Sat-ND, 16.11.1997 Read it in the Sunday papers
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This very gentle :-) and most polite :-)) hint to all Germans who don't speak English :-((( does not work with all browsers. [My apologies for this waste of bandwidth, but Germans still make up 12 percent of my subscriber base which I think is far too much.] For information on hand jobs, have a look at the end of this message.
LAW & ORDER
Showdown in Geneva
Arianespace helps SatMex
Great Wall to hit stock exchanges overseas
Apstar IIID planned
A wolf in the wood
Will The Netherlands become German?
At the World Radiocommunication Conference 1997, there has been the expected row over frequency allocations for the Teledesic, SkyBridge and Celestri satellite systems. My favourite news agency even described it as a clash between the USA and Europe.
As usual, that's less than half the truth. Led by France's Alcatel, the SkyBridge consortium comprises investors from France, Belgium, Japan, Canada and the U.S. (i.e. Loral Space & Communications Corp.) Celestri, planned by Motorola Inc. of the U.S., has recently announced a "strategic alliance" with satellite manufacturer Matra Marconi Space S.A. (France/UK) for the development of the system.
Teledesic, on the other hand, so far has only U.S. backers such Billionaires Craig McCaw and William Henry ("Bill") Gates III and Boeing. Nonetheless, companies from Israel, Germany, Japan and the U.S. hope for subcontracts.
So, what's the row about? U.S. Ambassador John Bryant accused the Europeans of trying to "undermine" Teledesic. Francois Rancy, deputy head of France's delegation, said negotiators from 40 European countries were only trying to break Teledesic's "de facto monopoly."
The European view is that Teledesic has been given an unfair advantage at the 1995 talks when a large portion of the "Ka" band (30/20 GHz) was allocated under conditions that especially fit Teledesic. It can, however, be revoked if the current WARC fails to endorse it.
The European delegations call for an optimised use of the spectrum by re-using frequencies and sharing them with GEO satellites. They also want to introduce power limits. The U.S. ambassador put it just the other way round: "We want to take steps necessary for all three companies to go forward. Each time we get close, the Europeans say they don't want to."
Mark MacGann, vice-president for strategic relations for Skybridge, is optimistic: "On the floor there is a clear majority for the European approach," he was quoted as saying.
http://www.skybridgesatellite.com/ (Alain Frizon provided the correct URL thanks a lot!)
The recently privatised agency Satelites Mexicanos (SatMex) will acquire financing from Arianespace to build and launch a fourth satellite.
Arianespace launched the SatMex satellites Solidaridad I and II and has the US$99.5 million-dollar contract to place the Morelos III satellite in space. The majority of SatMex shares was recently auctioned; the winning bid was that by the Mexican group Autrey and U.S. company Loral Space.
As reported earlier (Sat-ND, 2.10.96) Arianespace has started offering financial services for potential launch customers. While the launch provider has a US$400 million fund for that, only one customer has taken advantage of it so far: CD Radio Inc. announced last July that it has obtained a credit facility of US$105 million from Arianespace Finance S.A. (CD Radio, the winning bidder for one of two U.S: satellite radio broadcast licenses, is developing a satellite-to-car 50 channel radio service.)
What does it mean when the South China Morning Post claims that a "Satellite firm eyes overseas vehicle"?
It does not mean that China Great Wall Industry Corp. is looking for another launch vehicle but for to be quoted on overseas stock exchanges. The company's president Zhang Xinxia said that "listing is not just a matter of raising funds, it needs asset restructuring."
The company had started moving towards becoming a stockholding entity but only a small number of its subsidiaries had undertaken the reform, he told the paper. It had yet to file a listing application with securities authorities, he added. "We are not very experienced, so we have to start from scratch," Zhang said.
He confirmed that the launch failures of the past led to an increase in insurance premium. It nonetheless had come down after six consecutive successful launches and is now 23 percent of the combined satellite and launch costs.
Great Wall's Chang Zheng (Long March) rockets have gained some 8 percent the international satellite launch market. The next launch will be that of two Iridium satellites aboard a modified Chang Zheng 2-III rocket (Sat-ND, 1.9.97.)
China will launch an improved model of the Long March-2-III rocket carrying two iridium satellites owned by U.S. electronics giant Motorola Inc in the first week of December, the China Daily reported on Saturday.
Just to confuse you: China Daily said "It would be the 11th launch this year by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology." It added that the academy, which developed a series of Long March launch vehicles, was considering a stock market listing.
As reported, Apstar IIR has recently passed in-orbit tests and is expected to become operational soon. Here are some more details, again thanks to the South China Morning Post.
The half of the satellite's capacity had been leased before the launch. That rate was expected to grow about 70 percent next year. A transponder can be yours for US$2 million (C-band) or US$3 (Ku-band) per annum.
Apstar plans to provide Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) services with the launch of Apstar IIID in 2000. Offering more power and an extended footprint, the annual lease for a transponder will be US$3 to 5 million.
Construction, launch and insurance of the new satellite will cost its operating company APT US$300 million, said APT secretary Brian Lo.
By Dr Sarmaz
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) does not want want pay-television groups Foxtel and Optus Communications Ltd to buy the assets of rival Australis Media Ltd., which is on the brink of insolvency.
The loss-making Australis is likely to begin insolvency proceedings by December 1 after the ACCC threatened legal action to block its planned merger with Foxtel, a joint venture between Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Ltd. and Telstra Corp.
The ACCC opposed the merger because it would reduce competition in the Australian pay television and telephony industries. ACCC chairman Allan Fels said today the ACCC had evidence that in the event of a merger Optus would have withdrawn from both pay-television and the local telephone business. In effect, there obviously would have been just one pay-TV giant left.
Fels said the ACCC would not allow Foxtel buying Australis' assets from a liquidator, adding that he would also not want Optus to have Australis' programming "I would think someone else could come in a make a reasonable business of it," he said.
When I started out this so-called newsletter, I was hoping for vast amounts of readers' contributions. I have adopted a more realistic view of the human nature over the past few years, thus I know now that most of you just want to read something (and I should be glad you read this anyway.) Okay, nonetheless here is an interesting story sent by Hans Engström from Sweden. Thank you very much!
A few weeks ago the Finnish TV company Alma Media bought 23.4 percent of the shares of the only Swedish terrestrial commercial TV channel, TV 4.
The deal made the swedish cultural minister Marita Ulvskog quite mad. The reason? Well, one of the biggest media conglomerates, Bonniers, owns 23 percent of Alma Media. And it already owns 17 percent of TV 4 shares through its newspaper company Marieberg.
Bonniers would in effect control TV 4 as the other owners of TV 4 own smaller shares of the capital stock. A brutal move towards concentration if interest, the cultural minister preferred to interpret the deal.
Both Bonniers and Marieberg denied such intentions and pointed out they held just a minority stake (25 percent) in the Finnish company, which is an independent company.
Last week the minister stroke back. To combat concentration on the broadcasting sector, she will grant the public service companies Sveriges television, SVT, and Sveriges Radio more money and more opportunities. For the period 1998-2001, they'll receive SKR500 million in addition to their already substantial budget that is financed by licences fees.
SVT also received the government's permission to start new channels. SVT has presented plans for a 24-hour news channel, a repeats channel as well as a channel carrying arte and a cultural channel by [a British public broadcaster which name shall not be mentioned on Sat-ND for the time being.] SVT was also allowed to put its current channels on satellite.
On top of this, a political commission is to investigate what measures could be taken to combat harmful concentration tendencies in the Swedish media market. The commission is due to present its findings in December 1998.
At first Bonniers and TV 4 were relieved that the government did not revoke TV 4's broadcasting licence. But critics now say the government would in effect destroy the commercial TV market by implementing these measures.
TV 4's ability to attract commercials and sponsorships will likely decrease once the public broadcaster will offer not just two but five TV channels.TV 4's economic situation is already strained by licence fee payments. The company has to shell out approx. SKR500 million per annum.
(By the way, the ministers name "Ulvskog" translates to "wood of wolves", which many Swedes feel is rather suitable.)
My good old friend Quentin J Esrom wrote in his Sensible & Serious Satellite News yesterday that "Sat-ND will be back as soon as Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg have become part of the United Kingdom, finally allowing legal reception of UK TV channels there."
Well, you're so funny QJ... complete rubbish anyway, even though there are some sweeping territorial changes coming up in Europe you may not yet be aware of. Jurgen Bartels told me this:
"As Radio Netherlands reported in the Dutch newspaper review, Italy presented their design of the new Euro coin, which on one side displays the map of Europe. Apparently the Dutch/German border is missing, so Holland is now a part of Germany. This caused an outcry in that newspaper. :-)"
They did not mention that nearly half of the Dutch population is already working for German television, so nobody will actually notice the difference. They also missed out on the fact that Germany will in turn hand over its federal state Bavaria to Austria. This will not only help keep the balance of power in Europe but also free the rest of Germany from what they hate most: the Bavarian Theo Waigel (Federal Finance Minister/Chancellor of the Exchequer/Treasury Secretary;) Bavarian media mogul Leo Kirch; and finally football [soccer] club Bayern München. Farewell, Theo and Leo... we won't miss you!
Copyright 1997 by Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
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