SAT-MidEast 98.04.17

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 31.15 East - 30.3 North,
sponsored by TELE-SATELLITE INTERNATIONAL, Europes Satellite Magazine
- Events and News interesting to the Middle Eastern SAT-viewer
- Satellite and Transponder Observations in C- and Ku-Band,
- Everything commented from the Middle Eastern perspective
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100th SOLID BOOSTER FOR ARIANE 4, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
Aerospatiale, industrial architect and main stage contractor for the
Ariane launch vehicles, has delivered the 100th solid booster (PAP-
Propulseur d'Appoint a Poudre) to Arianespace for the Ariane 4 launcher.

Aerospatiale is prime contractor for the boosters, which are built in
Colleffero (Italy) in the facilities of Fiat Avio-BPD Difesa e Spazio.
Fiat assembles and loads the propellant for the boosters.

Out of the 77 flights of the Ariane 4 vehicle, 39 were versions equipped
with solid boosters: either Ariane 42P or Ariane 44P vehicles with 2 or
4 solid boosters respectively, or Ariane 44LP vehicles with two liquid
boosters and two solid boosters. To date, after flight 106 on February
27, 1998, 11 Ariane 42P's, 10 44P's and 18 Ariane 44LP's have been

This 100th solid booster will be one of those which will equip Ariane 4
flight 108, an Ariane 44P.
(SME, source: Aerospatiale)

Viacom's MTV announced last week that the Scandinavia version of the
music channel starts on June 14th, using Sirius 2, 12.207 GHz, V,
MPEG-2/encrypted (presently used by TV8, Sweden). Around the same date
MTV Russia will take the airwaves too. MTV's European line-up is
therefore completely new structured:

* MTV UK: UK and Ireland, in English

* MTV Central: Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, die Schweiz, mainly in

* MTV Southern: Italia, mainly in Italian

* MTV Northern: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Tsech Republic, Egypt,
Estonia, Letland, Litouenia, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, near
Middle East, Netherlands, Island, Israel, Luxemburg, Malta, Moldavia,
Monaco, Poland, Portugal, Romenia, Slovakya, Slovenia, South Africa,
Spain, la Suisse and Turkye, in English.

* MTV Nordic: Danmark, Finland, Norwegen en Sweden, mainly in English
with local windows.

* MTV Russia: Russia , mainly in Russian

An outstanding issue is the creation of MTV Benelux; a startdate is held
open, but due to the start of MTV Nordic more space for popular music
from the Dutch scene will be availabale.

MTV Russia will later this year broadcast from Moscow, 24-hours a day,
for the capital and St.Petersburg at start, but with the clear intention
to spread around the country. The programm  will be presented by Russian
Vj's with a mix of the MTV Northern programming and plenty of Russian
(SME, source: DutchMedia)

MTV's European Music Awards are this year presented in Milano, Italy. 14
Awards will be handed over to selected artists on Thursday, November
12th. Around 7000 invited guests will be able to see the spectacle of 10
live-acts, everyone else has to follow this major event on one of the
European versions of MTV.
(SME, source: DutchMedia)

Following up on the EuroSport story of the few last weeks, it seems
afterall not as hot as initially presented.

The digital channel with the working titel "Eurosport 2" will not be on
offer as another free-to-air broadcast, it will be more an additional
channel for cable networks and Pay-TV packages, whereby the standard
"EuroSport" is ment to be part of the basic bouquet, and the new
Eurosport 2" is offered as an upgrade channel. The channel is due for
launch in the autumn of this year.

While the channel focusses on the big players in the digital world, the
transmissions at launch will only be in Spanish, French and Italian.
Presented are sporting events, with focus on young and active members of
the society with more extreme and motorsports in its menu. Also
programming where EuroSport owns the legal rights, but does not find the
time to broadcast the material. Eurosport 2 will also offering blocks of
Sports News to other broadcaster, available at choice.

All of the above is of-course in the planning stage, and is presented
for approval to the board members of EuroSport: Le Groupe Canal+, ESPN
en TF1.
(SME, source: various )

Intelsat announced that it has finished procedures for de-orbiting the
oldest satellite in its fleet, the Intelsat 502, after a record 17 years
of service. The process started with the first of a series of five
maneuvers on 9 April and finished April 14th with the last burn.

When launched on 6 December 1980, the satellite was predicted to reach
the end of its operational life by 1987. Instead, a decision was made in
1988 to scale back the 502's station-keeping operations to simple
East-West maneuvers, resulting in dramatic on-board fuel savings. Since
the service life of a satellite depends largely upon the status of its
fuel reserves, this saving effectively extended the spacecraft's life
from seven to seventeen years.

Mr. Conny Kullman, Intelsat's Vice President, Operations and
Engineering, said, "The outstanding accomplishment of the Intelsat 502
is clear evidence of Intelsat's commitment to offering superior
spacecraft performance that surpasses the predicted design life."

Built by Ford Aerospace (now Space Systems/Loral), the Intelsat 502 was
launched from Cape Canaveral via a Martin Marietta-built Atlas Centaur
rocket. From its initial location at 21.5 West, where it provided C- and
Ku-band services, the Intelsat 502 was moved in 1994 to 30.5 West.
(SME, source:Intelsat)

MGM International Television Distribution will enter a major new
international market this month, following the multi-year, multi-million
dollar commitment to exclusively license substantial MGM television and
film product by Orbit Satellite Television in the Middle East and North
Africa. The licensed properties will be used on Orbit s Pay-Per-View,
Pay-television and general entertainment networks. The deal also
includes an agreement for MGM to launch an MGM Gold Block at its option.

Included in the deal for Orbit s exclusive license are some of MGM s
renowned and award-winning theatrical releases such as Tomorrow Never
Dies, Golden Eye, and the James Bond series of films; the Rocky series
of films, Rain Man, Thelma & Louise, Terminator and Silence Of The Lambs
to name a few.

The television series to be offered to Orbit for licensing will include
Stargate SG-1, The Magnificent Seven, The Outer Limits, Poltergeist: The
Legacy, LAPD: Life on the Beat, and the animated series All Dogs Go to
Heaven: The Series, Robocop: Alpha Commando, and The Lionhearts, as well
as mini-series and made-for-television movies, such as 12 Angry Men and
Peter Benchley s Creature.

The MGM library, which includes the films of MGM, United Artists, Orion
and Goldwyn Classics, is the largest modern-film library in the world,
with over 4000 feature titles and some 8200 episodes of television
(SME, source: Orbit)

Teledesic LLC, which is building a global, broadband
"Internet-in-the-Sky,"  announced this week that His Royal Highness
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia has
invested USD200 million in the telecommunications company through family

The self-made billionaire finalized his cash investment in Teledesic
late Tuesday afternoon during a signing ceremony with Teledesic Chairman
and co-CEO Craig McCaw at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.

"Prince Alwaleed's ability to foresee coming trends in a host of fields,
including technology, makes him an ideal partner for Teledesic. People
worldwide have begun to understand that where the prince goes,
opportunity follows," said McCaw, 48. McCaw and Microsoft Chairman Bill
Gates are the two primary investors in Teledesic. "Prince Alwaleed's
stature and relationships in both the Middle East and around the world
will serve us well as we work together to make available - for the first
time - low-cost, global broadband communications."

Known as a savvy investor with a global perspective, Alwaleed, 41, says
he decided to invest in Teledesic because he shares McCaw's vision of an
advanced telecommunications network that will provide high-speed data
connections to businesses, institutions and individuals everywhere on
Earth - regardless of location.

"I'm attracted to Teledesic not only because of its compelling business
plan but because it has the potential to change the world for the
better," Alwaleed said. "I share Craig's vision of bringing the most
advanced telecommunications services to the entire world, particularly
to parts of the world, including the Middle East and Africa, that
wouldn't get that broadband capability any other way."

Alwaleed, who manages his business operations from a high-tech office in
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has made major investments in Citicorp, News
Corp., Apple Computer Inc., Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Motorola
Inc., Netscape, Trans World Airlines, Saks Fifth Avenue,
Disneyland-Paris, Daewoo, Hyundai Motors, the George V Hotel in Paris,
the Plaza Hotel in New York, the Four Seasons Hotel in London, the
Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, the
Canary Wharf real estate development in London, Mediaset, Saatchi &
Saatchi, Donna Karan International, Planet Hollywood International,
Norwegian Cruise Lines, Arab Radio & Television and other international
businesses. Forbes magazine last summer named Gates and Alwaleed the two
most successful entrepreneurs in the world.

Alwaleed, the nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Fahad, made headlines last
week when a USD590 million investment he made in Citicorp in 1991 became
worth more than USD7 billion following the announced merger between
Citicorp and Travelers Group Inc. He is Citicorp's largest individual

Using a constellation of 288 low-Earth-orbit satellites, Teledesic will
create the world's first network to provide affordable, worldwide,
"fiber-like" access to telecommunications services, such as linking
enterprise computing networks, broadband Internet access, video
conferencing and other digital data needs. Backed by McCaw and Gates,
the Teledesic Network will provide two-way, broadband network
connections through service partners in countries worldwide. The private
company is based in Kirkland, Wash., a suburb of Seattle.

In March 1997, Teledesic was licensed by the Federal Communications
Commission to build, launch and operate a global, broadband satellite
communications network. In April 1997, Teledesic named The Boeing
Company as the prime contractor for the design, construction and launch
of the Teledesic Network. In November 1997, Teledesic cleared its last
significant regulatory hurdle when the International Telecommunication
Union's 1997 World Radiocommunication Conference finalized its
designation of international radio spectrum for use by non-geostationary
fixed satellite services, such as those Teledesic will provide.
(SME, source: Teledesic)

APSTAR 2R, 76.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/apstar2r.shtml
The promotional dia presentation of adult channel Plus 21 has changed
from PAL to MPEG-2 and is now on 3.787 GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 6110,
FEC 3/4, PIDs 0870{2160}/0848{2120}, with a very low SQ of 65-75 in

TVB 8 presently analogue on transponder 2A, 3.680 GHz, H, announced
on-screen the change from analogue to digital without mentioning of a
fixed date.

Here are the announced transmission data, after the change: 3.689 GHz,
H, MPEG-2/PowerVu, encrypted, SR 13240, FEC 3/4. Receiving equipment of
Scientific Atlanta is recommended by the channel. Here the PID's, as
received tonight:

	0488{1160}/0460{1120}	CHANNEL ONE
	04EC{1260}/04C4{1220}	CHANNEL TWO
	0550{1360}/0528{1320}	CHANNEL THREE
	05B4{1460}/058C{1420}	CHANNEL FOUR

PANAMSAT 4, 68.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/pas4.shtml
The Asian targetted transmissions of the Disney Channel in MPEG-2 have
left 3.980 GHz, H.

In the Showtime MPEG-2 bouquet appeared a colorbar test card on 11.584
GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, with PIDs 0203{515}/028D{653}.
This is most probably in preparation of the transmission of the Hallmark
Channel from May 1st.

TURKSAT 1C, 42 East, http://www.satcodx.com/turk1c.shtml
The audio difficulties with some clear channels on 11.664 GHz, V, SR
7552, FEC 5/6 (wenn a CAM is inserted) can be solved in two different
ways: by taking out the CAM -of course-, or by entering a PCR PID which
is one number lower as the entered VPID, e.g.:

	VPID: 0039{41}, APID: 003A{42}, PPID: 0038{40}	Genc TV
	VPID: 0035{37}, APID: 0036{38}, PPID: 0034{36}	Number One TV

Both above channels can since shortly be received in stereo
Klas FM has left APID 0036{38} and Metropole FM has left APID 003A{42}.

The PCR PIDs are in most cases any of these three:
	* same as VPID
	* 1FFE{8190}
	* 1FFF{8191} which actually means: no value set !

ARABSAT 2A, 26 East, http://www.satcodx.com/arab2a.shtml
The announced encryption of the ART Al Ma'aref channels on April 15th
didn't take place; neither the PAL/clear channel, the channel in the
1stNET MPEG-2 package or the channel in the Arabesque MPEG-2 bouquet on
Eutelsat's Hot Bird 2 became coded.

It is not said that the encryption is cancelled, most probably just

Occasional IRAQ feeds on a standing MPEG-2 carrier on 12.505 GHz, H, SR
4800, FEC 3/4, PIDs 0134{308}/0100{256} for JSC, Al Jazeera Channel.

EUTELSAT II-f3, 16 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f3.shtml
Occasional feeds have been observed on 12.561 GHz, H, MPEG-2, SR 5698,
FEC 3/4.

The MPEG-2 transmissions of WTN have left 12.557 GHz, H.

HOT BIRD 4, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb4.shtml
Telespazio started last Friday night on transponder 98, 12.673 GHz, V,
MPEG-2/clear, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, on the widebeam with following line-up:

00C8{0200}/00C9{0201}	Thaicom (TV5 Global Network)
00D2{0210}/00D3{0211}	Hot Bird Channel
011D{0285}/011E{0286}	Thaicom (digital)(from Tuesday/black screen)
1FFF{8191}/1FFF{8191}	Internet data 1
1FFF{8191}/1FFF{8191}	RB Internet data 3 (has ceased in between)

SME Comment: Note that the FEC is 3/4 which differs from the other
Telespazio package where 2/3 is used. Both data streams are
interconnected so a normal search looks on both frequencies.
The SQ is high in Cairo: 115-125.

* On transponder 122 startete Tuesday afternoon at 15:50 CAT, on 10.949
GHz, V, ANN (Arab News Network), PAL/clear, wide beam, with audio 6.60
MHz. Transmissions are identical to the ones on Hot Bird 2, transponder
52, 11.766 GHz, V, which will cease in short, and the transponder will
be used by RAIsat, Italy, in MPEG-2.

* Transponder 111, 10.727 GHz, H, is switched onto the steerable antenna
and will be used for D+ tests in direction Reunion, as is done with Hot
Bird 3 transponder 88, 12.466 GHz, V.

* Shopping channel "Quantum 24" started Wednesday evening 23:04 CAT on
transponder 121, 10.930 GHz, H, in PAL/clear on the superbeam ! Audio is
on 6.50: German, 7.02: English, 7.20: Dutch, 7.38: French.
With standard equipment is this channel only receivable in DX quality,
not watchable for consumer.

SME Comment: If this is the only channel which will appear on the super
beam, I'm glad. We have a better use for it overhere than in Europe.
Viewers can reference to it for quality measurements, as it is the only
PAL/clear channel on superbeam receivable in the Levant from 13 East,
with standard equipment. Thanks Quantum! But a waste of potential Sales

* Transponder 119, 10.892 GHz, H, has been regularely tested this week
with long standing empty carriers, most probably for signal strenght

* Transponder 110, 10.719 GHz, V, MPEG-2/clear, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, PIDs
0300{768}/0301{769} and 1000{4096}/1001{4097} supplies us still with
Skyplex tests from and for Eutelsat.
It has to be assumed that these test will last at least for the next six
months, as three second generation Skyplex units will be available on
Hot Bird 5, and from then on commercially will be operated.

* ANN's uplink to transponder 122, 10.949 GHz, V, was for quite a time
interrupted on Thursday afternoon.
Broadcasts resumed later that evening.

HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.shtml
* TPS has left 12.149 GHz, V, is now only on Hot Bird 4, 10.834  GHz, V.
A new user of the frequency has not be announced.

* TV Polonia has started in the Telespazio package on transponder 70,
12.111 GHz, V, MPEG-2/clear, PIDs 00E6{230}/00E7{231}.

* On transponder 74, in the British Telecom test package on 12.188 GHz,
V, appeared Tuesday evening "CMR" (Country Music Radio) on channel 4 of
the bouquet with PID's 0037{39}/0038{40}.

* Radio channel Swiss Light has left the SBC MPEG-2 bouquet on
transponder 85, 12.399 GHz, H.

* HRT-TV3 transponder 80, 12.302 GHz, V, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, PID's
0069{105}/006A{106} became Thursday and Friday afternoon encrypted for a
couple of hours, most probably tests for future encryption methods.

* The MPEG-2 service of Romanian Acasa TV on 12.201 GHz, H, is now
encrypted in PowerVu.

HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.shtml
The announced encryption of the ART Al Ma'aref channels on April 15th
didn't take place; neither the channel in the Arabesque MPEG-2 bouquet,
nor the PAL/clear channel and the transmission in the 1stNET MPEG-2
package on the Arabsat 2A, became coded.

It is not said that the encryption is cancelled, most probably just

The Arabesque MPEG-2 package on transponder 65, 12.015 GHz, H, has
become a different line-up:

	00A0{160}/0050{80}	ART Variety (ART 1)
	00A1{161}/0054{84}	ART Sport (ART 2) (evening and night)
	00A1{161}/0054{84}	ART Children (ART 3) (daytime)
	00A2{162}/0058{88}	ART Movies (ART 4)
	00A3{163}/005C{92}	ART Music (ART 5)
	00A4{164}/0060{96}	LBC Plus	
	00A5{165}/0064{100}	ART Europe (Promotional)
	00A6{166}/0068{104}	ESC 2
	00A7{167}/006C{108}	ART Sport (ART 2)
	00A7{168}/0070{112}	ART Al Ma'aref
	00A9{169}/0074{116}	ART (Ala Khefaq test card)

whereby ART Europe, ART Al Ma'aref, and ART Ala Khefaq are free-to-air.

SME Comment: At present time it is not clear to me if ART Sport will be
broadcast on both PIDs, or eventual will use 00A7{167}/006C{108} only.

EUTELSAT II-f1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f1.shtml
This week many mails and columns reported the expected replacement of
NBC Europe and NBC Asia on the various satellites, by transmissions of
the National Geographic Society, more as a documentary channel, with
here and there some NBC newscasts and weather.

SME Comment: It's the last chapter written for this famous Eutelsat
transponder 25, which brought many people outside of western Europe a
lot of entertainment throughout the years of operation. It was for a
long time the ONLY form of TV entertainment with pan-european coverage.
Anybody remembers Super Channel?

Now, where even the popular educational channels such as Discovery,
Animal Planet are hiding behind PAY-TV curtains, who really believes
that the excellent video material of the National Geographic Society
will stay free-to-air over time ? It's a sad, sad story.

Btw: Does the National Geographic Society have so much material to fill
24-hours of programming ? Once more that the so-called local European
broadcast quota will have to fill the unrewarding day slots.

SIRIUS 2, 5 East,  http://www.satcodx.com/sirius.shtml
After last weeks reported tests on Thursday became after the Easter
holidays the MPEG-2 SIS Racing Service on 12.334 GHz, H, complete

The Russian TeleSports feed on the same transponder is still

The Merlin Communications test card on 12.226 GHz, H, in PAL/clear has
ceased and replaced by tests in MPEG-2/encrypted, SR 3977, FEC 3/4, PIDs
0021{33}/0022{34}, European beam.
The channel naming has changed from the initial "Service 1" to 
"Merlin 1", so it seems to be clear who is transmitting there.

INTELSAT 707, 1 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i707.shtml
The Israeli MPEG-2 test channels on 11.015 GHz, V have changed the SR to
15000, all other parameters remain the same.

TELECOM 2D, 5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/tele2d.shtml
ANN - Arab News Network has started on 11.493 GHz, V, MPEG-2/clear, SR
27500, FEC 3/4, PIDs 0200{512}/028A{650}.

SME Comment: This is most probably the feed to the TPS uplink center for
Hot Bird 4. TPS performs the uplink to transponder 122, 10.949 GHz, V.

EXPRESS 2, 14 West, http://www.satcodx.com/e2.shtml
RTP Africa on 3.836 GHz, R, SR 6000, FEC 3/4, has changed its PIDs to

INTELSAT 605, 27.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i605.shtml
CFI Afrique analogue on transponder 23L, 3.886 GHz, R, ceased on April
10th and is furthermore only receivable via Intelsat 803, 21.5 West.

CFI Afrique Pro MPEG-2 on transponder 23U, 3.935 GHz, R, ceased on April
10th and is furthermore only receivable via Intelsat 803, 21.5 West.

Canal+ Horizons on transponder 22L, 3.804 GHz, R, ceased on April 15th
and is furthermore only receivable via Intelsat 803, 21.5 West.

PANAMSAT 3R, 43 West, http://www.satcodx.com/pas3r.shtml
Last weekends Formula 1 racing feeds from Argentina for RTL on 12.715
GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, SR 19995, FEC 3/4, with following line-up:

	0021{33}/0022{34}	Race Main feed
	0024{36}/0025{37}	Pit Lane & Interviews

Nokia's MediaMaster SQ in Cairo was excellent with 110-120.

SAT-MIDEAST INTERN, http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
On many requests I implemented a list of Arabic spoken channels for the
world in the SAT-MidEast web pages. If in need for an overseas link to
the Middle East take a look at: 


The list is still worked at and not fully completed. Any additional
channels are welcome to my mailbox. Some other recently re-worked pages:

* A list of data for receivable MPEG-2 channels in the Levant:

* A revamped, more complete list of the Hot Bird transponder data:


The SAT-MidEast weekly news bulletins are also available on the
SAT-MidEast website at sat-net.com. However fully HTML formatted; much
more pleasing to the human eye. Just take a look and communicate your

Readers in Greek speaking areas should take a look on the satellite
pages of Leonidas Klontzas from Crete, and submit him your opinion of
the site. The pages are of-course multilingual English/Greek.

Due to the removal from the Intelsat server of all information for
Intelsat K, Intelsat 515, Intelsat 703, Intelsat 803, Intelsat 806 and
Intelsat K-TV, are footprint maps for these satellites not anymore
available from there.

The satellites are going to be part of the new commercial line-up for
the dutch New Skies organization, which first Board meeting should be
coming May.

Footprints for the above Intelsat satellites which are receivable in the
Middle East can be retrieved now through the "MAPS" page of the
SAT-MidEast website.


Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Sat-MidEast / Cairo - Egypt
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