Sat-ND, 10.11.1997 Modern Moral Subjects
service is provided free of charge for personal use. It may be used
and redistributed for non-commercial purposes only, provided the
following notice is included:
© Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND
Please send contributions and comments regarding Sat-ND to Peter C. Klanowski, email: pck@LyNet.De
Sat-ND is sponsored by TELE-satellite International
Looking for a specific channel on satellite? Try Satco-DX
This is your lucky day! You may unsubscribe right now
This does not work with all browsers. For information on how to do it manually, have a look at the end of this message.
WorldCom to take over MCI
Intelsat to try Proton
BBC News 24 launched
Catholic radio affairs
After WorldCom Inc. raised its offer for MCI Communications Corp. to US$37 billion in stock and cash, it seems there is a deal.
To quote WorldCom's press release: "WorldCom, Inc. ( and MCI Communications Corporation announced today a merger agreement creating a fully integrated communications company that will provide a complete range of local, long distance, Internet and international communications services. The merger creates a new era communications company best positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities in the US$670 billion global telecommunications market. The combined company, MCI WorldCom, will have over US$30 billion in 1998 revenues and joins together two of the industry's most entrepreneurial and competitive forces."
WorldCom's new offer topped a competing US$28 billion cash bid made by GTE Corp. MCI shareholders would own about 45 percent of the new company, while WorldCom would have a 55 percent stake. Observers however said there was a slight chance of GTE making another bid.
British Telecommunications Plc, which wanted to take over MCI, will receive U$7.0 billion cash for its current 20-percent stake in MCI and an immediate U$$465 million break-up fee for terminated merger. BT said it was now free to pursue other U.S. alliances and investments, but has not named alternative partners.
MCI WorldCom the new telecommunications giant?
Pro Forma Revenue 1998: US$32 billion
Market Capitalisation: US$60 billion
Customers: 22 million
International Presence: More than 200 countries
Local Network Facilities: 100 U.S. markets
Long Distance Market Share: 25%
by Dr Sarmaz
"Australis expects that the merger agreement will be terminated on November 15, 1997, and expects that it is likely that Australis will commence insolvency proceedings prior to December 1, 1997."
This is what Australian pay-TV company Australis had to tell the Australian Stock Exchange today. In other words, Australis acknowledged that the planned merger with rival Foxtel, a joint venture between Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Ltd and telecommunications company Telstra Corp, fell through.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as well as the country's third pay-TV player, Optus Communications, opposed the merger between Australis and Foxtel on the grounds that it would reduce competition in the Australian pay television and telephony industries.
A hearing on the ACCC's decision in Australia's Federal Court has been set for November 24. But last week, News and Telstra already refused Australis' requests for interim funding of up to A$30 million to carry the company through the latest court action.
Australis, as its two competitors Foxtel and Optus, is still losing money a total of A$735 million by March this year. The total losses within Australia's pay television industry reportedly have racked up to to A$3 billion since 1993.
Australis, the first pay-TV operator in Australia, reaches about 110,000 subscribers through its Galaxy satellite-delivery system while Foxtel and Optus have about 200,000 subscribers each.
International Launch Services (ILS) will use its newest Russian launch vehicle, the Proton M, to launch Intelsat 901.
The launch contract, which has recently been signed, marks the first time an Intelsat satellite will be launched on a Russian-built Proton rocket. It calls for one firm launch with options for up to five additional launches.
LS is a joint venture company established in 1995 to jointly market Proton and the Lockheed Martin Astronautics-built Atlas to the world-wide satellite launch market. The company now holds seven commercial Proton launch contracts for a total backlog of 20 launch commitments. Two more commercial Proton launches remain in 1997 with nine planned for 1998. The combined ILS Proton and Atlas backlog is in excess of US$3.5 billion, ILS said in a press release.
Okay, here's (hopefully) the last article on BBC News 24. The channel went on air yesterday evening with a half-hour preview of the channel followed by a news bulletin.
Of course, it's all "part of a wider strategy, preparing the 75-year-old corporation for an era of digital television," the BBC reported on their news Web site that was launched last Tuesday. That's how Auntie Beeb explains the fact that the channel can be received only by two million cable subscribers (and for a few hours on BBC 1 TV during the night.)
"BBC News 24 will give licence fee payers a public service choice for a multi-channel age," said BBC News chief, Tony Hall.
The BBC admitted it already operated another 24-hour-news channel, known as BBC World. Targeting an international audience, it is financed by advertisements. And according to the BBC, that's exactly why it cannot be broadcast in Britain. Too bad!
The BBC news site went on to say that "Experts have compared the dash into digital television to a gold rush for every success there are likely to be many failures." It even quoted one as saying "The cost of launching a [digital] service is inexpensive [...] And for the ones that succeed it circumvents all of the losses you've made and earns you a lot of money as a result."
BBC News on the Web: http://news.bbc.co.uk/default.htm
Religious radio stations may be religious in the first place, but apart from that they can make money or lose it. In Germany, there are are at least four of those radio stations available via satellite: two protestant, two catholic.
Stay tuned, it becomes pretty interesting later on. As far as the two catholic stations are concerned, there seems to be something going on behind the scenes. Jurgen Bartels sent me a summary of a report he heard today on SWF 1, a regional radio station in Southwest Germany. Thank you very much!
According to the report, the Italian Radio Maria was now behind both Radio Horeb as well as Radio Campanile, the two catholic stations. As to Radio Horeb, this is no surprise at all it is the combination of two German catholic radio ventures called "Radio New Europe" and "Radio Maria," reported the German language service of Vatican Radio last December.
The SWF report, Jurgen wrote, claimed that cash-strapped Radio Campanile has been secretly taken over by Radio Maria. Many of the station's original upporters have opposed the surprise take-over. SWF offered a rather far-fetched explanation for the financial strength of Radio Maria: it might be a money-laundering operation as at least one of the Vatican backers of Radio Maria was moving in Mafia circles.
A positive effect is that the regional media authority that issued the station's license seems to have suddenly remembered that, according to German media laws, no broadcasting station (commercial or not) may be operated by a single social group such as a church, a trade union, or a political party.
Radio Maria, which started out in Italy, has over the past few years set up an almost world-wide network of catholic radio stations (http://www.radiomaria.org/solot/mondo.htm.)
Right-wing catholic radio
Radio Maria is, however, not operated by the catholic church (for which Vatican Radio still serves as official mouthpiece.). Instead, it acts as a semi-official right-wing by-boat. In several countries such as Poland an Germany, the episcopate [the congregation of catholic bishops of the respective country] have critisised Radio Maria broadcasts.
Details on who owns the various Radio Maria operations are not available on the Internet, but from my research it seems that catholic foundations are involved. As I am neither a catholic nor a christian at all, I'm afraid I can't shed any light on the various fractions of the catholic church it seems, however, that Radio Maria is affiliated to the so-called redemptionists.
I have no idea what that means but the term popped up when I did a bit of research on Radio Maryja, the Polish arm of Radio Maria and, with 5 million listeners, maybe the most effective of its offsprings.
It's also the most controversial, as the network that comprises 38 local radio stations in Poland has even been accused of openly spreading anti-jewish propaganda. Slawomir Majman wrote in The Warsaw Voice (May 25, 1997) that "Radio Maryja is obsessed with hatred of 'Jews, the non-Polish minority.'
The station has in the past not only promoted right-wing extremist views. It also heavily supported Lech Walesa who ran for president but was defeated by Aleksander Kwasniewski. The Polish bishops in October 1995 had to apologise: "Unfortunately some Catholic media, e.g. 'Radio Maryja' have become instrumental in spreading falsehoods, and even slander, about presidential candidates."
Donosy, the Polish Liberal Digest, reported that "This remark was not in reaction to calling Kwasniewski a criminal, or blaming Kuron for Katyn. The comment was provoked by remarks critical of [presidential candidate] Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, who has the tacit support of the bishops."
Radio Maryja unchristian?
Even in 1996, Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek accused Radio Maryja of using "unchristian" language and spreading lies. And maybe the station has had an impact on the recent general election which brought a centre-right government back to power. As the remainders of the trade union Solidarnosc form a major part of the coalition, it may be worth to remember that this organisation was (at least in the early years) financed by the Vatican, headed by the first pope of Polish descent, Jan Pawel (John Paul) II.
Maybe it's still the same you don't need to bring the Italian mafia into play to explain Radio Maryja's financial strength, which even announced last April it made an offer to take over 60 percent of the bankrupt Stocznia Gdanska, the Gdansk shipyard where, what a coincidence, the whole Solidarnosc thing started back in the eighties with an electrician by the name of Lech Walesa acting as a spokesman for the revolting workers.
However, if you think Poland's Radio Maryja is just a degenerated instance of the Italian model, think again. Not only do they carry almost the same graphics on their web pages. Their slogans are nearly identical: "Una voce cristiana nella tua casa" is almost a perfect translation of the Polish "Katolicki glos w twoim domu" (A catholic voice in your home.)
To end upon a happy note: I have some good friends in Poland who say "we're catholic but we're not daft." And that applies to Poland in general.
Copyright 1997 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
To unsubscribe, send Email to Majordomo@tags1.dn.net (not to me, please, and not to any other address) and include the line
unsubscribe sat-nd xxxxx
in the body of your message. xxxxx stands for your email address. Or have a look at