Complete new English schedule.
For other languages, consult our Web pages for each language.
Here are the changes, all times are UTC.
Europe, Africa and the Middle East:
We’ll be keeping the same local time, by shifting the UTC of our broadcasts. The program at 18:30 hrs moves to 17:30, on 6065 and 15735 kHz weekdays and Saturdays, 13855 and 15735 kHz Sundays.
The weekend only broadcast at 21:30 hrs shifts to 20:30, on 6065 and 13830 kHz.
The transmission at 22:30 goes to 21:30, and the frequencies wil be 6065 and 9430 kHz.
The program at 02:30 hrs moves to 9495 kHz, which may be replaced later with 7135, while 03:30 hrs moves to 9475 kHz, which might be changed to 11665.
The 12:30 hrs broadcast shifts to 11:30, and the freuquencies will be 15240 and 17870 kHz, while 14:30 moves to 13:30, on just 15240 kHz.
Asia and the Pacific:
The program at 01:30 hrs moves to 11985 kHz.
13:30 shifts time to 12:30, and frequencies to 13740 and 15240 kHz, while 14:30 goes to 13:30, with a new frequency of 13740 kHz, with a possible back-up on 17515.
Our satellite broadcasts remain the same, except for similar one hour shifts. Our Eutelsat and Sirius broadcasts to Europe will be at 12:30, 16:15, and 17:30 hrs UTC.
The daily WRN relay to Europe shifts to 19:30 hrs UTC, while the relays to Africa and Asia, move to 14:00 hrs UTC daily except Sunday and 00:30 hrs UTC Saturdays. (Note that the times for WRN to Africa and Asia are misprinted in our printed schedule.)
ZTV–Kinnevik started ZTV as an MTV clone, but the youth station has been developing its own local programming. Now all that is coming to an end. Even though viewership increased by 30 percent during 1997, ZTV is still losing money. As of June 1, Kinnevik is firing 60 staff members and moving ZTV to London. The locally produced programming is disappearing, and instead ZTV will carry more music videos and programs bought from abroad. Daily programming hours will increase from the present 9 to 18, and ZTV will, along with Kinnevik’s TV3 and SBS’s Kanal 5, be able to take advantage of British looser broadcasting laws rather than the stricter Swedish legislation. (This mainly means being able to carry commercials in the middle of programs, which Kinnevik hopes means more money.) There has been criticism of the move, including a headline in the Stockholm daily “Dagens Nyheter”: “Young Sweden Loses Another Voice.” (“Dagens Nyheter” and “Svenska Dagbladet”)
TV1000–As ZTV, TV6, and the pay film channel TV1000 continue to lose money, the head of Kinnevik’s MTG subsidiary, Pelle Törnberg, has confirmed to journalists that talks continue about merging TV1000 with its rival Canal Plus. (“Dagens Nyheter” and “Svenska Dagbladet”)
TV6–Meanwhile, Kinnevik’s TV6 has abandoned its former format aimed at women, and now divides its schedule up: 16:00-21:00 hrs TV6 Nature World (nature films) and 21:00-00:00 hrs TV6 Action World (action films). (“Transponder News”)
SIRIUS–Star TV (which is supposed to carry broadcasts from the Danish parliament) has started regular transmissions on Sirius 2, 12.635 GHz, in clear MPEG-2. (“SATCO DX”)
VIOLENCE–The Swedish government says it will propose legislation requiring that all TV programs with violence or pornography be preceeded with a warning. The proposal is based on an EU directive, which means that while the terrestrial broadcasters SVT and TV4 are already required to warn about program violence, the new law will cover satellite broadcasters as well. The Ministry of Culture expects the new law to go into effect on January 1, 1999. (TT) Why should the new law cover the British-based broadcasters? Presumeably they would be affected by any British legislation that is enacted because of the EU directive.
EUTELSAT VS ASTRA–Eutelsat has been conducting what seems to be a childish (editor’s comment) attempt to keep its smaller but higher profile rival SES/Astra from expanding to a second orbital position.
Since March 8, Eutelsat has been testing its new Hot Bird 4 satellite at 29 degrees East, carrying EuroSport, Fashion TV, and a Eutelsat promo in clear PAL on 12.303 and 12.360 GHz. Most the time there has been a text scrolling across the bottom of the screen: “Transmissions via the Europesat 1 network of the Eutelsat system at 29 degrees East”. Hot Bird 4 is expected to be at its proper location at 13 degrees East by March 25, in order to begin regular service on March 31.
“Eutelsat, Europe’s largest satellite opeator, is broadcasting via its EUROPESAT-1 network at 29 degrees East…With the successful launch on February 27 of Hot Bird 4, the Organization will fully occupy all Ku-band frequencies (10.7-12.75 GHz) at its 13 degrees East location, and has therefore chosen 29 degrees East as the slot for future media expansion in western Europe. Coexistence of a future SES satellite system at 28.2 degrees East is under study.”
Before Eutelsat ever announced plans for 29 degrees East, Astra, owned by Luxembourg’s SES, said it would be expanding from its first position at 19 degrees East to a second postition at 28.2 degrees East. Eutelsat has at least 7 other orbital positions (36, 25.5, 21.5, 16, 13, 10, and 7 degrees East), but has decided it must have 29 degrees East as well. Eutelsat has been testing all its recent satellites at 29 degrees East before moving them, in an attempt to stake some kind of claim to the position. But since Deutsche Telekom, a major owner of SES, already has registered and has used the 28.5 degrees East position for several years for its DFS-2 Kopernikus satellite, DT/SES already has a prior presence at the position.
SES has moved its Astra 1D satellite to 28.2 degrees East, and has been testing there since March 13, with a test carrier on 11.993 GHz. Video transmissions were expected to start March 16. Astra 1D was moved from 19 degrees East because of the greatly delayed launch of Astra 2A, which is to be positioned at 28.2 degrees East. This position will be used to broadcast digital TV to Britain.
British Sky Broadcasting was scheduled to start digital tests from Astra 1D on March 16 (assuming Hot Bird 4 moves away).
SHOPPING–The British broadcasting group Granada and retailer Littlewoods have announced they will start a television home shopping venture to coincide with the launch of digital broadcasting in Britain. The channel is to be carried in all three digital formats–terrestrial, satellite, and cable. Granada is due to start digital terrestrial broadcasts this Fall, in a joint venture with Carlton Communications. (Reuters)
DIGITAL?–The consumer watchdog magazine “Which?” says British consumers should wait and see before switching to digital TV services when they appear later this year. The magazine’s March edition says consumers who switch to digital too early could lose out as the technology continues to develop. Giving Betamax VCRs as an example, “Which?” says upgrading could be inconvenient and expensive, while the digital picture quality won’t necessarily be better than analog. (Reuters)
ASTRA–The Disney Channel will broadcast in the clear on Astra transponder 26 between March 21 and 23, daily 06:00-22:00 hrs UTC. (“Transponder News”)
TCC, Britain’s oldest satellite channel still broadcasting, is to close (on Astra transponder 35) on April 4. The Nordic version of TCC on Intelsat 605 (27.5 degrees West) will also close apparently. (James Robinson) (TCC Nordic also shares a transponder with Discovery (11.938 GHz) at 1 degree West.)
A new channel called Travel Shop will take over Astra transponder 35 from 05:00-16:00 hrs. It will apparently transmit in clear PAL. (James Robinson)
Flextech (TCI’s British subsidiary) will be making other changes on April 4. CNBC will cease its transmission on transponder 42 between 05:00 and 11:00 hrs. This was formerly used by EBN, until CNBC and EBN merged in January. (And CNBC has its own 24 hour transponders on both Astra and Eutelsat.) Instead, the youth channel Trouble will start 5 hours earlier at 06:00 hrs UTC, running until 19:00, with Bravo continuing to fill out the rest of the time. (James Robinson)
CMT is still scheduled to close on April 1. Transponder 51 is to be taken over by Sky Box Office, most likely its promo channel, currently in soft videocrypt on transponder 57. (James Robinson)
UK Horizons, a science and natgure-type program from UKTV, will start on transponder 57, in Videocrypt 1. UK Horizons is currently on Intelsat 605 in encoded MPEG-2 on 11.958 GHz, as well as being part of the UKTV Promo Channel on Astra transponder 56. (James Robinson)
We reported last time that a German version of Bloomberg TV would be sharing Astra transponder 11 with the English version. Richard Karlsson reports in “Aftonbladet” that the German program will REPLACE the English one. (Richard Karlsson, “Aftonbladet”)
AMERICA ONE– America One is the joint European satellite channel operated by National Public Radio and its friendly rivals at Public Radio International. But NPR has confirmed that America One will cease from April 1st, and will be replaced by an all-NPR channel, called NPR Worldwide, still on Astra transponder 22, sound 7.74 MHz. (Franklin Adams, NPR) PRI should be continuing to Europe as relays on WRN only. (Jeff Cohen, WRN)
WRN–The World Radio Network is the organization that has taken what used to be shortwave broadcasters, and has put them on satellite and local radio relays around the world. Nowadays here at Radio Sweden, we probably get more letters from listeners in Canada who hear us in the middle of the night on their local AM stations, than from anywhere else, thanks to WRN.
And the network continues to expand. The most recent addition is a medium wave relay from a transmitter in Israel (see below). WRN’s Director of Development, Jeff Cohen, recently visited Radio Sweden, and told me about the new project and a lot more, and you can hear the interview in today’s program.
EUTELSAT–Sim-yeh Moghavemat (Vision of Resistance) has left Eutelsat II-F3 (16 degrees East) and has moved to Eutelsat II-F1 (13 degrees East) on 11.658 Ghz in clear PAL, 19:00-20:00 hrs CET. (“SATCO DX”)
On Hot Bird 3 there are new radio channels in clear MPEG-2 on 12.399 GHz: Swiss Light, SRI Francais, SRI Europe, SRI Intercontinental, SRI America, and SRI Asia. (“SATCO DX”)
All Mediaset programs are again part of Telepiu’s D Plus at 13 degrees East. Rete 4 has started on 12.071 GHz, while Canale 5 and Italia 1 are on 12.341 GHz. (“SATCO DX” and “Transponder News”)
SHALOM–The Jewish Shalom Channel is to broadcast 13 hours a day as part of the French TPS digital package. Shalom TV will broadcast uncoded, however, so a TPS subscription will not be necessary to watch the programs. (Richard Karlsson, “Aftonbladet”)
TPS–TPS is moving its transponders to the new Hot Bird 4 (which will be placed at 13 degrees East, along with Eutelsat II-F1 and Hot Birds 1-3). The five TPS transponders are currently spread among the various satellites at 13 degrees East. TPS is also leasing one more transponder on Hot Bird 4, making a total of six. (Richard Karlsson, “Aftonbladet”)
WRN–The World Radio Network is now broadcasting to the Middle East from a medium wave transmitter in Israel on 954 kHz daily at 20:25-04:30 hrs UTC. Initially the service is carrying the ordinary WRN 1 service to Europe, which means Radio Sweden kicks off the relay at 20:30 hrs. However, WRN hopes to develop a more specialized schedule for the Middle East. (Jeff Cohen, WRN)
INTELSAT–On Intelsat 605, Nigeria’s NTA has moved from 4.043 to 4.065 GHz, and has switched from PAL to SECAM. (“SATCO DX”)
PAS–There’s a new clear MPEG-2 package on PAS-5 (58 degrees West) on 3.880 GHz (SR 21086, FEC 3/4): Discovery Channel Iberia, Discovery Channel Brazil, Discovery Kids Brazil, People and Arts Network, and test cards from Animal Planet and Brazil’s Channel 6. (“SATCO DX”)
US–American Vice President Al Gore has proposed launching a 24 hour a day video image of the planet Earth, beamed from a satellite 1.6 million kilometers away, over the Internet and via television. Gore told an audience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that the images would have the same effect as the earlier missions to the Moon. The satellite would be so far away from the Earth that it would provide a full view of the planet, unlike geo-stationary satellites. NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin says Gore approached him with the idea of building the satellite, called “Triana” after the sailor on Columbus’ first voyage who first spotted New World, a month ago. The satellite would be launched from the space shuttle, and Goldin says that if Congress approves the funds, it could be in orbit by the year 2000. (AP)