SAT Observations 97.08.08

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 30.3 North - 31.15 East,
- Satellite and Transponder Observations in C- and Ku-Band,
- Commented from the Middle Eastern perspective.
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THE HEADLINES IN THIS 97.08.08 REPORT (I got "Fridays on my mind" *):

- Launch Information
- Iranian Channels Expanding
- Turksat Info 
- Regional Comments
- Bits & Pieces

LAUNCH INFO, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
>From the ELA 2 launch site on the eastern coast of South America in
Kourou, French Guiana, the Ariane 44P vehicle blasted off on time at
09:46 CAT. About 20 minutes into Arianespace Flight 98, the Panamsat 6
spacecraft was released into a preliminary orbit. 

The PAS-6 spacecraft, owned by Panamsat Corp. of Connecticut, is headed
for an orbital position of 43.0 degrees West longitude to transmit
digital direct-to-home television broadcast services to South America.
Built by Space Systems/Loral, the 7.540-pound spacecraft carries 36
Ku-band transponders that will support more than 360 television

All of the spacecrafts available services are already leased by Sky
Latin America, a multi-partner communications group comprised of News
Corporation, Grupo Televisa, Organizacoes Globo and Tele-Communications
International, Inc. 

The next Ariane launch is scheduled for the night from September 2nd to
3rd when Flight 99 is to deliver the Hot Bird 3 and Meteosat 7
satellites into orbit, using an Ariane 44L vehicle, the most powerfull
Ariane variant, again from ELA 2 at Kourou, French Guiana.
A launch time is to be announced.

The launch by the International Launch Services Proton with the Panamsat
5 comsat from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakstan, is scheduled to take place
in the night from  August 21st to August 22nd, with a launch time of
01:32 CAT.

The Arianespace V100 launch of Intelsat 803 is put-back for a few days
from September 18 to now September 23rd. A launch window has yet to be

Exact a week later the second qualification flight of an Ariane 5 will
blast off into space from ELA-3, with a variety of dummy and research
(Source: ESA & Arianespace)

LAW & ORDER - The Lebanon goes cable
Lebanese television viewers are switching to pirate cable networks
following a cabinet decision to shut down unlicensed terrestrial TV
stations, Beirut's newspaper The Daily Star reported. 
After the cabinet clamp-down on unlicensed audio-visual media outlets, a
growing number of people switch to a cable market that is by no means
less illegal. This also lead to certain a boost in sales of satellite
equipment which is not used for individual reception but for feeding
channels into cable networks. Without them, however sales for individual
satellite reception equipment would be up to three times higher, experts

 Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND 

ASIASAT 2, 100.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/asia2.html
Sima-yeh Moghavemat (Vision of Resistance) has returned to 3.680 GHz, H,
Sunday through Friday  21:00 - 22:00 and Saturday 22:30 - 23:30 CAT.
(B Boden)

EXPRESS 6, 80 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e6.html
TV 3 Rossija has most probably ceased transmissions on 4.125 GHz, Rc.
Not a single transmission or test card could be observed during five
consecutive days.

THAICOM 3, 78.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/thai78.html
Transponder 6V went for days into a shared modus, and the reception
signals were reduced by around 3-4 dbW. At times Indian Punjab and Raj
TV have been seen on 3.622 GHz, and 3.640 GHz, V. Further tests could be
observed on frequencies 3.454 GHz, 3.620 GHz, 3.640 GHz, all in
vertical polarization.

Punjab TV has also be seen, very strong, on 3.547 GHz, V, but ceased in
the middle of a test broadcast.

PANAMSAT 4, 68.4 East, http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.html
As announced in last week report: The Rhema Network and Soap Channel
started respective 3rd / 4th August regular transmissions, in the
C-Band, as part of the Multichoice Africa DStv package.

The Rhema Network transmits via 4.113 GHz, V, and can be seen only on
Sundays from 06:00 -14:00 CAT. On all other weekdays a promotional mix
of Bloomberg TV (day) and Travel (night) is presented.

The Soap Channel, showing Australian, American and UK serials, uses
3.743 Ghz, V, and does not broadcast on Sundays.

SME Comment: Why waste a channel ? The Rhema Network and the Soap
Channel would complement each-other timewise perfectly !

INTELSAT 801, 62 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i801.html
There are new tests from IRIB on 11.128 GHz, V, SECAM, 6.80 MHz, and an
unknown radio station on 6.20 MHz.
Tests could not be observed yet in Cairo. This frequency is using a
different beam as the established IRIB transmissions.

INTELSAT 703, 57 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i703.html
NEPC TV (India) returned to 4.064 GHz, Lc, in PAL, with an audio
subcarrier on 6.60 MHz, after an, uncommented, absence of almost a

GALS 1/2 - TDF-2, 36 East, http://www.satcodx.com/gals.html
According to SATCO DX's SatTracker, TDF-2 has already reached 36 East !
A confirmation about this and reception reports from this new position
are very welcome at webmaster@satcodx.com or my mailbox.

On my last weeks cry for help, I received the message that one TDF-2
transponder is officially said to be defunct (transponder 1, 11.727 GHz,
was last active at 02/02/95). Possibly transponder 13 at 11.958 GHz
could also be out of order, as no activity could be observed since

The other possible transponder middle frequencies are:
11.804 GHz, Rc - transponder 05
11.881 GHz, Rc - transponder 09
12.034 GHz, Rc - transponder 17

TURKSAT 1C, 42 East, http://www.satcodx.com/turk1c.html
A bunch of new channels can be received lately from this satellite; 
here the known data:

Frequen	Pol	Symbol	FEC	VPID	APID	Channel
10.980	V	4700	3/4	4134	4100	ATV feed
11.023	V	3054	7/8	4021	4022	Number One TV
11.029	V	5500	5/6	4021	4022	Nickelodeon Turkey
11.029	V	5500	5/6	4025	4026	Genc TV	
11.047	H	3125	5/6	4021	4022	Super D ?
11.092	H	xxxx	x/x	4xxx	4xxx	Unknown Channel
(Ghassan Tabet)

INTELSAT 510, 33 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i510.html
On my last weeks remarks regarding the Baztab transmissions I received
following [edited] comments from the uplinksite:  

We are happy with the IOR 33. The reason that it cannot be received in
Cairo is because it is broadcasted at 4.015 GHz, RC, on an East
Hemisperic Beam.

The uplink beam is on the west hemisperic beam and the east hemisperic
beam is used for the downlink. The downlink beam covers parts of Russia,
goes through the north of Iran and cuts through Saudi Arabia and Yemen
and is receivable all the way to Singapore

Baztab is using a variation of satellites to get the programs out to
viewers all over the Farsi speaking region. We are presently looking at
other satellites that we can use as additions and/or alternatives for
our regular transmissions.

SME Comment: Last statement can be positively confirmed. Baztab can be
seen these days from a whole range of satellites, from TDRS in the West,
through Panamsat 4 in the East.

The programm should not be mixed up with the more politically targetted
transmissions of Sima-yeh Moghavemat (Vision of Resistance), which are
these days also very active on an variety of satellites over the region.
(See various reports in this issue). Baztab likes to be recognized for
its cultural based programming.

ARABSAT 2B, 31 East, http://www.satcodx.com/arab2b.html
Iranian opposition TV Sima-yeh Moghavemat (Vision of Resistance) could
be seen daily this week on transponder 20, 4.140 GHz, Lc, from 21:00 -
22:00 CAT.

RTM-1 Marocco on 3.925 Rc had sports programming from Greece, in the
poor transmission quality as usual. Therefore on 4.090 GHz, Rc an RTM-1
Marocco testcard, followed by a feed in super quality at the same time !
An audio subcarrier on 6.60 MHz was used.

SME Comment: There is still this discrepancy in observed quality of
feeds and regular transmissions. Is the Arabsat Organisation hinting us
that Arabsat 1C is still operative ? If yes, why not move it to the
vacated 20 East position and use it to the full of its capacity ?

ARABSAT 2A, 26 East, http://www.satcodx.com/arab2a.html
MBC has changed its transmission frequency slightly downwards from
12.742 GHz, V, to 12.735 GHz, V, more to the center frequency of this

EUTELSAT II-f3, 16 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f3.html
Iranian Sima-yeh Moghavemat (Vision of Resistance) could be seen on
transponder 37, 11.575 GHz, V, PAL, 6.60 MHz, from 18:30 - 19:30 CAT, on
several days this week.

HOT BIRD 1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb1.html
Russian channel WRC started in the French bouquet on Tuesday August 8th,
on 11.304, H, in MPEG-2, Free-To-Air, SR 27.500, FEC 3/4.
Ghassan Tabet

SME Comment: WRC can be found as VRT in the SATCO DX charts, transcribed
from the logotype that says BPT. VRT is also on Gorizont 26 at 11 West
TELEPIU DStv on the widebeam transponder 4, 11.283 GHz, V, has made
minimal changes to their Display-namings: Cinecinema1 has been renamed
to "Cin1" (in order to distinguish in the display between the two movie
channels) and the spelling mistake of "seasons" has been altered to
"Seasons". Great news isn't it ?
(Especcially if you, like me, not even can see the Telepiu promos, while
opposing to deal with the debugger menu)

The presently shown transmissions do not correspond to their Menu
reading and can be seen Free-To-Air only after entering the proper
PID's. (An exeption is the German Mediabox, which directly loads the
correct PID's).

AMOS 1, 5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/amos1.html
Iranian opposition channel Sima-yeh Moghavemat (Vision of Resistance)
could be observed on transponder 2L, 11.052 V, daily during the whole of
last week.

A local announcement to that:
According to Israeli radio, "Opponents of the regime" will be able to
use the Amos-1 communications satellite one hour a day, rising to three
hours a day soon. The radio channel of a unnamed Iranian opposition
group will be uplinked from London. Although there is an official ban of
satellite reception, many Iranians tune in regularly to foreign radio
stations, Israeli radio said. 

The Israeli Broadcast Authority (IBA) has refused government suggestions
to jam Palestinian radio and TV broadcasts. Motti Kirschenbaum, IBA
director, was quoted as saying he had to mind his own business and keep
out of those of other broadcasters. The Israeli government claimed
Palestinian media outlets were promoting terrorist activities. According
to the government, the IBA is in possession of jamming equipment.

 Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND 

SME Comment: Feeds from the PBA (Palestinian Broadcastiung Authority)
can be however regularely observed on the Amos-1 satellite, including
on-screen logos. Amos 1 is not owned by the Israeli governement and
therefore, private controlled, supposed to make revenue.
EXPRESS 2, 14 West, http://www.satcodx.com/e2.html
>From August 3rd through August 6th, there was only a black & white IRIB
test card on 3.975 GHz, Rc, but in a remarkable good quality in Cairo.

INTELSAT 705, 18 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i705.html
The message on 11.075 GHz, V, noting the relocation of MED-TV to
Eutelsat II-f2, 10 East, transponder 25L, 10.972 GHz, V, was last seen
on Thursday, August 7th.

ANN - more than just a news channel
Of course, it's a pretty strange move to name an Arabic news channel ANN
(Arab News Network,) explicitly indicating the channel was an
alternative to CNN. But the channel that recently appeared on a Eutelsat
satellite is not just a TV station. It may be part of a struggle for
power in Syria. 

ANN's chairman Suommar al-Assad (26) happens to be the nephew of Syrian
president Hafez al-Assad. But it isn't a government channel as Samwar's
father, Rifat al-Assad, has clashed with his older brother Hafez (the
president) on several occasions. Actually, Rifat and his son Suommar
were expelled in 1984 after trying to grab power while his brother was
ill. In 1992, he returned to Syria and has kept a low profile since then
although officially holding the title of vice president. 

ANN claims to be not only an Arabic-language alternative to CNN but also
the first truly independent news channel for the region (programming is,
by the way, produced in London.) The around-the-clock news programming
in Arabic will mainly supported by advertising revenues. Most existing
Arabic satellite broadcasters have direct or indirect links to
governments, and self-censorship reportedly is common among them. ANN, a
US$100-million venture, has has hired staff from Middle East
Broadcasting Corp., as well as Qatar's al-Jazirah service (both also
well-known to satellite viewers.) 

Back in Syria, ANN programmes are closely watched, at least by the
government. When a meeting of Rifat al-Assad with Saudi Arabia's crown
prince was covered, Syrian authorities responded by arresting Rifat's
press officer, Amnesty International said. Suommar meanwhile is reported
to plan the launch a pan-Arab political party next month that will be
dedicated to promoting democracy and the rights of ethnic and religious
minorities. He insists his father isn't 
involved with Arab News Network or with the new political party. 

 Copyright 1997 by Sat-ND 

SME (Exotic) Comment: the ANN's full screen logo was exchanged for a
Playboy TV logo in the night from August 5th to 6th, around 02:00 CAT,
for more than half an hour. Is there more to come ? ;-))

(* from an older Easybeats title; as a reference and "thanks" to pck)

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Sat-MidEast / Cairo - Egypt
- SAT-MidEast maintains a site with all relevant Middle Eastern
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