TS News - Italian Channels On Hot Bird 2

TELE-satellit News, 16 October 1996

Italian Channels On Hot Bird 2
  MILAN, Italy, 96/10/16 (TS) -- The launch of the long awaited Eutelsat Hot
Bird 2 satellite has been confirmed for November 12 by Robert Hersov,
vice-president of pay-TV Telepiu. At Toulouse, in France he presented his
companies plans for the new satellite which will be able to offer more than
50 new digital satellite TV channels.

  Telepiu which has leased 4 transponders plans to use them to broadcast
around 30 channels. Other Italian media companies - RAI, Stream and Mediaset
have also leased transponders on the new satellite.

  Thanks to Hot Bird 2, Telepiu will be able to offer new thematic channels,
including a new news and information channel operated by Ansa and Bloomberg
and a second movie channel with programming similar to Tele +1. This will be
a near-video-on-demand service, showing movies at staggered times, with
viewers being able to choose the movie and the time, paying per single
movie. The new satellite will also enable Telepiu to offer live all Serie B
football matches (with the possibility to pay individually for each match).

  There are also plans of starting another dedicated sports channel (similar
to Tele +2) which would entirely be dedicated to Formula 1 coverage.
Depending on the package (bouquet) selected viewers will spend between 80 DM
a year to 57 DM a month.

  Hersov expects that by the end of '96 Telepiu will have around 100,000 to
its digital satellite service while this number is expected to rise to
300-500,000 during next year. Telepiu's investments into digital satellite
television are estimated at around 700 million DM, with the network starting
to make profit in three or four years time. Robert Hersov also confirmed
that Telepiu will only focus on Italy with no plans for expansion into other

  Eutelsat Hot Bird 2 will be the most powerful European telecommunications
satellite and viewers in Italy will be able to receive it with 45 cm dishes
(instead of 120 cm for other satellites).

  By: Branislav Pekic

(c)TELE-satellit 1996. All rights reserved.

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