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Sat-ND, 2.4.97




Sat-ND 97-04-02 - Satellite and Media News

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SURVEY STATUS
Email or Web? Just to keep you updated, here are a few remarks on the
issue.
0) If you haven't read the original question, you're probably receiving
Sat-ND via a newsgroup. All this is just about the Email distribution, so
you might as well ignore this.
1) So far, the response quote is slightly above 16 percent, which I still
don't consider too much. It seems that the vast majority of subscribers
either doesn't care about the distribution or read Sat-ND just once or
twice a week (in which case I don't know why I should continue to offer
this service on a daily basis.) 
2) Now really, I don't need anybody who sets up a web page for me. That's
very nice of those who offered that, and you may do it anyway in
accordance with the terms of distribution (i. e., do what you want to do
with Sat-ND as long as you don't try to make money with it.) The format
is not the problem as modern word processors let you save your work as
HTML. It's just the other way round: Who would be willing to convert a
Web page into plain text and send it to 1,489 subscribers plus at least
two newsgroups (I understand that Sat-ND is cross-posted to some more)?
3) One of the main points brought forward by numerous Email aficionados
is that they don't have to do anything to receive Sat-ND. (Of course,
it's me who has to do the work instead.) They fear that the service will
just get lost within that millions of Web pages, and they won't have the
time to look it up daily. Behold! Every browser offers some bookmark
functions, some can perform a check whether the content of a page has
changed, and there are even tools available that let you download Web
pages automatically. If all of this doesn't suit your needs, it wouldn't
even be a problem to offer a freeware program that downloads Sat-ND
regularly (but just for Windows 95, I'm afraid.)
4) Some of those who have replied so far suggested a general reset of the
mailing list, and I increasingly like this idea. It would mean that
everybody who is really interested in this service would have to
re-subscribe. I guess I will do that within the next few months, probably
at the end of June where there will be a two-week break anyway.
That should do for the time being, so we now take you back to our
regularly scheduled programme.



AND THE WINNERS ARE...
... Satellite CD Radio Inc. of Washington (US$83.3 million) and American
Mobile Radio Corp. of Reston, Va., (US$89.9 million.) Both companies
don't win money, however; the sums are actually what they have to pay for
their digital satellite radio licences. After 25 rounds of bidding, both
companies beat out Primosphere L.P. of New York and Seattle-based Digital
Satellite Broadcasting Corp. As frequently reported, the system called
DARS will incorporate pay radio, probably for a subscription fee of
US$5-10 per month. It can be received even in cars, using special
antennas and receivers. They're expected to cost some US$150 more than
normal car radios. DARS also can transmit data such as stock quotes to
car receivers. [How useful. What about local traffic news?]
CD Radio plans to launch three satellites, which will carry some 50 audio
channels, during the second half of 1999. American Mobile Radio expects
to be up and running in at least three years, delivering 25-35 channels
of programming. 


INTELSAT'S SATELLITE CAROUSEL TURNS AGAIN
The following may be a bit older, but as it hasn't been mentioned in this
so-called newsletter, so here it is (even if it's just for the record.) 
Intelsat will launch its new INTELSAT K-TV (not KY-TV) aboard an Ariane 4
in late 1998 or early 1999, the International Satellite
Telecommunications Organisation announced. It will be deployed to the key
orbital location of 95E to provide high-powered video services to the
fast- growing Asia-Pacific markets.
Besides, Intelsat has its redeployment mill running again. The Intelsat
board approved deployment operations to reflect the latest INTELSAT VIII
launch schedule and end of life estimates for the INTELSAT V satellites:
INTELSAT 802 will be launched and deployed to 174E; INTELSAT 701 will
then be moved from 174E to 180E; INTELSAT 511 will then be moved from
180E to 157E; and INTELSAT 503 will then be de-orbited from 157E..
(And then, and then, and then... If I had delivered such sentences at
school they would have kicked me out, and there would be no Sat-ND.
Imagine that!)


SPACE TV: CHINESE TV ALL OVER THE WORLD
Thanks to a company by the name of DiviCom, here are some details on
Space TV, yet another digital TV service. DiviCom will provide headend
and digital turnaround equipment for Space TV. This is really fine, but
not too interesting in this context (sorry, folks.) 
"Space TV Systems is dedicated to delivering the next generation of
in-home entertainment and news for Chinese audiences globally," said
James Y.C. Tzeng, executive vice president of Space TV Systems, Inc.
Based in Taiwan, hhe company is a joint venture between Central Taiwan
Cable Associates, Inc., Porli Media Communications Ltd. and Hsiung-Feng
Information Group. It company plans to launch a new digital
direct-to-home satellite television service for Chinese audiences in
Northeast Asia, Australia and North America next May.
Using four 36-MHz transponders on three satellites located at different
orbital slots, Space TV Systems intends to initially deliver eight
channels of Chinese video programming and ten channels of audio to its
subscribers in different markets. An MPEG-2 stream originating in Taipei
will be sent via satellite to SpaceTV's transmission centre in Brewster,
Washington. There, the programs will be combined with several film
channels and retransmitted over two satellites direct-to-home to several
countries including Taiwan, mainland China [guess whether it will be
allowed there,] Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United
States. 
Space TV is aiming to expand its DTH service step by step to Southeast
Asia, Latin America, Europe and Africa. It expects to establish a global
DTH network by using a total of nine transponders on seven satellites to
provide television service for Chinese audiences around the world by the
end of 1998.


ECHOSTAR LOSSES EXPLODE
EchoStar Communications Corp., the company that finally decided to supply
its renowned satellite receivers with own satellites to receive,
admittedly has increased its revenues. The 1996 results posted today show
an increase of 29 percent (1995: US$163.9 million, 1996: US$211.4
million,) but revenues from direct-to-home products, technical services
and other operations were US$138.9 million for 1996, down from US$148.7
million in 1995.
However, the net loss has more or less exploded. Back in 1995, it was
just US$11.5 million. In 1996, the loss was nine times that high  it
grew to US$101 million. [Did I forget a 'million' anywhere? No? Okay.] 
EchoStar, which recently announced an alliance with Rupert Murdoch's News
Corp., had loads of explanations for the horrendous loss: increased
depreciation and amortisation expense, higher interest expense, DISH
Network subscription promotion subsidies and higher programming and
administrative costs. Well, life can be hard!


RADIO AUSTRALIA: WHERE'S THE MONEY?
The future of Radio Australia, the country's international radio service
remains uncertain at least until May 14. The service is threatened to
fall victim to an A$55 million budget cut at the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation (ABC.)
Foreign Affairs officials today blocked a senate inquiry into the future
of Radio Australia, refusing to answer questions from senators on the
grounds the matter was before cabinet. 
While the Australian Foreign Ministry seems to be concerned that axing
Radio Australia would send "the wrong message" to the Asia-Pacific
region, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade so far has been
unable to express an opinion on the subject. At least, DFAT has admitted
receiving several letters from other governments about the possible
closure, as well as about 70 letters and 200 Internet messages from other
concerned people.
Radio Australia reaches an estimated 20 million listeners although it has
an annual budget of just A$13.5. (The largest foreign broadcasters spend
the equivalent of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars per year.) ABC
managing director Brian Johns said that his organisation could only
decide whether to keep the network when it knew how much it would receive
from the government.
Ironically, a closedown of the service could even be more expensive that
maintaining it. The journalists' union argued that closing the network
would cost twice in redundancy payments and lost revenue for the federal
and Victorian governments.



GOLDEN WORDS
"We cannot substantiate the existence of UFOs and we are not harbouring
remains of UFOs." 
U.S. Defence Department spokesman Ken Bacon



FEEDBACK: Sat-ND, 31.3.97
AFN MOVED TO DIGITAL
I happened to be looking for information on AFN over the Easter week-end.
They have a very impressive homepage:
http://www.grafenwoehr.army.mil/afn/afn.htm
Now that's an interesting URL for a TV station - in the .mil domain! Also
there's an AFN BBS and a mailing list. One can subscribe at:
http://www.visionbroadcast.com/
15 people already did.
(Bert) [who didn't leave his last name. Cheers anyway!]



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

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