Sat-ND, 18.01.1998 Supercow al rescate [Mooo!]
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Yes, it's your friendly editor Larry L. Lackapants again! Of course, I still have nothing important to say. Anyway, as you may have noticed, HTML is back my sincere apologies to all HTML haters <GGGG>. The following news aren't too important, either; it's more or less a test whether everything works. And as there are no important news, here are two more remarks:
Please do not send me email using CC or BCC. It will most likely be deleted off my mail server. This is a measure to protect me from unsolicited email, a.k.a. spam. Sorry, so far I don't know any other method that works as well as that.
The USELESS FACTS in Sat-ND are neither checked nor edited but reproduced as found, e.g. on the World Wide Web. Think of them as entertainment, not as hard news.
USELESS FACT: In Great Britain, black cats are thought to bring good luck. [Really? I think they do bring good luck.]
Will the two largest digital pay-TV services in France merge? At least one of them thinks it's a good idea.
Bruno Delecour, president of Canal Plus unit Canalsatellite, has repeated his opinion that a merger with rival TPS was possible and would be beneficial.
"A merger would be a positive scenario in the long term for the shareholders of Canalsatellite if it is radical. But it would not allow us to reach break even sooner. I repeat that for us break even is near, unlike TPS, which sees break even in 2001," Delecour told Journal des Finances. Delecour added that "certain shareholders of TPS are, at least officially, in disagreement about the principle of an alliance."
Last December, Delecour said "Co-ordination deals, even more or less joint actions would have little interest. They would have no impact on costs and would only benefit the weak one," i.e. TPS (Sat-ND, 27.12.97.)
However, the three existing services don't offer only exclusive programming. ABSat, the third and smallest digital bouquet, also produces some channels for Canalsatellite. The state channels Arte and La Cinquieme are currently available on both Canalsatellite and TPS. According to Delecour, France 2 and France 3 (which are among the owners of TPS) will also be broadcast on Canalsatellite.
USELESS FACT: Essay in French means 'to try, attempt.'
A U.S. investment bank thinks Europeans are willing to spend loads of money for pay-TV services.
J.P. Morgan's media analyst Nick Bertolotti reportedly expects the market to grow at an annual rate of 20 percent over the next ten years. He predicts that in 2005, 41 million European homes will pay US$26 billion just to watch TV [what an absurd thought.] In 1997, 17 million households spent US$6 billion.
According to Bertolotti, demand will be driven by new channels, added [interactive] services, and a growth in consumers' disposable income. [In some European countries, the real disposable income has not grown for quite a few years on the contrary.]
Anyway, while the prediction may or may not be accurate in general, it does not mean that pay-TV will be equally successful all over Europe. Especially in Germany, the largest TV market in Europe, pay-TV is virtually unknown, and digital TV has so far been a smashing failure.
Bertolotti sees France's Canalsatellite as the long-term winner. Unlike BSkyB in the UK, Canalsatellite operator Canal Plus had significant equity stakes in all three major pay-TV distribution platforms: terrestrial, cable and satellite. In the short term, BSkyB would nonetheless earn more than Canalsatellite because Sky has something that comes very close to a pay-TV monopoly something that Canal Plus may be trying to establish right now (see above.)
USELESS FACT: Boules, or Petanque, is France's second most played sport.
There's a new supra-regional TV channel in Poland, serving the central, eastern and south-western regions of the country. No, dear space freaks, it's not NASA TV.
Nasza Telewizja (Our TV,) owned and operated by Polskie Media S.A., was launched yesterday. According to a spokeswoman, the channel will target "families and especially women." It will reach a potential audience of 16 million homes via satellite (Hot Bird 1,) cable and a few terrestrial transmitters. Nasza TV was issued a license by the National Council for Radio and Television (KRRiT) back in March 1997.
USELESS FACT: In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry ice cream in your back pocket.
Soon, there will be satellite TV from Macao. The local government has granted Macao-based Universe Satellite Television Company a license to operate satellite television for a period of 15 years.
According to a press release issued by the Information Office of the government, the license allows the company to offer six different channels (which, thanks to digital compression, fit nicely onto one satellite transponder.) The company must start operation within a year.
Universe Satellite Television was co-founded with capital from Macao, mainland China, Portugal and Hong Kong. The registered capital totals 30 million patacas (about US$3.75 million.) Universe said earlier that its planned project, including satellite television service, a satellite ground station and the cable TV service, will cost more than one billion Hong Kong dollars (about US$129 million.)
Currently, there are two TV channels in Macao, one Chinese and one Portuguese. Both are run by the Macao Broadcast and Television Station.
USELESS FACT: Hydrangeas produce pink and white flowers in alkaline soil and blue ones in acidic soil. [Can anybody tell me what hydrangeas are?]
Would you pay money to see lawmakers dozing in your country's parliament? Japan's TV audience will be confronted with that question next month.
Kokkai-TV, as the new channel is called, transmits parliamentary sessions and important committee hearings. Currently available at no charge to subscribers of the PerfecTV digital bouquet, viewers will have to pay the equivalent of US$1.50 as from next month.
For that, they will get initially broadcasts from 7 am to 11 pm local time, which may later be extended to 24 hours a day. Not only does all that sound like a Japanese version of the U.S. channel C-SPAN, which broadcasts congressional hearings and all kinds of other political raw material Kokkai-TV will even air daily C-SPAN programmes on American politics. [Yep, just another prove that there's something really badly wrong in this world. I guess there's no daily broadcast on Japanese or any other country's politics on C-SPAN.]
USELESS FACT: They have square watermelons in Japan... they stack better.
The United Kingdom's Independent Television Commission (ITC) issued its revised Programme Code, following consultation with its licensees and other interested parties.
The changes come into force on 1 February, although the ITC accepts that programmes transmitted shortly after that time may not always be able to incorporate necessary changes to meet the revised code.
"We found the consultation process very useful in helping us to make the code clearer, easier for licensees to understand and, so far as possible, free from ambiguities," said ITC Chief Executive Peter Rogers.
The ITC's press release, however, does not say what will really change [maybe nothing will change at all.] Instead, the ITC boasts about
Greater provision of on-air information about programme content
Clearer guidelines about the portrayal of violence, especially where there is a sexual content, in response to suggestions during the consultation process
New guidelines about fairness towards innocent parties (including reconstructions in drama, factual and other formats dealing with real-life crime or other tragic events)
Identification of video news releases
Further clarification on payment to criminals and a definition of public interest, points requested by some consultees
Clarification of rules on promotional material, especially spin-off magazines
New guidance about showing clips of advertisements within programmes
Overall simplification and clarification of rules and guidelines, requested by several organisations during the consultation process, to make them more practical and helpful.
Whatever that may mean in the end. Listing the main changes to its programme code, the ITC points out that
Viewers are most likely to be offended by explicit images of distress, injury and blood, particularly if they occur suddenly and unexpectedly.
Are they? I guess some just can't get enough of that. Anyway, the ITC has meanwhile managed to set up three (3) pages on the World Wide Web!
Independent Television Commission <http://www.itc.co.uk/>
USELESS FACT: Physcrophilia is the sexual arousal created by cold.
A recent USELESS FACT said that "The Australian emu holds the land speed record for birds at 31 mph."
Simon Mansfield notes that "Australia has been metric since 1974 so the Emu does 50Km/hr which is to be new urban speed limit if the politicians have the balls to do it."
USELESS FACT: An Elephant's trunk can hold almost nine [British] pints of water. (Now convert that to litres!)
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