Sat-ND, 9.12.96

Sat-ND 96-12-09 - Satellite and Media News

This service is provided free of charge for personal use. It may be
reproduced for non-commercial reasons only, provided the following notice is
"(c) Copyright 1996 by Sat-ND, http://www.sat-net.com/pck/"
Please send money, news releases, contributions and comments regarding Sat-ND
Peter C. Klanowski, Fax +49-451-5820055, pck@LyNet.De

Missing something in here?
Whatever you miss in Sat-ND, there's a good chance that another news mailer
exists that offers just what you need. Over the last few weeks, four more
have popped up:
* SAT-nordic (weekly, Swedish/English): Scandinavian media news plus
regularly updated frequency chart
* SAT-italy (weekly, English): Italian media news plus an overview of
programming highlights of Italian satellite channels
* SAT-mideast (daily, English): Satellite observations plus reports on the
Middle East satellite scene
* SAT-digital (daily, German): Everything about the d-box and what you can
receive with it, plus tips and tricks
And here's a message from our sponsor - don't go away!

Those satellite news services, plus a lot more of them, can be found on the
Home Page of TELE-satellit at:
TELE-satellit, a bi-monthly glossy 200+ pages magazine covering Europe's
satellite scene in English and German, is sponsoring all those satellite news
services, making them freely available to anyone with an Email address.
Others sponsors to those satellite newsletters include SATCO DX, SAT-CITY and
To subscribe to the satellite news mailer, just send an email to
majordomo@tags1.dn.net, leave the subject line blank, and in the body put
"subscribe" plus the name of the desired news service. You can subscribe to
as many of the news services as you like. You can also subscribe by using an
online order form available at http://www.TELE-satellit.com


Let's call the whole thing off
Sport7, a Dutch sports channel launched despite heavy criticism just less
than four months ago, has become a thing of the past last Sunday when it
ceased broadcasting. 
The are three main reasons for the rapid decline of the channel that was more
or less an invention of the Dutch football [soccer] association KNVB: the
cable networks didn't want to pay for it, the audience didn't want to watch
it, and some football clubs didn't even want it to carry their matches.
The channel's shareholders, which include not only the KNVB but also
electronics giant Philips, TV production company Endemol and the Dutch PTT,
finally decided to call the whole thing off during a meeting last Friday. The
decision may have been made easier by the fact that Sport7 had already
accumulated a loss of more than 100 million Guilders (US$60 million) during
its short life on air.
The channel also was in danger of losing important television rights
following court action taken by two football clubs, Ajax Amsterdam and
Feyenoord Rotterdam. Last November, a court granted Feyenoord a veto as to
who may show the club's matches on TV. Since then, it became increasingly
clear that it is probably not the KNVB that holds these rights but that
instead the clubs own them.
The rights held by Sport7 will probably return to the KNVB now, but the
question remains: does the KNVB actually own them? Can the KNVB sell
something that doesn't belong to them? The KNVB has to persuade the clubs
(including Ajax and Feyenoord) in order to re-sell them. The most likely
buyer is a combination of the commercial Holland Media Groep and pubcaster
NOS together with Pay-TV company FilmNet. Commercial channel SBS6 is still
interested but can keep up against the three above when it comes to bidding. 
If the KNVB however, does *not* own the rights, the clubs will have to sell
them themselves. This would of course work for clubs like Feyenoord, PSV and
Ajax, but other clubs will probably not succeed in selling those rights
(except to regional stations) and could lose a lot of money. 
(pck/Jitse Groen)

Kohl clings to Fracno-German spy satellite plans
A Franco-German spy satellite scheme appears to have been saved even though
German defence minister Volker Ruehe repeatedly said he had no money left for
it. Meeting today at a summit in Nuremberg, Germany, French President Jacques
Chirac and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl reaffirmed their support for the
Helios II and Horus satellites, which are supposed to make Europe become
independent of U.S. intelligence.
"We agree we want the develop the Helios and Horus satellites according to
the schedule," Kohl said after following talks with Chirac. There will be a
delay with Germany's involvement in the project, though - the country won't
join it before 1998. 
France will start building HELIOS II in 1997. The spy satellite will become
operational in 2001, providing optical and infrared imaging capabilities.
Germany's share amounts to just 10 percent of the overall budget.
However, a more powerful satellite with advanced reconnaissance features is
due to be launched in 2005. HORUS will be equipped with radar sensors that
allow monitoring of target areas even when they're covered with clouds. So
far, Germany is expected to take over 60 percent of that project's cost.
Still, other European countries were invited to join the project.

ABC merges radio and TV
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said it would merge its radio
and television services. The new structure, which is expected to save A$27
million, was approved by ABC's board. 
The corporation's managing directors Brian Johns told a news conference that
the move would also return "decision making to the people who make programs."
About 20 percent of ABC's 300 management positions will be axed in the
restructuring process.
The old divisions will be replaced by four program-orientated functions:
regional services, national networks, news and current affairs, and program
Johns said the new ABC structure was the result of 12 months of work, and
would "go some way to meeting the government-announced funding cut of $55
million for 1997-98".

Big, big deal
Mexico's Grupo Televisa, S.A. and Lockheed Martin Telecommunications, a
subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, today announced the signing of an
agreement in principle to create a venture to develop, distribute, and market
consumer entertainment, information and other content products and services
with advanced technology.
That's it folks! Their press release neither said what it was all about nor
where or when it was going to happen. You may want to find out for yourself
(and maybe even tell me) by scrutinising the following statements.
Russell McFall, President of Lockheed Martin Telecommunications said, "Both
companies' goal with this alliance is to be at the forefront of the next
generation of entertainment and information."
Guillermo Caqedo White, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
of Grupo Televisa added, "Entertainment delivered 'Direct to Home' via
broadband telecommunication networks will rapidly evolve towards content
tailor-made to the preference of each member of the household."

Old news? Liquid snow!
As if it just wasn't enough that TV channels kept showing the same movies for
the past fifty years or so, now they're even going to annoy the public with
old news.
The first cable channel planned by U.S. network CBS will concentrate on
yesterday's news, Daily Variety reported. Called "Eye On People," it was
initially believed to offer some kind of reality TV. Instead, it will
eventually exploit CBS archive material to the hilt. You know, exciting stuff
like "60 Minutes: The Second Time Around" and "The Best of 48 Hours."
Managers are excited, indeed, as the channel will reportedly "cost
practically nothing."

How the mighty have fallen
I'm not an expert on British royals, but I think tabloid readers all around
the world know the Duchess of York simply as Fergie. And they also know that
she has encountered certain financial problems, in other words: an overdraft
of some 3 million pounds.
She soon might earn some hard cash, though: Fergie is heading to the United
States - not only to appear on Jay Leno's Tonight Show on NBC tomorrow
(Tuesday.) A New York spokesman for the Duchess confirmed "phone calls and
very preliminary discussions between representatives of the Duchess and those
of the major TV companies" that hinged upon making her become a U.S.
television talk show host. "We know that there is a great interest in having
the Duchess on television in the United States as she is incredibly popular

Stormy weather
There has been heavy criticism on the British weather during the past few
hundred years: much too foggy, much too rainy. Now, there's even some concern
on whether the Met office is really able to predict that meteorological
At a recent meeting of the Royal Meteorological Society, Dr John Thomes from
the University of Birmingham claimed Met Office forecasts are wrong more than
50 percent of the time. Of course, just like every other weather forecasting
service in the world, the Met office claims its predictions are correct in
more than 84 percent of the cases. "The problem is that the Met statistics
only come from forecasts on Radio 4 and they are compiled by the Met, so who
can argue with them," said Dr Thomas. 
He also pointed out that it was a well-known fact "If you predict the weather
by saying it will be the same tomorrow as it is today, you will be about 60
percent right." [I remember trying to explain this to my aunt a few years
ago, but she didn't quite get it. - Ed.] 

Re: Sat-ND, 6.12.96 [CLT/Ufa merger]
Surely the following must be BILLION and not mere million of DMs?! "...will
together form a new company with some DM5 million (US$3.3 million) annual
(Robert Kobenter)
[Sat-ND wouldn't care for peanuts like DM5 million. Of course it's BILLIONS!
My apologies for this stupid error. -- Ed.]

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

Another weekend hack
Should I call this Hack Watch from now on? Hackerz have once more attacked a
high-key site on the World Wide Web. This time, Britain's Labour Party was
the target although it is not yet known whether their site was intruded by
conservative or communist hackerz. 
Anyway, they succeeded in changing the site drastically by changing headlines
and diverting internal links to smut sites.
According to the company that runs the Labour site, the spook was over within
just 20 minutes as there obviously was a backup copy available. And, yes,
they probably have changed the password for uploads, too. (It's really
amazing how many sites rely just on this primitive mechanism although there
are more advanced security features available. Hey, just try to hack my web
site and replace those Claudia Nolte pictures with whatever you want!)

Re: Sat-ND, 6.12.96 [High-speed Internet access again]
Just to put the record straight, this is absolutely true as long as
multi-threading is not involved. In other words, if a user downloads several
web pages simultaneously through an agent, while uploading/downloading email,
Usenet articles and files (by FTP), *all at the same time*, the performance
of an Internet connection is always remarkably improved. In such a case the
throughput is only limited by the speed of the modems involved.
Of course, although this practice improves the overall performance, it does
nothing to increase the speed of the individual threads, because 'it's always
the weakest part in the connection chain that determines [their] speed'. This
means that, indeed, if no other clients are running in the background
(possibly reserving capacity needed by the browser), the on-line surfing
experience is seldom enhanced by using faster modems alone. (Michael

[Grandpa Zheng says: FTP? WWW? Thank god I don't have an Internet account!
However, the editor of this so-called newsletter told me "It just makes me
wanna puke my guts out" when he got this tonight:

C:\WINDOWS>tracert www.veronica.nl

Tracing route to earth.veronica.nl []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

 1 34 ms 34 ms 35 ms netgw-hl9.lynet.de []
 2 34 ms 35 ms 34 ms burgtor-if.lynet.de []
 3 40 ms 62 ms 39 ms cisco1-hl.lynet.de []
 4 639 ms 1087 ms 138 ms lynet-ne-gw.gtn.com []
 5 295 ms 832 ms 788 ms gtn-f-f-gw.dpn.de []
 6 * * * Request timed out.
 7 * * * Request timed out.
 29 * * * Request timed out.
 30 * * * Request timed out.

Trace complete.]

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]