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.
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.
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 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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Contact: Paul Walsh
Email: info @ vidanti.com
Phone: +44 (0) 1223.870008
China narrows final mobile TV spec to CMMB, TDBM
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
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.
Murdoch's paycheck grows to $32.1 million in 2007
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.
UK Freesat closer to launch
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
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
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
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
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
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.