Sat-ND, 16.02.1998 -- Burp!
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Rupert doing "media-linked business" in South Korea
You did not miss too much during the last Sat-ND break. A significant part of the press releases published during that time hinged upon launch delays owing to inclement weather, usually high upper-level winds.
Almost all satellites have made it sooner or later though, just the five Iridiums that were originally scheduled for launch on January 31 are still on the ground. Now for the news: the next attempt for the Delta-II flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base will be made tomorrow, January 17, at 6:03 PST. Rocket manufacturer Boeing said will provide a live satellite broadcast feed from 5:30-6:30 a.m. PST on Galaxy K7, Transponder 16.
USELESS FACT: The ancient Greeks believed that boys developed in the right hand side of the womb and girls in the left.
Intelsat announced that four new broadcasters and service providers have just signed contracts for service on the Intelsat 806 satellite: Globosat/TV Globo (Brazil), America TV (Peru), IMPSAT Venezuela, and Wold [typo?] Communications. These contracts bring the number of digital TV channels on Levis... er Intelsat 806, to be positioned at 40.5°W, to over 70.
The launch of Intelsat Latin American "Hot Bird" is scheduled for February 27, four days earlier than previously announced. The launch will take place from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and will use a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIAS rocket.
With an effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) of up to 40 dBW over the Americas and Europe, the Intelsat 806 spacecraft will have a potential audience of nearly 90 million people, with coverage reaching every TV home in Latin America. In addition, Intelsat 806 is the only satellite with coverage of the Americas and Europe (as far east as Berlin), via earth stations as small as 1.8 meters.
The satellite has been designed to enable Latin America, the U.S. and Europe to be covered by a single uplink and downlink beam. This unique design allows for contribution and distribution applications on both sides of the Atlantic, offering the same EIRP on both beams. Intelsat 806's special hemi beam gives customers the ability to simultaneously downlink in North and South America as well as Europe -- with no extra charge.
USELESS FACT: Boys under the age of 10 are twice as likely to show symptoms of hay fever as are girls.
U.S. broadcaster CNBC formally introduced its combined Asian business news operations with Dow Jones & Co. Which was launched earlier this month.
CNBC says it has 10 million full-time subscribers in Asia and 50 million part-time subscribers. Darryl Dorrington, president of Asia Business News Japan, told a news conference in Tokyo that the company aims at more than 100,000 subscribers in Japan by the end of the year, which is more than triple the current number of subscribers.
The channel is carried by PerfecTV and DirecTV, both of which reportedly have failed to reach their subscriber targets anyway.
The new combined channel will not only offer the usual constant wash of financial news but also "magazine" features as well as a "business game show." Entitled "Corporate raiders," its probably won't deal with ailing business channels' mergers.
USELESS FACT: Coca-Cola contains neither coca nor cola.
The economic crisis in Thailand has forced the country's largest pay-TV operators to merge. International Broadcasting Corp. (IBC) signed an agreement to take an 86 percent stake in Universal Television Cable Network (UTV), the companies said in a joint statement.
IBC and UTV, which currently have an effective duopoly in the pay-TV market in Thailand, have a combined subscriber base of about 300,000, 60 percent of which are UTV clients.
"Taking into account the current economic climate and foreseeable difficulties in the coming years, IBC and UTV have decided to unite their pay-TV businesses to enable them to survive this difficult time," the statement said, adding that both firms' assets totalled three billion baht (US$64 million.)
The two companies will keep their names and licenses but have a single management team. here would be no change in subscribers' fees until the new executive team takes control in both company in April. Programming on both pay-TV packages will be changed to the effect that they eventually offer the same, which enables costs to be lowered by combining programme purchasing. Subscribers would be able to choose between UTV's fibre-optic cable and IBC's satellite system (IBC is owned by Shinawatra, which also operates the Thaicom satellites.)
According to reports, the companies' combined losses are estimated at the equivalent of US$136 million. They are mainly caused by skyrocketing operational costs in the wake of the fall of the Thai baht. Up to 900 staff could be laid off after the merger. Company executives have meanwhile rejected those figures, saying that the number of people to be made redundant and the reported losses of the firms was "greatly exaggerated."
USELESS FACT: The world's smallest mammal is the bumblebee bat of Thailand, weighing less than a penny.
Pope John Paul II called on the Church to monitor the mass media, which he said poses a danger "for faith, morality and human development in general." Modern means of communication were "not just an instrument to inform but they also create their own world."
USELESS FACT: The word "sex" was coined in 1382.
As reported (Sat-ND, 31.1.08,) South Africa is currently in the process of issuing a license for a nation-wide commercial terrestrial TV channel. Meanwhile, Communications Minister Jay Naidoo hinted the country's foreign ownership restrictions on broadcast media were under review.
"At this stage, I can't say it will be increased, but it certainly won't be decreased," Naidoo said. The possibility of an increase from the present 20 percent maximum had been raised by various quarters. The issue would be dealt with in detail in his department's white paper on broadcasting to be released in the first quarter of the year, he added.
USELESS FACT: Forty-five different kinds of antelope can be found in Africa.
The Palestinian Authority has ordered media in the self-rule territories to censor all commentaries deal with the stand-off between Iraq and the USA.
The Palestinian information ministry has told all commercial television and radio stations in the self-ruled territories they "must abstain from broadcasting any comment or declaration relative to developments in the Iraqi crisis, and limit themselves to giving news without commentaries." The ministry said that concerns for "the Palestinians' higher national interests" and for "national security" justified the censorship decision.
USELESS FACT: It is forbidden for an Olympic wrestler to twist his opponent's toes.
British Culture Secretary Chris Smith has outlined his "guidelines" for the TV industry.
Unlike in the United States, there are no plans for an early switch to digital TV. Broadcasters will be required to continue conventional transmissions for 12 to 15 years. They may then switch off analogue distribution only if 99 percent of the the population have access to a digital TV set.
Said Smith: "No one is going to be forced into adopting and paying for digital TV when they cannot afford it." He noted that [just for once?] the UK will not follow the U.S. lead. The Federal Communications Commission had originally planned to switch to digital by 2006 but later dropped that plan in reaction to negative consumer feedback.
USELESS FACT: On January 13, 1981, a young girl in Great Britain began sneezing and continued to sneeze for 977 consecutive days. She sneezed an estimated one million times in the first 365 days alone.
Yesterday, Sat-ND reported about Lockheed Martin's involvement in the construction of state-of-the-art U.S. spy satellites. This time, we tell you how girl scouts might be involved in the construction of the next generation of reconnaissance spacecraft.
The Lockheed Martin Science Career Exploration Fund will help Girl Scouts underwrite their "Girls at the Center" (GAC) project with a US$-300,000 grant, the company said in a press release.
The GAC program makes science accessible to girls and their families in "underrepresented communities" [whatever U.S. peculiarity that may be] and provides older girls (12-17) with opportunities for leadership and achievement in math and science.
The Lockheed Martin grant will help GAC learning centres in 15 cities establish local and on-line career mentor programs as well as develop model projects in science, math, and technology career exploration.
USELESS FACT: Although starring in many gangster films, James Cagney started his career as a chorus girl. (Actually I was looking for the useless fact that claimed cheerleaders were originally male, but never mind.)
By Dr Sarmaz
King Rupert has added another country to his almost global media realm: South Korea.
Mr Murdoch's News Corp. signed a joint venture agreement with Seoul's telecommunications firm Dacom Corp for a digital satellite broadcasting business in South Korea.
"In co-operation with Dacom and Star TV, I have been studying the validity of the satellite business," Mr Murdoch said after meeting President-elect Kim Dae-jung on Friday. "I have a lot of interest in media-linked businesses."
"I think an entry into my country by a prominent media entrepreneur, like chairman Murdoch, will give a lot of impetus to the domestic media market's development," Kim said.
Under the deal, Dacom's DSM and News Corp would form a domestic consortium to set up a joint venture digital satellite company. "Details haven't yet been decided," a Dacom spokesman said. "Further discussions will take place."
It seems that DSM will hold a majority stake in the joint venture, though. Observers noted that were there also regulatory uncertainties as existing broadcasting laws do not address the new satellite business very well. Kim reportedly told Murdoch his government would try to relax various regulations.
USELESS FACT: All the Korea-related entries in my useless facts database deal with the war the U.S. led against Korea.
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