Sat-ND, 4.3.97

Sat-ND 97-03-04 - Satellite and Media News

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Alsmost nothing really new today; so here are some updates on recent
stories instead. -- Ed.

Russia has successfully launched the first satellite from its new
Svobodny cosmodrome despite the misgivings of the Yakutian regional
government and protests in that region. The military satellite ZEYA
was placed into orbit today at 02:00 UTC with a Start-1 rocket, a
modified intercontinental ballistic missile formerly known as SS-25
in the West.
Yegor Borisov, Vice-Premier of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia),
announced he would file a law suit against Valery Grin, acting
Commander of the Russian Military Space Forces. The government also
suggests that the regional parliament revoke a treaty with the
Russian Defence Ministry under which Yakutia agrees that burnt-out
rocket stages fall back onto their territory.
Representatives of the Military Space Forces will visit the place
near a village in Yakutia where the rocket's second stage came down
this morning to conduct what news agency Itar-Tass described as an
"expert examination from the ecological point of view."

Albanian officials have allowed the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
to resume uplinking satellite newsfeeds from the country. No reasons
were given either for the shutdown of EBU operations yesterday or
today's move. A senior EBU official expressed his opinion that the
authorities had "given in to the pressure regarding the curbs on
press freedom."
With its mobile uplink station in Albania, the EBU provides newsfeed
capacity for major European broadcasters as well as Reuters TV and

Okay, at least some news. Leo Kirch may be known outside Germany;
Herbert Kloiber probably isn't although he is the country's number
two TV software trader -- after Kirch, of course. Just like Kirch,
he's always had some TV ambitions although they didn't turn out to be
too successful. 
His company Tele München's first project, a music channel called
Musikbox, attracted the interest of Italy's media mogul Silvio
Berlusconi. Musikbox became an entertainment channel by the name of
Tele 5, but that didn't last too long, either. In the end, Tele 5
became the sports channels now known as Deutsches SportFernsehen
(DSF,) but without Kloiber who instead joined the RTL offspring RTL
That's probably where he got to know the Hamburg-based publishing
house Heinrich Bauer Verlag. In August 1995, both launched another
channel called tm3. The strange acronym stands for Tele München 3,
indicating that it is the third channel Mr Kloiber's company is
involved with. Officially launched as a women's channel, tm3 doesn't
cling to that scheme too much, though. For instance, daytime
programming is dominated by children's programmes, which
unfortunately seems to be the only way in which minor commercial
channels can make at least some money. (tm3's budget is expected to
be at around DM140 million in 1997, up from last year's DM100
million, with expected earnings of DM60 million.)
And now finally, in the most unlikely case you really stayed with me
to this point, here's the news: Mr Kloiber will buy the 50 percent
stake of Heinrich Bauer Verlag in tm3 which will make him become 100
percent owner of the channel. That may mean even less women's
programming but instead even more of Mr Kloiber's software. It may
also mean that Bauer didn't give the channel too much of a chance in
the future; its audience share is almost immeasurable small. Both
companies will however continue to hold their respective 32.2 percent
stakes in RTL 2.
Kloiber recently indicated that the proposed common holding company
for all RTL channels was unlikely to be realised this year, saying
that it would be beneficial only for the principal shareholder
Bertelsmann but not for him, Bauer or Disney/ABC (who hold 50 percent
of Super RTL.) Disney has in return to the proposals demanded a 50
percent share of the holding company instead of the 5 percent that
simple audience share arithmetic would suggest.


Japan's electronics giant Sony Corp. has denied reports that a deal
had been reached with JSkyB, the digital TV venture set up by Rupert
Murdoch's News Corp. and Japan's Softbank. 
"Nothing has been settled, no agreement has been reached," a Sony
spokesman said. He admitted talks about a possible direct investment,
"but whether that share would be 20 percent or 25 percent or 30
percent hasn't been determined.'

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

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