV) and
Infinity Broadcasting (radio) back in 1995.
Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that a spin-off of Westinghouse's
industrial operations was "immanent." Westinghouse will not only keep the
broadcast business but also the company's management and stock.
After the split, two companies will emerge with revenues of US$5 billion
each. The difference: Westinghouse (broadcast) employs some 8,000 people,
Westinghouse (industrial) 42,000. Not quite a surprise that the Wall Street
Journal reported that layoffs may be announced as soon as tomorrow once the
deal has been cleared by Westinghouse directors.

China and Brazil set up "monitoring" satellite joint venture
China and Brazil will set up a joint venture offering commercial "imaging
services" supplied by a fleet of four "monitoring satellites", Jornal do
Brasil reported yesterday. Initially, two satellites will be built, the
first of which is due to be launched from China's Sanxi site by the end of
1997. The two spacecraft are expected to cost some US$150 million, of which
China will pay 70 percent, Brazil the remaining 30 percent.

European TV producers woo China
Hey, did anybody mention "human rights"? Naah... What was the name of this
poor guy again they put in jail for half a lifetime recently just because
he promoted democracy? Never mind.
Regarding the fundamental differences between the Western world and China,
it may be okay to keep the basic business going. But is it really necessary
that a delegation of the European Union, led by commissioner Leon Brittan,
jets off to China in order to promote European TV programming?
Nobody asks you or me, so they just did it. Mr Brittan heads a pile-up of
executives from almost thirty major European broadcasting, recording and
telecommunications companies which arrived in China today in order to
attend Shanghai's sixth annual international television festival.
Peter Kraewinkels of the European Association of Television Programme
Distributors said he would like to see a working party between the Chinese
and European television industry established as a result of the visit. It
could "clarify rules and procedures on what kinds of programmes were
acceptable to China."
Sometime it seems that Europeans are over-reacting to Chinese
sensitivities, but there's still the temptation of a huge, growing market
consisting of 3,000 television stations. A third of them are educational
channels, another third cable channels, and remaining third broadcast
channels, with more than 300 million TV sets and a penetration rate of more
than 90 percent in urban areas.
And potential profits beat human rights, as we all know by now.

DirectTV prepares for global launch
In recent months, there has been quite a lot of talk about the U.S. digital
pay TV venture DirecTV to expand to other countries. DirecTV owner Hughes
Electronics now seems on the verge of preparing this step, changing its
organisational structure to meet the expected business opportunities
abroad.
Hughes, a unit of General Motors Corp., will set up a new company called
DirecTV Global by the end of the year. It will combine Hughes' Latin
American and Japanese digital ventures, an international division and a
technical-support organisation. DirectTV, by the way, is not affected by
the announced merger of Hughes' satellite operations (GALAXY) with
PanAmSat. 

Those launch dates again
A Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA launch vehicle is scheduled to put Hot Bird 2
into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Wednesday November 13th. The launch window
runs from 3:44 p.m. to 5:18 p.m. ET. Coverage of the AC-124 launch is
scheduled to be on Galaxy 9/22, beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. 
Arianespace is due to launch two satellites, ARABSAT 2B (Arab Lague) and
MEASAT 2 (Malaysia,) from Kourou, French Guyana aboard an Ariane 44LP
launcher, also on Wednesday, November 13th. The launch window runs from
5:40 p.m. to 6:26 p.m. ET. Coverage of the launch is scheduled to be on
Galaxy 6/02, beginning at 5:10 p.m.
(Curt Swinehart via Satellite Journal Itl.)
[European viewers might want to tune in to EuroNews at 13E instead and add
5 hours to get UTC or 6 hours to get CET. -- Ed.]


Re: Sat-ND, 8.11.96 [Sky Station platforms]
That floating platform technology isn't really "advanced" - in reality it
is quite old! 
I remember early experiments in 1962 .. 65 with aircraft flying in about 10
.. 20 km height carrying TV transmitters. Even solar energy was thought of
in those days!
So nothing really new...
(Achim Schaefer)
[...except for the claim that the platforms can stay there in position for
ten years. -- Ed.] 

Re: Sat-ND, 8.11.96 [Sky Station platforms]
There was a funny article on this in WIRED about two or three months ago
(check http://www.wired.com/), which even stated that one of the project
leaders is a transgendered woman/man...
(Joerg Schaeffer)
[I'm speechless. -- Ed.]


RupertWatch
By Dr Sarmaz <DrSarmaz@aol.com>

What a waste
Is there any impact on the European Union when Disney/ABC's sports channel
ESPN and Rupert Murdoch's Star Television Ltd. set up a joint venture to
beam Asian-interest sports programming in 27 countries of the region?
No, said the EU commission today. ESPN operates mainly in the USA, Star TV
in Asia, so the deal was cleared. Should you wonder why the EU commission
was asked anyway, so do I. It may have something to do with the
construction of Mr Murdoch's Star Television Ltd. which is a unit of one of
his UK-based businesses.
In any case, this was a waste of European tax payers' money just to please
to foreign media giants.

Those analysts again
Bad news for Mr Murdoch's News Corp. Ltd. The company had to report
8.1-percent fall in net profit for the first quarter of 1996/97. Net
profits dipped to A$283 million (US$223 million) from A$308 million in the
corresponding quarter a year earlier. So-called analysts earlier had
forecast net profits to reach A$320-330 million, up around 15 percent.
Obviously, they were wrong.
Mr Murdoch said at News' annual meeting last month that the first quarter
had been below expectations, but that he remained confident of a 20-percent
profit rise for the full year.
News Corp. also said continued losses at its Asian satellite broadcaster,
Star TV, were in line with expectations.


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

Catholics on-line
Here are some bits from news agencies that went out today. Draw your own
conclusions.
"The [U.S.] Catholic bishops today called for using every available means
-- from the Internet to health clubs to mentoring programs -- to reach
young adults." (AP)
"A [UK] Roman Catholic priest who indecently assaulted four young boys and
used the Internet to boast about his crimes to other paedophiles was jailed
for six years on Tuesday." (Reuters)


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

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