Sat-ND, 20.04.1998

Sat-ND, 20.04.1998

Sat-ND, 20.04.98
As for unknown reasons not mentioned on former top TV star Roy Cakes' (who's been on dole for a year) show on Vermin Radio tonight, but why should he mention this nonsense anyway?

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Nickelodeon in Hungary
Ha, ha, ha: ComedyNet
U.S. broadcasters and Banana republics
Internet via satellite? Read this first
Sky Scottish
Cable TV in India
Rupert goes East


Nickelodeon in Hungary

Nickelodeon and Hungarian Broadcasting Corp. have entered into a multi-year arrangement that will bring Hungary its first ever kids' channel, Nickelodeon Hungary.

Created exclusively for kids, Nickelodeon Hungary will be transmitted daily in Hungarian and will be received nation-wide via cable and MMDS (microwave distribution.) Nickelodeon will be responsible for programming and overall creative direction. Hungarian Broadcasting Corp. will spearhead local operations, advertising sales and distribution for the channel.

Nickelodeon, a programming service of Viacom International Inc., is currently seen in more than 100 million households world-wide on dedicated channels in Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Latin America, the Nordic region and the United States, and has been seen in over 100 countries via individual programme sales.

Hungarian Broadcasting Corporation is a leading satellite-to-cable television broadcaster and media services company with two stations -- MSAT and SZIV TV -- currently reaching about 39 percent of the television households in Hungary. The Company has also contracted to purchase 44 percent of Galaxie TV Network in the Czech Republic. Upon shareholder approval, HBCO is expected to change its name to Global Television Networks, Inc.

Ha, ha, ha: ComedyNet

American Interactive Media, Inc. (http://www.aime-inc.com/) will laucnh ComedyNet, a 24-hour comedy network on the Internet on May 1 (http://www.comedynet.com/.)

It will form part of a planned multi-phase migration strategy to include broadband, cable, satellite and other digital and interactive platforms in 1999. The unveiling of the content and marketing components will take place at The National Cable Television Association (NCTA) convention according to Mark Graff, president of AIME.

Mark Graff is the founder of Graff Pay-Per-View, the pay-per-view industry's leading revenue producer which is or was also known for their adult channels Spice and Adam & Eve.

The "phase one" Internet roll-out will serve several objectives: first, it will enable ComedyNet to test programming and gauge response immediately; second, it will create a brand and build awareness and an audience before migrating to other distribution platforms; and third, it will create and introduce unique opportunities to potential advertisers and sponsors.

"We are going to be a free-form network not restricted by half-hour blocks. If something is funny, it will find its way onto our air regardless of its length. We intend to be a hotbed of creative energy. A place where talent, both established and newcomers, can freely experiment, take risks and explore with no holds barred. It's a network without the net," said Graff.


U.S. broadcasters and Banana republics

The U. S. of A. have an international broadcaster called Voice of America (VOA.) In addition, God's own country has over the past decades set up what I would call missionary radio and even TV operations with clearly defined targets.

Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty are such operations. They're relics of the cold war but surprisingly enough, the didn't disappear along with communism. Instead, they moved from Munich to Prague (it's cheaper to broadcast from there) and tried to convince Central and Eastern Europe of the American Way of Life.

Sometimes their methods that can at best be called naive, although impudent may rather be the proper word. For instance, Radio Liberty has been broadcasting locally in the Caucasus republic of Azerbaijan without any license since 1993. Last Thursday, the station received a letter from the local government that it had to obtain a license by today midnight local time.

In any country of the world, you need a license to broadcast -- even in the USA. Radio Liberty officials should have known that but instead probably thought they were operating in a banana republic, Consequently, they appeared quite surprised that their obviously illegal broadcasts are to be taken of the airwaves today although short-wave transmissions from outside the country are, of course, still possible.

Mirza Khazar, director of Radio Liberty's Azerbaijani service said that the president of the Radio Liberty Corporation planned to bring the issue before the U.S. Congress if the matter were not settled in the next few days. Quite futile, because not even the U.S. Congress is in a position to issue licenses for radio stations in that country.

News agencies quoted observers as saying that "the government's intention is clear. They are trying to limit the access to alternative information." While this may be true, it's probably not a natural law that alternative information in the Caucasus region has to be provided by U.S. government funded operations.

Can you, for instance, imagine that Azerbaijan would set up an FM station in, say, Texas without obtaining a license? I just can't.

Internet via satellite? Read this first

DTT Consulting has issued an Internet Via Satellite Report that addresses the key issues for satellite operators, service providers, carriers, space and ground segment manufacturers, software companies, PC suppliers, ISPs, policy makers and regulators involved in using satellites for Internet traffic.

It provides original market research and analysis on the current markets and future developments in Internet environment as it affects the satellite industry. It is aimed at senior management, consultants and researchers needing both raw information and an understanding of the economics of the current and evolving marketplace.

Judging from the management summary, it seems that this report is not the usual "the future's so bright I gotta wear shades" stuff but offers a realistic assessment of what's hot -- and what's not.

The report is available for US$995 from DTT Consulting, email: interspace@enterprise.net or telephone +44 1962 877850.


Sky Scottish

Darrel Thornton wrote:

"I hope you enjoyed your holiday."

Not at all :-(

"Surely the Scots channel has been off satellite for months ? The last time I remember seeing it was in 1997. Or has it moved to some transponder that I don't look at? Satellite Times makes no mention of it in their transponder listing either."

Yes, you're quite right, but this actually is a bit of a new concept that's undoubtedly going to revolutionise journalism. Who says that news have to be new? Instead, this so-called newsletter will in future specialise in old news. Maybe I'll even repeat older issues just for fun. Why re-invent the wheel? There are repeats on TV, why not here? Typically Sat-ND -- always one step beyond. Or behind. Or something like that.

Cable TV in India

As I mentioned yesterday that India has "more than one thousand of [Cable Operators]", Mr. Dinyar Contractor was kind enough to send me some information on the Indian CATV scenario. Yes, dear readers, this is the kind of input I expect from you if you really want this so-called newsletter to continue.

"India is easily one of the 5 largest countries in terms of installed CATV homes. The country with a population of approximately 800 Million has approximately 60 Million TVs and 18.5 Million CATV homes. It has more CATV homes than Germany or the rest of Europe (excluding Germany) put together.

"Bombay alone has approximately 1 Million CATV homes (that's about as much as all of the UK).

"These 18.5 Million Indian CATV subscribers are serviced by approximately 30,000 CATV Networks. Typical monthly subscription is UK PS 2.5 per month per home. This includes 4 subscription / pay channels viz STAR Movies, Zee Cinema (Indian Movies), ESPN and STAR Sports.

"India receives approximately 80, free-to-air, analogue C Band satellite channels in relevant languages (English, Hindi and various regional languages but excluding Mandarin, Burmese, etc). We also receive more than 30 C Band digital (MPEG-2) transmissions including HallMark, which is currently free-to-air.

"India is a large and vibrant CATV market for both locally manufactured and imported products. Major companies such as Scientific Atlanta and General Instrument have established offices in the country and plan to shortly commence manufacturing their products locally."

There's no free dinner, I know, so I'll be more than happy to tell you that Mr. Dinyar Contractor is Executive Director of SATELLITE & CABLE TV, India's largest monthly magazine published exclusively for this industry in English.

"We also organise the annual SCaT India trade show held in Bombay (Mumbai) each year in October. It is the country's largest Satellite & CATV Tradeshow. Now in its 7th year, the Tradeshow is recognised by the Government of India, the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation, etc...

"SATELLITE & CABLE TV magazine can be read free on the Internet at: http://www.web-maniacs.com/scat/

"For further details contact SATELLITE & CABLE TV; 27-A, Madhu Industrial Estate, 1st Floor; P. B. Marg, Worli; Bombay -- 400 013. Tel: +91 -22 494 8280 / 498 4273; Fax: +91 -22 496 3465; Email: scat@pobox.com or dinyar@pobox.com."


by Dr Sarmaz

Rupert goes East

Just for a change, here's an only slightly edited press release from News Corp. Do with as ye may.

News Corporation and PLD Telekom Inc. announced agreements in which News America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corporation Limited, will buy a 38% interest in PLD, a Nasdaq listed telecommunications company with operations in the former Soviet Union.

In these transactions, News Corporation will purchase Cable and Wireless plc's shareholding in PLD, and PLD will acquire, directly and indirectly, certain other C&W assets in the former Soviet Union.

News Corporation, in turn, is negotiating to sell one-half of its interest in PLD to LogoVAZ, a major Russian industrial conglomerate.

As part of several integrated transactions, News America has agreed to purchase

PLD Telekom Inc. is a major provider of high quality local, long distance and international telecommunications services in the former Soviet Union. Its three principal business units are: PeterStar [PeterStar... I really love that!] which provides integrated local, long distance and international telecommunications in St Petersburg through a fully digital fibre optic network; Teleport-TP, which provides international telecommunications services from Moscow and operates a pan-Russian long distance network; and BECET International, which provides the only national cellular service in the Republic of Kazakhstan. As a result of these transactions, PLD Telekom will gain a further 11% interest in its subsidiary PeterStar, bringing its total holding to 71%, and a 50% holding in Belcel, which provides the only national cellular service in the Republic of Belarus.

[BTW: I'm currently trying to find out whether the man's name is Keith Rupert Murdoch or Rupert Keith Murdoch. Anybody got any idea? Cheers.]

Copyright 1998, Peter C. Klanowski, pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved. Peter C Klanowski shall not be liable for errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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