NORDIC MEDIA NEWS
There are two parts to Radio Sweden. One is the external service, which broadcasts in 6 languages. Besides English, home of MediaScan, there’s Swedish, German, Russian, Estonian, and Latvian.
Then there are our colleagues making programs for immigrants in Sweden, in languages like Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, and Albanian. The external programs go out to the world via shortwave and satellite, and immigrant programs are carried across the country on one of the national FM networks.
But the distinctions are beginning to break down. All of our programs are carried on-demand in RealAudio over the Internet, which means that our immigrant programs in Spanish have an audience in Latin America, and our programs in Albanian have an audience in Kosovo. And one of the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation’s most internationally accessed Web files, is our immigrant program in Somali.
Nevertheless, the external programs are made to report on what is happening in Sweden for people abroad, and the immigrant programs are produced for people already in the country. And for the past two weeks, we have a new language. Zayele, Radio Sweden’s new immigrant program in Kurdish, is broadcast for 15 minutes every Saturday. The programs are produced by Nasser Sena, who joined me in the studio in today’s program. We talked about the Kurdish community in Sweden, which Kurdish dialects are in the program, and about Kurdish radio in the rest of the world.
Unusually, our domestic service colleagues at the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation are making a documentary that is primarily in English, about the Nuremburg War Crimes trials. It’s being made in English so it can be given on CDs to the participants in the international conference on racial intolerance being held here at the end of January. The program is the creation of Swedish Radio’s Björn Tunbäck, and in today’s program I asked him to tell me about it. We’ll be rebroadcasting the documentary about the Nuremburg war crimes trials in two parts here on Radio Sweden on February 1st and 2nd. (And we’ll undoubtedly archive them in RealAudio afterwards.)
Radio Sweden’s satellite channel in Europe is going digital, and switching satellites. Along with our partners at the World Radio Network, we’re moving to the Eutelsat Hot Bird satellite position at 13 degrees East. The frequency is 12.597 GHz, and besides us and several channels from WRN, other stations moving there include National Public Radio, Radio Canada International, and CNN Radio. Hopefully in the next edition of the program we’ll have a handy-dandy guide to finding us in digital space.
Sweden’s Consumer Ombudsman has ruled that the Nordic satellite TV distributor Viasat exaggerates and misleads in its digital satellite TV subscription marketing. Viasat’s advertisements read “Everything included” when everything is not included. In addition, the ads give the impression customers have access to more than 40 TV channels, when the actual number is 27. The ombudsman has forbidden Viasat from continuing such advertising. (TT)
For the first time in history, Viasat’s TV3 has more young viewers than either of public broadcaster SVT’s two channels. During the year 2000, TV3 attracted 17 percent of Swedish viewers aged between 15 and 34. That compares to 16.1 percent for SVT1 and 13.8 percent for SVT2. This is significant because while SVT reaches virtually all households in Sweden both over the air and cable, TV3 is only available by satellite and cable (and the very small number of digital terrestrial subscribers). (TT)
CBNC Europe has started on Sweden’s Sirius 2 satellite (5 degrees East) on 12.111 GHz, European beam. Simaye Azadi Iran National TV has started on 12.453 GHz. TV3 Latvia, ORT Estonia and ORT Lithuania have started on 12.643 GHz.
Nickelodeon Scandinavia, TV 6, Playboy TV, ORT Estonia, and ORT Lithuania have started on Sirius 3 (5 degrees East) on 11.881 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
At the Norwegian Thor/Intelsat 707 position at 1 degree West, Style is now sharing a transponder at 12.303 Ghz with E!. Bulgarian television has begun on 12.169 GHz, with 5 TV channels and 3 radio stations in this package. The Chinese TV channels CCTV 4 and CCTV 9 are uncoded on 11.174 GHz. (Richard Karlsson, “Aftonbladet”)
Evrokom has started on Thor 3 on 12.169 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
IMMIGRANTS AND SATELLITE TV
A new study concludes that access to satellite television from their homelands can promote the integration of immigrants into Swedish society. Anne Sofie Roald of the University College in Malmö analysed the contents of the three most popular Arabic language channels among Moslems in the Öresund region. She says all three channels are relatively independent and support the same democratic ideals that Swedes embrace.
She has also interviewed several hundred people with Moslem backgrounds in the areas of Malmö and the Danish capital Copenhagen. The study concludes that many Arabic-speaking immigrants in the region gain more understanding for their new community by watching Arabic TV, rather than the convention wisdom that watching foreign channels can increase segregation. (TT)
WorldSpace, the first global operator of satellite digital audio broadcasting systems and Alcatel Space, a leader in the design and manufacture of satellite DAB technologies, have signed a strategic partnership agreement to develop a space-based digital sound broadcasting system for Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, signed January 4, 2001, both companies will explore the possibility of forming a consortium in order to implement a European Satellite – DSB system. This consortium will provide the
opportunity for other investors and strategic partners to participate in
WorldSpace and Alcatel Space expect the planned system to provide seamless
coverage over the European continent, offering programs of crystal-clear quality to users with mobile (in-car), fixed, and portable radios. Of particular note: the satellite system will be able to provide continuous mobile reception of audio programs over Europe. In addition to broadcasting a choice of up to 100 existing or new radio programs, the system will allow users to access multi-media services such as : text and image transmission ancillary to the audio programs; and traffic reports, weather forecasts, and information updates for navigation. (WorldSpace/Alacatel press release)
The OSCE hopes to see the establishment of an Interim Media Commission, administered by Kosovars, which will replace the Temporary Media Commissioner’s office as the media regulatory body in Kosovo. The public broadcasting service, RTK, will become fully independent of OSCE this year while the newly-reconstructed terrestrial transmission system should, once fully functioning, be able to transmit its programs and
those of the independent media to almost all of Kosovo. (“satelitv”)
A new mux has started on Astra 1 E (19 degrees East) on 10.788 GHz: RTM 1, ESC 1, TV 5 France/Belgique/Suisse, TV 7 (Tunisia), Arte, RAI Uno, RTP Internacional, and Deutsche Welle TV. The line-up is identical to Astra 1H 12.363 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
ORF Sat has left 11.954 on Astra 1G, while RTL 2 Schwiez has left 12.188 GHz on Astra 1H. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
IC Radio has started broadcasting using five different subcarriers on Astra 1F on 11.288 GHz: 7.74, 7.90, 8.12, 8.36, and 8.48 MHz. Tamil Broadcasting has started on Astra 1E on 10.891 GHz, audio 7.74 MHz. (Richard Karlsson, “Aftonbladet”)
Astra 2D has been testing at 24.2 degrees East. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Astra will launch its third position over Europe in 2002 when Astra 3A reaches orbit. The new satellite will replace Deutsche Telekom’s DFS1 Kopernikus FM3 satellite at 23.5 degrees East (DT is a major owner in Astra’s parent SES). Astra 3A will take on DT’s cable feeds, and will provide capacity for Internet and broadband services, primarily for German language markets. It will carry 20 high power Ku-band transponder with a bandwidth of 36 MHz, in the 11.45-11.70 and 12.50-12.75 GHz ranges. (“What Satellite TV”)
Kopernikus 2 has left 28.5 degrees East and is moving West. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
On Hot Bird 3 (13 degrees East) , Kurdistan TV has started on 12.303 GHz, while the Sailing Channel has started on 12.111 GHz. On Hot Bird 5, Channel X has started on 11.623 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
German public broadcaster ARD has selected Eutelsat over current host Astra to extend its international reach to television viewers in countries in south-east Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Called “ARD Das Erste”, it will be part of a German digital package on Hot Bird 5 on 11.604 GHz. Broadcasting via Hot Bird gives ARD access to an estimated new market of eight million German speakers who holiday or travel for business reasons in Greece, Turkey, North Africa and eastern Europe. (“satelitv” and “LyngSat Weekly”)
TV Montenegro has left Eutelsat W1 (10 degrees East) in PAL, while Channel of Hope International has left Eutelsat W2 (16 degrees East) 12.621 GHz. (Channel of Hope International has also left Intelsat 605, 27.5 degrees West, 10.979 GHz.) (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Serbia’s BK 063 Sat has started on Hot Bird 3 on 12.220 GHz and on Eutelsat
Seasat (36 degrees East) on 12.709 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Rupert Murdoch is bringing two channels from his Asian Star-TV service to his British Sky Digital offerings. Star News and Star Plus have launched on Sky Digital channels 671 and 672 respectively. Star Plus is India’s number one Hindi entertainment channel. Star News will be Britain’s first channel broadcasting news 24 hours a day from India, in both English and Hindi. They will be subcription rather than free channels. (“What Satellite TV”)
The Pan-European news channel EuroNews will be available to Sky Digital viewers from April. The channel, which is run by ITN, will launch on the new Eurobird satellite which is to be positioned at 28.5 degrees East, just 0.3 degrees from the Astra constellation. Sky mini-dishes should be capable of picking up the signals without any adjustments being made. (“What Satellite TV”)
British Sky Broadcasting has confirmed that Channel Four’s new entertainment channel E4 will be available when it launches this week. It will appear on EPG number 205 in advance of the channel’s 20:15 hrs UTC launch on Thursday. Customers who subscribe to the Family Package will automatically receive E4. (“What Satellite TV”)
The British digital terrestrial television service ONdigital announced January 17 that it reached its end-2000 target of one million subscribers. But ONdigital says it expects the rate of subscribers who do not renew to remain in the 15 to 20 percent range before settling lower once its customer base is more mature. While this compares to Sky Digital’s 4.1 million subscribers, ONdigital claims it reached the one million mark faster than Sky or any cable company. (Reuters)
CNN founder Ted Turner has been in advanced talks to buy a stake in Russia’s biggest independent TV network NTV, but industry sources said on January 10 that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp empire is not competing for now.
But two days later NTV faced an increasingly uncertain future as the two main shareholders prepared to face off against each other in politically charged court battles. The Media-Most group has filed suit in London and Gibraltar to stop state-controlled Gazprom-Media taking control of NTV, while Gazprom-Media said on Friday it might take legal action to acquire shares it holds as loan collateral. The breakdown in relations between the two battling NTV shareholders throws into doubt talks with potential foreign investors.
Industry sources said Gazprom, which gained a large stake in NTV last year in return to forgiving some of its debts, appeared to be under pressure from the government to take control of NTV. They added that Gazprom, NTV’s main creditor, may even force NTV into bankruptcy unless it gets control — a move which may then see Kremlin-friendly investors pick up the pieces. NTV, Media-Most’s prize asset and the most influential Russian media outlet not controlled by the Kremlin, has been more critical than other stations of President Vladimir Putin. (Reuters)
On Most 1 (65 degrees East) the NTV Plus muxes have left 12.245 R and 12.456 L, replaced by a TNT/NTV mux, identical to 12.226 L. (“LyngSat Weekly”) (Is this Ted Turner already getting involved with NTV?)
A second round of talks between rebellious journalists and Czech Television management on January 16 was again inconclusive, prolonging the nearly month-long battle for control of the public broadcaster.
The network’s employees have occupied the newsroom since December 20, when Jiri Hodac was appointed director by a television council whose members are picked by political parties. The journalists said he has close ties to political leaders, particularly former Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus.
Hodac resigned last Thursday, citing health reasons, but his management team led by Vera Valterova remains in place, rejecting the protesting journalists’ demands that they leave. Valterova also was taking part in the talks. Thousands of people have been demonstrating to support the journalists’ cause, and two smaller opposition parties have claimed that freedom of speech is in danger.
More developments are expected on Wednesday, when the Senate, the 81-seat upper chamber of Czech legislature, meets to discuss a change in the television law as proposed by the dominant lower house. Senate approval, which is by no means assured, would open the way for the appointment of an interim director of the station by the lower chamber of Parliament. If the law is approved and signed by President Vaclav Havel, Parliament can appoint the new director as early as Friday. Otherwise the dispute could drag on possibly for weeks. (AP)
Telecom 2C has replaced Telecom 2B at 5 degrees West. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Simaye Azadi Iran National TV has started on Eutelsat II-F3 (21.5 degrees East) on 11.568 GHz, having left Eutelsat W3 (7 degrees East). (“LyngSat Weekly”)
TRT International has started on Eutelsat Seasat (36 degrees East) on 12.692 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Star 1-3 have started on Turksat 1C (42 degrees East) on 11.671 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Anatolia 1 has reached 50 degrees East, inclined by 1.5 degrees. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Zeen TV has started on Arabsat 2A (26 degrees East) on 3.875 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
LBC Sat has started on Arabsat 3A (26 degrees East) on 11.766 GHz. Al-Manar TV has started on 12.015 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Iranian police have confiscated 700 satellite decoders as well as 10,000 “perverse” films on video compact discs in the southern Bushehr province, the Abrar-e Eqtessad paper reported January 15. It cited provincial police chief Reza Zarei as saying that “other contraband objects” worth some 760,000 dollars had also been seized. He said eight people had been brought in for questioning over the affair. Satellites have been forbidden in Iran since 1995 but the popular dishes can be widely seen on rooftops and balconies in Tehran and other cities. (AFP)
Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV is proceeding with plans to launch direct-to-home television (DTH) services in India despite its objections to current limitations on foreign equity, a spokesman for its local unit told Reuters on January 5. DTH broadcasting involves beaming programs from satellites directly to subscribers through small dish antennas. The release in November of Indian government policy on private-sector entry into DTH broadcasting drew sharp protests from key players, who objected to limits imposed on their equity participation.
Foreign companies and existing broadcast or cable firms can directly own up to only 20 percent of such a broadcasting service. Up to 49 percent foreign equity is allowed if the other 29 percent is owned by overseas Indians or portfolio investors. Most broadcasters, including Star TV and its rival Zee Telefilms, India’s largest private television network, have sought to have the equity restriction changed. Star is working on a business plan and, when it is formalised, will approach India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board for permission to bring in the funding, the spokesman said. (Reuters)
Seven years after Rupert Murdoch, bowing to Chinese demands, kicked the BBC off his Asian Star TV network, the Chinese government has awarded a license to the British public broadcaster allowing it to transmit its BBC World television news channel to hotels and foreign residential compounds. Murdoch gave in after complaints from Chinese officials about the BBC coverage of the 1989 Tianamen Square massacre and a documentary about the life of Mao Zedong. (“satelitv” and AP)
China’s CCTV 1, 2 and 7 have started on Apstar 1A (134 degrees East) on 3.840 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
ETTV Shopping has started on Palapa C2 (113 degrees East) on 3.790 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
On Asiasat 3S (105.5 degrees East): Phoenix Chinese has started on 3.880 GHz. Indus Vision has started on 4.060 GHz in clear PAL. Beijing TV has started on Asiasat 2 (100.5 degrees East) on 3.864 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
MTV Asia has started on PAS 8 (166 degrees East) on 3.740 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
A KSB mux has started on Koreasat 3 (116 degrees East) on 12.730 GHz: KSB Movie 1-3, KSB Board Game, KSB Synthetic Channel, and Home Shopping. The KSB mux has left ST1 (88 degrees East). (“LyngSat Weekly”)
AOL TIME WARNER
On January 11th, the Federal Communications Commission approved America Online’s acquisition of Time Warner to create the world’s biggest media company. Exactly a year and a day after the companies announced their historic marriage of old and new media, the five-member FCC agreed to let AOL and Time Warner go forward provided the companies open up AOL’s instant messaging service when used across Time Warner’s cable lines. The companies also must not restrict consumers from using a different Internet service provider than AOL’s service, the FCC said. The agency also said it will not impose conditions on AOL Time Warner relating to interactive television but will instead hold a broad inquiry into the emerging technology.
The FCC approval, after months of internal discussion at the agency, allows
the world’s biggest Internet services provider to close its USD 106.2
billion purchase of the media and cable conglomerate to create an
unparalleled company spanning television programming, movies, magazines and
While Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is gearing back up for a flotation of its satellite TV arm, Sky Global, talks over buying US satellite TV operator DirecTV move closer to a conclusion, an industry source tells Reuters. Murdoch has been in touch with General Motors’ Hughes Electronics division over the DirecTV deal for some weeks. The deal is expected to cost around USD 40 billion, and in the meantime, Murdoch has reportedly ordered a stop to any other acquisitions. News Corp is also shutting down its online division News Digital Media, and eliminating more than 200 jobs in an effort to conserve badly needed cash. In a statement, the company says that it is transferring the production of three major websites back to the networks they are associated with: Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports Television, and Fox News Channel. (Reuters, “Financial Times”, AP)
EchoStar Communications has unveiled a new satellite receiver that will allow users to record up to 30 hours of television programs from its DISH Network and play them back “on demand.” The Pro 501 receiver is the latest introduction in the growing personal television services market that also includes the TiVo and ReplayTV receivers. EchoStar, which is displaying the device at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, said that the receiver will hit retail stores in February. (“satelitv”)
Research Channel has left Galaxy 3R (95 degrees West) and has moved to Galaxy 10R (123 degrees West) on 11.805 GHz. Back on Galaxy 3R, Global Broadcast Network has started on 3.840 GHz in clear NTSC. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Nile Variety and Nile News have replaced Nile Drama and ESC 1 on Telstar 5 (97 degrees West) on 11.898 GHz. Video Italia has left 11.874 GHz. Al-Manar TV has started on 12.152 GHz. Health South is back on 12.177 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Zee TV Africa has left PAS 9 (58 degrees West), while Zee TV USA has started on 3.800 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
MTV2 US has started on GE 1 (103 degrees West) on 4.100 GHz, in clear NTSC. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
GE 8 is now geo-stationary at 146 degrees West. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
National Geographic Channel Latin America has started on NSS 806 (40.5 degrees West) on 3.982 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
TV Assembleia Sao Paulo has started on Brasilsat B3 (84 degrees West) on 3.768 GHz. Rede Familia has moved from 4.117 to 3.877 GHz. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
The PCTV mux on Telstar 7 (129 degrees West) has switched from MPEG-2 to clear Digicipher 2. The new line-up is: Granc Canal Latino, Casa Club TV, ESPN 2, Movie World, Canal 13, Tu Casa, Discovery Health Espanol, and Discovery Travel & Adventures Espanol. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
The launch of a digital radio satellite from Sea Launch Co.’s oceangoing platform was halted so close to ignition January 9 that the rocket being used will have to be returned to California to be readied for a second attempt. The launch of the XM-1 satellite has been rescheduled for Feb. 28, Sea Launch Co. said. The satellite’s twin, XM-2, will now be launched in mid-April.
Sea Launch is an international consortium led by Boeing Co. Its partners are RSC-Energia of Russia, Anglo-Norwegian Kvaerner Group of Norway and SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash of Ukraine. The new schedule will allow XM Satellite Radio Inc. of Washington, D.C., to begin its subscription broadcast service this summer, Sea Launch said. XM plans to broadcast 100 channels of programming directly to consumers with special digital satellite radios. (AP)
Astra 2D and GE 8 were successfully launched with Ariane 5 on December 20. Astra 2D will replace Astra 1D at 28 degrees East. GE 8 will replace Satcom C5 at 139 degrees West. (“LyngSat Weekly”)
Ariane made its first successful lift-off of the new century on January 10, carrying a Turkish telecommunications satellite into orbit. Eurasiasat-1 will assure telecommunications between Western Europe, the Middle East, central Asia and Asia. (AP) With 34 Ku-band transponders, it will be placed at 42 degrees East. (“Lyngemark Satellite Chart”)
On January 16, Ariane 5 carried PAS 1R into orbit. After testing at 61.8 degrees West, it will replace PAS 1 at 45 degrees West. The new satellite carries 36 Ku-band and 36 C-band transponders. (“Lyngemark Satellite Chart”)
Arianespace has won contracts for four new satellites:
DirecTV-4S will be launched at the end of 2001 or early the following year. It will be fitted with 38 high-power Ku-band transponders, providing direct broadcast of local TV stations using digital compression technology. DirecTV-4S is the U.S. operator’s third satellite to be launched by Arianespace. It will be positioned at DirecTV’s primary orbital slot at 101 degrees West to cover all of the United States.
Insat 3A and 3E are scheduled for launch in late 2001 and late 2002, respectively. Each satellite will weigh slightly over 2,000 kg. at liftoff. Insat 3A is a hybrid satellite, carrying a mixed C/Ku-band communications payload and a weather monitoring system. It will be positioned at 83 degrees East.
Amos 2 is scheduled for a late 2002 or early 2003 launch. Weighing 1,300 kg. at liftoff, Amos 2 will be operated by Spacecom Ltd. It is to be equipped with 22 Ku-band transponders, and will beam the digital broadcast package provided by new Israeli operator YES. It offers extended coverage over the entire Middle East. Amos 2 will be co-located with Amos 1 at 4 degrees West, and will be used as a backup for the older satellite, supplying telecommunications and TV broadcast services for the Israeli government. (“satelitv”)