TS News - FCC Rules Against TCI/Telesat DBS Plans

TELE-satellit News, 31 October 1996

FCC Rules Against TCI/Telesat DBS Plans
  OTTAWA, Canada, 96/10/31 (TS) -- America's Federal Communications
Commission has ruled against plans by Tele-Communications Inc. to launch a
direct broadcasting service to the US on satellites it was going to sell to
Canada's Telesat.

  The proposed plan would have side-stepped a current shortage of US orbital
slots by utilizing Canadian space in the Clarke Belt. TCI, together with
partner TelQuest Ventures Inc., was planning to beam as many as 200 channels
to viewers in the US.

  It now looks like TCI will launch its own satellite in February, through
its Tempo Satellite subsidiary, which will broadcast around 77 channels from
the new craft at 119 degrees West. Speculation surfaced last week that TCI
may provide home to News Corporation's planned American Sky Broadcasting
(ASkyB) venture.

  Larry Boisvert, Telesat's president and CEO reacted to the ruling saying,
"This decision won't deter Telesat from bringing Canada a world-class
direct-to-home satellite system. We have the resources, the expertise and
the unparalleled track record of providing satellite solutions for our
customers, and we're already working on other innovative ways to find new
capacity for Canadians."

  "One way or another, Telesat will eventually be a provider of
direct-to-home satellite facilities right across North America," he added.

  TCI is America's largest cable company.

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

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