Sat-ND, 31.5.96

Sat-ND 96-05-31 - Satellite and Media News

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"(c) Copyright 1996 by Sat-ND, http://www.sat-net.com/pck/"
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Peter C. Klanowski, Fax +49-451-5820055, pck@LyNet.De

This issue is sponsored by TELE-satellite, Europe's Satellite Magazine 
Have a look at their homepage! >> http://www.TELE-satellit.com/ <<

Decoder wars continue
Two kinds of integrated receiver/decoders (IRDs) will be used for digital
TV in Europe. The problem is especially evident in Germany which is
regarded as the largest TV market in Europe by the major players. So far,
it was believed that the IRD widely known as d-box (used by Germany's
KirchGroup and its allies NetHold and TelePiù) had some technical
advantages over its rival, the IRD developed by the Canal+/Bertelsmann
joint venture SECA. According to d-box manufacturer Nokia, it is fully
compliant with the standards set by the Digital Video Broadcasting Group
(DVB.) This should in theory enable the d-box to receive other digital
packages as well, provided you have a smart card for them, because the DVB
standard calls for a special slot used for conditional access modules.
Not so, says Gustav Klein from MMBG, the digital alliance set up by major
German non-KirchGroup TV channels, CLT, Bertelsmann, Canal+, Deutsche
Telekom and others. Many of the MMBG services won't be available to
d-boxes, although Mr Klein's statement clearly indicates that at least
some will. Surprisingly enough, MMBG quotes the absence of a European
standard as reason for the incompatibility. A recent proposal had been
rejected by the European Union with a two-third majority. MMBG will offer
its (obviously not DVB-compliant) IRD called Mediabox for sale starting
October 1995 at around DM1,000.

MTV may scrap plans for regional versions
It seems as though MTV has abandoned plans for creating an MTV Nederland
or MTV Scandinavia. Rumour has it that MTV is setting up some kind of
European division, meaning that some countries will get (or already have)
their own version and a group of countries will get their own version.
There are plans for a MTV England-Scandinavia-Netherlands (including
Belgium). MTV will do this because they feel that there are less
differences between British and Dutch viewers than e.g. British and
Italian viewers. As MTV can't transmit enough clips in Dutch or in Nordic
languages, they will probably not be able to compete with local music
programmes, like TMF. It might be time for them to start wondering just
why they lost their viewers to TMF. (Jitse Groen)

Save the bulls
The Amsterdam cable programme council has asked Spanish broadcaster TVE to
stop broadcasting bull-fighting programmes. The council indicated TVE will
otherwise be removed from Europe's largest cable-system. KTA/A2000,
Amsterdam cable, has received complaints about children being confronted
with bull-fighting when they switch on the TV in the morning. It is not
very likely that TVE will want to stop airing these shows, though. (Jitse

Turkey reacts to Med TV success
Finally, satellite channel Med TV shows some effect in Turkey where all
Kurdish language broadcasts are banned. According to local officials, Med
TV which is broadcast on EUTELSAT II-F3 using a UK license, is watched by
some 90 percent of the population in the Kurdish region, located in the
Southeast of Turkey. Turkish politicians now call for commercial Kurdish
language media in the region, nevertheless "monitored" by state

Murdoch pushed Canadian solution, says TCI
Despite the talks about TCI taking a 20 percent stake in Rupert Murdoch's
planned all-news channel, the dispute between both companies over a
Canadian satellite deal continues. US cable giant TCI wants to sell two of
its satellites to Telesat Canada which will place them on an unused
orbital position and in turn lease transponder capacity back to TCI. This
manoeuvre should enable TCI to provide the USA with another digital TV
package as the company failed to get a domestic license. The last one
available was granted to Murdoch and its partner, long-distance telephone
company MCI. Talks with TCI about a participation in the digital venture
were cancelled at an early stage. Press reports now indicate that MCI and
Murdoch's News Corp. were all in favour of the Canadian arrangement they
now fight vigorously. Robert Thomson, TCI's senior vice president of
communications and policy planning, even accused MCI and Murdoch of having
negotiated their own deals with the Canadians before they finally received
their US license.
The final decision whether TCI's Canadian adventure is legal lies with the
US Federal Communications Commission which will decide in a few weeks
time. TCI argues, of course, that the deal would increase competition,
improve service and bring prices down. Murdoch/MCI, on the other hand, do
not see why they should have spent US$683 million on the US license to
offer direct-broadcast service. 
The Canadian government, accused of blocking their citizen's access to US
channels by Murdoch/MCI, has in the meantime stated that "Canada has
always been more open to foreign broadcasting signals than any other
country in the world." Two thirds of the Canadian population live in the
spill-over zone next to the US border, thus enabling them to watch US
channels terrestrially or via satellite. According to an Canadian
government spokesman, Canadians watch even more US TV than domestic

More strange signals
There are new strange observations reported from the region around 36E,
believed to be occupied by one of the two existing Russian GALS
satellites. While estimating the satellite's position at 34E, Jean-Gerard
Hammer has received TB6 (TW6) Moscow on 11.525 GHz h with audio on
subcarrier 7.5 MHz. While it's still unclear whether there is actually
GALS 1 or 2 around 36E, it seems very unlikely that another Russian
satellite has suddenly popped up at 34E. (Stefan Hagedorn/pck)

An Arabic TV channel was launched today on EUTELSAT II-F3 (16E.) The
station which identified as "Sat 7" could be received between 1030 and
1235 UTC onh 11.576 GHz v. Programming appeared to be of a religious
nature. The station can be reached at +357-2-45200 (phone) or
+357-2-452111. (Stefan Hagedorn)

During the last days, Helmut Zastrow observed RTP Internacional Africa on
EUTELSAT II-F2 (10E,) using subcarrier 8.46 MHz on 11.658 GHz v. However,
today the channel wasn't present. (Norbert Schlammer)

Thanks to our contributors --
Jitse Groen: jgl@dds.nl
Stefan Hagedorn: DXStefan@aol.com 
Norbert Schlammer: 100415.3560@compuserve.com

Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr. Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Klanowski,
pck@LyNet.De. All rights reserved.
Einsender erklären sich mit Bearbeitung und Veröffentlichung

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