Sat-ND 97-07-11 — Wódka Wyborowa Edition
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DISCOVERY IN JAPAN
Discovery Japan Inc. said it had launched its 24-hour non-fiction entertainment broadcasting network in Japan. The Discovery Channel, available in the digital TV package PerfecTV and some cable networks, will be fully subtitled in Japanese.
The company is a joint venture with Singapore-based Discovery Asia Inc and Tokyo-based Jupiter Programming Co. Ltd., which is jointly operated by U.S.-based Telecommunications International Inc. (TCI) and Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp.
MUSIC IN AFRICA
According to the South African Mail and Guardian, M-Net is planning a pan-African satellite music channel. Although a name hasn't been found yet, the channel is expected to be launched as soon as September this year.
Thirty percent of the 24 hours broadcast every day will be devoted to South African music, ten percent to the rest of Africa and the rest to black American music. Programming will be produced externally; six South African production companies will reportedly present their pitch to M-Net in mid-July.
The new music station will be part of the 40-channel DSTV bouquet [Yikes! Sure smells digital] that already offers Carlton Network, BET on Jazz and Zee TV, all of them certainly no genuine African channels.
ARTE IN SPAIN
Spain's state broadcaster RTVE and Franco-German cultural channel arte have renewed a co-operation contract. TRVE will broadcast 100 hours of arte programming per year while arte will take over 25 hours of RTVE programmes.
The number of co-produced programmes is to be increased, and there will be talks over a common Spanish cultural channel that will be distributed digitally.
AUSTRALIAN TV IN ASIA
The Australian Broadcastings Corporation's controversial Australia Television (ATV) service has been sold -- to Kerry Stokes' Seven Network. The deal was approved by the ABC board after Seven agreed to maintain ABC news broadcasts (reportedly for a period of two years.)
Seven has agreed to broadcast for at least 16 hours a day. The ABC will be represented by two directors on the ATV board.
Mr Stokes is believed to have paid A$4.5 million the channel that reaches 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific satellite TV market. Seven will purchase the ordinary shares in ATI, ATV's operating company, while the ABC will take up a preference shareholding.
ABC chairman Donald McDonald told a newspaper that he would be surprised if Seven could not turn the loss-making operation into a profit within 12 months as announced by Seven's development director, Graham McVean.
MICROSOFT ON TV
Microsoft Corp. has denied reports that it was after the U.S. TV network CBS. "There isn't anything to the story," a CBS executive was quoted as saying.
The Gates company has had it own experiences with television. Just a few months ago, it introduced a TV-like channel system on its online service MSN. According to the Wall Street Journal, it will be scrapped soon. MSN's subscribers spend only 5 percent of their online time at the service's 'Onstage' area, which presents games shows, talk shows and other stuff that looks like TV [and probably is just about as boring.]
But back to CBS. Microsoft, probably driven by all those dubious convergence theories that TV and PC will finally become a single device, has made some efforts to get a foothold in the television business -- just remember MSNBC. [So if they co-operate with NBC, quite successfully by the way, would they buy CBS then?]
Microsoft has recently closed a US$1-billion deal to invest in U.S. cable operator Comcast and has announced it would but WebTV, a TV-delivered Internet access service.
On the other hand, the US$150-billion company Microsoft has reportedly some US$9 billion cash to spend while CBS was valued at just US$14 billion.
SOCIALISM IN THE USA
"Socialism is alive and well and living in the regulatory agencies."
This statement was made by News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, both an expert on socialism and on U.S. regulatory agencies.
Moaned Murdoch: "If socialism is dead, why won't it lie down? If we are living in a free-enterprise paradise, why can't I get my Fox News on more cable systems?"
Mr Murdoch, who's had some experience in dealing with communists such as those in the People's Republic of China, has in the past appeared to comply happily with whatever absurd and anti-competitive regulations there and even with censorship, if only the business perspective was right.
"The growth of regulation has given enormous control to government. Socialism has effectively reinvented itself," Mr Murdoch claimed. He's gotta know.
DAIMLER-BENZ / IRIDIUM / EUROPEAN TV PIRACY
Copyright © 1997 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
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