Sat-UK: Report #25 - 21.4.97 - Special: Channel 5 On Astra!!!

Report from the Sat-UK mailing list:
Report #25


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And now the news:

---------- FINALLY!!!
Yes finally, Channel 5 has made it - or almost at least.
Since speculation began in September 1996 that Channel 5 might be
planning to broadcast regular programming via the Astra satellite
system, and that it would replace Filmnet 1, which recently left Astra
1A, enthusiasts have been buzzing SES, C5 and Nethold to get all the
info. It never came - indeed, it couldn't - the rumours weren't
completely true.
The theory suffered a further loss when Channel 5 announced that it
would not broadcast terrestrially until March, as opposed to the
previously decided January, when Filmnet 1 was rumoured to leave Astra.
DX'ers had to wait another three to four months in order to be
satisfied. Rumours and fake announcements appeared all over the place,
and were all false.
On March 30th, Channel 5 began broadcasting to around 80% of the British
population, starting regular programming at 6pm GMT. Two days later,
Filmnet 1 did indeed leave Astra 1A, sort of. The D2MAC transmissions
halted, but Channel 5 was nowhere to be seen. Filmnet 1 Nordic continued
to transmit via Videocrypt II, albeit without proper sound. At the same
time, Filmnet CEC (Central European Channel) ceased on Astra 1D, and the
same encrypted Filmnet 1 was broadcast. During this time, TAC - The
Adult Channel, and Radio Vlaanderen International quickly vacated Astra
1D's transponder 63. But where was C5???

In the meantime, Channel 5 had been recording better-than-expected
viewing figures from the four regions of Britain which it serves.
However, there was still 20% (approximately) of the UK who couldn't
receive C5. Potential profits were going down the drain and many people
were unhappy and dejected. The solution was, and always had been, to
broadcast via satellite. It is still now unclear how C5 will be able to
do this; will they have to broadcast encrypted to avoid copyright
infringements?; will they broadcast a special satellite service or
simply one of the regional versions of the channel?; will it be FREE?
Unfortunately, we don't know just yet.
However, today, on April 21st 1997, at around 8pm GMT, Channel 5 started
their satellite channel promotional, featuring none other than the Spice
Girls, who have helped to promote Channel 5 during its launch. It is
currently unknown when the channel will start in full on Astra, but it
should be soon. Two rumours have been cleared up though - C5 IS on
satellite, and it IS NOT part of Sky... Here's to C5's success!!!

You can catch the Channel 5 promotional and future programming on Astra
1D transponder 63 (10.921 H), 6.50/7.02:7.20, Clear PAL.

All contents 1997 Dominic Sedghi. All rights reserved.

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