TELE-satellit News - 17 December 1995
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This week's edition brings you up to date with two weeks worth of
EUROPE'S SATELLITE MAGAZINE
International Satellite Broadcasting News
Number 81, Week ending 17 December 1995
By Martyn Williams
News Desk : Internet firstname.lastname@example.org or CompuServe CIS:martynw
(c) TELE-satellit Magazine
It was with great regret that TELE-satellit passes on news of the
passing away of Rene Vreeman, a Dutch satellite enthusiast
particularly active on Fidonet and the Internet and a friend of this
Rene passed away last Thursday night/Friday morning after being in a
coma for several hours. He had been ill for some time.
Rene will be remembered as a helpful and friendly person who was
always willing to lend a hand and help fellow satellite enthusiasts.
He devoted much time, and showed much patience, in listening to the
technical problems others were having and tried to provide solutions.
Rene will be buried on Tuesday at 11.00 am at
'de Algemene Begraafplaats in Heemstede', address Glipperdreef.
TELE-satellit wishes his wife and son lots of strength in the future.
Any readers that knew Rene and would like to express condolences may
do so to the Vreeman family:
NEWS CHANNEL BATTLE BEGINS
LONDON, England (TS) -- To anyone following global broadcasting five
years ago the announcements of the last two weeks may seem familiar.
Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s almost all of the big news
organizations in the world, ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, NHK, ARD, ZDF, TF1,
Antenne 2, and others, were all planning to set up global news
channels in partnership with one or two other companies. Well, nothing
ever came of any of the plans, except perhaps BBC World and Deutsche
Welle TV, but now its all back on, only with the US networks taking
NEW YORK, USA (SHOPTALK) -- The media Gods are warring and we
mortals can just sit back and enjoy the show.
Ted Turner welcomed Rupert Murdoch's plans to launch a 24-hour news
channel Wednesday, saying "We look forward to fighting with anybody
who wants to get in the ring with us. We're going to squash Rupert
like a bug!" In regard to Murdoch's accusation that CNN is biased,
Turner had little comment, saying only that he had refused buyout
offers by Murdoch over the years. "He's tried to figure out a way to
compete with CNN for years.
He tried to buy us and we wouldn't sell to him," he said. Turner
added that a bonus to his recent merger with Time Warner was that the
media conglomerate was larger than Murdoch's operation. (NY Daily
ABC ANNOUNCES NEWS CHANNEL PLANS
NEW YORK, USA (SHOPTALK) -- CapCities/ABC announced that it plans to
launch a 24-hour news network that could be delivered to viewers by a
mix of cable, telephone or new technologies sometime in 1997.
The network sees the news channel as a way to take advantage of ABC
News's strong reputation and brand name. Because ABC News already
gathers more news that it can use on the ABC network, programming for
the new service would also be low cost and help amortize some of the
news divisions expenses.
The biggest problem facing the new news network is channel space.
Some new cable networks, including The History Channel and ESPN2, in
which ABC has ownership stakes are already battling for a limited
number of spots available on crowded cable systems.
The new service faces a potentially crowded field. News Corp.
Chairman Rupert Murdoch has also said he is considering starting his
own all-news network to compete against Cable News Network. ABC's
service is expected to have more local news than CNN, provided by
ABC's 200-plus affiliated stations. (Wall Street Journal)
NBC, MICROSOFT ANNOUNCE NETWORK PLANS
NEW YORK, USA (SHOPTALK) -- NBC and Microsoft Corp. announced
yesterday that they plan to invest up to $100 million over the next
few years in a new 24-hour news channel.
Sources said Thursday that the two companies plan to explore other
ways in which they can combine NBC's brand names with Microsoft's
personal-computer networks as well. America's Talking, NBC's
17-month-old cable network will be canceled to provide a platform for
starting the network, which is expected to debut in the second quarter
The new network will be overseen by NBC News president Andrew Lack
and will be produced from the Ft. Lee, NJ studios where CNBC and
America's Talking are produced. (LA Times)
BATTLE BEGINS FOR CABLE SPACE
NEW YORK, USA (SHOPTALK) -- Word has it that NBC and Capital
Cities/ABC Inc. hope to sway cable operators away from CNN (and toward
their proposed rivals) by playing on cable's fears that the joint
venture between Time Warner Inc. and Turner Broadcasting System Inc.
will have too much power in the market.
Currently, as a result of the merger, Time Warner and Turner
Broadcasting control both Home Box Office and Cable News Network.
Officials at both NBC and ABC have confirmed that the Time Warner
issue is key as they try to find room for their channels on already
crowded cable systems. Time Warner refused to comment--as did
Microsoft, NBC and Capital Cities/ABC Inc. (Wall Street Journal)
CBS NEWS FORMS NEW NETWORK
NEW YORK, USA (SHOPTALK) -- CBS News has formed the world's largest
satellite newsgathering service, it was announced last week by Eric
Ober, President, CBS News.
It's comprised of CBS News and 13 other broadcasters from Europe and
Japan and is based in Luxembourg. It began its cooperative operation
on December 1st. The live news portion of the service will be operated
by CBS News out of its London bureau, giving CBS News an even greater
level of access and reliability in covering world events. CBS News and
its affiliates will enjoy exclusive broadcast rights in the United
ABC TO EXPAND AUSTRALIAN NEWS PROGRAMMING
ATLANTA, USA (SA) -- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is
currently in the initial stages of implementing a PowerVu digital
video compression system from Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., that will span
the entire three million square miles of the Australian continent for
enhanced, expanded news program broadcasting. In addition to the
PowerVu system, The ABC is also installing eight Scientific-Atlanta
satellite earth stations using 6-, 7-, and 9-meter antennas.
The ABC transmits syndicated program material, such as news items
and sports coverage, between Australia's states using satellite links
for its TV interchange service. All programming is routed through
Sydney where it is edited and retransmitted, or scheduled for instant
on- air viewing around the nation. The new PowerVu digital system
would enable The ABC to send multiple channels of programming over a
single satellite transponder.
"Digital video compression is a cost-effective way for us to
distribute news feeds, current affairs reports, and other programs,"
said Ray Reynolds, national manager of technical operations at ABC
television. "Compression lets us increase the number of programs
transmitted on the same amount of bandwidth."
The new Scientific-Atlanta earth stations will provide The ABC with
total coverage of the continent for its syndicated news items and
other programs. A dual antenna earth station featuring both 6- and
9-meter antennas is planned for Sydney, while Darwin will have a
9-meter antenna. Other capital cities, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide,
Perth, Brisbane and Hobart, will receive 7-meter earth stations. All
of the earth stations will transmit programming via the Optus B-1
BET TO LAUNCH JAZZ CHANNEL IN AFRICA
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (BET) -- BET International will launch
BET On Jazz: The Cable Jazz Channel as part of South Africa's
MultiChoice bouquet throughout southern Africa starting April 1, 1996,
via satellite on PAS-4.
BET On Jazz: The Cable Jazz Channel, which launches in the U.S. on
January 15, 1996, will be the first national and international
television programming service dedicated exclusively to jazz music and
As part of the MultiChoice package, BET On Jazz: The Cable Jazz
Channel will be accessible to viewers throughout South Africa,
Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Botswana. The
network joins a host of other international channels on the
MultiChoice bouquet including M*Net and its three expanded thematic
services -- Movie Magic, SuperSport, and K-TV; CNN International; BBC
World; Sky News; ESPN; VH1; Cartoon Network; Discovery; and SciFi.
ARIANE LAUNCHES TWO SATELLITES
KOUROU, French Guiana (TS) -- On December 6, Arianespace
successfully placed into orbit the Telecom 2C satellite for France
Telecom, and Insat 2C for the Indian Space Research Organization --
The launch from the Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, was
carried out by an Ariane 44L and took place at 2023 local time, 1823
EST, 0023 CET December 7th.
Telecom 2C, France Telecom's sixth satellite is equipped with 10
C-band transponders, 11 Ku-band transponders and 5 X-band
transponders. It will provide telecommunications services between
mainland France and overseas departments, as well as TV broadcasting
and business communications services in France, and a government
communications package. Design life is greater than 10 years.
Insat 2C is the third second-generation satellite designed and built
by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). It will provide
radio and TV broadcast services for India, as well as business
communications services. Insat C is equipped with 27 transponders,
including 17 C-band, 6 wide C-band, 3
Ku-band and one S-band unit. Insat 2C's expected lifetime is 12 years.
The next launch, Flight 82, is scheduled for January 9, 1996. An
Ariane 44L launch vehicle will be used to place two telecommunications
satellites into geostationary transfer orbit: PAS 3R for PanAmSat
Corp. of the United States, and Measat 1, the first Malaysian
telecommunications satellite, for the company Binariang Sdn Bhd.
BT OPENS PAS-4 GATEWAY
LONDON, England (BT) -- PanAmSat Corp. has announced that British
Telecom has completed a major European transmissions gateway for
broadcasters to access PanAmSat's PAS-4 satellite, which provides
coverage of Africa, Asia, Europe, the Indian subcontinent and the
The two companies have also entered into a marketing arrangement to
attract broadcast customers that will tap into the combined resources
of PanAmSat satellite capacity and BT earth station facilities.
During a ceremony in Martlesham, PanAmSat's Frederick A. Landman and
BT's John Swingewood unveiled the 16-meter C-band earth station.
Doordarshan, India's national broadcaster, will be the first customer
to use the gateway. Its signals will be relayed via the PAS-4 Indian
Ocean Region satellite from India to Martlesham and then transmitted
via the PAS-1 Atlantic Ocean Region satellite to the United States.
TVBI INCREASES PAS-2 USE
HONG KONG (TS) -- Hong Kong-based TVBI is increasing its use of the
PanAmSat 2 satellite. The broadcaster already uses PAS-2 for its
service to mainland China and will now begin using PAS-2 for regional
and international distribution of its television programming.
The new service, one digital channel on PAS-2's C-band Pacific Rim
beam, will be uplinked from Hong Kong and allow for distribution of
TVBI programming throughout Asia. In addition, TVBI plans to use the
service for news gathering and delivery to the United States via
PanAmSat's Sylmar, California teleport. From Sylmar, the feed will be
transmitted via fiber to and from TVBI's U.S studios in Norwalk,
California. The new service is expected to commence shortly.
ANTENA 1 TO USE DIGITAL TRANSMISSION
BUCHAREST, Romania (SA) -- Antena 1, Romania's first private
television network, has selected Scientific-Atlanta, to supply its
PowerVu MPEG 2-/DVB-compliant digital video compression equipment to
enable the broadcaster to provide more diversified programming, and to
make it available to more Romanians.
One of the major components in the Antena 1 satellite television
distribution system will be a new 4.5-meter earth station system from
Scientific-Atlanta. This powerful ground station will enable Antena 1
to be the first organization in Europe to use the PowerVu system,
Scientific-Atlanta's new MPEG 2/DVB digital television compression
offering. In addition to video distribution, Antena 1 will also use
the versatile equipment for teletext, one separate stereo audio
channel, and for high-speed data transmissions.
Antena 1's new equipment is scheduled to begin operation in December
1995 over the EUTELSAT II F4 satellite.
Antena 1 holds broadcast licenses for transmission into 10 Romanian
cities with additional applications pending. According to the company,
it is the only broadcaster in the country with near-24 hour a day
programming that includes films, news, sports, entertainment, public
debates, and advertising. In many cities, its broadcasts are also
carried by local cable operators, allowing the company to claim it has
the highest viewing audience in the country among private
BT LAUNCHES NEW WEB SITE
LONDON, England (TS) -- Are you setting up a radio station or want
to cut your news-gathering costs? Probably not, but you might still be
interested in British Telecom Broadcast Services' web site. They offer
almost everything from a managed terrestrial television network and
satellite uplink to facilities for a TV or radio outside broadcast.
Many satellite surfers know their trailer on EUTELSAT II-F3. But
there's much more to be seen on this comprehensive web site than just
an introduction to products and services.
You can take a virtual tour of BTs Broadcast services, have a
real-time look at currently used satellite transponders, and read the
latest press releases. Everything is easy to understand (and in case
you dont speak English, there's a section en francais.)
Most interesting, but still somewhat under construction is a library
containing information about broadcasters, "how to watch or listen to
them and who to complain to if you have a problem."
MORE DUTCH RADIO ONLINE
LUBECK, GERMANY (TS) -- Wat is Kink FM? If you ever asked yourself
this question in Dutch, you should start up your browser, visit their
web site and you will get the answer.
You will also be able to see the usual frequency charts, programming
details, playlists, link collection and a section called "Fuck U Fuck
One may also listen to them, however. Kink FM, which belongs to the
commercial media empire of Veronica, is broadcast over terrestrial
outlets in the Netherlands and on ASTRA 1D.
http://www.kinkfm.com (Email: email@example.com)
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Don Fitzpatrick of DFA in San Francisco for providing permission to
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OMRI material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media Research
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Reproduction in part of Jonathan's Space Report was maded possible by
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about international broadcasting. Radio Sweden has presented this
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