TS News - UK Market Roundup

TELE-satellit News, 4 December 1996

UK Market Roundup
  LONDON, England, 96/12/04 (TS) -- This is a roundup of recent news from
the UK satellite and cable TV marketplace.

Flextech Shakes Up Channels

  Flextech has shaken up some of the channels it owns and operates. With a
greater emphasis on telephone based competitions and games, The Family
Channel will change its name to Challenge TV from February 1. Meanwhile The
Children's Channel is moving some programming over to UK Living. Tiny
Living will be a new programming block aimed at pre-schoolers. Playboy TV
is to extend its broadcasting hours by signing on at 2330 UK each night and
later hours are also in the cards for Bravo. The channel will extend its
hours until 0600 UK, when EBN takes over the transponder.

CNN Loosing Homes

  Cable News Network is loosing a number of cable homes in the UK. The
channel, a basic offering on almost every UK cable network since they
began, is facing increased competition from news services, such as Sky News
and Euronews, and new financial news channels, such as CNBC Europe and EBN.
Currently the channel is available on 92 percent of UK networks but with
threats from Videotron, Telewest and Bell Cablemedia to drop the service
its penetration could fall to 40 percent. CNN is currently involved in
contract negotiations with these operators and the threats are thought to
be part of their attempts to get the 31 cents per month carriage fee
reduced. Satellite viewers can receive CNN free from the Astra 1B satellite.

Cable Penetration Up

  As of October 1 there were 1.64 million homes connected to cable TV in
the UK, according to the Independent Television Commission. The new figure
represents an increase of 120,000 in three three months since the previous
survey. Homes passed total 7.78 million. A much bigger hit than the TV
service is cable telephony however. 2,015,134 lines were connected as of
the same date.

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

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