Executive : 05.06.98

Compiled and edited by Dominic Sedghi. All contents reproduced with
permission. For help mail me at dsedghi@TELE-Satellite.com

Friday, 5th of June, 1998
In today's issue...
Sat-Iberia reports:
- Playboy TV in Vía Digital
- HTV for Brazil
Sat-Italy reports:
- Mediaset for single digital platform
- Italian Church signs deal with Telepiù
- 2 new channels for Italy
- TV channel for the Med.
Sat-Mid-East reports:
- New Pan-Euro music channels
Sat-ND reports:
- Chang Zheng lofts Zhongwei I
- SkyBridge announces 32 additional satellites
- Canal+ enters Asian market
PLUS the latest headlines from SATCO DX, the worldwide charts.

(by Branislav Pekic)

---------- Playboy TV in Vía Digital
 The Spanish digital operator Vía Digital has recently added the adult
channel Playboy TV to its program offer. The channel already has more
than 20 million cable and 7 million direct-to-home (DTH) subscribers in
the U.S where it has been broadcasting for the past 10 years. The
Spanish version of the channel which will be a 24 hour a day service,
will be offered as an additional service to potential subscribers at the
cost of 1,495 pesetas a month (around 17 DM). Playboy TV will rely on a
program archive of adult programming which totals more than 1,000 hours
and will broadcast 10 new movies each month.

---------- HTV for Brazil
 The Spanish language music network HTV has signed an agreement with
Unimark/Longo communications consulting firm, which will enable the
distribution of the channel in Brazil. HTV is already available in
around 6 million households in North and Latin America as well as Asia.

(by Branislav Pekic)

---------- Mediaset for single digital platform
 At a recent meeting of the shareholders of Mediaset, the director of
the private Italian TV network, Fedele Confalonieri has stressed the
importance of a single Italian digital platform. He said the reason
behind this decision was a purely economic one because it would
drastically reduce operating costs. However, he added that the recent
Bill Gates affair should be carefully examined because it could be a
signal of a change in way business is done.

---------- Italian Church signs deal with Telepiù
 The Italian digital TV operator Telepiù has signed a landmark agreement
with the Foundation of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI)
"Communication and culture" which is the operator of the religious
satellite TV channel Sat 2000. The main aim of this deal is to increase
the number of viewers to the Sat 2000 channel. Under the terms of the
agreement, Telepiù will lease to interested parishes in Italy (who total
26,000) the digital box needed to receive the channel for around 24 DM a
month. Beside being able to receive the religious channel, parishes will
be able to receive the RAI, Mediaset, TMC channels as well as all the
channels in Telepiù's D+ digital bouquet, including the optional movie
channels Cine Classics and Cine Cinema 1 and 2 as well as any other
movie channels that may join the platform in the future. Among the terms
of the agreement, the two sides have agreed to the possibility of the
Sat 2000 channel being also launched on Canal Plus's pay-TV package for

---------- 2 new channels for Italy
 By the beginning of next year, Italy will get not one, but two
dedicated 24 hour a day news and information channels. Both channels
will be transmitted via satellite, but while RAI's channel will be
free-to-air, the other channel operated by it's main rival Mediaset will
be a subscription-only service (probably part of Telepiù's digital
platform). It seems that RAI has gone further with it's own project,
which is tentatively called RAN (RAI All News) and is expected to cost
around 27 million-DM. On the other hand, Mediaset's all-news channel
will mainly air news items from Italy, compared to RAN which will have a
more international "flavour" to it's news coverage. RAI also plans to
launch a special Web site, which will complement the TV news service,
especially during the nighttime hours.

---------- TV channel for the Med.
 Among major topics under discussion at the summit between 27 countries
from Europe and the Mediterranean being held June 3-4 in Palermo, Italy
is also the question of a TV channel for the Mediterranean area. The TV
channel would be a multi-lingual and multi-cultural service, relying on
programming provided by the single countries and would most probably
broadcast via a EUTELSAT satellite. It is probable that a specific
programming quota for the channel will be decided. At this moment there
are no confirmations of the headquarters of such a channel neither the
precise start-up date.

(by Henk Room)

---------- New Pan-Euro music channels
 As on the Cable & Satellite exhibition in London recently announced, is
the European equivalent of UK Music channel "The Box" supposed to start
several country specific channels under the covering name "Magic TV".
The main concept of the channel is to display music videos, requested by
phone by viewers, out of a list of 100 titles displayed on-screen.

(by Peter C. Klanowski - http://www.sat-net.com/pck/)

---------- Chang Zheng lofts Zhongwei I
 A Chinese Chang Zheng (Long March) 3B rocket carried Zhongwei I
(Chinastar 1) into orbit from the Xichang Launch Center in southwest
China's Sichuan Province, reported news agency Xinhua. It pointed out
that the launch was the 52nd of the three-stage liquid-fuel Chang Zheng
family, the tenth successful Chang Zheng launch since October 1996, and
the third of a 3B. The Chang Zheng 3B is the most powerful in the series
and has a payload of 5,000 kg--but interestingly enough, Zhongwei I
weighed in at just 2,984 kg. The satellite was manufactured by Lockheed
Martin Company of the USA for the China Orient Telecom Satellite
Company. The satellite has 24 transponders in the C- and Ku band,
respectively. Its designed service life is 15 years. Controlled by
Lockheed Martin and China Orient, it will provide commercial
telecommunication services for China and other Asian countries. Zhongwei
I is China Orient's first satellite to get approval from the State
Council for China's satellite telecommunications, the news agency said.
Xinhua claimed "Analysts say that three successful launches of a 3B show
how China's rocket technology has evolved."

---------- SkyBridge announces 32 additional satellites
 SkyBridge announced in a statement that it is increasing the capacity
of its planned global satellite-based telecommunications by almost 50
percent. The growth from 144 Gbps to over 200 Gbps will enable SkyBridge
to serve more than 20 million users world-wide when the full system is
operational. Service will begin in 2001. All of the major design
characteristics of the SkyBridge system have been maintained. The
increase in the number of satellites from 48 to 80, resulting in more
satellites in view from any given point on the earth, allows for an
increase in capacity without modifying any of the system's original
technical and service objectives. In particular, the expanded system
will continue to avoid all harmful interference to satellite and
terrestrial communications systems. A large industrial team is now in
place under the leadership of Alcatel to design and develop SkyBridge.
More than 400 engineers currently work on the program. These large-scale
engineering activities have enabled SkyBridge to finalise the design
characteristics of the system, the company said. SkyBridge LP, lead by
Alcatel of France, also comprises Loral Space & Communications of the
United States; Toshiba Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and
Sharp Corporation of Japan; SPAR Aerospace Limited of Canada;
Aerospatiale and CNES of France; and SRIW, a Belgian investment entity.

---------- Canal+ enters Asian market
 Canal+ has entered the Asian market by becoming the prime contractor
and principal integrator for the first digital satellite platform
launched in Taiwan by Carnival Star Group, the two companies announced.
Carnival Star Group will launch a direct-to-home (DTH) digital satellite
platform by the end of 1999 with about 50 local and international
television channels, radio channels and pay-per-view, as well as several
interactive broadcasting and multimedia applications. Using Ku-Band
capacity [no, they did not say on which satellite] the DTH platform will
have excellent coverage throughout the region. Canal+ has been appointed
as system integrator to co-ordinate and manage the implementation of
Carnival's digital platform. Canal+ will also provide complete operation
start-up and will assist Carnival with staff training, system
maintenance, operation-required software and management support.
Carnival has selected Canal+'s Mediaguard conditional access (CA)
system. Carnival will also implement Mediahighway+, Canal+'s advanced
interactive system, to provide numerous interactive and transactional
applications such as pay-per-view, teleshopping, telebanking and
Internet browser capabilities.

SATCO DX Frequency Changes
(by Christian Lyngemark - http://www.satcodx.com/)

--------------------------- ASIA & AUSTRALIA ---------------------------
- Palapa C2: GMA Network has left 3,910 H (PAL), now only on Agila 2.

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