TELE-satellit News - 3 March 1996

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International Satellite Broadcasting News
Number 91, Week ending 3 March 1996
By Martyn Williams
News Desk : Internet martyn@twics.com  or CompuServe CIS:martynw
(c) TELE-satellit Magazine

  MOSCOW, Russia (TS) -- Russia's Proton rocket will enter commercial 
service on March 28 with the launch of the Astra 1F spacecraft. The 
event will marked increased competition in the international satellite 
launch business as Russia joins Europe, the USA and China in offering 
  Russia's Proton rocket, however, comes with the added bonus of an 
almost perfect safety record, the best of all launchers, and a very 
competitive price.
  The launch will take place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome where the 
satellite has already been transported to.

  BEIJING, China (TS) -- A week after an embarrassing accident, in 
which a Long March rocket was lost in an explosion, the Chinese space 
launch program is on hold again.
  Officials are attempting to discover why the Long March 3B launcher 
veered off course shortly after launch, a maneuver which resulted in 
the explosion of the vehicle and loss of its cargo, an Intelsat 
communications satellite.
  Unconfirmed reports from the launch site say many people died in the 
incident after the rocket crashed down on a village near the launch 
site. Chinese officials sealed the area after the accident to prevent 
reporters getting to the scene. Late last week Chine claimed four 
people were killed in the accident.
  A resumption of the launch program is expected soon with the next 
flight, a Long March 3 rocket. The payload onboard will be Apstar-1A 
and launch is expected on or around April 10th.

Robert Orttung, OMRI Inc.
  MOSCOW, Russia (OMRI) -- State-controlled television and radio 
stations owe transmitters 521 billion rubles ($109 million) for 1995 
and an additional 93 billion rubles ($19 million) for January 1996, 
Anatolii Nazeikin, the chairman of the Communication Workers' Trade 
Union central committee announced on 27 February, ITAR-TASS reported.
  For 1995, Russian Public TV (ORT) owes 77 billion rubles ($16 
million) and Russian TV owes 27 billion rubles ($6 million). Many of 
the transmitting stations are in danger of shutting down because their 
employees have not been paid and they lack the necessary spare parts.
  ORT General Director Sergei Blagovolin complained that the president 
has issued decrees authorizing payment, but they have not been carried 
out, Russian TV reported. In addition, there is no money for ORT in 
the 1996 budget, even though it is 51% state owned.

  LONDON, England (TS) -- The row over BSkyB's plans to broadcast the 
Frank Bruno/Mike Tyson fight as a pay per view event continues. The 
fight, on March 14, is Europe's first pay per view event and has 
received a hostile welcome from British TV viewers.
  Many are unhappy that the fight is not included in the Sky Sports 
monthly subscription fee, as such events have been in the past. Also 
unhappy are owners of pubs and clubs that will have to pay even 
higher, 230 pounds, to BSkyB if they want to show the event live.
  Cable operator Nynex last week announced that its customers would be 
able to buy the fight for 7.95 pounds in advance, a discount on the 
9.95 pounds that BSkyB is charging satellite dish owners. Both will 
raise the price to 14.95 pounds just before the fight.
  In contrast, US viewers who are well used to pay per view 
broadcasting, will pay around $50, about twice the Sky charge, to see 
the fight.

  AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (TS) -- Multichoice has secured exclusive 
direct to home satellite rights to programming from ART-TV and will 
launch a DTH package within the next three months.
  The service will be based in Dubai and uplink at least 12 programs 
from a base in Italy.

  WASHINGTON, USA (TS) -- Intelsat, the International 
Telecommunications Satellite Organization, has set a March 6th launch 
date for the Intelsat 707 spacecraft.
  Intelsat 707 will move to the 310 degrees East position that was to 
have been used by Intelsat 708, the satellite destroyed in a launch 
explosion in China in February.
  The new space craft was due to be launched by Ariane 44LP rocket on 
March 2nd but this was put back because of extra tests that had to be 
carried out by Arianespace.

  TEL AVIV, Israel (TS) -- Israel says it will launch its first 
communications satellite in May aboard an Ariane rocket. The Amos-1 
satellite is equipped with seven transponders that will be used for 
television broadcasting and internal communications.
  Other roles of the satellite are now under question after Janes 
Intelligence Review commented that the bird may be used to monitor 
traffic passing through Arab satellites parked nearby in orbit.

  LOS ANGELES, California, USA (TS) -- Hughes has won the contract to 
supply Asia Telecommunications Satellite Co. with a new satellite, 
  The new craft will be a Hughes HS-601HP, the high powered version of 
the Hughes 601 platform, the world's most popular satellite with 61 
now in operation or on order.
  Asiasat-3 will be equipped with 28 C-band transponders and 16 
ku-band transponders that will require a total of 7kW to operate. High 
power gallium arsenide solar cells are being used to supply the power 
  Previously, Hughes built Asiasat-1, an HS-376 satellite, which was 
launched in 1990.

  LONDON, England (PAS) -- BBC World has joined the lineup of 
programming on PanAmSat's PAS-4 Indian Ocean Region satellite. The 
international news and information channel will be transmitted, from 
April, over PAS-4 from Singapore for reception throughout south Asia. 
PAS-4 is situated at 68.5 degrees East.
  The agreement with BBC Worldwide Television is for full-time service 
over PAS-4's C-band South Asia/Middle East Beam, which will enable 
signal reception across a wide geographic area from Europe to Asia.
  PAS-4 was launched in August 1995 and provides extensive coverage of 
Africa, Europe, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Asia.   
In addition to BBC World, PAS-4 broadcast customers include Asia 
Business News, China Central Television, Disney, Doordarshan, ESPN, 
HBO, Liberty MultiChoice/Orbicom, NHK, SABC/Sentech, Sony 
Entertainment Television, Turner International and Viacom 

  ATLANTA, Georgia (ORION) -- Orion Atlantic has signed a three-year 
contract with Telecom Ireland International. Under the agreement, 
Telecom Ireland will market Orion's satellite services including its 
advanced networking services to multinational companies based in 
  Telecom Ireland has announced that it values the agreement as a 
multi-million pound sterling agreement over the three year term.  The 
agreement will initially allow Telecom Ireland to sell point-to-point 
and point-to-multipoint VSAT networks under its own brand name. Both 
companies expect that the agreement will eventually be expanded to 
include shared bandwidth, full-mesh networking products that Orion is 

- Speaking on Veronica Nieuwsradio, HMG head Huib Boermans said that 
RTL-5 will changed from a general entertainment channel into a theme 
channel. The switch is expected to take place in September or October. 
(Jitse Groen via Peter Klanowski)
- Matra Marconi has won a 130 million pound contract to supply the UK 
Ministry of Defence with the Skynet-4 satellite.
- Direct To Home (DTH) satellite dishes can now be found in 5.4% of 
all US homes according to data just released. In ten states, 
penetration of the new systems is above 5.0%.


  Stefan Hofmeir tells TS Germany's Peter Klanowski all the French 
broadcasters can be found online:
TF 1                    http://www.tf1.fr/ 
France Television       http://www.francetv.fr/
France 2                http://www.france2.fr/
France 3                http://www.france3.fr/
Canal plus              http://www.cplus.fr/
La cinquieme            http://www.lacinquieme.fr/

  Germany's Harald Schmidt Show can now also be found online at its 
own domain:


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OMRI material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media Research 
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