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Sat-ND, 17.1.97




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Sat-ND 97-01-16 - Satellite and Media News

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TELSTAR FAILURE AFFECTS EARTHQUAKE MONITORING
Another TELSTAR 401 customer has noticed that there is something going wrong.
The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Earthquake Information Center
today reported that the satellite failure has also stopped the transmission of
near real-time earthquake data to the USGS national network. The regional USGS
earthquake networks in California, Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii have
not been affected, nor has the Global Seismic Network. East of Nevada, however,
the reporting time for earthquake data has been slowed by several hours. "The
national network will not be fully activated until satellite communications are
restored, which could be months away," the USGS said in a press release.


BRASILSAT A2 WORKS OVERTIME
BRASILSAT A2 at 92.1W (also known as BRASILSAT 2) may be almost eleven years
of age but it still works fine. Indeed, the operating company Embratel has now
decided to keep on using the satellite for three more years. Originally, it was
planned to take the bird out of service next February.
According to Embratel, the demand for satellite capacity exceeds the capacities
of the company's newer satellites BRASILSAT B1 (70W) and B2 (65W.) Although
BRASILSAT B3 is slated for launch by the end of 1997, keeping BRASILSAT A2
operational saves Embratel a US$50 million launch of a new satellite. 


DMX EUROPE FEED TO SWITCH SATELLITE
Due to the increasing inclination of the TDRS-4 orbit, all DMX channels
experienced significant degradation at certain times of the day. The position
of TDRS-4 cannot be corrected as the satellite lacks the required fuel.
Therefore the DMX feed will be moved from TDRS-4 to TDRS-6 starting at 0:00 UTC
on January 18, 97. The switching, which includes realigning several Up/Downlink
equipment sites, will be completed around 4:00 UTC of the same day. (Taras
Sajuk, Selco)
[Thank you very much for this announcement. Actually, TDRS 4 (41W) still does
pretty well. Latest NASA data show an inclination of less than 0.3. However,
this will probably soon get worse. TDRS 3, just half a year older than TDRS 4,
has already been put into an inclined orbit (2.9.) TDRS 6, the satellite that
will carry the DMX Europe feed as from next Saturday, was launched in 1993 and
is located at 47W. -- Ed.]


GM SELLS HUGHES DEFENCE OPERATIONS -- SATELLITES TO FOLLOW?
Raytheon Company announced today that it has entered into definitive agreements
with Hughes Electronics Corporation to bring about the merger of the Hughes
Electronics defense operations (Hughes Aircraft) and Raytheon. The combined
company will be called Raytheon Company.
Well, no, this does not include Hughes' satellite business. But analysts expect
General Motors, which acquired Hughes in 1985, to sell or spin off the rest of
Hughes Electronics rather sooner than later. C. Michael Armstrong, Hughes
chairman, refused comment on how long GM will keep the telecommunications
satellite business.
Hughes Electronics announced last September it would buy the satellite operator
PanAmSat Corp. for US$3 billion, creating the World's second-largest satellite
network. 


OFFICIAL NORTH KOREAN WEB SITE UNVEILED -- IN JAPAN
Here's something that will undoubtedly be censored in South Korea. The (North)
Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) went online in order to correct
"misunderstandings and distorted information about the DPRK" (Democratic
People's Republic of Korea.) "The aim of the home page is to see that
information about the DPRK is correctly disseminated," said Son Jin-Hyong,
president of the Korea News Service. When I checked the site today, it just had
to offer news from January 13. And I wonder whether anybody would call this
news after all: "Rodong sinmun today reports that the great leader comrade Kim
Jong Il sent thanks to different units and officials for producing a lot of
koryo medicines and applying them in medical treatment."
Last June, South Korea declared a Canadian World Wide Web site, set up by a
certain David Burgess, "subversive" and ordered 14 local computer networks with
Internet links to block public access to it. Burgess was offering pamphlets
obtained during a visit to North Korea, including references to the "Greatest
Genius Mankind Has Ever Known, Comrade Kim Jong Il," "U.S. imperialist
warmaniacs" and "South Korean puppet reactionaries." For him, it was an example
of "the authoritarian and bizarre use of political power to suppress the
actions and thoughts of people." He noted that by trying to block the site,
"South Korea has hypocritically committed the same actions it criticizes North
Korea for -- non-promotion of democratic values and open choices." Nonetheless,
he removed the site soon afterwards.
Interestingly, the official North Korean news site is by no means in North
Korea (which has .kp as its top level domain) but in Japan:
http://www.kcna.co.jp/ ("Reuse of any material on this home page is strictly
prohibited without permission.")
http://duke.usask.ca/%7Eburgess/DPRK.html ("This site, and all parts of it,
have been removed by the account holder who originally posted it.")


CLT EYES FLEMISH TV STATION
CLT/Ufa  is in talks with publishers VNU of Amsterdam/Antwerp on a 44.5 percent
share in Belgium TV station Vlaamse Televisie Maatschappij (VTM.) Reportedly,
VNU sees no future for the commercial station which can only be received in
Flanders, the northern part of Belgium where Dutch is spoken.
Last year, the station made a loss of 30 million Guilders. However, an RTL/CLT
spokesman declared they are very keen to take over the stake as they do see a
future for VTM. Following a possible take-over, a lot of Dutch language
programmes, which are transmitted in the Netherlands by RTL4, RTL5 and Veronica
(all part of the Holland Media Group where RTL holds a majority stake,) could
be rebroadcast by VTM in Belgium. Veronica and RTL4/RTL5 are available neither
on Flemish cable systems nor on terrestrial transmitters. (Hans Knot)
[Last December, Publisher Concentra announced it would sell its 25 percent
stake in VTM to Roularta and De Persgroep, shareholders of Vlaamse Media
Holding which owns 55 percent of VTM shares. (Sat-ND, 16.12.96.) -- Ed.]


BART PAYS FOR NEC SHIRTS
Bart's News Network appears to be the new shirt sponsor for football [soccer]
club NEC. This is very strange because Bart's plans to start an own broadcaster
have been ridiculed by about everybody in the Dutch broadcasting world. Bart de
Graaff currently has a comical programme called BNN (yes, it *does* look like
CNN) on Veronica. Bart is [still] hoping for a C-status within the Dutch public
network. [Sat-ND, 23.4.96] (Jitse Groen)



RUPERTWATCH by Dr Sarmaz
MR MURDOCH AND MR TURNER
When I called for a Ted Turner TV show recently, I didn't mean just a simple
appearance on CBS' Sixty Minutes programme. But for the time being, an
interview that will be aired next Sunday is all we can hope for. 
There probably won't be any "Bullshit" comments in it (Sat-ND, 22.11.96,) just
a serious and somewhat lame Mr Turner instead of the well-beloved "Mouth of the
South."
But even here, Turner sticks to his Führer remarks. "I did not call him [Mr
Murdoch] Hitler. Can I say exactly what I said? I said that, like the late
Führer, he controls the media for his own personal benefit." Mr Murdoch was
"crazed for money and power," Turner said. "I fear him and I don't trust him."
"I think he looks down his nose at do-good journalism," Turner concluded. "He
thinks that his media should be used by him to further his own goal."
Mr Murdoch was not amused and had a spokesperson say that he had "no intention
of commenting or getting into the gutter of personal abuse or name-calling with
Mr. Turner." 
Too bad.



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Copyright 1997 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.

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