13/09/07

INDO Quake feeds
Asiasat2, Telkom 1, Telkom 2, Palapa C2

Good Coverage on MEtro TV Palapa C2

GOOD news for EPL fans, FTA satellite coverage coming soon?, see news section.


From my Email & ICQ


From Vaughan

Palapa C2

Just noticed that CH6 which has been colour bars for ages, is now showing
RCTI.


(Craig's comment, I checked with them and this is just a backup feed for RCTI)


From the Dish


Lyngsat catchups

Optus B3 152E 12425 H "MKTV Sat has replaced Mazzika Zoom".
Optus B3 152E 12452 H "Mazzika Zoom has replaced Mazzika".
Optus B3 152E 12564 H "Aghapy TV" is now encrypted.

BSAT 3A has arrived at 110 East.

Measat 1 91.5E "HTV 7 and HTV 9" have left 4169 H, moved to Measat 3: 3794 V.

Express AM2 80E 11044 H "Telekanal Rossiya" has started on , Irdeto.

Intelsat 10 68.5E 3744 V "Big Brother Africa" has started on , Irdeto.


NEWS


TV3 Wins Injunction Against Sky


From Press Release: Pacific Media Watch

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/event/story.cfm?c_id=522&objectid=10463124

By Edward Gay

AUCKLAND (NZ Herald Online/Pacific Media Watch): MediaWorks, owner of New Zealand's TV3, has won an interim injunction against Sky's coverage of the Rugby World Cup.

TV3 issued proceedings in the High Court today saying it believed Sky was in serious breach of the rules surrounding "fair dealing" in its use of footage.

A full hearing of the injunction will take place on Friday.

The ruling imposes a ban on Sky including TV3 Rugby World Cup footage on The Cup, Rugby Highlights (channel 33) and Sport 365 Highlights.

"Clearly Justice Winkelmann agreed that there is a case to answer in relation to Sky's unauthorised use of our footage in a variety of programmes across various Sky channels," said TVWorks chief operating officer Rick Friesen.

"The full hearing of the injunction application on Friday will be an excellent opportunity for us to fully disclose and explain our position in open court. We will seek a permanent injunction against all unauthorised use," said Friesen.

"Our motivation in taking this action is to protect the enormous investment we have made in securing the rights to the Rugby World Cup so that all New Zealanders can enjoy the event live and free-to-air," Friesen said.

"We appreciate the fact that TVNZ has honoured the agreement regarding news coverage of the Rugby World Cup. However Sky has used footage to which it has no rights beyond the scope of the news agreement," Friesen said.

Two weeks before the World Cup kicked off, MediaWorks sent out an announcement to all major media outlets in New Zealand, warning them they were monitoring all coverage.

TV3 paid several million dollars for the exclusive New Zealand rights to broadcast television pictures of the World Cup.

Former TVNZ head of news Bill Ralston said during the Rugby World Cup in 2003 TV One had exclusive rights but came to an agreement with Sky to let them broadcast content outside news programmes.

"We allowed Sport 365, which theoretically is not a news programme, to broadcast some highlights from the World Cup. I remember from my time, TV3 pushed the boundary by taking a bit more than they should," Ralston said.

ends


TV3 bids to halt more Sky Cup coverage


From   http://www.nzherald.co.nz/event/story.cfm?c_id=522&objectid=10463283

Rugby World Cup rights holder TV3 intends to take action against any Sky TV show it believes breaches its exclusive agreement to screen Cup footage.

The pay-TV station was yesterday hit with an interim High Court injunction preventing it using TV3 material on its sports shows.

The ban applies to Sport 365 Highlights, The Cup and Rugby Highlights.

TV3, understood to have paid millions for exclusive rights to the tournament, claimed Sky was using footage outside the terms of a "news access agreement" between TV3, Sky and Television New Zealand.

The agreement allows the broadcasters to use TV3 World Cup footage for news.

TV3's lawyer, Julian Miles, QC, told Justice Helen Winkelman that Sky had been using footage in a "magazine style" format.

The injunction remains in force at least until a full High Court hearing tomorrow. Mr Miles last night told the Herald the station would on Friday try to stop all Sky sports shows using its World Cup footage.

The "primary" aim of the hearing was to see injunctions imposed on Sky, rather than damages being awarded, he said.

TV3 would likely target other shows such as The Crowd Goes Wild, the half-hour form of Sport 365 and Rugby: Re-Union, which all escaped injunction yesterday.

In court, Mr Miles said the use of footage in magazine-style shows did not count as current events reporting, "it merely becomes the anchoring of a chat show".

TV3 was the legitimate provider of Rugby World Cup rights, and Sky was simply trying to build its own legitimacy at TV3's expense, he said.

"We are not stopping them reporting as a current event ... what we are preventing them from doing is cheating."

Sky TV's lawyer, Graeme Hall, told the court the matter could be sorted out in the form of damages, rather than by an injunction, particularly as TV3 had earlier offered to sell Sky rights for some footage for $1 million.

But Sky TV chief executive John Fellett was not worried by the court action.

He said Sky had its own crews in France and had solid rugby contacts, having covered the sport "12 months out of the year".

"Having the exclusive rights to live sporting events doesn't guarantee a blackout of coverage," he said.


TV stations in 'crazy' Rugby World Cup spat


From http://www.stuff.co.nz/4199817a13.html

Sky TV says rival TV3's High Court attempt to reduce the pay-TV operator's use of Rugby World Cup match footage is "crazy" and not in TV3's long-term interests.

TV3 owner MediaWorks was yesterday granted an interim injunction by the High Court in Auckland against Sky.

It prevents Sky broadcasting World Cup match coverage on shows TV3 labels "magazine'' rather than news shows. A full court hearing is set for Friday where TV3 will seek a permanent injunction against what it labels Sky's unauthorised use of its copyright.

MediaWorks is broadcasting the World Cup for the first time after outbidding a combined Sky-Television New Zealand offer. MediaWorks will not disclose how much it paid, but BusinessDay understands it was $12 million.

Sky and TVNZ are allowed to broadcast limited match footage through what is known as "fair dealing." This consists of two minutes of match footage three times a day so long as the coverage is presented as news.

Rick Friesen, chief operating officer of MediaWorks' TV operations, said although Sky could legitimately broadcast World Cup match footage on Sky News and Prime News, it was also doing so on "magazine" shows such as The Cup, Rugby Highlights and Sport 365 Highlights.

"That's directly competitive with the magazine programmes we're running around our World Cup coverage. We paid a heck of a lot of money to get the exclusive rights to it," Mr Friesen said. "[And] we believe we have to protect those rights."

MediaWorks also objected to Sky repeating programmes like The Cup up to eight times a day on three channels.

Sky chief executive John Fellet said MediaWorks could not enforce a "news blackout" on rivals. Sky has the rights to Tri Nations, Super 14 and Air New Zealand Cup rugby, and most other major sporting events. Mr Fellet said even if MediaWorks' arguments were accepted by the court, TV3 would be the long-term loser.

"I think TV3 is being a little crazy in the fact that this is their one month out of the four years that they've got some real key, vital sports," Mr Fellet said.

"If they push the envelope too far, I don't see how we lose one way or the other because 11 months out of 12 it will be us with the key sports rights and it'll be them that gets left out."

MediaWorks has a reciprocal news access agreement with Sky allowing it to show Tri Nations and Super 14 footage. Mr Friesen said MediaWorks abided by this deal which runs until 2011.

However, Mr Fellet said TV3 regularly used Sky clips on its Hyundai Sports Tonight show, which did not even "pretend" to be a news show.

Mr Friesen acknowledged the argument could boil down to what was a news programme and what was not.

The interim injunction was granted in a courtroom closed to media.


Sky threatens to bite back on TV sport rights


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/4/story.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10463337

Sky TV could launch a counter-suit against TV3 if a High Court ruling goes against the pay to view channel.

Its chief executive John Fellet said today that if Sky is stopped from running Rugby World Cup footage then a counter-suit could be launched against TV3's Hyundai Sports Tonight.

Mr Fellet said Sky holds the rights to other sporting events which are sometimes shown on other networks' shows.

He said they have never taken TV3 to court before because they saw the use of their footage as advertising for the network.

"Eleven months out of twelve, I have the best rights," Mr Fellet said.

Yesterday former TVNZ head of news Bill Ralston told nzherald.co.nz that in the past the boundaries of exclusive coverage were relaxed because sooner or later the other networks would have to use exclusive footage owned by Sky.

"Bill has hit it dead on," Mr Fellet said.

Ross Friesen, chief operating officer of TV Works - a subsidiary of MediaWorks and owner of TV3 - denied the station had broken any agreements in its Hyundai Sports Tonight show.

"We're sticking within the laws," Mr Friesen said.

He said the show does use Sky footage, but for sports reporting - not analysis.

MediaWorks yesterday won an injunction in the High Court to stop Sky using footage of the Rugby World Cup in three of it's programmes, including Sport 365 Highlights, The Cup and Rugby Highlights.

The networks have an agreement that the footage can be used on news programmes but TV3 claimed Sky has been using the footage in "magazine style" shows.

"TV3 is trying to turn the clock back. They think the news is just a six o'clock bulletin. TV1 and TV3 have excellent six o'clock news but you look at the last few years, the numbers have been falling, we're consuming news in different ways," Mr Fellet said.

The two networks head back to court tomorrow and TV3's injunction against Sky ends tomorrow night.

Mr Friesen said TV3 will be looking at extending the injunction to shows like Rugby Re:union, Deaker on Sport and The Crowd Goes Wild.


Astro to sell EPL packages to local TV stations


From http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillsport.asp?fileid=20070912214211&irec=1

JAKARTA (JP): Malaysia-based pay-TV operator PT Astro Direct Vision has said it will listen to the government's calls for it to share its EnglishPremier League coverage rights with local TV stations.

It said it would sell special packages to interested local TV stations.

"We have passed the request from the Indonesian government to rights holder ESPN Star Sports (ESS) through Astro Malaysia. There will be some packages to be sold to local TV stations," Astro's corporate affairs vice president Halim Mahfudz said Wednesday.

The package on offer will include a live match once a week, delayed matches, match highlights and match analysis programs.

"But all this is still in progress," Mahfudz added, saying that his company hoped that Astro Malaysia and ESS would be able to finalize the package before the government's deadline of Sept. 14.


Shin Ready to Time Satellite Broadband Market Attack


From http://www.satellitetoday.com/st/headlines/19036.html

[09/12/07 – Satellite Today]  Shin Satellite has signed a key deal to bring its state-of-the-art satellite broadband services to Malaysia, the company announced Sept. 11. The company has signed a deal with Time dotCom (Time), one of Malaysia's leading telcos, to deploy IPStar broadband satellite services in Malaysia later this year. Malaysia has a population of around 25 million people.

The deal between Shin and Time will see an IPStar gateway located in Time's existing facilities in Kuala Lumpur. Currently, Time provides broadband solutions to both domestic and international markets. IPStar will enable Time to expand its broadband services to serve the rural and underserved markets in Malaysia targeting the government's Universal Service Provision (USPs), as well as other market segments such as corporate and retail. In addition to providing services to Time, the IPStar service through Time will also be marketed to other service providers in Malaysia as well.

Time is one of the most progressive telcos in Malaysia. It recently announced that it planned to offer 10 megabits per second high-speed broadband to residential homes. It claimed it was the first operator to offer such high speeds in the residential market in Malaysia. The service called Netlynx, is being offered in collaboration with Palette Multimedia.


E! International Launches on Astro in Malaysia


From http://www.worldscreen.com/newscurrent.php?filename=e!asia091207.htm

LOS ANGELES, September 12: E! International is expanding its reach in the Asia-Pacific region by launching a new 24-hour channel on the DTH satellite platform Astro in Malaysia.

The deal brings the channel to more than 2 million customers. The channel, dedicated to the world of celebrity and entertainment, will feature popular E! titles like Live from the Red Carpet, E! News, The E! True Hollywood Story, the 101 and 50 Most entertainment countdown mini-series, the Forbes specials and Style Star and new series like Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane and ISAAC.

"E!'s entertainment and lifestyle programming has been extremely popular with television audiences in the Asia Pacific, particularly with the attractive younger demos and we're delighted to substantially increase our distribution in the region," said Christine Fellowes, the managing director for Asia Pacific at E! Networks.


Launch Of Worldview-1 To Be Broadcast Live Over The Internet


From http://www.directionsmag.com/press.releases/index.php?duty=Show&id=18998&trv=1

Longmont,CO--DigitalGlobe, provider of the world's highest-resolution commercial satellite imagery and geospatial information products, today announced that the launch of WorldView-1 will be broadcast live over the Internet. To view the live launch, visit: www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/bls/missions/worldview-1/ on Tuesday, September 18 at approximately 11:20 AM PDT. The launch is scheduled for 11:35 AM PDT.

"This is an exciting event for not only the companies involved with the launch, but also the growing number of consumers and businesspeople using satellite imagery in their daily lives," said Jill Smith, CEO of DigitalGlobe. "We're pleased to share this experience through the live video webcast."

The high-capacity, panchromatic imaging system features half-meter resolution imagery. With an average revisit time of 1.7 days, WorldView-1 will be capable of collecting up to 750,000 square kilometers (290,000 square miles) per day of half-meter imagery. WorldView-1 is the first of two new next-generation satellites DigitalGlobe plans to launch. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. is scheduled to complete WorldView-2 in late 2008, bringing the total number of satellites DigitalGlobe has in orbit to three and completing a constellation of spacecraft that will offer the highest collection capacity — more than 1 million square kilometers per day — of high-resolution Earth imagery directly to customers around the globe.

About DigitalGlobe
Longmont, Colo.-based DigitalGlobe (http://www.digitalglobe.com) is the clear leader in the global commercial Earth imagery and geospatial information market. The company's technical superiority and innovation, unparalleled commitment to customer service, extensive business partner network and open systems philosophy make DigitalGlobe the preferred supplier of imagery products to government and commercial markets. DigitalGlobe is the only geospatial content provider to take an end-to-end approach to geospatial imagery, from acquiring proprietary high-resolution images through a leading-edge satellite and aerial network, to integrating and distributing that data through GlobeXplorer, a proprietary web-based search and retrieval system that makes it easy to find, purchase and download global imagery. DigitalGlobe currently operates the world's highest-resolution commercial satellite constellation with QuickBird and soon, the first of two next-generation satellites, WorldView-1. The company's second next-generation satellite, WorldView-2 is anticipated to be ready for launch in late 2008. The company's updated and growing ImageLibrary contains over three hundred million square kilometers of satellite and aerial imagery suited to countless applications for people who map, view, navigate and study the earth.

DigitalGlobe is a registered trademark of DigitalGlobe.

Chuck Herring (cherring@digitalglobe.com)
Phone: 303.684.4020


Korea Getting Into Weather Gear


From http://www.satnews.com/cgi-bin/display_story.cgi?number=1655454509

From an article in KOREA.net’s online news service, an article was published indicating Korea has started to assemble and test the components of an indigenous maritime weather and communications satellite. The vehicle is being assembled at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute and will weigh 2,500 kg. The launch is expected to occur in June of 2009, this from a government source. The satellite will cover all of Asia, the Pacific Ocean, Oceania, and parts of Eastern Europe.

The head of Korea’s space technology development division, Lee Ki-sung, said, "Once the satellite is in orbit, it will permit Korea to get all its weather-related satellite images without relying on foreign sources." The satellite will also test a locally developed, ultra-high speed communications relay system and will permit detailed studies of the maritime ecological environment around the Korean Peninsula. The life expectancy of the satellite is 7 years and will cost 355.8 billion won ($379.7 million) since the project’s inception in 2003.


Foton Satellite Launch To Go Ahead Despite Proton Crash


From http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Foton_Satellite_Launch_To_Go_Ahead_Despite_Proton_Crash_999.html

The recent crash of a Russian Proton-M rocket will not affect the launch of a Foton bio-satellite piggybacked on a Soyuz rocket, since the two rockets are entirely different, a spokesman for the Federal Space Agency said Tuesday. A Proton-M rocket with a Japanese communications satellite on board crashed September 6 shortly after launch from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

"The Proton is a heavy rocket, which uses highly toxic heptyl as fuel, whereas Soyuz is a medium-class booster using environmentally friendly fuel - kerosene and liquid oxygen," the spokesman said, adding that the two rockets are also produced by different plants - in Moscow and in Samara, respectively.

He said the preparation for the launch, set for September 14, is ongoing.

The Foton-M is a joint project of the European Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency, and is primarily used "for physics and materials science experimentation in weightlessness."

The chairman of the Kazakh National Aerospace Agency said the Russian government failed to send a special commission to visit the site of the crash.

Talgat Musabayev said only members of an expert team from the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, were working at the scene.

Kazakhstan said last Friday it wants to ban rocket launches from its Baikonur space center, which Russia rents, whenever the Kazakh president is near the launch site.

The Proton-M rocket, which was launched from the Baikonur space center at 2:43 a.m. Thursday Moscow time (10:43 p.m. GMT Wednesday), experienced an engine malfunction and second-stage separation failure 139 seconds into its flight, and came down in the central Kazakh steppe, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan.

Possible environmental contamination from the booster's highly toxic fuel was a particular concern at the time, and a team was been sent to the crash site to determine the extent of any pollution


Boeing Builds First GPS IIF Satellite


From http://www.gpsdaily.com/reports/Boeing_Builds_First_GPS_IIF_Satellite_999.html

Boeing has successfully assembled and integrated all flight hardware onto the first Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellite. GPS llF will bring new capabilities to the GPS constellation such as full onboard encrypted military code, a new civil signal, crosslink enhancements, signal power increases and longer design life.

"GPS IIF is on track because of the team's stellar application of back-to-basics program management," said Howard Chambers, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "The performance of these subsystems is a testament to our process-based management and to our lean manufacturing commitment, and GPS IIF fully meets the specifications set forth by our U.S. Air Force customer and places us firmly on track to deliver the satellite for the first launch in 2008."

Boeing is building 12 GPS Block IIF satellites under contract from the Navstar GPS Wing at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles.

The satellite's sophisticated L-band payload will include new hardware that serves the civil user community. Designed to enhance non-safety-critical applications, the signals will improve aviation and other precision safety signals.

Technicians are preparing GPS IIF for key dynamic environmental tests designed to confirm its structural design and mechanical integrity. They also are attaching the solar panels and configuring the satellite before it undergoes several physical tests. The tests will help ensure robust mission assurance with an emphasis on product integrity and mission success.

Each GPS IIF satellite will complete acoustic stress tests using high-powered speakers to verify that the spacecraft can tolerate the high sound pressure levels during launches; mechanical tests similar to a separation test to make sure it disconnects cleanly and correctly from the launch vehicle; tests of its deployable mechanisms such as the solar wings and the antenna to ensure that they release correctly on-orbit; and finally, GPS IIF will undergo thermal vacuum testing to confirm its ability to operate in a vacuum and under the extreme temperatures of space.

Working closely with the U.S. Air Force to deliver new, advanced GPS capabilities to the military, civil government and the general public, Boeing will continue the GPS Wing's track record of on-orbit performance and constellation sustainment to guarantee GPS availability to users worldwide.


New dawn for South African pay TV


From http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=319034&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__business/

South African pay-TV consumers will soon have a choice between many new broadcast channels -- this after the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (Icasa) awarded pay-TV licences to four new players during a press briefing in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

The companies granted licences were Telkom Media, E-Sat, On Digital Media (ODM) and Walking on Water. MultiChoice Africa was also awarded a licence but this was said to be a mere formality. The initial bidders totalled 18, according to Icasa.

The authority said that in three weeks' time it will give reasons for its decision to award licences to these four companies.

ODM general manager Vino Govender said his company plans to be operating fully by mid- to end-2008. "ODM believes in providing a satellite channel that will allow choice and affordability," he said.

Icasa said that it will await public input until October 1 and then evaluate the smaller groups by mid-November and the bigger players by mid-December. However, they can be "up and running by December".

The licence hearings, held in June, were fraught with interested parties trying to cut others down to size.

WHO'S WHO
E-Sat
E-Sat is a sister company of e.tv. During its presentation, HCI CEO Marcel Golding admitted that if e.tv were to remain sustainable in South African broadcasting, it would have to exist in a multichannel environment. It proposed a 21-channel pay-TV package based on movies, sport and a 24-hour news channel.

Details of its secured funding were kept confidential but, with shareholders such as HCI and Venfin and its experience in broadcasting, it was expected that E-Sat was aware of the huge capital expenditure that would be required. Its business plan looked solid and was cautiously conservative, while its presentation was professional.

ODM
ODM proposed a 40- to 50-channel service that would range in price between R149 and R369 for a full offering. South African consumers will be glad to hear that it also proposed a system where users would pay only for what they want, which would allow subscribers to create their own bundles.

ODM appeared to have secured more than R1-billion in start-up capital through its shareholders, Absa and the Development Bank of South Africa. Its shareholders include the Congress of South African Trade Unions' investment arm, Kopano ke Matla, and the Industrial Development Corporation, as well as the African subsidiary of European satellite giants SES.

Walking on Water
Walking on Water, a niche broadcaster, proposed taking the home entertainment industry "to a higher level by enriching homes and building families on a rock-solid foundation, Jesus Christ". It said it aims to offer a wide range of programmes based on "Christian lifestyle principles", saying that 80% of the South African population is Christian. It plans to deliver its content via satellite.

Telkom Media
This newly formed Telkom subsidiary loomed large over the subscription-broadcasting applicants. Two factors made Telkom Media a strong contender. The first was its comprehensive fibre network that gives it the ability to deliver content to homes effectively and cheaply, and the second factor was the R7-billion that it had been allocated to get its subscription broadcasting, video-on-demand and television-via-broadband services up and running.

Telkom Media has hired former South African Broadcasting Corporation and e.tv head of news Jimi Matthews to head up its new, 24-hour news channel. Besides the news channel, Telkom Media's 15-channel bouquet is set to offer middle-income consumers a range of sports, movies, music and educational channels for less than R100.

MultiChoice Africa
MultiChoice is firmly rooted on the African continent and broadcasts in more than 50 countries. For the past 10 years it has provided its South African subscribers with a wide array of movie and sports channels on the DStv platform. Besides offering existing pay-TV and internet subscriber services to more than one million customers, it intends adding up to 30 video and audio channels to its existing DStv bouquet.


Four new players in pay-TV battle


From http://www.screenafrica.com/news/stop_press/550664.htm

Up until Wednesday, 12 September, MultiChoice had the sole advantage of providing subscription TV in South Africa.

Now that is about to change. The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) announced that it had awarded pay-TV licences to four new players, namely Telkom Media, a division of the giant telecommunications company Telkom; E-Sat, part of Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) and sister company of e.tv; Walking on Water, a niche Christian broadcaster and On Digital Media whose shareholders include Cosatu’s investment arm, Kopano ke Matla; and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), as well as the African subsidiary of European satellite giants SES.

In a release on the same day as the Icasa announcement, MultiChoice issued a press release headed “MultiChoice welcomes competition” and stated that it had been awarded a commercial satellite broadcast licence.

E-Sat presented a well-researched submission to Icasa but was cross-questioned by ODM on whether there would be double employment of staff by both e.tv and E-Sat which would also allow a cross-subsidy of costs between the two. In reply Marcel Golding, chairperson of E-Sat said the double employment would only effect senior management who would oversee both companies. There would be “no cross-subsidiaries in costs and staff between e.tv and E-Sat", Golding assured Icasa.

E-Sat’s proposal included a 21-channel pay-TV package that would focus on movies, sports and news.

ODM in its presentation pulled out all the stops to impress Icasa with a high-tech presentation on a number of flat screens. ODM aims to have a 40 to 50-channel service with a monthly subscriber price which will range between R149 and R369. It will also offer an only-pay-for-what-you-want system, which will allow subscribers to create their own bundles.

Telkom Media has a strong advantage as its comprehensive fibre network will allow it to deliver content to homes cheaply. It also has a whopping R7-billion allocated to its subscription broadcasting, video-on-demand and television-via-broadband services.

Walking on Water aims to offer a wide range of programmes based on "Christian lifestyle principles" via satelitte. It maintained that 80% of the South African population is Christian.

The four new subscription broadcasters will have to contend with the well established MultiChoice which broadcasts in more than 50 countries and has an existing pay-TV and internet subscriber base of more than one million customers. For the past 10 years it has provided a wide array of movie and sports channels on the DStv platform to South African subscribers. It intends increasing its DStv channel bouquet by up to 30 video and audio channels.


ICASA awards On Digital Media a Pay TV Licence


From http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/view/mw/en/page1639?oid=160436&sn=Detail

Today, On Digital Media (Pty) Ltd (ODM) was awarded a commercial satellite subscription broadcasting licence by ICASA which will enable ODM to launch its unique digital satellite Pay TV offering in the second half of 2008.

ODM was established to operate a commercial satellite Pay TV service that will bring real choice and affordability to the largest share of South African TV viewers.

With an 80% black empowered shareholding, ODM is a truly South African-owned company. A consortium of black-owned organisations and a broad-based black economic empowerment women’s group hold the largest share in ODM with 30%. The investment holding company First National Media Investment Holdings (Pty) Ltd (FNMIH) constitutes the second largest shareholder with 25.87% while a joint venture between Cosatu’s investment arm, Kopano Ke Matla, and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) take up the third largest stake in ODM with 21.13% (See further breakdown of shareholding in FACT SHEET attached to this release).

ODM has also attracted international investment to South Africa, through their Luxembourg based shareholders SES ASTRA, the European network of the world’s leading satellite group, which owns 20% of ODM and will provide ODM with the latest digital broadcast distribution over the entire Sub-Saharan Africa. Modern Times Group, a leading international television broadcaster with interests in Pay TV, Free TV, radio and TV production will partner with ODM to provide access to international quality content.

ODM director Vino Govender, said: "We are delighted to have been selected for a licence, since, for the first time in this country, ODM will offer more choice and affordability in Pay TV to more South African viewers than ever before."

Vino Govender further explained that: “Through our differentiated multi-channel subscription TV service, we will expand the viewing choices for a larger portion of the population in South Africa. ODM subscribers will indeed be able to choose those packages that suit their viewing needs as well as their affordability levels. Market research has confirmed that ODM's product offering and positioning are unique in the South African TV landscape and meet the needs of the growing demand for such a TV service.”

More detail around ODM’s unique product offering will be made available to the public as soon as licence conditions have been finalised with ICASA.

ODM plans to be on air with its new Pay TV offering in the second half of 2008 once the new state-of-the-art technology has been set up in the country.


Lauren Petit (On Digital Media) and Connie Molusi (Telkom Media)


From http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/view/mw/en/page55?oid=159923&sn=Detail

MONEYWEB: Laurent Petit is is with On Digital Media. As we heard a little bit earlier, you are the international partner, 20% SES. It's interesting to note in the breakdown of the licences that have been awarded, there are not too many international players who did get involved. Why do you think that can be?

LAURENT PETIT: Well, I think, you know, you have to go back in the history and look at what the landscape was two years ago. When we decided to come, it's because as a satellite operator we see this country and the sub-Saharan continent as a real opportunity for satellite players to grow. Unfortunately, when the ITA was launched about a year and a half ago, 18 applicants showed up, so it's not very attractive. You've got to hold strong and be confident in what you think you can bring to the market.

MONEYWEB: Do you think with five players there's going to be enough of a market for you to make an impact?

LAURENT PETIT: Well, you know, ODM is very cautious. I hear Telkom, I hear what they think, I hear what their plans are. ODM has been doing a lot of market research in the past year-and-a-half or so, so we know exactly what the people in South Africa are looking for in terms of new pay-TV offering. We know that they want choice, and real choice, and we know that they want affordability. So this is what ODM plans to bring to the market - choice and affordability. This is new in this market and ...

MONEYWEB: Is MultiChoice not offering that at the moment?

LAURENT PETIT: I don't think so, at least not in the way that the people in South Africa would like to see it. So what ODM is going to bring is something new that will give the power to the people to actually choose the TV they want to watch and the TV they want to pay for.

MONEYWEB: Is there enough available content to bring into this country? Connie was talking about developing stuff here in South Africa because in his opinion Naspers doesn't do that.

LAURENT PETIT: Well absolutely - there is a need to develop local content and ODM is cognisant of that fact, and this is something that we have highlighted to Icasa in our application. And ODM is fully aware of that. We have aligned with international content partners, and we're doing our job in terms of sourcing local content. What we want to do is to be creative in bringing something that is interesting and attractive to the local viewers in South Africa, and it needs to be a mix of attractive local and international content.

MONEYWEB: Connie?

CONNIE MOLUSI: In that respect, just in terms of available content, you know, there's actually quite a lot that's still out there. I mean my phone and Mandla Ngcobo's phone hasn't stopped ringing in terms of prior conversations that we have with content providers dependent on getting the licence, so I actually think there's a quite an array of available international content that's not available in this country.

MONEYWEB: Is that the next step for Telkom Media? Clearly on ODM's side they do have the international connections, they've got a pretty good idea of the content they're going to be digging for - is that what you're going to be up to now?

CONNIE MOLUSI: Yes, I mean part of the offering would be to be competitive, both on the international experience but also local.

MONEYWEB: How's it going to change my DStv that I have at home - what will I be able to see in future?

CONNIE MOLUSI: Well, at the end of the day you've got to be able to offer what's not available in the market, and I think to a very large extent we have got a compelling proposition around local content, but there's also quite rich content that's currently not available in South Africa.

MONEYWEB: Such as?

CONNIE MOLUSI: HBO (Home Box Office), certain aspects within reality television, certain aspects within natural history.

MONEYWEB: What about YouTube? The best piece of television I've every seen is a YouTube - and I'm sure you've seen the clip as well - where the buffalo was attacked by the lions and was thrown into the water with the crocodiles that bit it, etc. Now YouTube has to be a competitor from that perspective?

CONNIE MOLUSI: Well, allowing blogging, you know - I think that's the most innovative step that actually gives power to ordinary consumers to become like gatherers of information in that particular sense, and I'm a great advocate of that.

MONEYWEB: Laurent, has it affected your international operations, YouTube?

LAURENT PETIT: Not necessarily, because we think that the people and actually we are confident because of the results of the extensive market research that we've carried out in the country. We think that the people are more traditional in what they want to see and what they want to watch, so YouTube is certainly something, it's an event out there in the media market, but I don't think that's going to drive the offering of the new pay-TV that is going to come onto the market.

MONEYWEB: Are you moving into IPTV and Web TV in the same way that Telkom Media is wanting to?

LAURENT PETIT: Well, essentially what we want to do, as we've told Icasa and Councillor here present, is to make sure that we are successful in the satellite pay-TV market, and that's ODM's primary objective. Obviously, if we manage to be successful we have some ambitions, but I think it's a bit premature to talk about expansion plans at this point in time.

MONEYWEB: Zolisa, you've lived with this for the past year, going through all of these different applications. Perhaps I could ask you the same question I asked Connie a little earlier - how is our experience as citizens of South Africa going to change when it comes to watching satellite TV in future?

ZOLISA MASIZA: Well, I think the key thing that has come, which all applicants - this is just standard information - is that the focus of MultiChoice was in a specific LSM group, which was from 8 to 10.

MONEYWEB: In terms of up-market?

ZOLISA MASIZA: In terms of real up-market, particularly when it comes to the total bouquet, which was about R499. And then also what they then tried to do to reduce that, was the offering, to about R200 or R199, and now the new offering that they give with Vodacom at R139. So what is then already happening is that your price of subscribing to that type of service is probably going to increase [corrected below], but with more channels that you can watch. So I think that's one of the major ...

MONEYWEB: The price is going to reduce.

ZOLISA MASIZA: Definitely the price is going to reduce, I mean especially when I hear Telkom Media on digital media talking about some of this service offering that they are going to be doing. Of course, you must also note that it's a light-touch regulation. We would not want to be heavy-handed like if it was on terrestrial.

MONEYWEB: So you're going to get more choice at a lower cost?

ZOLISA MASIZA: At a low cost.

LAURENT PETIT: Well I think that - if I may chip in this comment from ODM's side - I think we are also going to increase the level of service. That's going to be a big difference. ODM is going to come on the market to increase the pie - it's not like we're going to compete head-to-head with MultiChoice. I think MultiChoice is well established in their market. It's quite a special niche market targeting specific LSMs. Like Councillor was saying, ODM wants to bring affordability and choice to the people of South Africa who today do not get access to pay-TV. And what I was saying, we will increase the quality of the service. Because of the way we want to deliver the service, we think that it's going to be very attractive to the people and it's going to make them happy to pay for television, because they're going to be paying for what they actually will want to watch.

MONEYWEB: Connie, clearly one cannot, as a consumer, subscribe to all the services. So is the idea going to be to maybe share some of the channels with other players? Take CNBC Africa, as an example, if that was available, would that be on your bouquet as well as on the others?

CONNIE MOLUSI: Well I guess, I mean, given the fact that you've got quite a dominant incumbent, we would certainly be proposing to the regulator that certain content can't be exclusive. And I guess it becomes part of the debate around how do you level the playing field. And we've got definite ideas that we'd like to propose, following international precedent. I mean, you have got an incumbent who is established over 22 years, and if you look at the activity of that incumbent over the last six months, they definitely want to entrench their position. And I think there is a bit of an anti-competitive behaviour, particularly in the introduction of new channels in the last six months - and we definitely challenge that.

MONEYWEB: And I can assure you, you won't be invited to the Naspers Christmas party this year, either.

CONNIE MOLUSI: Well I hope Koos will. I mean otherwise he's a good social friend and a family friend.

MONEYWEB: [Laughs] Connie Molusi, the chairman of Telkom Media, and you also heard Zolisa Masiza, who is the councillor responsible for licensing at Icasa - one of the two who went through the whole process in the past year. In fact, the process began in 2004, but they had to work through the applicants, beating the market. It was anticipated that the results would only come out in November, so it looks like a new broom is really sweeping clean and in the right way at Icasa. And then we also were speaking with Laurent Petit, who is the director of On Digital Media, one of the successful licences today that were granted. The others were Walking on Water, which is a Christian pay-TV licence, only going to be focusing on the one channel; e.tv's e.sat, and of course MultiChoice Africa, the incumbent.


Sentech, SABC pull up lame at 11th hour


From http://mybroadband.co.za/news/Telecoms/1303.html

In a surprise move, state-owned signal distributor Sentech and its joint application partner SABC pulled out of the race for a pay television licence at the last minute.

The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) said yesterday it had received a letter of withdrawal from Sentech, which gave no reasons for cancelling its joint application with the SABC.

Sentech was not available for comment yesterday.

At the regulator's hearings in June, the Sentech-SABC application raised concerns about government control of the broadcasting media. The state has a 38 percent stake in Telkom, which in turn owns 66 percent of Telkom Media. The latter was awarded a pay television licence yesterday.

Industry experts had said they did not expect Sentech to win a licence, because it was not clear how it would finance its television ambitions. Sentech already operates the Vivid pay television platform.

The parastatal is in the midst of a more than R1 billion capital investment programme. This includes the roll-out of a broadband telecoms network and the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Digital technology will enable high-definition television broadcasts, which are much clearer than analogue signals.

Icasa councillor Zolisa Masiza said the regulator would decide on the future of the Vivid platform when it finalised its reasons for not awarding licences to 10 applicants.

When Icasa invited bids for subscription broadcasting licences last year, 18 companies applied, including Khetha Media, MaxTV and Q Digital. WorldSpace and Multichannel withdrew from the race during the hearings in May.

The year-long process was marred with tears and some tense arguments. It all ended yesterday as Icasa named four new entrants that will end MultiChoice's 12-year DStv monopoly.

This heralds a new era in local subscription broadcasting, with more choice for consumers.

The new providers are Esat, On Digital Media, Walking on Water and Telkom Media. MultiChoice was granted a formal licence.

The five players will get licences before the end of the year.

Icasa councillor Marcia Socikwa said if none of the bigger operators in the telecoms and broadcasting industries requested an extension, the new licensees should start operating by December.

Telkom Media chief executive Mandla Ngcobo said the company would start offering its services in the second quarter of next year. The licence allows it to operate a satellite pay television service and an internet protocol television service in South Africa.

On Digital Media director Vino Govender said consumers could expect the firm's variety of services in the second half of next year.

Walking on Water said it would start as a single-channel operator but it gave no time frame, while Esat was mum on its plans.

Telkom Media would offer a range of international channels not available locally. It was negotiating with international content providers and would create a number of channels, Ngcobo said.


MultiChoice may have to share decoder with rivals


From http://mybroadband.co.za/news/Telecoms/1302.html

Pay television provider MultiChoice may be forced to share with its new rivals a single platform for receiving satellite broadcasting services.

Pay television provider MultiChoice may be forced to share with its new rivals a single platform for receiving satellite broadcasting services. But it will challenge such a plan as it has invested heavily in the infrastructure.

Yesterday the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) named Telkom Media; On Digital Media (ODM); e.tv's sister firm, E-Sat; and Walking on Water as new rivals to MultiChoice and its DStv services. MultiChoice has sole rights to the decoders, or set-top boxes (STBs), used to transmit TV content.

Icasa is expected to impose an open-access model for all decoders, so consumers will not require multiple decoders to subscribe to all five pay TV providers and new players will save costs on designing their own decoders.

Decoders are seen as a barrier for entrants, as they need financial muscle to invest in design and production. But analysts say this is a commercial agreement and should be driven by consumer demand

MultiChoice had developed an export market for decoders valued at more than R3.7 billion over its 12 years of operations.

Yesterday Icasa councillor Zolisa Masiza said that as part of the licence conversion process, the regulator would impose a condition to require all STBs to interoperate. Initially, Icasa said it would not be involved, since this was a commercial arrangement.

But with the advent of digital migration, as consumers require decoders to access high-definition TV on a digital platform from terrestrial broadcasters SABC and e.tv, it is expected that the government will require an STB for digital platform and pay TV access.

Telkom Media has indicated that it will make its decoder accessible to other players. MultiChoice remotely blocked software on its decoders to stop other operators from using it, after an incident three years ago, when a firm sold cards that were inserted into MultiChoice's decoders to allow consumers access to pornographic broadcasts via satellite from Spain.

Rob Sobey, the managing director of Altech, said all pay TV decoders contained conditional access; technology was selected to suit particular networks. Although it was not impossible for current decoders to have dual use, it was too costly. He suggested that smaller operators choose a similar technology and share the platform, or tailor the same technology for different networks.

Altech produces 1.5 million STBs a year in six continents. It had orders worth R700 million in March.

Media analyst David Moore did not expect MultiChoice to make its STBs available, but with digital switchover in the pipeline there might be access to cheaper and dual-usage STBs.

Telkom Media and ODM will invest R7 billion and R1.2 billion, respectively, for their pay TV operations. Esat and Walking on Water would not disclose their investment plans.


DirecTV faces setback in dubious antipiracy campaign.


From http://news.com.com/8301-13578_3-9776790-38.html

DirecTV lost an important case on Tuesday. Programmers, security researchers, and anyone who believes in a limited government won.

In a 2-1 split decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a default judgment against a pair of alleged DirecTV television pirates, saying an "unauthorized decryption device" law the company invoked against them does not apply. That law promises statutory damages of $100,000 per violation.

The two defendants, Hoa Huynh and Cody Oliver, may eventually be held liable for copyright infringement or lesser violations, of course. But now DirecTV will have to fight harder for it, and the legal risk to legitimate researchers has been reduced.

The reason this could be an important decision is because it strikes at the heart of DirecTV's dubious strategy of treating purchasers of smart-card programmers as if they were necessarily criminals themselves.

In a dragnet of cases filed over many years, DirecTV has been suing people who dared to buy smart-card programmers. Those can, it's true, be used to repair pirate access cards disabled by DirecTV countermeasures (this type of card is sometimes called an "unlooper").

They also have perfectly benign uses. ISO 7818 smart cards are simply cards with both memory and a set of simple circuits. Many European countries use these or similar systems for payment cards. New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., use "contactless" smart cards to store subway fares. Electronic voting, medical records and cryptographic key storage are other common uses.

Obviously, to use a smart card, you need to program it. Sites like HackersCatalog.com sell ISO 7818 smart-card readers and programmers for between $50 and $70.

So why is DirecTV hassling people who buy smart cards? Well, they managed to obtain the customer lists from vendors--including one named "White Viper"--and then apparently assumed that every customer must necessarily be a criminal. The company sent more than 170,000 demand letters (demanding a check for at least $3,500) and filed lawsuits against more than 25,000 people nationwide.

The tactics DirecTV used were disturbing. An affidavit prepared by former DirecTV investigator John Fisher says: "On one occasion, I learned from some other investigators that (DirecTV) was trying to obtain a settlement from a letter recipient who had bought a plastic pouch that could be used to carry a smart card programmer."

Another Fisher excerpt: "I had finally fully realized that the end user campaign was an elaborate extortion racket. The letters were full of lies or misrepresentations and we investigators were required to coerce people into paying money for stealing services when we had no proof whether they had done so or not."

This principle, that the mere act of buying a smart-card programmer should not be viewed as evidence of illicit activity, is an important one to uphold. Using DirecTV's logic, anyone who downloaded a debugger could be viewed as likely to have bypassed copy protection technology. Disassemblers and tools like "objdump" should be viewed with suspicion as well.

Now, I'm not arguing that we should be applauding blatant DirecTV piracy. Neither is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which entered this case on the side of the defendants. If DirecTV can prove that Huynh and Oliver were watching TV shows for free, they should pay reasonable damages. But they shouldn't face six-figure fines for merely buying a smart-card programmer.

P.S.: The case revolved around Section 605(e)(4) of the Federal Communications Act, which has been in place since at least 1988. It says:

Any person who manufactures, assembles, modifies, imports, exports, sells, or distributes any electronic, mechanical, or other device or equipment, knowing or having reason to know that the device or equipment is primarily of assistance in the unauthorized decryption of satellite cable programming, or direct-to-home satellite services, or is intended for any other activity prohibited by subsection (a) of this section, shall be fined not more than $500,000 for each violation, or imprisoned for not more than 5 years for each violation, or both. For purposes of all penalties and remedies established for violations of this paragraph, the prohibited activity established herein as it applies to each such device shall be deemed a separate violation.

DirecTV had argued that 605(e)(4) applied to someone who merely inserted a pirated access card into a receiver, therefore "assembling" it. That's what the 9th Circuit rejected.

P.P.S.: I note this particular decision didn't make its way onto DirecTV's "Anti-Fraud and Anti-Piracy Enforcement Actions" Web site.


(Craig's comment, this may in fact be the most interesting news item of the day..)


DD viewers may miss Twenty20 action


From http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News_By_Industry/Media__Entertainment_/DD_viewers_may_miss_Twenty20_action/articleshow/2363717.cms

NEW DELHI: Much to the disappointment of DD viewers in non-cable homes, Prasar Bharti’s negotiating skills have fallen short just one day ahead of India’s first Twenty20 match. With last-minute talks between broadcaster rights holder ESPN Star Sports (ESS) and Prasar Bharti falling through, viewers in non-cable homes will miss the action of the highly-publicised tournament — at least that’s the verdict till now. Prasar Bharti was confident of getting the shared feed till 10 days back, but ESS has managed to keep the event exclusive with the backing of the I&B Ministry. Sources close to the development told ET that Prasar Bharti officials were trying to sort out the matter till last night.

A senior official of Prasar Bharti confirmed to ET that DD will not telecast the Twenty20 event. “As of now, Doordarshan is not telecasting the Twenty20 tournament,” he said. Asked if there was still a chance of DD getting a feed from ESS for the semi-finals and finals, the official said: “One never knows. Talks could be reopened.” ESS Software MD RC Venkateish declined to comment on the issue.

Interestingly, earlier this month, a top DD official had told ET that ESS would share a clean feed without ads with Prasar Bharati for all India matches, the semi-finals and the final, irrespective of whether India reaches the final stages. “We have been given to understand that ESS has agreed to share the feed with us. A formal communication from ESS is awaited,” the official had said. It had even been decided that ESS would market the Twenty20 event on the condition that the private broadcaster would have to meet the reserve price per match fixed by DD, failing which Prasar Bharti was to market the event on its own. It has been agreed that both broadcasters would follow a 75:25 revenue sharing arrangement ratio in favour of the private broadcaster as is mandatory by law.

This is not the first time a private broadcaster has not shared its feed with Doordsarshan. Last year in May, Ten Sports did not share the India-West Indies series with DD, with the Supreme Court barring Prasar Bharti from showing coverage of the series. The series involved five ODIs and four Tests. Later in the year, Zee Sports also did not share the telecast of the DLF Cup, held in Malaysia, with the state broadcaster. The tri-series between India, Australia and West Indies included seven-day and night ODIs.




12/09/07

New channel for Sky NZ "Vibe" channel is listed on D1 12581H


From my Email & ICQ


From MarkZL3 (CHCH, NZ)

RE: equinox

Here is some alignment times using NSS 5 and Asiasat 4 based on Christchurch.  The closest it gets to NSS 5 is September 5 and the closest it gets to Asiasat 4 is September 7

Hope this helps
Mark Christchurch

Solar Outage Risk 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Site name         Christchurch
Site latitude       43.55S             degrees
Site longitude    172.67E           degrees
Satellite name   NSS 5
Satellite longitude          177.00W         degrees

Year of interest 2007
Antenna diameter          .90 metres
Operation frequency     12 GHz
Antenna beamwidth      Standard

Elevation          38.70   degrees
True azimuth     14.82   degrees

Late Season Group
Date     Begin    Peak    End      Depth   Closest(deg)
September 1     11:43   11:47   11:51   Low     1.46
September 2     11:41   11:47   11:52   Low     1.09
September 3     11:40   11:46   11:52   High     0.73
September 4     11:39   11:46   11:53   High     0.36
September 5     11:39   11:46   11:52   High     0.03
September 6     11:39   11:45   11:52   High     0.38
September 7     11:39   11:45   11:51   Medium 0.76
September 8     11:40   11:45   11:50   Low     1.13

Site name Christchurch
Site latitude 43.55S  degrees
Site longitude 172.67E degrees
Satellite name ASIASAT 4
Satellite longitude 122.00E degrees
Year of interest 2007
Antenna diameter .90 metres
Operation frequency 12 GHz
Antenna beamwidth Standard

Elevation 19.13 degrees
True azimuth 299.45 degrees
 
 
Date Begin Peak End Depth Closest(deg)
 
September 2 16:11 16:13 16:14 Low 1.67
September 3 16:08 16:12 16:17 Low 1.31
September 4 16:06 16:12 16:18 Medium 0.94
September 5 16:05 16:12 16:18 High 0.57
September 6 16:05 16:11 16:18 High 0.20
September 7 16:04 16:11 16:18 High 0.18
September 8 16:04 16:11 16:17 High 0.55
September 9 16:05 16:10 16:16 Medium 0.92
September 10 16:06 16:10 16:14 Low 1.30
September 11 16:08 16:10 16:11 Low 1.68


From the Dish


Lyngsat still on a break


NEWS


TV3 suing Sky over World Cup coverage


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/event/story.cfm?c_id=522&objectid=10463124

TV3 is taking court action against Sky claiming the satellite broadcaster is breaking the law in its coverage of the Rugby World Cup.

MediaWorks, owner of TV3, today issued proceedings in the High Court in Auckland seeking an injunction against Sky.

It said it believes Sky is in serious breach of the rules surrounding "fair dealing" in its use of footage, but would not specify which Sky shows it was talking about.

Two weeks before the World Cup kicked off, MediaWorks sent out an announcement to all major media outlets in New Zealand, warning them they were monitoring all coverage.

TV3 paid several million dollars for the exclusive New Zealand rights to broadcast television pictures of the World Cup.

"We have paid a very large sum of money for the exclusive TV rights to the Rugby World Cup, so that all New Zealanders can enjoy this significant event live and free," said Rick Friesen, Chief Operating Officer of TVWorks - part of MediaWorks - today.

"We are simply acting to protect our interests, and the interests of the viewing public, so that this event can remain as a free-to-air broadcast," he said.

MediaWorks said it had signed an agreement with TVNZ and Sky, allowing extended access to Rugby World Cup footage for news purposes.

It is claiming Sky has used footage which goes beyond that agreement.

"We believe Sky's behaviour to be unethical and illegal, and we will be taking whatever action we can to protect the interests of ourselves and every Rugby fan in New Zealand," said Mr Friesen.

TV3 spokesman Roger Beaumont said he could not reveal which Sky TV programmes in particular are allegedly breaking the agreement.

He said more could be revealed after the injunction hearing which was still in progress at lunchtime.

Former TVNZ head of news Bill Ralston said during the Rugby World Cup in 2003, TV One had exclusive rights but came to an agreement with Sky to let them broadcast content outside news programmes.

"We allowed Sport 365, which theoretically is not a news programme, to broadcast some highlights from the World Cup. I remember from my time, TV3 pushed the boundary by taking a bit more than they should," Mr Ralston said.

He said all three networks tend to push the rules but everyone "relaxed the boundaries".

"Simply because Sky controls so many sports rights themselves, you can normally get a good quid pro quo out of them. You relax a bit, they relax a bit," Mr Ralston said.

He said when networks spend millions of dollars, they jealously guard their rights but this is the first time he remembers it going to court.

Sky TV was not returning calls this afternoon.

The hearing began this morning and by 4pm this afternoon was still in session.


ARIANE Mission Update


From http://www.arianespace.com/site/news/news_sub_missionupdate_index.html

September 10, 2007

Intelsat 11 is fueled at Europe's Spaceport for Arianespace's late September Ariane 5 mission

The Intelsat 11 telecommunications satellite has been fueled at the Spaceport in French Guiana as payload preparations continue apace for Arianespace's upcoming dual-passenger Ariane 5 mission.

Intelsat 11 was "topped off" in the S5A high-bay of the Spaceport's S5 payload preparation building. This Orbital Sciences Corporation-built satellite has a liquid bi-propellant transfer orbit system and a hydrazine monopropellant on-orbit system.

Intelsat 11 will be launched at the end of September by an Ariane 5 GS vehicle, with another Orbital Sciences Corporation-manufactured spacecraft – Optus D2 – as its co-passenger.

Once in orbit, Intelsat 11 will provide direct-to-home broadcasting and data networking services for Intelsat. Its C-band payload will serve the continental United States, Mexico and South America, and a Ku-band payload will service the DirecTV Latin America downlink coverage area of Brazil. The Ku-band payload also will have uplink capability from the continental United States, Mexico, Europe, and Northwest and Southeast South America.

The Ariane 5 mission later this month will be Arianespace's fourth in 2007 with the workhorse launcher. A total of six flights are targeted this year as Arianespace builds up the Ariane 5 launch pace.


(Craig's comment, D2 to 152E launching end of September)


BigPond boosts broadband cable speeds to 30Mbps


From http://www.crn.com.au/News/61029,bigpond-boosts-broadband-cable-speeds-to-30mbps.aspx

Telstra BigPond has given its cable broadband plans a hefty injection of speed, with the launch of its 30 Megabits per second (Mbps) BigPond Cable Extreme.

The new plans will be available to more than 1.8 million Sydney and Melbourne homes and businesses eligible for Foxtel cable, and up to 17 Mbps in all other parts of Telstra's HFC network.

BigPond group managing director, Justin Milne, said the new speeds were almost double the previous Cable Extreme speeds in Sydney and Melbourne and almost four times faster than standard cable broadband.

"This is the next big thing for the digital home. Higher speeds turbocharge websurfing, emailing and downloading, but they also allow families with several PCs and laptops to be connected simultaneously so everyone can get a faster connection than before,” he said. "It's like turning a V8 street car into a V8 Supercar for $10 a month extra."

In addition to the new download speeds, upload speeds will also increase to one Mbps.

The monthly prices for the BigPond Cable Extreme plans range from $39.95 for 200MB of data allowance, to $129.95 for 60GB.


Astro hopes to score big with English Premier League soccer


From http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?fileid=20070912.B09&irec=8

Pay-TV operator PT Astro Direct Vision had some 80,000 subscribers signed up as of the end of the first semester, and hopes to more than double that figure by the year-end now that it has secured the rights to broadcast the hugely-popular English Premier League (EPL).

Astro Direct Vision, the local unit of Astro, a Malaysia-based pay-TV company, is now the sole holder of both the pay-TV and free-to-air TV rights to EPL matches.

While it also offers other channels, Astro is pinning its hopes on the EPL to help the company sign up at least 200,000 subscribers by the end of the year.

"The number of Astro subscribers has significantly increased since we purchased the EPL rights. We expect that we will be able to achieve our full-year target," Astro's corporate affairs vice president, Halim Mahfudz, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

The demand for Astro is so big that a would-be subscriber has to now wait for two weeks before the service can be installed.

Before Astro purchased the EPL rights for the 2007-2008 season, Indonesians could watch the matches free on terrestrial TV.

Now, EPL fans will have to pay around Rp 200,000 per month to subscribe to Astro -- in addition to a one-off Rp 200,000 installation fee -- if they want to watch their favorite teams.

For the first three months, however, Astro will waive the monthly subscription fee.

While the company is hoping to benefit hugely from the EPL, some hurdles have emerged.

On Tuesday, Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) chairman Sasa Djuarsa Sendjaja said the commission had sent a letter to Astro asking for the EPL coverage to be opened to the public.

It had also asked the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) to examine whether Astro's exclusive rights had breached the antimonopoly law.

"There are two aspects to this matter, business interests and the public interest. What we have done is designed to protect the public interest," said Sasa.

Responding to that, Halim said Astro was currently negotiating with ESPN Star Sport (ESS), which holds the rights to broadcast the matches in Asia, to share access with Indonesian soccer fans.

"ESS is now developing packages to be sold to local TV stations. It takes quite a while as they need the consent of various parties."

Besides the EPL, Astro also provides other forms of entertainment.

During Ramadhan, for instance, the channel will broadcast movies from different parts of the world, including movies from Iran and Uzbekistan.

"We want to give our audience other movie alternatives besides Hollywood movies so that they can learn about the cultures in other countries," said Alexander Siregar, senior programing executive of Astro Kirana, Astro's movie unit.


Globecast And Arabsat Extend Agreement


From http://www.satellitetoday.com/st/headlines/19030.html

Globecast and Arabsat will be extending their partnership until 2014, the companies announced Sept. 11.

The two companies have expanded the worldwide distribution of the Arabsat/ASBU digital bouquet of Arabic language channels to five continents and include Al Jazeera and Qatar TV.

As of today, the available services cover the following regions: North America via WorldTV on Galaxy 25, South America via Hispasat 1C, Africa via NSS 7 and Asia via AsiaSat 2.

GlobeCast also provides individual DTH channel distribution for selected ASBU member channels to: Europe via Hot Bird and Astra 1E and Australia via Optus B3 and Intelsat 8.


Shin Satellite, BT, Reliance


From http://www.telecomasia.net/article.php?type=article&id_article=5701

Shin Satellite has signed a cooperation agreement with TIME dotCom to deploy IPSTAR broadband satellite services in Malaysia by the end of the year.

BT has added six new nodes to its MPLS infrastructure in India, bringing the number to 14. The network capabilities will be further extended to Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka by April 2008.

Indian CDMA carrier Reliance has launched BlackBerry on its nework nationwide. It is offering four BlackBerry terminals for connection in 10,000 towns and 30,000 villages across the country.


Casbaa Sports TV Forum discusses China pay-TV market


From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k7/sep/sep151.php

MUMBAI: The potential business opportunities for sports television in China were highlighted during the 24 August Casbaa sports TV forum in Beijing.

With the theme 'All-win with the Olympics', the forum was hosted by the state administration of radio, film and television (SARFT) and co-organised by the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa) and China International Television Corporation (CITVC), the commercial arm of state broadcaster CCTV.

Over 300 representatives of Chinese and European sports bodies, along with global sports TV networks and sports management teams participated in the forum, exchanging insights on how sports TV can benefit the broadcasting industry and economic development within China, as well as the synergies between sports leagues and pay-TV.

With speakers drawn from the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting, Sarft, CCTV and CITVC, the forum was keynoted by CCTV sports centre MD Jiang Heping followed by Beijing Organizing Committee for the games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) executive VP Jiang Xiaoyu, KBS Korea executive VP Lee Won-Kun, China Mobile's Zhou Yi and A1 GP's Richard Dorfman.

Casbaa CEO Simon Twiston Davies says, "The broadcasts of Beijing 2008 Olympics will be the first time for many people around the globe to see modern China and much better understand the country, its people and its culture.

"There is no doubt that the broadcasting industry is a strong platform for any company to build brand awareness and reach the target audience in a short time. We believe the demand for expanded Olympics coverage will drive demand for pay-TV and serve as a launch pad for the industry."

Casbaa chairman Marcel Fenez says, "We wish the Games a great success in China. Through our third annual forum, we hope to further promote the sports TV industry, creating a win-win situation for both the TV sector and other business opportunities in China, such as building up the brand awareness for overseas sports leagues and creating a new brand of sports product in China market."


Russia launches military satellite


From http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/6260500.html

Russia has launched a military satellite on Tuesday in a bid to build up its orbital group used for military purposes, news agencies reported.

The Cosmos-3M carrier rocket, with a Cosmos class defense satellite atop, was launched from Russia's northern cosmodrome Plesetsk at 5:05 p.m. (1305 GMT), said a spokesperson of Russia's Space Troops.

The launch was carried out in a scheduled regime and was under the supervision of Space Troops Commander Colonel-General Vladimir Popovkin, Itar-Tass reported.

Russia is believed to have a network of about 60-70 military reconnaissance satellites, though many of them have suffered from short of funding in the 1990s. The country is striving to reinforce its military muscle thanks to soaring economy in recent years.


Pace unveils WiMAX solution for delivery of home content


From http://rfdesign.com/next_generation_wireless/news/wimax_solution_unveiled_0911/

Pace Micro Technology is demonstrating how 802.16 delivery to the home can be combined with 802.11 distribution in the home, to provide operators with a truly wireless content delivery solution and expand their service footprint.

This demonstration highlights the opportunities available to operators who embrace the WiMAX standard. Using fixed wires access (FWA) systems, cable operators can expand their footprint to new subscribers without the need to lay new cables.

Satellite operators can provide a full triple-play package by using WiMAX to deliver fast broadband to subscribers who may otherwise be too far away from an exchange to benefit fully from high-bandwidth DSL.

Telcos can use WiMAX to provide a full digital service – incorporating video, data and voice – to potential customers, giving them a different business model and opportunity to compete with the more traditional operators.

The demonstration consists of a server unit in the home, which connects wirelessly to an external WiMAX base station using Pace’s Connections Suite software – which has been entirely developed at Pace. This server unit then delivers broadband content – either video or data or both – to clients around the home, including set-top boxes, mobile phones and PCs, using Wi-Fi.

Pace is teaming up with Metalink and Runcom Technologies to enable this demonstration.

Darren Fawcett, chief technologist – Wireless Systems at Pace commented: “WiMAX is still an emerging technology, but it promises to revolutionize the broadband market and open up a whole range of opportunities for pay TV operators and telcos.

“It is the flexibility inherent in the WiMAX system, due to its agility in frequency of operation, adaptive modulation, and advanced link coding, which combine to reduce operator expenditure costs, improved throughput and range – that puts it forward as a potentially powerful system for the future.”

Barry Volinskey, vice president marketing at Metalink commented: “These innovative solutions are based on Metalink’s WLANPlus, a high-throughput IEEE 802.11n-compliant wireless LAN technology. WLANPlus offers the industry ‘low packet error rate,’ which is essential for robust video delivery, providing a reliable foundation for the provision of wireless triple-play and entertainment networks with multiple simultaneous HD video streams and extended coverage.”

“The cooperation with Pace is a very important step in the evolution of Runcom's OFDMA-powered products that include a wide variety of commercial products available worldwide,” said Israel Koffman, vice president of marketing at Runcom Technologies.

According to IMS research, shipments of WiMAX CPE are expected to increase from an estimated 250,400 shipments in 2006 to 41.9 million in 2012, and the number of base station sectors shipped will increase from around 7,000 in 2006 with revenues of $0.1 billion to around 408,000 in 2012 with revenues of around $2.2 billion.


Bloomberg TV moves to increase viewership


From http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/330933_businesstv10.html

Business channel's audience is tiny but affluent

For 13 years, Bloomberg Television has happily remained something of a secret.

The network serves as the public face of the financial information powerhouse Bloomberg LP, delivering no-nonsense business news and analysis to industry professionals and encouraging sales of the company's core product, the Bloomberg terminal.

But within the television industry, Bloomberg TV is largely an afterthought in a lucrative genre dominated by CNBC.

That could be changing as the marketplace for television business news heats up. In October, News Corp. is scheduled to introduce the Fox Business Network, attracting new attention to the financial television news niche and setting up a showdown with CNBC.

Executives say the timing is coincidental, but Bloomberg TV has been making changes of its own. The most significant will happen in early October, when Bloomberg TV does away with the trademark crawl along the bottom of its screen in favor of a cleaner look that puts the stories into context. And the company is making progress in finding potential viewers: Recent deals with Comcast have brought the channel to important financial locations, including New Jersey, South Florida and Washington.

News Corp. has not divulged its plans for Fox Business Network yet (both News Corp. and NBC Universal, the parent company of CNBC, declined to comment), but some analysts expect it will seek a broad investing audience. Publicly, Bloomberg executives say they are staying out of the fight between CNBC and Fox, but they also hope Fox and CNBC will compete for the same viewers, leaving it to serve financial professionals.

"We think it's too difficult to try to be something beyond a news organization," said the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, Matt Winkler. "Clearly, there is a part of CNBC that is focused on entertainment. That's not our focus."

In the best of bull markets, audience numbers for financial news are tiny. Last month, CNBC's business day averaged 87,000 viewers ages 25 to 54, its best August in five years. CNBC also is found on a lot of trading floors, and Bloomberg TV can be found on the Bloomberg terminals, in addition to its own cable channel.

So instead of sheer numbers, the networks fight over demographics, and here Bloomberg has an advantage.

The Mendelsohn Affluent Survey has found that Bloomberg TV viewers have an average household income of $199,000, the highest of any cable network it measures. CNBC viewers have an average household income of $184,000.

Brian Sullivan, host of the noon to 2 p.m. program "In Focus" on Bloomberg TV, said he prefers influence over reach. "I'd take a smaller, more elite audience anyway, because then I don't have to have game shows," he said, taking an unveiled shot at "Fast Money MBA Challenge," the CNBC game show that started in August.

Unlike CNBC, Bloomberg TV does not subscribe to Nielsen ratings, so it is difficult to estimate how many televisions are tuned to the channel on a given day, but the number is assumed to be low. (Overall, Bloomberg has a potential cable reach of 49 million homes in the United States, less than CNBC's 90 million but more than Fox Business Network's anticipated 31 million. Bloomberg has an additional 150 million potential international viewers and broadcasts in seven languages.)

E! Entertainment Television simulcasts Bloomberg TV from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., and the measured audience is minor: The early morning broadcasts averaged 30,000 viewers ages 25 to 54 in the third quarter of 2007, edging up to CNBC's 26,000 viewers in the demographic.

Bloomberg does not break out its TV division revenue. During a given hour, CNBC broadcasts almost twice as many commercials as Bloomberg TV.

"Television helps build our brand around the world. It gives us access to the kind of people who make news. And we think it helps us sell the other Bloomberg product offerings," said Peter Grauer, Bloomberg's chairman.

But Bloomberg TV recently lured the husband-and-wife team of Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff to its Washington bureau.

Woodruff, a longtime CNN anchor, interviews guests for a monthly program. Hunt, a former reporter at The Wall Street Journal, oversees news coverage in the nation's capital. At The Journal, Hunt said, he spent 99 percent of his time creating newspaper content. At Bloomberg, his bureau feeds the terminal, television, radio, Web site and wire service.

"Other places talk about multimedia, but I don't know if anybody is as genuinely multimedia as we are," he said.


Satellite TV Hacking Illegal But Not a $100,000 Offense, Court Says


From http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/09/satellite-tv-ha.html

Users of illicit decoding technology who have hacked into DirecTV satellite signals are not liable under a certain provision of the Federal Communications Act that calls for hefty, $100,000 fines, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said section 605(e)(4) of the act cannot be charged against individuals who have altered or purchased reformatted smart cards to acquire DirecTV for free. That statute, the court ruled, was meant to financially injure companies that produce and sell such pirating technology and was not directed at end users as DirecTV alleged

"Congress intended to treat differently individuals who played different roles in the pirating system," a three-judge appellate court panel wrote in its 2-1 decision.

The decision, if it stands, could have widespread implications, as DirectTV regularly sues hackers.

Jason Schultz, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation that filed a friend of a court brief in the case, applauded the court's decision. "The court said the assembling and manufacturing prohibition is meant for commercial entities or other upstream providers, not for individuals who simply plug a card into a box to get TV," he said.

"You can't have this huge $100,000 hammer for individuals that was meant for businesses, and people making profits," Schultz added. "What DirecTV was arguing was that anybody who tweaks their access card is liable for up to $100,000."

Still, the court said the two convicted hackers in the case are still liable under section 605 (a) of the Federal Communications Act for unlawfully pirating television. Maximum fines per count are $10,000.

DirecTV did not return calls seeking comment and whether it would ask the San Francisco-based appeals court to rehear the case or petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review it.

In dissent, Judge Eugene Siler said the bigger fines should apply. The act, he said, "does not limit its application to manufacturers and sellers."

The case is DirecTV v. Huynh, 05-16361.


Conax tests water with Thomson’s NexGuard


From http://www.advanced-television.com/2007/Sep10_Sep14.htm#t11

Digital TV conditional access solutions supplier Conax is to integrate Thomson’s watermarking solution, NexGuard, into its security products. Thomson’s NexGuard solution can watermark all forms of broadcast content delivered via IPTV, satellite, cable or terrestrial broadcast and viewed with a digital set-top box.

"Thomson strongly believes in the integration of content protection with watermarking solutions" said Pascal Marie, Thomson’s NexGuard product line manager. "Combined, these security tools are not only allowing the tracking of pirated content, but more globally, they are protecting content owners’ valuable rights".

"In large markets where the redistribution of analogue content is a severe problem, our customers will now be able to trace the source of the illegal distribution in a cost-effective way," added Wictor Nicolaysen, VP Strategic Partner Management at Conax. "Piracy will always be a threat to the entertainment industry and the watermarking technology is crucial in this continuous fight. A complete integrated security measure at all system levels is required for complex Pay-TV operations."


Conexant’s HDTV Video Decoders Win ‘Best Silicon Innovation’ in Annual Cable and Satellite Award Competition


From  http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20070910006544&newsLang=en

Winning Solutions Targeted at HDTV and PVR-enabled Set-top Boxes

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Conexant Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNXT), a worldwide leader in semiconductor solutions for broadband communications and the digital home, today announced that its CX2427X dual-channel video decoder for high-definition, personal video recording-enabled set-top boxes (STBs) was selected as the winner in the “Best Silicon Innovation” category in the Cable and Satellite International Product of Year competition. The CX2427X was also short-listed in the “Best HDTV Technology or Project” category.

The highly integrated CX2427X includes several features that enable superior performance including a powerful processor and next-generation memory technology. It is capable of decoding two HDTV programs simultaneously, and supporting PVR applications on up to two televisions. This eliminates the need for a dedicated STB receiver for each TV, enabling consumers to concurrently watch or record up to four different programs on TVs located in different rooms.

The fifth annual competition attracted over 160 entries, which were judged by an independent panel of industry experts including current and former heads of engineering and operations at some of the world's largest network operators, consultants, and senior industry analysts.

“We are gratified that a panel of prominent industry experts has chosen our HDTV video decoding solutions for this important award, and that our technology is being used to improve the television viewing experience for consumers around the world,” said Lewis Brewster, executive vice president and general manager of Conexant’s Broadband Media Processing business. “This is the third year in a row that we have won an award at this competition, and our successful track record highlights the talent of our engineering teams and their strong commitment to continued technical innovation.”

The 2007 winners in the competition were announced at an event that was held in the RAI convention center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, during the International Broadcasting Convention. Last year the company’s CX24128 dual-RF satellite tuner took top honors in the “Best Silicon Innovation” category. In 2005 Conexant’s HDTV STB semiconductor system solution won in both the “Best Silicon Innovation” and “Best HDTV Technology or Project” categories.

Conexant offers a comprehensive suite of digital STB components and system solutions for worldwide satellite, terrestrial, cable and IP entertainment broadcasting networks. The company’s product offering includes silicon tuners, demodulators, MPEG audio and video decoders, and dial-up modems for back-channel applications. Complete reference designs that help manufacturers reduce cost and speed time-to-market are also available, bundled with a range of operating systems, middleware, drivers and development tools.

About Conexant

Conexant’s innovative semiconductor solutions are driving broadband communications and digital home networks worldwide. The company’s comprehensive portfolio includes products for broadband access and media processing applications. Conexant is a fabless semiconductor company that recorded revenues of $970.8 million in fiscal year 2006. The company has approximately 3,200 employees, and is headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif. To learn more, please visit http://www.conexant.com/.

Conexant is a registered trademark of Conexant Systems, Inc. Other brands and names contained in this release are the property of their respective owners.

Contacts

Conexant Systems, Inc.
Editorial Contact:
Gwen Carlson, 949-483-7363


Irdeto, Amino & Anevia To Provide Innovative DVB Over IP Solution To Pay TV Operators Worldwide


From http://www.broadcastbuyer.tv/publish/IBC2007_176/Irdeto_Amino_Anevia_To_Provide_Innovative_DVB_Over_IP_Solution_To_Pay_TV_Operators_Worldwide_13277.shtml

Irdeto, Amino, and Anevia, have announced a joint IPTV solution that enables Telcos to provide existing DVB services to their customers via their IP networks.

In addition, CATV and MMDS operators with DVB-C technology or Satellite operators with DVB-S technology can offer the service by transparently converting their full channel package from DVB to an IP Multicast (SPTS) service direct to the subscriber. This will increase the penetration of their existing pay TV services by adding new subscribers and increasing revenue. The Telco operator can add a valuable service to their existing telephony and data services permitting them to offer true triple play to their subscribers with a minimum of investment and effort.

The Irdeto/Amino/Anevia DVB over IP solution will be deployed in Russia by Kosmos TV (DVB-C) and by Stargate TV (DVB-S), with additional implementations in Russia and Ukraine expected shortly.

“This solution gives telcos a more convenient way to offer a complete triple play service,” said Roy Kirsopp, Vice President and General Manager of Amino. “Telcos using this solution will benefit from a quick time to market for new IPTV services using Amino’s innovative and compact STBs, and Irdeto’s proven security.”

“Thanks to Anevia’s Flamingo servers, Irdeto, Anevia and Amino, through a combined solution, have succeeded in implementing a homogeneous scrambling solution for the seamless transportation of DVB-C channels across IPTV networks. This solution is both cost effective and easily deployable,” said Tristan Leteurtre, President and co-founder of Anevia.

“DVB over IP is also an excellent way for cable and satellite operators to extend their reach beyond their existing networks into new, untapped markets,” said Doug Lowther, vice president of sales and marketing for Irdeto. “With this solution, telcos now have a secure and effective choice for launching IPTV services.”

Irdeto’s content security system is powerful, scalable and reliable, and is already deployed at more than 300 operators in over 60 countries around the globe. Irdeto is renowned for its unique and effective security strategy, and Irdeto customers have enjoyed more piracy-free years and fewer smart card swaps than any other provider’s customers.

Irdeto offers both smart card and SoftClient solutions for IPTV operators.

Weblinks:  http://www.irdeto.com   http://www.aminocom.com


No retreat likely on DTH regulations


From http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage_c.php?leftnm=10&autono=297758

In a major blow to the future revenue collections of pay-channel broadcasters like Star, Zee, Sony and ESPN from the Direct-to-Home (DTH) companies, broadcast regulator Trai has indicated that it may not go back or modify its recently released paper on the interconnection agreement for the DTH companies.
 
Under the new provisions, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has made it mandatory for the broadcasters to offer their channels on a-la-carte basis (individual channels) and bouquets.
 
Also, broadcasters can not compel the DTH operators to buy their entire bouquet of channels and will be free to package whatever channel they want to offer to their subscribers.
 
But the pay-channel broadcasters want Trai to allow the market forces to dictate the commercial terms decided between them and the DTH operators. They see the new regulations as a possible threat to their future revenue collections.
 
“These provisions stipulate broadcasters to reveal their commercial arrangements with the DTH companies and does not allow them to push channel bouquets. If implemented, pay-channel broadcasters’ revenue collections will decline as most of them have only a couple of extremely popular channels in their bouquets which will be picked, while the remaining will be left by the DTH companies,” an industry source said.
 
The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), an association of broadcasters, today met Trai officials to request them to dilute the new provisions of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection (Fourth Amendment) Regulation, 2007 for the DTH that will come into effect from December 1.
 
According to sources, certain members of IBF, including Star TV and Sony TV, want Trai to allow broadcasters to sell bouquets or at least a minimum number of channels in a bouquet as opposed to selling only individual channels.
 
“Broadcasters fear that once rules on the DTH are enforced, cable operators will also start demanding the same arrangement in cable industry,” an industry source pointed.
 
But Trai is unlikely to incorporate these changes. “Trai has made the new regulations looking at the launch of at least four new DTH service and the past experiences of DTH players and broadcasters. It may not make much changes in the DTH interconnection regulations,” a source close to the development said.
 
According to the current arrangement, broadcasters sell the entire bouquet of their channels to the DTH service providers on mutually decided commercial terms. This helps the broadcasters to push several of the less-popular channels to the DTH companies at mutually agreed fees.
 
Under the new provisions, broadcasters will also have to declare details of their commercial agreements with the DTH companies in addition to publishing the stand-alone rates of pay channels in their bouquet of channels.
 
Also, broadcasters and the DTH companies have to enter into an interconnect agreement within 45 days of DTH companies seeking for the television channels.
 
“We want Trai to note our concerns on various regulatory issues including the new regulations for DTH. Trai has noted our concerns and we hope it will address them soon,” R C Venkateish, managing director, ESPN Software India told Business Standard.
 
The IBF is an association of broadcasters and has members including Star India, Zee TV, Sony TV, ESPN, NDTV, ETV, among others.


ISRO antenna to track deep space missions


From  http://www.hindu.com/2007/09/12/stories/2007091253101000.htm

Bangalore: Approximately 40 km southwest of Bangalore, at Byalalu village, scientists are working feverishly to complete work on a giant dish antenna, which, at a 32-metre diameter, is wider than the length of a basketball court. Its purpose: to track the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) forthcoming deep space missions millions of kilometres away.

Once ready next month, the antenna will be tested on deep space missions already up and running, said M. Annadurai, Project Director, Chandrayaan-I, ISRO Satellite Centre. Negotiations are on to track the Japanese lunar satellite SELENE, scheduled to be launched soon, he added. SELENE has been touted as one of the most ambitious lunar missions after Apollo.

The integration and installation of the antenna will be completed early October, after which it will be ready for testing and evaluation, said S.K. Shivakumar, Director, ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC).

The antenna is completely indigenous and was assembled panel by panel over two-and-a-half years.

“This antenna, along with the 18-metre antenna that was installed last year, will be part of ISRO’s Deep Space Network to send commands to spacecrafts and to receive scientific data and information about them,” Mr. Shivakumar said. It will track ISRO’s forthcoming missions, including the two moon missions, Chandrayaan-I (scheduled for a 2008 April launch) and Chandrayaan-II, and a proposed mission to Mars.

“The antenna will also be available to users internationally. Once the ground station is fixed with the right characteristics, it will be up to users to come up with the right configurations to make their satellites compatible,” he added.


UTV postpones launch of Bindass to 24 September


From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k7/sep/sep145.php

MUMBAI: The launch of UTV and Astro's youth television channel Bindass will be postponed to 24 September following a delay in securing one of its licenses.

On receiving uplinking clearence from the government, Bindass CEO Zarina Mehta had earlier stated that the channel will kick off on 17 September.

However, Mehta is confident that the channel will hit the airwaves on 24 September. She said, "We have had to postpone the launch date for Bindass to 24 September. We had earlier received uplinking license from the ministry of Information & Broadcasting but were awaiting one more license to come through."

According to Mehta, Bindass will launch with 50 per cent connectivity in Hindi speaking markets. The soft launch of the channel started in the first week of September in the Hindi belt and in Bangalore and Hyderabad.


Unity Group to launch Hindi news channel


From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k7/sep/sep148.php

MUMBAI: Unity Group, a part of Softline Media and Rasthtriya Outdoor Advertising, is all set to launch two channels this fiscal.

The company will launch a Hindi news channel, Unity News, and a Hindi agricultural channel called Hariyali, says a source close to the development.

"We have obtained license from the government for both the channels. The dry run for Hariyali will start in mid-September, while Unity News will commence in January," confirms the source.

Hariyali will be headed by Rakesh Sharma, who was earlier with Jain TV. The channel will extensively cover agriculture in India with a mixture of education and information as its programming mix. The content on the channel will lay a special emphasis on issues like agriculture, health, community building, kisan chaupal (farmers discussion), self-employment schemes and women.

Rashtriya Outdoor Advertising earlier owned the religious channel Sadhna, which was later acquired by Triveni Group. As reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com, the Triveni Group will re-launch the religious channel.




11/09/07

Live satellite chat 9.p.m NZ and 8.30p.m Syd time onwards in the chatroom

D1 12634V sr 5100 "SCTV and Taima" loading, FTA (Aus/NZ beam)

20/20 Cricket starting in the early hours (NZ time) a feed should be up IS2 Cband and Is10 or Asiasat2. Live coverage I think on DD channels on Insat and Nss6.

E! Entertainment at 3760 (H) on Asiasat-2 is scheduled to encrypt at 2.00 pm Sydney time today.


From my Email & ICQ


From Chris W

Reflashed Dreambox with new LT Image and did a rescan of Optus B3. Came up

with the following new channels.

ABN Uplink 1
12326 H 6980 3/4
London news feeds.

ABN Uplink 3
12336 H 6980 3/4
Movies & Kids cartoons all in English.


http:/www.pactv.com


C W
Western Australia


From Wozurfree

RE: equinox

Try this site to calculate Sun Outage/Equinox anywhere in the world.

http://www.satellite-calculations.com/SUNcalc/SUNcalc.htm

If your town/city is not listed then enter your latitude and longitude
which can be found easy through Google Earth.

In Brisbane we are in the middle of equinox now!


NEWS


Merger frenzy as ISPs flee bush


From http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22395557-15306,00.html

AS the federal Government trumpeted its $958 million bush broadband pact with the Opel consortium on Sunday, the kingdom of regional micro-ISPs - suckled on spending of nearly $500 million over three years - was quietly crumbling.

Dr Eric Heyde said many rural ISPs were starting to hurt

The Government's decision to reject all but a few of the 30 applications for continued funding under the final round of its rural broadband subsidy program has prompted a regional ISP fire sale.

Wireless internet providers Cirrus Communications and Broadband Anywhere said they were currently poised to make multiple acquisitions after being approached by several companies seeking to quit the rural broadband business.

Cirrus managing director Dr Eric Heyde said: "There are two (acquisitions) that are top of mind for me at the moment, but I suspect there will be more." Cirrus is based in the NSW Central Coast.

Broadband Anywhere regional business development manager Rob Seymour said the South Australian ISP was in a similar position.

"The short answer is yes and there are things happening," Mr Seymour said. "(I) just can't expand on that comment at this time."

The ISPs in the companies' sights were formerly registered to receive subsidies for connecting customers to their networks under the Government's long-running rural broadband infrastructure development scheme.

All but a few terrestrial providers and about seven satellite providers have been approved for the final phase of the scheme, the $162.5 million Australian Broadband Guarantee, which runs until June next year.

The schemes will be followed by the Broadband Connect Infrastructure Program (BCIP), which was awarded to Opel in June.

Regional ISPs were angered earlier this year when the Government tightened rules for entry to the program.

The Government said providers would be limited to one per area, and only in remote areas outside the BCIP's coverage footprint.

Dr Heyde said many rural ISPs were starting to hurt.

Cirrus had cancelled plans to roll out new infrastructure to regional areas covering between 400,000 and 500,000 residents, Dr Heyde said.

"The funding is all about getting services to areas that are not commercially sustainable so, ipso facto, if you want to build a commercially sustainable business and you can't get any government support, you can't go there - and we won't," he said.

Encouraging broadband infrastructure investment in commercially unsustainable areas has been a critical part of the Government's regional broadband subsidy scheme, since its first phase in 2004.

However, more recently Communications Minister Helen Coonan has said that the scheme was never meant to prop up financially unsustainable business models.

The programs have been through a number of manifestations, including Broadband Connect, which came to an abrupt halt in March after its funding allocation ran out.

The Government launched the ABG early in August after a brief transitional period to rescue providers left dangling over the funding gap created by Broadband Connect's premature end.

The Government said ISPs could reapply for funding in October, raising speculation that it wanted to wait until a legal challenge against the Opel tender was resolved before finalising the program.


Dayport Secures an Order from Sky News Australia/NZ


From http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/9/prweb552107.htm

Dayport has secured an order from the Australian News Channel (ANC) - based in Sydney, Australia - for its PUBLISH solution with additional Data Centre Services and Consumer Player.

Mankato, MN (PRWEB) September 11, 2007 -- The solution for ANC, (regionally known as SKY NEWS -www.skynews.com.au ) will acquire content from ANC's Quantel production platform and data from ENPS. The content will then be transferred to Dayport's datacentre where ANC will then manage, publish and distribute news clips to the SKY NEWS web site, their Podcast and also to their mobile partners. Dayport will also provide a customised Flash video player and integrate it into the existing SKY NEWS web site. ANC will have full control over the design and functionality of the web video player and be able to control the consumer experience.

"We are extremely pleased to be working with the team at the Australian News Channel", said Andy Ioannou, Managing Director at Dayport. "ANC is our first customer in Australia. We believe that ANC recognised the significant benefits which our PUBLISH solution will bring to their operation, in terms of assisting ANC in developing their business and maintaining their position as leader in supplying News to the Australasian market."

ANC Chief Executive Officer Angelos Frangopoulos said, "SKY NEWS' online and mobile services are critical to our future. SKY NEWS believes Dayport can help us stay at the forefront of News delivery in this area and we look forward to building our relationship. We are developing our services across all digital mediums to increase our competitiveness and provide consumers with what they want, when they want it, and how they want it."

About Dayport
Based near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, with additional offices in the USA and UK, Dayport has established itself as the international leader in providing Content Management, Content Delivery, Broadcast video IP streaming, Convergence and Workflow solutions.

Dayport's Content Management range of applications provides innovative architecture, asset and content workflow management, in addition to IP streaming delivery products and services, aimed to meet the operational and business needs of broadcasters and content creators.

The Dayport solutions are designed to empower Dayport's clients with solutions which address the converging needs of the content production and broadcast industry. Specifically, Dayport provides the content management tools to enable the delivery of content to multiple viewing platforms; achieve efficiencies in workflow management and offers media collaboration and approval systems.

Dayport has also created new advertising and content related revenue streams for their clients, while providing choice and convenience to operators and a high quality experience for client end users.

Dayport's clients include over 80 world-class broadcast organizations and Fortune 1000 corporations.

About Australian News Channel (ANC):
ANC owns and operates SKY NEWS - Australia's leading 24-hour television news provider. ANC has deployed the most advanced digital news platform in Australia and is the only TV News service delivering interactive News (SKY NEWS Active).

SKY NEWS can deliver its services to any digital medium - cable, satellite, mobile phones, mobile TV, broadband, as well as providing downloads to iPod or MP3 players.

SKY NEWS is watched in more than 2.5 million Australian and NZ homes - with more than 6 million potential viewers. It is provided to all Austar, Foxtel, Optus Television and other subscription TV homes across Australia, plus Sky New Zealand. SKY NEWS is also widely distributed to business premises, government offices, hotels, airports, pubs and clubs and other commercial outlets Australia-wide.

ANC is one third owned by each of the Seven Network, Nine Network and BSkyB.


TVNZ blames deficit on past


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/3/story.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10462889&pnum=0

Television New Zealand chief executive Rick Ellis has explained away state TV's worst-ever financial result, saying that under his watch he was turning the company around and "Rome wasn't built in a day".

You wouldn't have seen much coverage of the briefing on the state broadcaster's rival TV network, however. TV3 news crews were excluded from the briefing because they were "representing the opposition".

Yesterday Mr Ellis announced the company's first-ever deficit and said it was due to a fall in ratings linked to problems at TV One that had now been resolved.

"There is no doubt that TV One had lost its way in terms as a brand."

He said it had been very difficult for staff to commission the right programmes when it had been unclear what TV One stood for. There was a vacuum, he said.

He was confident new local and imported shows shows coming on this year would help the turnaround.

Mr Ellis said this was his first full year since he took over the role vacated by Ian Fraser and a period that has seen an overhaul of top management.

He said the $4.5 million loss for the year to June 30 - which TVNZ confirmed was the first for state television - would be turned into a $11.3 million profit next year and a $16 million profit in 2009.

Mr Ellis told a briefing of selected journalists and financial brokers yesterday - excluding TV3 news crews because they were the opposition - that the deficit was the result of $11 million one-off costs for restructuring that has pushed more than 100 people off the payroll.

The cost cutting, which has seen the loss of some of TVNZ's news crews, would save $17 million a year.

Mr Ellis blamed the deficit on problems caused by a $30 million drop in advertising revenue after some shows did not deliver expected audiences.

But underlying the lost advertising revenue was confusion about what TV One stood for in marketing terms.

TV One, which had "lost its way", and TV2 shows such as Lost and Desperate Housewives had not rated as well as expected.

He said early financial results for the past three months were slightly more than expected and he was confident the company's audiences slides were now in the past for TVNZ.

Broadcasting Minister and TVNZ shareholding minister Steve Maharey defended the financial result, despite TVNZ taking in $312 million of advertising revenue and $33 million of taxpayer subsidies to wind up $4.5 million in the red.

The company, which is normally required to deliver a dividend to the taxpayer, said there would be no dividend to the Government this year.

The minister said:"Like all public broadcasters worldwide, TVNZ is going through a period of major change in the move to the digital environment."

He said that TVNZ had a "solid plans" to change this year's loss in the longer term.

The company's restructuring was part of a major plan by the TVNZ board and management to put the organisation back on a sustainable path.

"The company has a solid strategic plan to turn the loss into an $11 million profit next year and $16 million in 2009."

But National broadcasting spokesman Jonathan Coleman says the loss is due to the failure of the Government broadcasting policy and expectations for the charter.

Meanwhile, TV3 news boss Mark Jennings said he had been shocked when TV3 staff who sought to cover the news event were refused entry by TVNZ.

A spokesman had told the TV3 news that they could not enter because they are "the opposition".

Mr Jennings said TV3 planned to take up the matter with the media freedom committee, a body set up by media organisations to ensure the rights of media to cover news.

"This is a public event about the performance of a taxpayer-owned body. It was a valid news event and it would be covered as such."

The ban is understood to have ben ordered by Mr Ellis.

TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards said the results were on the public record and TVNZ could decide itself who it wanted to invite to its briefings.


TVNZ result shows no relief for broadcaster


From  Press Release: New Zealand National Party

Jonathan Coleman MP
National Party Broadcasting Spokesman

10 September 2007

TVNZ result shows no relief for broadcaster

TVNZ's results for the 2007 financial year predictably show no real relief in sight for the state broadcaster, says National's Broadcasting spokesman, Dr Jonathan Coleman.

“The key feature of these results is that advertising revenue is down 6.5% on last year, and TVNZ itself says that's because fewer people are watching TV1 and TV2.

“There really is no evidence that this situation is going to improve, despite TVNZ's optimistic predictions for 2008. TVNZ cannot keep cutting costs, because sooner or later programme quality will be affected.

“Audiences are falling, yet two new TVNZ channels are being launched on Freeview. If those channels succeed, they will take viewers from TV1 and TV2, and over into an environment which is going to be commercial-free for the next five years.

“How is that going to improve the bottom line at TVNZ?

“You have to sympathise with the people at TVNZ. Steve Maharey has put them in an impossible situation with the dual remit as a public and a commercial broadcaster - and the financial results are testament to that.

“There is no way things are going to improve at TVNZ while Steve Maharey remains the Minister.”

ENDS


Telecom promises IPTV in 2009, but rivals say they can deliver it now


From http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/ECF3BA79BC1D2A85CC25734F000CA44E

Taylormade Media recently broadcast IPTV internationally, from Valencia, while covering the 2007 America’s Cup races

Regulatory and technical issues are holding up the delivery of local Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) services, says Telecom. However, other providers claim they can deliver the service now.

During an energetic session at last month’s Wellington “Out of the Box — New Broadcasting Futures” conference, Telecom’s general manager of video services, Philip King, held out the prospect of wholesale bandwidth for IPTV services — “broadband to your television” — being delivered by late 2009.

A full IPTV service will require a dedicated 2Mbit/s link to the home, said King. Diagnostics have to be set up to cover drop-outs in the link and this isn’t easy, he told the conference.

Telecom aims to provide a service with a high degree of reliability, but today’s broadband is a “best endeavour service”, he added.

An IPTV service would also have to be available wholesale, to comply with new telecomms regulations. This would mean any of Telecom’s rivals could use the service to deliver their own IPTV offering to customers, which presents its own difficulties, said King.
However, Ian Taylor, of Taylormade Media and Animation Research, told King that his company recently broadcast IPTV internationally, from Valencia, while covering the 2007 America’s Cup races. It also found telecomms partners to help cover the Monsoon Cup, a prestigious yacht race held in Malaysia, and is now planning IPTV coverage of this year’s Wanaka aerobatics show to send out to the world, he said.

“And you tell us 2009 is the earliest we can have IPTV in New Zealand.”

Taylor, who was one of the demonstrators in the “True Life Stories” session that followed afterwards, rubbed his point home during this session by showing high-resolution TV from Spanish-Australian joint venture dargo.tv to the audience.

Questioned by Computerworld regarding the bandwidth and compression that made all this possible, Taylor said: “Now you’re talking technical stuff. I don’t do that. All I know is it works. And it’ll work on your home computer, too.”

Dargo’s website claims high-definition, full-screen TV is possible over a 1.2Mbit/s link, with the help of client software on the user’s machine — not the 2Mbit/s that King claims is necessary. Representatives of the Gibson Group added to Telecom’s embarrassment by describing how they created The Simon Eliot Show, a children’s programme hosted by Simon, an animated figure, from his bedroom and featuring live television feeds from camera-equipped PCs supplied to four quiz contestants. Their faces show on cartoon television sets parked on Simon’s furniture.

The Gibson Group had to set up a dedicated network, provided by Kordia, negotiating everything from adverse weather conditions to a car unexpectedly parked in a contestant’s driveway, where equipment had to be set up, to get reliable transmission without breaks. Even so, said chief executive Dave Gibson, “fastest finger first” questions aren’t possible because network latency could disadvantage some contestants.


Channel 2 gets green light to operate in Fiji


From http://www.radiofiji.com.fj/fullstory.php?id=3658

The Interim Government is working on the last stages of the license granted to Channel 2, the second company to operate a free-to-air television channel in Fiji.

Regulatory Unit director Josua Turaganivalu said Channel 2 has just completed finalizing its channel frequency and has submitted it to his office.

Turaganivalu said a lot of engineering and technical work is required in trying to confirm a frequency for Channel 2 so when it begins transmission, it does not affect existing channels.

The Regulatory Department has identified three other companies that have made submissions to also operate free to air channels.

They are Mai TV, PBS and Talei Vision. Turaganivalu said the companies have been advised to work on their frequencies before they are given licenses.

Meanwhile, there have been questions on how these companies will survive in a small market like Fiji given that free to air TV channels only survive on commercials.

Turaganivalu added they are only implementing a government policy.


Al Jazeera English now available on Astro Indonesia


From http://www.ameinfo.com/131535.html

Astro Indonesia and Al Jazeera English, the English language news and current affairs channel, part of the Al Jazeera Network, today announce a significant partnership following the completion of a carriage deal.

Astro has started carrying Al Jazeera English on its DTH platform on channel 39 in Indonesia.

The deal forms part of the basic content package which makes the channel available alongside other international news channels.

'Al Jazeera English has unrivalled expertise in covering the Middle East and under reported countries around the world, and I am thrilled that Astro viewers can now tune into the Channel for a different perspective on the news,' said Nelia M. Sutrisno, Chief Executive Officer, Astro.

Phil Lawrie, Director, Global Distribution at Al Jazeera English said 'We highly value our pre-existing relationship with Astro, which has been carrying Al Jazeera English in Malaysia since the channel's launch in November 2006, and are delighted that Astro Indonesia is now carrying Al Jazeera English.'

Al Jazeera English, the 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel, headquartered in Doha broadcasts to more than 100 million households worldwide. Al Jazeera English is the first global news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. The channel of reference for the Middle East, Al Jazeera English reverses the information flow from South to North.


Astro Indonesia and Jazeera in partnership


From http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=1093166034

(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha � Astro Indonesia and Al Jazeera English yesterday announced a significant partnership. Astro has started carrying Al Jazeera English on its DTH platform on channel 39 in Indonesia.

The deal forms part of the basic content package which makes the channel available alongside other international news channels.

"Al Jazeera English has unrivalled expertise in covering the Middle East and I am thrilled that Astro viewers can now tune in to the Channel for a different perspective on the news," said Nelia M Sutrisno, Chief Executive Officer, Astro.

Phil Lawrie, Director, Global Distribution at Al Jazeera English said, "We highly value our pre-existing relationship with Astro, which has been carrying Al Jazeera English in Malaysia since the channel's launch in November 2006, and are delighted that Astro Indonesia is now carrying Al Jazeera English."


KBS World Secures Carriage in China


From http://www.worldscreen.com/newscurrent.php?filename=kbs091007.htm

SEOUL, September 10: KBS World, the international channel operated by Korean pubcaster KBS, is now available in 250 hotels in China via SINOSAT, joining just 34 other foreign channels that have been granted access to the satellite by the Chinese government.

Viewers in hotels, foreign compounds and other designated areas will have access to KBS World, which is primarily expected to serve about 4.5 million Korean visitors to China each year. KBS World is currently available in 49 countries reaching 38 million households around the world.

KBS says it has been negotiating for Chinese carriage with the local regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), for more than three years.


WiMAX targets China spectrum


From http://www.telecomasia.net/article.php?type=article&id_article=5663

The WiMAX Forum has launched a campaign to win spectrum in China, despite the opposition of the Chinese government to WIMAX as a 4G technology.

The forum is seeking dedicated frequencies in the 2.5GHz range, which has become the preferred spectrum band for WiMAX worldwide because of its availability.  Forum leaders at a conference in Beijing Monday stressed that they saw Wimax as complementary to the China’s preferred 3G standard, TD-SCDMA.

Ministry of Information Industry (MII) officials have said China would oppose the approval of WiMAX as one of the 3G or 4G standards at the World Radiocommunication Conference meeting in Geneva next month.

But forum vice-president Mo Shakouri says the 3G standardization is “independent of what is going to happen with WiMAX in China.”

The debate with the MII and other officials, he said, was over the timing of WiMAX becoming a 3G standard. In their view WiMAX's conversion into a 3G standard “should be done later rather than sooner,” Shakouri told a press conference.

“From our point of view, over the next few months we will be working with all government bodies to show the value of WiMAX’s inclusion in IMT2000, and we are hoping it will be a successful campaign.”

“Because WiMAX is not another TD-SCDMA. It’s really complementary to bring the mobile Internet, and we think Chinese consumers and the Chinese market will require it for the broadband technology.”

He said the forum also expected that the China broadband market would open up in the next two to three years “and WiMAX will have a great opportunity”.


Thuraya shows satellite internet box


From http://www.ameinfo.com/131615.html

Satellite communications company Thuraya is launching an Internet Protocol (IP) box next year designed to give those travelling to remote locations access to the internet. The ThurayaIP box will provide access via its satellites, which means users can also make Voice over IP calls should they need to. It supports speeds of up to 384Kb/s with an external antenna, allowing it to be used for live broadcasts. Connection from the box to a laptop is handled by the 802.11b standard.

Separately, Thuraya is launching a second satellite at the end of October. Called Thuraya-3 (a previous satellite is no longer used due to malfunction), it increases network coverage to Australia, the Far East and Japan.


Russia To Launch UAE Spacecraft In 2008 From Baikonur


From http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Russia_To_Launch_UAE_Spacecraft_In_2008_From_Baikonur_999.html

The chief of Russia's space agency said Monday Russia would launch a spacecraft for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2008 from the launch site in Kazakhstan. "We plan to launch a remote sensing satellite for the UAE in 2008," Anatoly Perminov said, adding that a related agreement had been signed on the sidelines of President Vladimir Putin's first visit to the Arab state.

Perminov said he hoped agreement with Kazakhstan, which suspended Russian Proton booster launches from the Baikonur space center following a crash early Thursday, would be reached within a month.

"I believe we will resolve the issue within a month," he said.

A Proton-M booster carrying a Japanese satellite exploded shortly after liftoff and came down in the central Kazakh steppe. The rocket was carrying highly toxic fuel, and an investigative team is yet to determine the scale of possible environmental damage.

Russia and Kazakhstan have an agreement on launches from Baikonur until 2050, for which Moscow pays Astana $115 million a year. But Kazakhstan recently said it would reconsider allowing further Proton flights because of the rocket fuel's toxicity and potential for catastrophic environmental contamination in the event of a launch failure.

Source: RIA Novosti

related report
UAE satellite telecom firm to launch 3rd satellite on Oct. 28
Thuraya, a satellite telecom firm in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will launch its third satellite into orbit on Oct. 28 to expand its capacity and coverage area, local newspaper Gulf News reported on Monday.

The Thuraya-3 satellite is part of the company's plans to expand coverage to countries in the Asia Pacific region, including China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia, the report said.

After the launch of the satellite, Thuraya plans to start commercial services in the Asia Pacific region by Dec. 23, the company's CEO Yousuf Al Sayed said.

Established in 1997, Thuraya launched its first satellites from the Pacific Ocean in 2000 and the second in 2003.

The Abu Dhabi-based company currently has a share of some 26 percent in the global mobile satellite market, providing mobile satellite services for over 110 nations and regions across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia.


Hughes Supplies Global-Teleport of Russia with Broadband Satellite Solution


From http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/NEM13910092007-1.htm

GERMANTOWN, Md., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the world's leading provider of broadband satellite networks and services, announced today that Joint Stock Company Global-Teleport of Moscow, Russia is operating the Hughes HN broadband satellite solution to provide Internet access and rural telephony throughout Russia.

Under the "National Education Project," Global-Teleport has deployed more than 2500 HN remote terminals throughout Russia, and operates an HN Network Operations Center (NOC) in Moscow at the All Russia Exhibit Center.

"We consider Hughes one of our main partners in the implementation of social and commercial projects in Russia," said Ostapchuk Alexey Vitaljevich, general director of Global-Teleport. "Hughes has extensive experience in the Russian market with an in-depth knowledge of local customers and partners. Combined with the professionalism of the local Hughes staff, we consider the relationship between our companies very effective and fruitful."

"We are proud to have been chosen by Global-Teleport, one of Russia's leading providers of telecom services" said Dr. Arunas Slekys, vice president and general manager, Russia/CIS region at Hughes. "They have an excellent reputation as a national VSAT satellite communications operator and we look forward to providing the technology to help them grow their business."

Global-Teleport provides communications services to long-distance telecommunications companies, state institutions (such as the Federal State Enterprise Russian Post), Internet service providers, and several commercial enterprises.

"Our goal is to increase the number of customers we serve and expand the services we provide," continued Mr. Ostapchuk. "We also have plans to expand into new territories such as the Republic of Dagestan and the Chechen Republic. We look to Hughes to help us achieve these goals."

About Global-Teleport

Joint Stock Company Global-Teleport is a satellite communication operator, founded in 2005 by JSC Synterra. Global-Teleport is part of the Synterra group of companies. Its primary business is the provision of satellite communication services based on Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) satellite technology.

The company operates four hub earth stations located in Moscow, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk, and Pavlovskiy Posad (city in Moscow region), that provide VSAT network control for approximately 7,000 satellite terminals in operation. The company provides satellite communication services for national projects in the Russian Federation related to Internet education and universal telephony service. For additional information, please visit http://www.gtport.ru .

About Hughes Network Systems

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) is the global leader in providing broadband satellite networks and services for large enterprises, governments, small businesses, and consumers. HughesNet(R) encompasses all broadband solutions and managed services from Hughes, bridging the best of satellite and terrestrial technologies. Hughes has shipped more than 1.2 million systems to customers in over 100 countries. Its broadband satellite products are based on the IPoS (IP over Satellite) global standard, approved by the TIA, ETSI, and ITU standards organizations.

Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes maintains sales and support offices worldwide. Hughes is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hughes Communications, Inc. . For additional information, please visit http://www.hughes.com .

All Rights Reserved. Hughes and HughesNet are registered trademarks of Hughes Network Systems, LLC.


Icasa to announce operators to break MultiChoice's hold


From http://www.busrep.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=&fArticleId=4027739

Johannesburg - The wait for the preferred pay television licence operators that will break MultiChoice's 12-year monopoly ends tomorrow, with the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) announcing the winner.

Three firms have emerged as the leading contenders to take on MultiChoice in the lucrative pay television business.

This year alone, Nasper's pay television units, M-Net and SuperSport, generated R8.5 billion in revenue from subscribers who pay between R139 and R494 monthly.

The frontrunners, Telkom Media, On Digital Media (ODM) and e.tv's sister company, E-Sat, are among 18 applicants that applied for licences last year. Others included the SABC in partnership with satellite broadcaster Sentech, Khetha Media, MultiChoice, multiChannel and WorldSpace. But multiChannel and WorldSpace pulled out of the race.

Telkom Media, ODM and E-Sat are regarded as the strongest applicants as they have the infrastructure and finances.

But Telkom Media seems to have an advantage over other applicants because of the existing infrastructure of fixed-line operator Telkom, which owns 66 percent.

Although Icasa has not put a limit on the number of licences that could be awarded, analysts say the market cannot handle more than two players.

Indications are that MultiChoice, which has about 1.4 million subscribes, will receive one of the licences. It only had permission to operate as it was set up before the regulations came into being.
Analysts have predicted that breaking MultiChoice's dominance in the sector will be difficult because it has been operating for more than 10 years. In anticipation of competition, the company is revamping its content by signing new exclusive TV rights.

Sei Mukoma, an analyst who works on competition, information and communication technology, and regulatory compliance, said yesterday that the market could handle "four powerful players". ODM, Telkom Media and E-Sat's applications highlighted their planned capital injection, broadcasting experience and technical ability, which fitted in well with Electronics Communications Act requirements.

Once licensed, operators are likely to begin broadcasting early next year.

Analysts say sports and movies will be the key to winning more subscribers.

The three frontrunners plan to offer a variety of channels such as news, sports, movies and educational channels, with an emphasis on local content.

The companies, which plan to invest billions of rands, are targeting the lower- to middle-class market with subscription fees ranging from R100 to R400.

ODM, which is partly owned by Cosatu's investment arm, Kopano ke Matla, has proposed a prepaid system that will allow subscribers to create their own bundles.

Other contenders that could be awarded licences are niche operators Walking on Water, which has a Christian focus; and Deukom, which will target German-speaking consumers.


ICC World Twenty20 to show live on Ten Sports


From http://www.ameinfo.com/131504.html

Ten Sports, the most watched cricket channel in the Middle East, will bring live and exclusive the most exciting cricket event of the year - the ICC World Twenty20 South Africa 2007 - to the millions of cricket fans in the Middle East.

The inaugural ICC World Twenty20 starts September 11 in South Africa with the opening match between the hosts and the West Indies. The two semi-finals will be played on September 22, and the final is scheduled for September 24 at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

Australia will start as favourites to win a unique triple of ICC trophies - they already are the reigning ICC Cricket World Cup champions and ICC Champions Trophy winners.

Live telecast of the inaugural match starts 8pm UAE time on September 11. Matches on the other days are scheduled to start at 12noon, 4pm and 8pm. The semi-finals on September 22 will be played at 3pm and 8pm UAE time, while the final will begin at 4pm.

Chris McDonald, CEO, Taj Television Ltd, said: 'Twenty20 cricket, as a format, has already been widely accepted by the fans and television viewers. Given the action on and off the field, it makes for some exciting viewing, and we are sure Ten Sports viewers across the Middle East will greatly enjoy our coverage of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament.'

ICC Chief Executive Officer Mr. Malcolm Speed said, 'The ICC is delighted TEN Sports will be broadcasting coverage of the ICC World Twenty20 in the Middle East. This is great news, and with Twenty20's exciting, all-action format we are certain it will help enhance the already high levels of interest in cricket in the countries covered by TEN Sports, something that should ensure our strong sport grows even stronger.'

Mr Jamie Davis, Managing Director, ESPN STAR Sports the ICC's global broadcast partner said: 'We continue to develop the great game of cricket and these partnerships are a testament to our commitment. We are pleased to have TEN Sports as our broadcast partner for the Middle East.'

Ten Sports is available to subscribers in the Middle East and via cable systems such as Evision in the UAE.

TWENTY20 WORLD CUP SCHEDULE:
Sep 11: South Africa v West Indies
Sep 12: New Zealand v Kenya; Pakistan v Scotland; Australia v Zimbabwe
Sep 13: West Indies v Bangladesh; Zimbabwe v England; India v Scotland
Sep 14: Sri Lanka v Kenya; Australia v England; India v Pakistan
Sep 15: Sri Lanka v New Zealand; South Africa v Bangladesh
Sep 16, 17, 18, 19, 20: Super eight stages
Sep 22: Semi-finals
Sep 24: Final at Wanderers Stadium


ESS signs deals for ICC World Twenty20


From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k7/sep/sep131.php

MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports (ESS) which is the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) global Distribution and Broadcast Partner, announces broadcast deals in the UK and Ireland.

In the UK and Ireland, the rights for the maiden edition of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament have been awarded to BSkyB and to Independent Music Group (Geo).

While BSkyB acquires the television broadcast rights exclusively in English language and Mobile and Internet for all languages, the Independent Music Group Limited (Geo) has been awarded the television broadcast rights exclusively for all languages other than English.

ESS and its affiliate have already secured global coverage for the tournament with over 110 countries slated to showcase the inaugural edition of ICC World Twenty20 spanning North America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Cyprus, Mauritius, South Asia, North Asia - including China for the first time - and India.

ESS says that with the rising popularity of this new format of the game amongst the fans in UK and Ireland and the growing penetration of internet and mobile in these markets, fans across UK and Ireland can look forward to an exciting season of cricket with the start of the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in September.

ESS executive VP, programming and marketing Manu Sawhney says, “As the leader in the sports broadcasting industry, we are committed to delivering the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 South Africa 2007 action in all its glory to millions of cricket aficionados across the world. And, it is our endeavor to work along with ICC in taking the game of cricket to new markets and new audiences through multiple platforms.

“We are very pleased to have BSkyB and Independent Music Group as our partners in UK and Ireland. With their quality coverage and presentation, the fans can look forward to witnessing the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 South Africa 2007 action in all its glory. And with these partnerships, we are confident of setting new benchmarks in distribution which will pave the way for a record number of fans to witness this exciting format of cricket through multiple platforms in these countries.”

ICC CEO Malcolm Speed said, “The ICC is extremely pleased to have a committed partner in ESPN Star Sports, who has helped further extend the reach of this tournament by continually setting new standards in global distribution and coverage of cricket.

“I’m confident that these broadcast partnerships will further grow the popularity of cricket in core cricket market like UK and the new emerging market like Ireland thus ensuring that our strong sport grows even stronger.”

ESPN Star Sports recently renewed its partnership with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) and acquired exclusive rights to broadcast their domestic and home international matches for the entire Asian region. In addition, late last year, ESPN Star Sports’ affiliate, EML was awarded the global telecast rights from the International Cricket Council (ICC) for all of their events from 2007 to 2015




10/09/07

Some feeds from the weekend on the Optus sats

B3 12290 H 6670 3/4 1266,1225,1265 More apec demo stuff
B3 12397 H 6670 3/4 1865,256,1865 Globecast 2 path Horse's

D1 12671 H 7200 3/4 33,34,41 PSNV PATH1 Frequent 7 news updates.
D1 12684 H 7200 3/4 4194/4195/4194 BCS SLOT6
D1 12652 H 6670 H 1865,1825 Horses Globecast 2
D1 12644 V 6670 3/4 Hawthorn vs Adelaide Feed
D1 12644 V 6670 3/4 A-League


From my Email & ICQ


Nothing to report


From the Dish


Lyngsat on a break

ABS 1 75E 12640 H Sr 22000 Fec 3/4 "ZAM TV" is testing


NEWS


Sky viewers may get new TVNZ channels after all


From http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4196731a28.html

Sky TV may have found a way to let its subscribers tune in to TVNZ's new free-to-air channels TVNZ6 and TVNZ7 without risking a legal stoush with the state-owned broadcaster or falling foul of the Government.

Chief executive John Fellet says Sky believes it could turn its set-top boxes into devices that could toggle between operating as Freeview free- to-air boxes and Sky boxes.

It is understood this would involve a firmware upgrade, which might be carried out without an engineer.

"The only issue is what problems that creates for the box," Mr Fellet says.

"We will need to do tests and that sort of thing."

The approach could let Sky get around a copyright restriction that TVNZ believes would prevent the pay-TV company from loading the new channels into its electronic programming guide without TVNZ's permission.

TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis announced earlier that TVNZ had no plans to make its new digital channels available to Sky and that he expected Sky to respect that decision.

"Irrespective of technical issues about whether Sky can or can't take the channels, we would be extraordinarily surprised if a pay-TV business, substantially foreign-owned, would seek to antagonise the Government and its crown-owned broadcaster in this way," Mr Ellis said.

Mr Fellet dismissed the comment. "I suspect if the Government has a concern with something, they will contact me, not Rick.

"I don't believe he holds any ministerial posts."

A spokesperson for Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey says the debate over whether Sky should be able to offer TVNZ6 and TVNZ7 is a "commercial matter" and Mr Maharey will not get involved.

National Party broadcasting spokesman Jonathan Coleman also declined to take sides.

"What it illustrates is how dysfunctional government broadcasting has been.

You have got a public broadcaster being forced to act as a commercial organisation, so you can see the argument from TVNZ's point of view that they want to defend their territory, and the other point of view that the channels are funded with public money and should go on to Sky.

He says a fundamental review of TVNZ's remit may be required.

"It also shows the Government has to get on and set a switch-off date for analogue transmissions."

TVNZ's family-oriented channel, TVNZ6, will go on air on Freeview at the end of the month and its TVNZ7 news channel on March 30.


TV3 get the picture


From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/4/story.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10462664

TV3 is confident the picture quality of the All Blacks' next live match, against Portugal next weekend, will be good.

The broadcaster said the bad reception which irritated viewers during the first half of the 74-16 rout of Italy was a problem from Marseille.

The All Blacks' next match is against Portugal, in Lyon, at 11pm (NZT) on Saturday, and TV3 are confident the technical problems will not reoccur.

TV3 spokesman Roger Beaumont said faulty satellite signals in Marseille had been to blame internationally. "It was virtually out of our control."

He said TV3 had a back-up plan and had been ready to switch the signal to a different route when International Rugby Board technical crews fixed the problem near the end of the first half. Mr Beaumont said: "We certainly apologise for any inconvenience or frustration the problem caused. We experienced it, too."

Mr Beaumont said he hadn't been in contact with the operators at TV3 who may have fielded complaints from upset rugby fans about the bad reception.


(Craig's comment, even after the initial satellite problems, the picture quality was very average. I thought they were going to be downscaling a high quality HDTV feed?)


TVNZ announces $4.5m loss


From http://www.stuff.co.nz/4196986a13.html

TVNZ has announced an operating profit of $9.3 million on revenue of $375.2 million for the financial year end 30 June 2007, and a net loss after tax of $4.5 million following a one-off restructuring charge of $11.1 million.

Advertising revenues declined 6.5 per cent to $312.8 million for the year.

TVNZ Chief Executive Rick Ellis said the result reflected a soft advertising market, channel performance issues now being addressed, and costs associated with implementing an organisation redesign.

"The 2007 financial year result reflects the realities of the business a year ago and the cost and investment in restructuring and repositioning required to restore TVNZ to health and position it for leadership in the digital era," Mr Ellis said.

"Despite a difficult trading environment the company has made great progress during the year in implementing the new strategy 'Inspiring New Zealanders on every screen', and improving the performance of the television business.

"We made the big strategic call to change now rather than to cruise along and allow the changing media environment to overtake TVNZ. We could have sat back, not changed anything and made a short term profit. But we made the judgment that the long term health of the organisation required change now.

"The one-off restructuring and other savings have delivered significant ongoing future cost reductions to TVNZ ? some $17 million per annum.

"The TV ONE turnaround is now well underway, and advertising revenues are forecast to rise year on year for the first quarter of the 2008 financial year. Increased performance coupled with sustainable costs is set to return TVNZ to profitability in the 2008 financial year and expects to achieve the shareholder's target return on investment rate in the 2009 financial year."

He said TVNZ invested in a number of initiatives targeted at growing future public and commercial value through increased accessibility of its programmes and content via more channels, web portals and screen devices.

"The company played a leadership role in the launch of the Freeview digital platform and secured government funding for two new digital channels, TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 that will be predominantly local content and be advertising free."

In addition the Board approved investment in excess of $30 million in digital infrastructure for news, digital channels, widescreen television, for satellite news gathering kits and for the tvnzondemand platform.

He said as New Zealand's television public broadcaster TVNZ continued its commitment to local programming, spending close to $130 million in the 2007 financial year.

In the 2008 financial year TVNZ will spend approximately the same ? more than $25 million from New Zealand On Air, Te Mangai Paho and Direct Government Funding and more than $90 million of TVNZ's own commercially earned revenues.

"The 2007 financial year has very much been a planning and transition year. The 2008 financial year will be about executing to the plan and the 2009 financial year will be about accelerating growth.

"With a new strategy and with a capable and committed leadership and staff in place, the company looks to the future with confidence and enthusiasm."


TBC broadcasts live Rugby World Cup through CCTV satellite


From http://www.matangitonga.to/article/tonganews/newsmedia/cctv_rwc_100907_1902.shtml

TONGAN television viewers who have been enjoying watching the opening matches of the Rugby World Cup live and free on CCTV, should enjoy it while they can and hope that a ship carrying Sky Pacific TV equipment from Fiji will never arrive in Tongatapu.

This special broadcast of the Rugby World Cup matches is being fed by TBC from Fiji's Sky TV through China Central Television's channel to viewers in Tongatapu and 'Eua.

Katalina Tohi the manager for Television Tonga said today that this unusual arrangement was made because of the late arrival of the Sky Pacific equipment. The Tonga Broadcasting Commission struck a compromise with Fiji�s Sky Television, who owns the sole right for live broadcasts of the RWC in the area, to do a special broadcast of the matches free through CCTV channel. "It is much easier. They have their own satellite disc and at no extra costs Sky TV relays the RWC games through CCTV."

Katalina said that the equipment was scheduled to arrive two weeks ago but she was hopeful that it would arrive tonight.

"If it does, the set up and activation of the Sky customers will likely be completed by Friday, September 14, and the current free live broadcasts of the matches through CCTV channel will stop."

A total of 300 customers have paid for their Sky TV package to view the RWC matches.

Since May 2006 CCTV has been offering a free English television service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Crashed Russian space-rocket found


From http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=22300&sectionid=3510208

Debris from a Russian space rocket carrying a Japanese satellite that crashed this week, has been found in central Kazakhstan.

"A nozzle of a motor from the third stage of the rocket, a satellite panel and a piece of the rocket were found," a representative of Kazakhstan's emergency situations ministry told Interfax news agency Saturday.

The Proton-M rocket crashed early Thursday just after take-off from the Russian-rented Baikonur facility in Kazakhstan, destroying its cargo of a JCSat 11 telecommunications satellite.


Environmental Damage Caused By Crash Of Russian Rocket Launched In Kazakhstan


From http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7008444771

Moscow, Russia (AHN) - Both the environment and Russia's commercial satellite program sustained damage when a rocket malfunctioned on takeoff on Thursday, and then crashed in a remote area of Kazakhstan, strewing debris there.

The unmanned Russian rocket was carrying a Japanese communications satellite and ran into trouble 139 seconds into launch from the Russian-rented Baikonur facility in Kazakhstan.

Investigators found a huge crater about 49 yards wide where parts of the Russian Proton-M rocket crashed, BBC news reported Friday.

Fragments weighing up to 880 pounds were found in an uninhabited area used as cattle pasture near the city of Dzhezkazgan.

At an altitude of 46 miles, its second and third stages veered off the planned trajectory. That sent parts of the rocket, which was carrying more than 220 tons of fuel, including toxic heptyl, crashing into the area used for grazing cattle about 30 miles southwest of the central Kazakh town of Zhezkazgan.

Kazakh space agency chief Talgat Musabayev expressed concern about possible contamination around that crash site, Kazakhstan's Kazinform news agency reported, according to the Associated Press.

Kazakhstan's deputy environmental minister was said to be disgruntled over the mishap, the most recent of six "serious" problems since 1996. It is expected that nation will strengthen environmental safeguards for future launches by Russia.

In the meantime, launches from the world's oldest space center have been suspended and Russia has agreed to pay environmental damages, the BBC reports.

A similar crash with a different Russian rocket happened in July.


JCSAT-11 Launch Failure Follow-Up: Info Releases From ILS, Khrunichev & JSAT


From http://www.satnews.com/cgi-bin/display_story.cgi?number=1025110727

ILS Declares Proton Launch Anomaly

Khrunichev and International Launch Services regret to announce the failure of the Proton launch vehicle to put the JCSAT-11 satellite into proper orbit for JSAT Corporation. The Proton Breeze M rocket launcher failed to inject JCSAT-11 into orbit due to an anomaly in second-stage operation.

A Russian State Commission is in the process of determining the reasons for the anomaly. ILS will release details when data become available. A copy of the official statement released by Khrunichev, which manufactures the Proton, will also be made available upon translation. In parallel with the State Commission, ILS will form its own Failure Review Oversight Board. The FROB will review the commission's final report and corrective action plan, in accord with U.S. and Russian government export control regulations.

ILS remains committed to providing reliable, timely launch services for all its customers. To this end, ILS will work diligently with its partner Khrunichev to return Proton to flight as soon as possible.

Proton Launch Vehicle Fails to Place JCSAT -11 Telecommunication Satellite Into Orbit—Khrunichev Press Release

The Proton Breeze M rocket carrying JSAT Corp.'s of Japan JCSAT-11 telecommunications satellite lifted off at 2:43 Moscow Time, 6 September from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The Proton launcher failed to inject the satellite into orbit due to an anomaly in second-stage operation. Khrunichev expresses its regret to JSAT Corp. and all partners involved in the mission.

The launch was carried out under the auspices of International Launch Services, a joint venture of Space Transport Inc., Khrunichev and RSC Energia set up to provide marketing, sales and mission management for Proton launches.

Shortly after the failure Russian State Agency formed a State Commission to investigate the anomaly and report on the results of its findings. The commission will determine the causes of the launch failure and work up its recommendations for a corrective action plan to prevent such anomalies in the future.

Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center -- the Moscow-based designer and manufacturer of Proton launch vehicle -- remains committed to fulfill in timely and efficient manner its obligations under the framework of federal programs and international agreements. To this end, Khrunichev will work to return Proton Breeze M to safe flight as soon as possible.

Proton Breeze M is an upgraded version of the principal heavy-lift vehicle in Russia's space program, the Proton. With 40 years of its flight history and overall record of over 325 launches, Proton is among the world's most reliable launch vehicles and has been widely used to insert governmental and commercial payloads into near- Earth orbits and escape trajectories.

Proton Breeze M version, operational since April 2001, is characterized by high power capacity and improved performance. The JCSAT 11 mission was the 17th Proton Breeze M flight overall. Under ILS auspices, Proton Breeze M has carried out 16 commercial missions out of which just two missions resulted in failure, since its inaugural commercial flight in 2002.

The Word From JSAT Regarding Failed Sat & Replacement Ordered
The President and CEO of JSAT Corporation, Kiyoshi Isozaki, reported the failure of the attempted launch of its JCSAT-11 communications satellite and an in-depth investigation Is underway to determine the cause. He added, “This satellite was launched as a successor to an in-orbit backup satellite. The failure does not affect the communications and broadcasting services currently offered. At the moment, the impact of the announced incidents on the consolidated results of JSAT is expected to be negligible, given that the satellite and launch costs are covered by satellite launch insurance.”

He also announced that the company ordered the same model of satellite (A2100AX platform) as JCSAT-11 from manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corporation on the same day as the launch mishap. Delivery of this new, replacement satellite is expected during the summer of 2009. International Launch Services, Inc., the launch service provider, has informed JSAT the cause of the launch failure of JCSAT-11 was an anomaly in the second stage of the Proton Breeze M launch vehicle—Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo


New Rules Sought After Rocket Crash


From http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2007/09/10/019.html

Kazakhstan plans to toughen launch rules at the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome after the crash of a Proton-M rocket last week.

A senior Kazakh environmental official said Friday that six crashes had occurred during launches over the past decade and that the latest was the last straw.

"We have come to the conclusion that these cannot be viewed as isolated incidents. They look like a system. Problems are occurring too often," the official, Zeinolla Sarsenbayev, told reporters, a statement posted on the Kazakh government's web site said.

"Our ministry will toughen requirements for the Russia side," he said, without elaborating on what the new requirements would be.

Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov said, however, that one change might be a ban on launches when President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited areas where parts of rockets might fall. "If a presidential visit is taking place and a rocket is being launched, we must have the right to stop everything," he said Friday, a separate statement posted on the Kazakh government web site said.

Masimov told Kazakhstan's space agency chief during a Cabinet meeting to prepare for "serious talks" with Federal Space Agency director Anatoly Perminov.

A senior Russian space industry official said the talks might include demands from Kazakhstan for an increase in the rent that Russia pays for use of the cosmodrome as well as larger compensation for environmental damage caused by toxic rocket fuel during crashes. The official asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak with the media.

Russia pays $115 million per year to rent Baikonur under a contract that expires in 2050.

Russia most recently paid $1.1 million to Kazakhstan for damage sustained when a Proton-M rocket crashed after liftoff from Baikonur last year.

In Thursday's crash, the rocket, which was to lift a Japanese satellite into orbit, came down after one of its second-stage engines turned off at 2:46 a.m. Moscow time at an altitude of 76 kilometers, the Federal Space Agency said. Parts of the rocket fell in an uninhabited area 50 kilometers southwest of the Kazakh city of Dzhezkagan.

A commission set up to investigate the crash is considering the possibility that the component of the engine's control system responsible for directing the inclination of the engine's thrust malfunctioned and caused the failure, said an official with the rocket's builder, the Moscow-based Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center.

Calls to the Federal Space Agency's press service went unanswered Friday.

More than a dozen fragments of the crashed rocket have been recovered, the Kazakh government said. Television footage from the scene showed a 20-meter-deep crater at the impact site and twisted fragments of the rocket's body scattered around a barren, rocky steppe.

Kazakhstan has also set up a commission to investigate the crash.


Indonesian Papua To Accommodate Russian Satellite's Launching In 2010


From http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Indonesian_Papua_To_Accommodate_Russian_Satellite_Launching_In_2010_999.html

Frans Kaisiepo Airport in Biak Numfor district, Papua province of Indonesia, has been designated as the location from where a Russian satellite will be launched in 2010, Indonesian Antara News Agency reported Saturday. "The Russian satellite will be launched using an air launch system. And this will certainly require a huge investment," Biak Numfor, District Chief Yusuf Melianus Maryen, was quoted as saying.

As the location chosen for the satellite's launching, Biak Numfor would be built with high-tech facility and modern infrastructure by that time, which has positive impact to the local economy and promotion of technology, Yusuf said.

Frans Kaisiepo Airport is one of a few international airports inthe eastern part of Indonesia.

The designation was finally made when Russian president Vladimir Putin had his first visit to Indonesia and reached bilateral agreement with Indonesia on space technology cooperation on Sept. 6, according to the report.


Vidanti Shows New DVB-S2 Satellite TV and IPTV Hybrid Solutions at IBC


From http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/09/prweb552277.htm

Visit Vidanti (booth #IP222) at the IBC event in Amsterdam, 7-11 Sept. 2007. See the Future in High Definition.

Cambridge, UK, and Amsterdam, Holland (PRWEB) September 10, 2007 -- Vidanti, the innovative IPTV software platform company, is showing a live demonstration of integrated Definition (HD) satellite TV, video-on-demand over IP, web browsing and Voice-over-IP at its booth in IPTV world sector at IBC.

Dramatic sales of HD Ready television sets are not matched by a corresponding take-up of HD programming, with the result that many more consumer homes have the means to watch HDTV than are actually watching it. One of the factors behind this is the bandwidth required.

The satellite digital TV market has adopted new technologies -- in particular DVB-S2 and MPEG-4 (H.264) that enables more HD content to be offered without displacing existing channels. During this, satellite companies have also been influenced by the rising popularity of IPTV (the delivery of high-quality video over a dedicated IP broadband network). This enables them to offer more IP-based services such as Web surfing and Voice-over-IP, and to increase again the amount of HD content that can be offered as video-on-demand.

Using their new NV4-S2 platform, Vidanti is demonstrating live access to Europe's HD satellite channels, video-on-demand from HD video servers, surfing the Internet and making Voice-over-IP calls via a major European VoIP service.

All of these features are realised using BBTVsoft™ -- Vidanti's extensive IPTV software platform. BBTVsoft is a production-proven, feature-rich platform of Broadband and IPTV video software that simplifies and accelerates time to market for consumer equipment manufacturers and systems integrators.

The NV4-S2, like all Vidanti solutions, is available as a white label product for consumer equipment manufacturers to licence and market under their own brands.

About Vidanti Ltd.
Vidanti Limited, the innovative IPTV software platform company, specialise in the intersection of broadband digital home gateways and advanced interactive set top box technology and our products are aimed at the IPTV market -- the fastest-growing segment of the pay TV sector.

Vidanti's software enables leading manufacturers around the world to replace their in-house software with a flexible and capable solution at a lower unit cost and shorter time to market.

Vidanti enables end-users to realize the full potential of their "HD Ready" TV with unlimited, on-demand content that they can watch when and where they want it -- on a TV, not a PC. With our solutions, they are able to simultaneously browse the Internet and make free phone calls over Broadband directly from their TV.

Vidanti is based in Cambridge, UK.

Contacts:
Vidanti Ltd
Contact: Paul Walsh
Email: info @ vidanti.com
Phone: +44 (0) 1223.870008
http://www.vidanti.com/


China narrows final mobile TV spec to CMMB, TDBM


From http://www.my-esm.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201804847

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Even for those participating in the high-stakes guessing game over China's mobile TV standard, a plethora of specs currently proposed in China seems like a mystery.

Speaking at the International Broadcast Conference here on Friday (Sept. 7), Du Baichuan, former CTO of China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft), sought to clarify the situation. "China will have two mobile TV standards by the end of this year: CMMB and TDBM," Du declared.

CMMB (China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting) is based on a hybrid satellite and terrestrial network, originally developed by China's Academy of Broadcast Science and Sarft. TDMB is a mobile TV standard using China's home-grown 3G mobile telecommunication standard, TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access). TDMB was developed by Datong Telecom, a research body of China's Ministry of Information and Industry (MII).

Du downplayed other competing proposals. DMMB (Digital Mobile Multimedia Broadcast), drafted by Tsinghua University to leverage China's terrestrial digital TV standard, has been "postponed because of the delays in terrestrial digital TV installations," said Du. "It's behind the schedule."

Complicating DMMB implementation further is that "they are based on two different physical layers: one on DMMB-W (wideband) and another on DMMB-N (narrowband)," said Du. "The two are not compatible."

Du also dismissed T-MMB (Terrestrial-Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting) as "only a technical solution." Describing the spec as "an improved system based on Europe's Digital Audio Broadcast standard," Du added: "If it's based on DAB, why not use DAB or DMB? Why use T-MMB?"

Another proposal called CDMB (China Digital Multimedia Broadcasting), promoted by the China Association for Standardization, has also emerged. "It's just a proposal," Du said.

He said CMMB is well on its way to commercialization. Three-point, single frequency network testing was carried out in January in Beijing. It will be using home-grown chips available from Innofidei, a small Chinese chip vendor. "The Innofidei chip already works and it's proven to offer four-hour-long continuous TV viewing," Du said. Adding to the momentum is that DiBcom and Siano, two leading mobile TV chip companies, will have CMMB silicon ready by the end of this year, according to Du.

Pre-commercial mobile TV services based on CMMB will roll out in six Chinese cities by the end of this year. As China launches two satellites next spring, the goal is to start CMMB-based mobile TV services in 60 cities before the Beijing Olympics next year, Du said.


World's smallest independent state, Sealand, in talks with Russian investment group


From http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/09/prweb552065.htm

Royal Family presented with opportunity to fund the launch of a Sealand satellite system

London, UK (PRWEB) September 10, 2007 -- The world's smallest independent state, the Principality of Sealand, has received a multi-million dollar investment opportunity to fund the launch of a communications satellite.

The principality has been approached by a Russian investment group attracted by Sealand's independent status and its potential for developing media download services, operating under its own jurisdiction. The potential satellite system would enable content to be broadcasted internationally, directly from the former military fortress.

The proposed plan, from a Moscow-based venture group, involves optimising high-capacity servers on the micro-nation and launching a satellite to enable content to be delivered online.

Sealand recently launched the world's first national online casino, Sealand Casino, offering all players tax-free winnings. The micro-nation celebrated its 40th year anniversary on the 2nd of September, commemorating the day that Prince Roy of Sealand exerted state authority on the island. The Principality of Sealand is located six miles off the Eastern shores of Great Britain.

The latest Principality of Sealand developments can be found at its official digital newspaper, Sealand News (http://www.sealandnews.com/).

About the Principality of Sealand:

On 2 September 1967, former English major Paddy Roy Bates formally occupied a former military fortress, created by Great Britain during World War II and subsequently abandoned to the jurisdiction of the High Seas.

The Principality of Sealand's independence was upheld in a 1968 British court decision where the judge held that it stood in international waters and did not fall under the legal jurisdiction of the United Kingdom: giving birth to Sealand's national motto of E Mare Libertas, or "From the Sea, Freedom".

Seven years later on 25 September 1975, Roy of Sealand proclaimed the Constitution of the Principality. Over time, other national treasures were developed, such as the flag of the Principality of Sealand, its national anthem, stamps, as well as gold and silver coins launched as Sealand Dollars. Finally, passports of the Principality of Sealand were issued to loyal subjects.

Recent years have seen an impressive expansion in both social and industrial activity, with the Principality of Sealand developing a growing economic base, underscoring its long-standing membership of the international community of States.

http://www.sealandnews.com/


Murdoch's paycheck grows to $32.1 million in 2007


From http://money.cnn.com/2007/09/07/news/newsmakers/murdoch_pay/?postversion=2007090716

The News Corp. CEO's base salary was raised to match that of Peter Chernin, the company's chief operating officer.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp., received $32.1 million in compensation for the fiscal year ending June 30, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This amount includes a stock award of $1 million and a "theoretical" $6.9 million representing a change in pension value calculated according to SEC requirements, according to a document filed Thursday.

In the fiscal year ending June 2006, Murdoch earned $25.9 million.

The media mogul's base pay nearly doubled in the 2007 fiscal year, to $8.1 million from $4.5 million.

That raise, granted by the News Corp. (Charts, Fortune 500) board's compensation committee, was approved to make Murdoch's base salary for fiscal 2007 equal to that of Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin. Top of page


UK Freesat closer to launch


From http://www.advanced-television.com/2007/Sep10_Sep14.htm#m2

The Digital TV Group, the industry association for digital television in the UK, has moved a step closer to helping deliver a common test specification for Freesat, the subscription-free digital service from ITV and the BBC.

Freesat will offer more than 200 channels and services including high definition television to consumers across the UK for a one off payment, no contract, no subscription. Digital TV Group testing centre, DTG Testing, has been chosen to conduct the essential conformance testing for Freesat compliant receivers in order to deliver a high quality service to consumers. DTG Testing's facilities will ensure consumers get best value and services when they buy digital television products and services.

Along with other Freesat technology partners, Siemens, Arqiva and eventIS, the Digital TV Group will work to deliver the technology required to implement the Freesat service.

Richard Lindsay-Davies, director general of the Digital TV Group, said that a common specification for service and receiver conformance was critical to the success of advanced digital services as it provided the framework for a vibrant and stable market. "In addition, consumer trust in the brand is vital and knowing that DTG Testing is defining the test requirements for all of the products necessary to bring Freesat to market will go some way to ensuring this, he added."

Freesat's first wave of chosen manufacturers (Humax, Panasonic, Sagem and Alba) will need to ensure their devices meet the Digital TV Group's future-focused test regime for Freesat, pass the rigorous DTG Testing procedures and sign up to the Freesat trademark licence. By doing so consumers can be confident of the reliability and high quality of the Freesat compliant equipment they purchase. Emma Scott, Freesat’s MD, said that discussions were taking place at IBC in Amsterdam with a second wave of manufacturers


BANGLADESH: CSB News silenced


From http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article-southasia.asp?parentid=77579

Interim government shuts down the country's only 24-hour news channel

The telecom regularity body of the government yesterday pulled the plugs on the transmission of CSB News, a satellite TV channel of Focus Multimedia Company, for 'forgery'.

A group of officials of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regularity Commission (BTRC) including three deputy directors and an assistant director accompanied by a number of security personnel entered the CSB office at Uttara and switched off its transmission at 6:34pm, said a news release signed by Mohammad Ali Zakir, company secretary of Focus Multimedia Company Ltd.

The BTRC officials also issued a show cause notice to CSB asking it to explain within seven days why the frequency allocated to CSB would not be cancelled permanently. CSB was also asked to remain off the air during the seven days, the release added.

CSB News was the country's first 24-hour Bangla news channel that began transmission on 21 February this year.

The authorities of the channel were not allowed to make any announcement to its viewers prior to going off the air, a high official of CSB told The Daily Star last night.

A five-member probe committee of the information ministry earlier recommended turning off the broadcast of CSB as the channel had committed forgery to obtain frequency allocation.

On last Sunday, decision to shut down the channel gained grounds as the CSB officials during an hour-long meeting with the BTRC officials failed to produce any convincing document on frequency allocation, said sources.

Moreover, the government high-ups were also unhappy over CSB's transmission of the recent unrest on Dhaka University campus and elsewhere in the country. The government was convinced that the news channel played a provocative role in transmitting the violence that forced the government to impose curfew to pacify the unrest, added the sources.

The probe body headed by Kamal Uddin, joint secretary (development) of information ministry, found that CSB News got the frequency allocation by submitting a fake application two days before submitting the original one to the information ministry on October 19, 2006.

Under the Telecommunications Act, 2001, committing forgery to acquire frequency allocation is a punishable offence, which can lead to cancellation of the allocation.

Although CSB received the frequency allocation, its authorities did not submit the original application to the BTRC, sources in the probe body told The Daily Star.

CSB submitted an approval letter of the information ministry before the BTRC on October 17 and got the frequency allocation. The probe body found that the signature on the approval letter was forged, as the information ministry had not issued any approval letter to CSB on that particular day.

The probe committee, formed on July 31, is of the opinion that CSB News might have acquired the frequency allocation with worst intentions. It also observed that a number of officials at the information ministry were involved in the forgery.

Chowdhury Mahmud Hussain, Manager (administration) of CSB, said the frequency allocation approval letters were issued by the information ministry on October 17 and 19.


ISRO To Launch New Genre Of Micro-Satellites


From http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/ISRO_To_Launch_New_Genre_Of_Micro_Satellites_999.html

Having successfully launched several indigenous satellites in the past, the Indian Space Research Organisation is now in the process of launching the first of its new genre of micro-satellites weighing less than 100 kgs. "Our main aim now is to make the satellite systems as compact as possible," said Dr S K Sharma, the Group Director, Project Planning Group (PPG) at the Space Applications Centre (SAC) here.

"We are working towards miniaturising the satellite systems," said the scientist from SAC, an arm of ISRO involved in designing and building communication, remote sensing and meteorological satellite payloads and satellite communication earth station equipment.

"The micro-satellite systems will have satellites weighing less than 100 kilograms", Sharma said while delivering a talk on India's Space Programme during a function organised on Thursday night to commemorate the third anniversary celebrations of American Corner at the Ahmedabad Management Association.

"The first micro-satellite of ISRO called the PWSat with a payload of five to six kgs and weighing less than 100 kgs is under development and will be launched soon", Sharma said.


NDTV Good Times walks into life & style


From  http://www.financialexpress.com/news/NDTV-Good-Times-walks-into-life-style/215381/0

News broadcaster NDTV plans a big push in the lifestyle television segment and is looking to tap hindi-speaking and regional markets with vernacular feed apart from launching new channels in the genre.

The company, that has launched its first lifestyle channel 'NDTV Good Times', is looking at expanding its profile in the segment and expects a healthy market in the niche area where it targets the young and the affluent. "The channel would answer all your questions from food to fitness, travel to leisure, fashion to gadgets and from marriage to parenthood," Smeeta Chakrabarti, CEO of NDTV Lifestyle, told FE.

Chakrabarti, an old hand at NDTV, believes that there exists a big market for lifestyle programming in India, especially due to the emergence of multiple distribution platforms like DTH, CAS and IPTV. "We have a strong distribution team and are targeting the metros and towns having one million-plus population," she said, adding that they would have an exclusive tie-up with Tata Sky and may even go pay in the next six months.

The channel, that went on air Friday, has a brand tie-up with The UB Group owned Kingfisher brand and even uses the Kingfisher on its logo. "It is a brand tie-up and nothing more should be read into it," Chakrabarti said, when asked whether carrying of the Kingfisher logo could be construed as a sort of surrogate advertising. "We are clear about the advertisement norms of the Information and broadcasting ministry. No lines will be crossed," she said.

Refusing to specify other big-ticket advertisers apart from Kingfisher, Chakrabarti said the NDTV Media team was working on some concrete proposals. "However, we cannot speak about them till deals are actually frozen," she said.

The channel, that would offer a range of aspirational lifestyle programming on health, fashion, food, travel and luxury, is currently in English and Chakrabarti said they were looking into the possibility of feeds in other languages, starting from Hindi. "Hindi is one of the most obvious language we would go to. Apart from this, we may also look at other regions. South India is a tough market," she said, though not expanding further.

On launch of further channels in the genre, Chakrabarti said the broadcaster would take a call once it got feedback from the market. "We are looking for at least two new channels in the genre that may come up over the next two years," she said, adding that opportunities existed in various sub-lifestyle genres like food and travel.

On content, she said it would primarily be on India though the channel will also have correspondents travelling to various parts of the world


ESS to offer American College Football for South East Asia


From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k7/sep/sep118.php

MUMBAI: ESPN Star Sports (ESS) will offer American football action for fans in South East Asia in the form of NCAA football this month.

NCAA Football, the broadcaster notes, is the definitive hotbed for professional football talent in the US. Fans will get up to two games per week from such powerhouse conferences as the Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific Ten (Pac Ten) and South Eastern Conference (SEC).

College Football fans can look forward to catching up to 26 matches this season plus Bowl Games including the Capital One Bowl and the "Grand daddy of them all" – the Rose Bowl, the oldest and the most prestigious bowl game.

ESS executive VP programming and marketing Manu Sawhney said, "College Football is one of the top five most popular spectator sports in America and is very popular among the American sports fans in Asia. With the viewer friendly timings for this in South East Asia, fans can now follow their favourite sport with great enthusiasm."


Neo Sports spends $4 million on technological systems


From http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k7/sep/sep124.php

MUMBAI: Neo Sports is set to go live with broadcast management system ForeTV from MSA Focus. This follows the solution's recent implementation at Neo's Mumbai headquarters for $4 million.

The deal believed to be the first for ForeTV on the Indian subcontinent, was signed following a competitive pitch process. The Fore TV Broadcast management system allows Neo Sports the ability to efficiently manage the proliferation of new revenue streams that these rights will inevitably generate.

Unlike traditional systems which treat each stream separately, ForeTV offers a consolidated solution for total revenue management, encompassing income from Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), advertising, sponsorship, pay-per-view (PPV), interactive (iTV) and video on demand (VOD).

As part of the core system, MSA Focus is developing a new live events scheduling module for Neo Sports and is also developing a further module to enable Neo Sports to carry out secondary events selling and capitalize on advertising opportunities in the region.

This system will be fully integrated into workflow of the channel, automation, editing and financial software allowing seamless process from acquisition, production and post production, transmission and billing at the end of the process. This system is new to India and Neo is its first installation, the company said.
 
On the production front, the broadcaster has installed Vizrt Virtual studio, a virtual studio for sport production. This allows Neo to create a number of different sets for each sport and change it at the flick of a button. There is no need for storing and changing physical sets.

The advantages of using Vizrt virtual studio are flexibility in different backdrops, virtual monitors in the set and incorporation of sport results directly to the set. Vizrt Graphics are template based, allowing for rapid changes especially suited for the ever changing sport environment.