Sat-UK-News #236 19.04.98: NBC, ANN

Sat-UK-News Report #236:
- NBC-ya!
- ANN left HotBird 2;  more Skyplex on HotBird 4
- Satellite War Continues
sunday 19th april 1998
Email: dsedghi@TELE-Satellite.com OR dominic@bigrp.demon.co.uk
Sat-UK-Web: http://www.sat-uk.com/
UK Satellite Control: http://www.sat-net.com/uk-satellite/
And now the news:

 Well, I got in a bit late yesterday night and so I missed the first Box
Office fight. Rang up the automated service to pay for the other two and
the replays (sorry Box Office haters - I love boxing!). "Leave your card
in the machine and it will be activated within 20 minutes" - yeah sure.
Half an hour and I still didn't have it. So I tried again. "Another
signal has been sent to your card. 20 minutes max" - no luck. Well, a
human is better than a machine so I rang the customer service line (0990
10 20 30) - didn't get through. Nor the second time. Nor the third. Nor
the fourth, fifth, sixth... right up to call #234. Call #235 I did. A
charming woman spoke to me, took my name and address and activated the
card in 5 seconds. HOW'S THAT FOR SERVICE?! Sky Television has just shot
down in my estimation and I wanted to tell you all. If it weren't for
South Park and the fact that Sky have every sport on TV, my subscription
might be a subject of debate... Sorry if the following reports seem to
be written in a bad mood.

---------- NBC-ya!
 You just can't do that over here! When will the Yanks learn that in
Europe, US-style programming just doesn't work? It didn't work with CMT,
it didn't work with the Weather Channel, and now it seems it hasn't
worked with NBC Europe. But then, putting it at 13 degrees east, which
not very many UK satellite households pick up, setting all the
programmes back an hour, and translating very few programmes for its
main market, Germany, how could they expect to do well? Rumour has it
that NBC Europe will leave all satellites before the end of July, as
will NBC Asia. They just couldn't pull in the profits needed. They will
be replaced by CNBC and National Geographic, the one broadcasting in the
morning and the other in the afternoon (and call me sour, but can't CNBC
just stick to ONE transponder???). One can't but think that if they had
started off on Astra...

---------- ANN left HotBird 2; more Skyplex on HotBird 4
 ANN - Arab News Network has left HotBird 2, 11.766 V. It is now
available in analogue via HotBird 4, 10.949 V PAL/clear, and in digital
via Télécom 2D, 11.493 V MPEG-2/FTA. There is a strong signal now on
11.766 V, but my Nokia 9600S doesn't pick anything up. Furthermore,
Skyplex have now extended their tests on HotBird 4 and have started
transmitting a HotBird promotional and French channel La Cinquième. I
don't know about anyone else, but my picture keeps stopping and starting
- the signal is obviously not that strong.

---------- Satellite War Continues
(source: Sat-ND)
 Eutelsat has announced it will order a satellite, call it Europesat 1
and place it close to one of its main rival's birds. That's the latest
about what even news agencies now call the "European satellite war."
Europesat 1 will be built by Matra Marconi Space and will be available
in orbit by mid-2000. Equipped with 36 transponders, Eutelsat plans to
locate the satellite at 29E. At 28.2E, however, there will be probably
at least two Astra satellites in 2000, delivering digital TV to the UK.
So, is this some kind of war or rather a clever trick by Eutelsat? Both
positions can be received with a single satellite dish. A Eutelsat
spokeswoman was quoted as saying that "We have made a proposal that
would allow the sharing of frequencies in the 28.2-29 range between the
two groups. There is enough space for two. Maybe, as Deutsche Telekom
happens to be a major shareholder in both SES and Eutelsat. The problem
is that according to the rules for the allocation of orbital slots by
the Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union, this situation
couldn't possibly have happened.

All contents (C) 1998 Dominic Sedghi, except where indicated. All
rights reserved. Contents may be reproduced providing the following
is included: "Provided by Sat-UK - www.sat-uk.com/".
Information is subject to change and/or may be incorrect.

      CONTACT ME AT dominic@bigrp.demon.co.uk

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