اطلاعات و اخبار جدید دنیای ماهواره و رسانه
   

ProSiebenSat.1 Media Launches Women's Channels in Germany and Hungary

In the second quarter of 2010, the ProSiebenSat.1 Media group will launch a new TV channel dedicated to women called Fem TV . 

The ProSiebenSat.1 Group is already active in other countries with special channels just for women. This includes Net5 in the Netherlands, vijf TV in Belgium and fem in Norway. 

ProSiebenSat.1 plans to launch a thematic channel aimed at women this December in Hungary . he service will be knownas TV3 ProSiebenSat.1 is already present in Hungary through the national commercial station TV2


DSF to Change Its Name to Sport1

Constantin Media Group decided to change its name to the sports channel DSF that will take the name of Sport1, the choice of the new name is motivated by the same company that owns the sports web portal sport1.de

Intersputnik Transfers Frequency Rights for AMOS 5 Satellite

International Organization of Space Communications Intersputnik has transferred its rights for the use of frequencies assigned at 17 degrees east to Israeli satellite operator Spacecom and specifically for its planned AMOS 5 satellite . The agreement was concluded for 15 years with the possibility of further extension. 

Spacecom currently own and operates : AMOS-2 and AMOS-3 satellites located at 4 degrees west.

In July 2008 JSC-ISS - Reshetnev Company has contracted with Spacecom to supply the AMOS 5 satellite . The satellite is expected to be launch in late 2010 and positioned at 17 degrees east .

Amos 1 Re-named Intelsat 24

AMOS 1 communications satellite, launched into orbit in 1996 will continue to operate under a new name Intelsat 24. Until recently, the satellite was positioned at 4 degrees west but the satellite was replaced at this location by the newer AMOS 3 satellite in 2008.

The satellite is in inclined posiiton but the fuel reserve will enable it to operate for a few more years. Last Friday the satellite was at 44 degrees east.

 

China to Launch APTSTAR-7 Satellite

China will launch a French-made communications satellite for the Hong Kong-based APT Satellite Holding Limited in the first half of 2012. 

The satellite, dubbed APTSTAR-7 and made by the Thales Alenia Space, will be sent into space by China's Long March 3B/E carrier rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China, according to a statement issued by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), the contractor of the launch on Sunday The satellite, with a designed life span of 15 years, will function for the service of live television broadcast and communications in Asia, the Middle East, Australia Africa and parts of the European Union.

PLDT Sells Satellite DIvision 

PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE Corp. is selling its communications satellite subsidiary Mabuhay Satellite Corp. (MSC) to Bermuda-based regional satellite operator Asia Broadcast Holdings Ltd. PLDT said its 67% owned subsidiary MSC had signed several agreements with ABS involving the sale of “substantially all of its business subject to the required regulatory approvals in the U.S. 

The transactions involve the wholesale lease by ABS, which is led by Citigroup Venture Capital International (CVCI), of the Agila-2 satellite from MSC . 

But until such time that the conditions are met including the conduct of satisfactory due diligence audit apart from government approvals MSC will continue to operate and manage the business on behalf of ABS . 

MSC’s Agila-2 satellite is a space systems spacecraft launched in August 1997 with transponders or communication satellite channels covering Asia from India to the Philippines, Japan to Indonesia and a satellite spot beam over Hawaii to provide connectivity to the U.S. It also has channels covering the region providing capacity for television distribution, direct-to-home broadcasting and VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal).


Africa’S First Spanish-Language Platform Launched On W3A

Global Premium Television Network (Global PTN), a subsidiary of the Cameroonian/American company Camerican has launched Africa’s first Spanish-language television platform on Eutelsat’s W3A satellite located at 7 degrees East. The initial offer includes five encrypted channels from the Mexican television platform Televisa, covering themes including cinema, music and entertainment. Other encrypted and free-to-air channels are to be added over the next few months. 

Global PTN’s aim is to provide multi-cultural content for expatriate communities in Africa. Its first television package, targeting Spanish and Portuguese-speaking viewers, also includes a channel from the Philippines for the Filipino community in Africa.

Intelsat-14 Launch Posponed 

The launch of the Intelsat-14 spacecraft aboard an Atlas V was scrubbed just after midnight Friday night so that engineers can troubleshoot a temporary power interruption in an electronics component used to control flight events on the Atlas booster. The launch is being conducted for Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services by United Launch Alliance. The launch team executed the standard detanking procedure and will return the vehicle to the vertical integration facility to remove the electronics box for further investigation. A new launch date has not been established at this time


 
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11 new transponders tests for THOR 6

THOR 6 satellite telecommunications Scandinavian satellite operator Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc) passes through the next stage of technical tests. Their goal is to check the technical state of all the transponders that will be used for commercial activities.


A further 11 were tested with all 36 transponders. THOR 6 is tested for a temporary position of 1.8 W. After completion of testing and evaluation, the satellite will be moved to the position of the target 0.8 W.

Transponder technical parameters tested:

11.766 GHz, pol. V
11.804 GHz, pol. V
11.843 GHz, pol. V
11.957 GHz, pol. V
12.034 GHz, pol. V
12.207 GHz, pol. H
12.284 GHz, pol. H
12.360 GHz, pol. H
12.399 GHz, pol. H
12.437 GHz, pol. H
12.476 GHz, pol. H

One of the customers who will use capacity on THOR 6 is a platform UPC Direct and Ukrainian MyTV and Digital Fly Ukraine. Capacity at the new satellite is also a platform Canal Digital.

Astra and RAI launch HD demo channel

SES-Astra and the Italian public broadcaster RAI are launching an HD demo channel on the orbital position at 23.5 degrees East. 

The channel is the first free-to-air (FTA) Italian HD demo channel developed by Astra, built to test the opportunities that HD can offer and it is addressed particularly to sector professionals and HD lovers. The channel will also serve as a showcase for the content of Yes Italia, a theme-based channel focused on tourism and Made in Italy, produced and distributed by NewCo Rai International.

This testing is part of a larger co-operation plan between the two companies to identify and develop new opportunities for satellite TV viewers. 

Markus Fritz, MD SES Astra Italia, said in a statement: “The collaboration with RAI represents an important milestone in SES Astra’s strategy to position itself as an alternative partner for broadcasters in Italy. As the leading satellite operator in Europe and driver of digital and HD television, SES Astra is expanding into new markets and is fostering innovation in the field of HDTV, mobile and interactive services. And the RAI HD demo channel underlines our strong commitment on this way.”

The move of RAI and SES-Astra is interesting as the Eutelsat Hot Bird position is the key position for the Italian DTH market with the two major Italian platforms, Sky Italia and the free-to-view TivuSat. Astra will expand its 23.5 position after the launch in 2010 of the Astra 3B, when the total number of transponders available will be 64.

MYtv opts for Thor 6

The new Ukrainian DTH platform MYtv has inked a multi-year agreement with Intelsat for delivery of its service via the recently launched Thor 6 satellite, located at one degree West.

MYtv plans to offer subscribers over 80 channels of movies, sports, lifestyle, news and children’s programming. The platform is currently using two transponders on Telenor Satellite Broadcasting’s Thor 3, before moving to Intelsat-leased capacity on Thor 6 in the next few weeks.

It will also allow them access to hundreds of FTA channels, as well as such additional services as push VOD, PPV and interactive channels, though DVB-S2 MPEG-4 HD PVRs.

FIFA World Cup to be in 3D-TV  

Next year’s FIFA World Cup soccer competition will see around half the matches broadcast in 3D.
A report in TVB Europe states that FIFA officials are keen to see at least half of the South Africa-hosted tournament covered in 3D. One official FIFA sponsor is Sony. Sony along with other manufacturers such as Panasonic, LG and Samsung, have all invested in 3D displays which will be widely available ahead of the soccer festival.

FIFA, along with host broadcaster HBS, is considering a full range of transmission options including supplying broadcast feeds to cinemas or for outdoor speciality coverage

 
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Astra expects to grow German HD offer

High definition television will be the new driver for SES-Astra, said CEO Ferdinand Kayser to the Handelsblatt newspaper. Following the launch of the HD+ platform on November 1, the satellite operator expects to sign a number of new HD contract with various German broadcasters. 

According to the report, Tele35 and Das Vierte are about to sign an agreement to carry HD versions of their channels. Both broadcasters transmit mainly movies and TV series, which are already available in native HD in most cases. Talks are reportedly also under way with MTV Networks and the German sports channel DSF, but these have not been confirmed. 

The operator has also ordered four new satellites in order to demand the expected growth in demand for satellite capacity. “Digital television leads to a higher demand for capacity,” said Kayser. “We have a package of four satellites, which we will order.” The investment will be around half a billion euro.

Canal Digital in UPC Direct simulcrypt share

BROADBAND TV NEWS EXCLUSIVE: UPC Direct will share channels with the Nordic satellite platform Canal Digital when it moves from Astra to the One West orbital slot early in 2010

The DTH operation has booked seven transponders in addition to the three already used at the position by sister company Focus Sat. On Astra, UPC Direct has been using the simulcrypt system to share channels with other platform operators on the same satellite, most notably the Dutch Canal Digitaal. It therefore follows that a similar arrangement on One West might be beneficial and who better to work with than Telenor’s own platform Canal Digital.

“We see now that Canal Digital and UPC Direct can share capacity. We think that ten plus channels can share the same signal and that means Canal Digital can get a better price from Cato [Halsa] and his team, leaving more capacity for other players,” explained Christian Albech, CEO of Telenor Broadcast Holding, in an exclusive interview. “This is much more than only having them on One degree West because we really can co-operate.”

On Astra, the UPC Direct channels currently typically run both Irdeto Cryptoworks and Nagravision conditional access, while Canal Digital uses Conax. The bandwidth saved by avoiding channel duplication more than outweighs the additional space needed for the CA data.

UPC Direct’s Magnus Ternsjo said discussions were already underway as to which channels might be shared between the two operators. Likely candidates would be those that broadcast international feeds with little or no localisation. These might include Eurosport, where an additional audio track could be added, or MTV that largely broadcasts in English.

Cyfrowy Polsat looks to the future

Poland’s leading DTH platform Cyfrowy Polsat is pushing ahead with ambitious plans despite reporting mixed financial results earlier this week.

According to Wirtualne Media, it will launch a VOD service before the end of the year, employing a transponder on Hot Bird it secured in May. 

However, the real changes will come in Q2 next year when the platform plans to introduce a triple play service. 

This will be principally aimed at customers living in villages, small towns and the outskirts of large cities where internet provision is currently poor. 

It will be sold through over 200 mPlus stores, in which Cyfrowy Polsat currently holds a 45% stake but is expected to buy outright.

Austrian regional channels go on Astra

The Austrian regional broadcaster kaernten.tv will add satellite distribution to its streaming internet presence this Friday (November 13). In December, RTV Salzburg will also start broadcasting from the Astra satellite.

Until now, kaernten.tv was available only on the web and on cable. The broadcaster will share a channel with Tirol TV, another regional broadcaster from Austria, and hopes to gain carriage on the regional DVB-T network.

RTV Salzburg is a private -public partnership serving 119 communities in the Salzburg region. lt will start broadcasting this week and add Astra distribution in December. (The picture shows the launch festivities of RTV Salzburg)

NTDTV takes Eutelsat to court over broadcast termination

Judges in Paris will decide on 17 November whether one of the world’s largest satellite operators should be investigated for politically-motivated meddling with a client’s broadcast in a case that has taken over a year to get to court. The Paris Commerce Court held a hearing on 5 November to look at the France-based satellite company Eutelsat’s actions last year that resulted in the termination of the signal of one of their clients, New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), which broadcasts over mainland China.

 
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JSC Starts Express-AM5 and Express-AM6 Manufacturing

On October 27, 2009 the JSC “Academician M.F. Reshetnev “Information Satellite Systems” proceeded to the execution of the new contract signed with the state communications service provider Russian Space Communications Company (RSCC) for the manufacture of the Express-AM5 and Express-AM6 telecommunications satellites. 

Following the results of the competitive tender, RSCC made a contract with the JSC “ISS” for the manufacture of Express-AM5 and Express-AM6 on August 12, 2009. According to the terms of the contract, the ISS is the prime contractor for the design, development, testing, pre-launch preparation and in-orbit commissioning of the Express-AM5 and Express-AM6 satellites. 


The new spacecraft are bound to be a collaborative effort between the JSC ISS and its industrial partners. The satellites will allow building the necessary infrastructure to provide the country with available digital multiprogram television and radio broadcasting. Express-AM5 and Express-AM6 are also intended for the presidential mobile and governmental communication, multi-media services (telephony, videoconferencing, data transmission, the Internet) and VSAT networks. 

The new satellites will carry C-, Ku-, Ka- and L-band transponders. Their projected service life is 15 years with the payload power consumption being 14 kW. Both spacecraft are scheduled for launch in 2012

Nine Canal+ Spain Channels Now in Wide Screen 

Canal +, together with Canal + 2, Canal + ... 30, Canal + Fútbol, Canal + Sport, Canal + Eventos, Sportmanía, Golf + and Dcine Spanish started broadcasting in 16:9 widescreen last Friday, 6 November . This new offering is now added to the specialized channels Canal + Film, which began its broadcasts in this format last October and Canal + League that began last August.

Al Jazeera Buys ART Sports Channels 

A deal worth $2.75 billion (Dh10.1bn) has been signed between Al Jazeera Sport and Arab Radio and Television (ART) to purchase six sports channels from ART. The contract will come into effect on December 1.

ART's sport channels, which specialise in broadcasting the Saudi Arabian soccer league, will remain under the ownership of ART .

Also, the exclusive broadcasting rights to tournaments owned by ART sport channels will begin to be transferred to Al Jazeera Sport starting with the Fifa Club World Cub that will be held in December in Abu Dhabi.

TVN to take over platform n

Poland’s TVN has announced its intention to fully take over the DTH platform n. 

According to broadcaster, it has already fully integrated n into its operations and will now acquire the remaining 49% of n by issuing an additional €188 million senior notes, maturing 2017 to the ITI Group.

€40 million of the senior notes will be placed in escrow until n reaches predefined targets.

The platform had around 730,000 subscribers as of September 30. Of these, 571,000 were post paid and around 159,000 active pre-paid customers.

December launch for second ORF HD

The Austrian public broadcaster ORF will launch its second HD channel on December 5, when it will start simulcasts of ORF 2 HD. 

Some programming will be in native HD, with all remaining programming being upscaled. 

On December 5, ORF will broadcast Joseph Haydns Il mondo della luna live from a theatre in Vienna.

The broadcaster has said ORF 2 HD will be available on the nation’s cable networks, as well as on the digital DTH platform on Astra. 

ORF 1 HD started broadcasting in June 2008. 

The current SD distribution of the two main ORF channels will remain unchanged.

The broadcasts will take place in DVB-S2, with a resultion of 720p/50 and in the MPEG-4/AVC format.

Mixed fortunes for Cyfrowy Polsat

The Polish DTH platform Cyfrowy Polsat ended Q3 with 2,916,750 subscribers, or 21.4% more than 12 months earlier. 

Its net profit fell by 28.6% year-on-year to PLN60.16 million (€14.27 million), while EBITDA fell from PLN109.2 million to PLN82.5 million over the same period. 

The results were broadly in line with expectations and affected by both higher marketing costs and the fall in the zloty in relation to both the euro and dollar. 

Cyfrowy Polsat is the undisputed market leader in terms of subscribers in a sector also served by Cyfra+, n, TNK, Orange and TVP’s recently launched platform.

 
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با سلام خدمت شما دوستان و سروان عزیز:

خوب به حمد الله دو شماره از مجله تخصصی اخبار ماهواره منتشر شد و مورد لطف شما دوستان قرار گرفت و ما را بر آن داشت که در این شماره سوم با نیرویی عظیم و عظمی راسخ در خدمتتان باشیم


افتخار داریم که در این اعیاد (میلاد امام هشتم) و فرخنده آغاز پنجمین سال فعالیت آیتی ست نسخه سوم مجله اخبار ماهواره را جهت دانلود در اختیار شما عزیزان قرار میدهم. با امید اینکه ما را در جهت پیمودن این راه سخت و دشوار با نظرات و پیشنهادات و انتقادهای گرمتون دلگرم سازید.

از ویژگی های نسخه سوم کاهش فوق العاده حجم آن جهت دانلود راحت تر و سریعتر شما خوانندگان عزیز مجله می باشد. ان شا الله در شماره های بعدی بخشهای متنوع تری هم به مجله اضافه خواهد شد که مطمئنا خوشتون خواهد آمد. 


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Final Preparations for Eutelsat W7 Launch 

The Eutelsat W7 satellite has arrived on 20 October at the Baikonour Cosmodrome and is currently undergoing final preparations for its launch on 23 November by International Launch Services (ILS) aboard a Proton Breeze M rocket. 

Eutelsat's newest and currently most powerful satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space and it will be co-positioned with W4 satellite at 36 degrees East . 

W7 is equipped with 70 transponders distributed between fixed and steerable beams. The satellite will cover Russia , Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia secure. The satellite will replace the aging Sesat 1 satellite, now at 36 degrees east. Eutelsat plans to move Sesat 1 to a new location . 

Until the end of 2011, four more satellites will be launched for Eutelsat : W3B, KA-SAT, W3C and Atlantic Bird 7.


 

Orbit-Showtime Claim Nigerian Piracy

Orbit-Showtime has asked the Nigerian government to investigate the illegal use of its smartcards to access it signals in the African country. 

According to reports in the Nigerian newspaper Vanguard, Minister of Information and Communication received a letter from Orbit-Showtime accusing cable operators in the country of illegally distributing its content and especially the Premier League matches, which Orbit-Showtime is not licensed to distribute in Africa.

Entel Bolivia Lauches new DTH Service

Entel Bolivia, Bolivia's National Telecommunications Company has launched its DTH offering last week. The company is planning to reach 90.000 subscribers within a year. The service is available in HD with MPEG-4 compression standard, Digital Dolby sound and PVR equipment.

The arrival of a new operator in the multi-channel business in Bolivia has awakened the established operators who are now planning new strategies to face Entel TV. Cotel TV, which currently offers analog cable in La Paz and has 70% market share , is preparing to launch a digital a package and a triple play service for USD 60 monthly fee. 

Another competitor- MMDS Multivisión - which operates a digital terrestrial package plans to add i seven new channels at no additional cost to the current offering.

Mediascape Launches Cignal HD Package Via NSS-11

SES WORLD SKIES, a division of global satellite operator SES S.A. announced that a new multi-year agreement with MediaScape, Inc to provide an additional transponder of capacity on the NSS-11 satellite at the orbital location of 108.2 degrees East. This will increase MediaScape’s transponder utilization on NSS-11 from two to three, and the company will use the additional satellite capacity to distribute high definition television channels to households in the Philippines.

MediaScape’s Cignal TV direct-to-home offer was launched on NSS-11 in 2008 and now comprises 8 HD channels and 21 standard definition channels in its programme line-up.

Intelsat Buys Protostar-1 Satellite 

Intelsat, Ltd., the world’s leading provider of fixed satellite services, today announced that it was selected as the successful bidder in the 29 October public auction for the ProtoStar 1 satellite with a $210 million, all cash offer. Upon conclusion of the transaction, the satellite will be re-named Intelsat 25 and will join Intelsat’s global fleet, serving with the company’s other assets in the Atlantic Ocean region.


The satellite, built by Space Systems Loral, has 22 Ku-band and 38 C-band transponders. Upon its launch in July 2008, the satellite was expected to have a 16-year life span.

 
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Financing Agreement for AMOS-5 Satellite

Spacecom, Amos satellite operator has signed with a financing agreement worth 140 million dollars with Migdal and Mivtachim company to construct and launch of satellite Amos-5, expected to be launched during 2011 and work approximately 15 years. Amos-5 will be positioned in a new location over Africaa and will allow expansion of the company's services all over the African continent and parts of Europe and the Middle East. 

Amos -5 booking services have already begun,and the company reported recently that it has signed an agreement worth 28 million dollars with an ( undiscloed) European client that operates in Africa.


DirecTV Chile Growth Plans for 2010

The DTH operator DirecTV Chile, which records about 130.000 subscribers, is trying to double its client base by 2010 end. DirecTV Chile says, that the latest economic crisis only slightly impacted on Pay-TV business because, while trying to reduce expenses, families tend to stay at home: DirecTV is expected to close 2010 with the incorporation of 80.000 new clients and a monthly outflow rate of not more than 1.5%

Great Success for France's Orange TV 

Orange TV's French premium pay TV services Orange Sport and Orange Cinema Series rose 50% to 596,000 through Sept. 30. Premium pay subscriptions at Orange TV, the TV arm of giant Gallic telco France Telecom, stood at 400,000 at the end of June. Orange TV launched multi-sports service Orange Sport in August 2008; Orange Cinema Series, a five-channel bouquet, followed in November Orange's triple pay offers Internet, local and some international telephone calls and free-of-charge TV channels for a total $45 a month. Orange Sport costs a premium markup of $9 a month, Orange Cinema Series costs $18

Xinhua News Agency to Launch International News Channel

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency has been putting together its own 24-hour satellite news channel for the past year and will begin broadcasting reports from a Chinese perspective next month to viewers around the world in conjunction with CCTV's existing English-language channel. 

A Xinhua official on Thursday said that China International TV (CITV) will launch on Nov. 7, Xinhua's 78th anniversary. A media official in Beijing said the news channel will be headquartered in the Chinese capital and begin with a branch office in Hong Kong, gradually expanding to more overseas offices. 

CITV will start broadcasting in Chinese and offer English-language reports from January. Initially it will target viewers in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian nations, with the ultimate aim to broaden its viewership to the entire world.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. reports first quarter 2009/2010 results - Improvement in

On 4 November, the media conglomerate News Corp., owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, published its earnings release for the quarter ended 30 September 2009. First quarter net income of USD 571 million (USD 0.22 per share) increased 11 percent versus net income of USD 515 million (USD 0.

CNN opens production centre in Abu Dhabi

On 3 November, the US news channel CNN opened its new state-of-the-art production centre and newsgathering hub for the Middle East. Tony Maddox, MD and EVP CNN International, opened the new facility.

Nagravision 3 Hacked ?!

Experts and those responsible for the production of new version of the conditional access system Nagravision 3 ensure that it is not broken.

At the beginning of December 2007, the Spanish platform Digital + has problems with piracy bid encoded in the system Nagravision 2 However, it has decided on a higher version, identified by numeral 3, which proved a success. Time will tell how “strong” system is Nagravision 3 modifications that can vary slightly for different platforms, which use the Swiss Kudelski Group. Assurance has always been a lot, and then it turned out that in practice it is different. Nagravision under contract to pay for the replacement card platforms.

 
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Rental model for TV Vlaanderen

The Belgian DTH platform TV Vlaanderen has introduced a rental model for its HD subscriptions and is now claiming the cheapest HD offer on the market.

For a monthly fee of €5.95, new subscribers receive a Philips HD DSR 7121 satellite receiver, a dish and duo-LNB (for Astra at 19.2 degrees East and 23.5 degrees East) including installation.

New subscribers pay €8.95 for the Philips HD DSR 7122 satellite receiver with PVR.

Subscriptions to the various channel bouquets come on top of the equipment rental; the basic offer starts at €9.90 a month. The platform offers all Flemish national public (VRT) and commercial channels, as well as a number of international thematic channels. An extended tier costs €14.90 and an ‘all-inclusive’ offer, including the HD option, €19.90. Bought separately, the HD channels cost €4.99.

A separate bouquet of thematic channels, broadcasting from 23.5 degrees East, is available at €3.99 and the gay X-Man channel is a la carte and costs €7.95.


Skylink success continues

The Czech/Slovak DTH platform Skylink is going from strength to strength and now has 800,000 active cardholders. 

Parabola says that of these just under 600,00 are registered in the Czech Republic and over 200,000 in Slovakia. This means that Skylink has added 320,000 active cardholders in the past 12 months. 

Skylink is a prepay service and the leading DTH platform in the Czech Republic. In Slovakia, it is still believed to be in second place behind Digi TV.

Mixed results for Romtelecom

The Romanian DTH platform Dolce ended Q3 with over 831,000 subscribers, or 49% more than a year earlier. 

However its operator Romtelecom, which is backed by Greece’s OTE, saw its revenues fall by 6.2% year-on-year in Q3 to €200.7 million, with its OIBDA also falling to 67% (-6.8%) and loss rising from €1.7 million to €8 million over the same period.

Romtelecom plans to shortly launch an IPTV service.

Digital and HD services spur Eutelsat growth

Eutelsat saw its revenues in the quarter ended September grow by 11.6% year-on-year to €226.7 million. 

Those for video applications, which account for the lion’s share (71.9%) of the total, rose by 8.5% to €166.7 million, driven by the take-up of digital TV in emerging markets and the growth of HDTV.

As of the end of September, Eutelsat’s fleet broadcast a total of 3,329 channels. Those in HD rose by over 60% during the quarter to reach over 100, and the operator now distributes over 40% of all HDTV channels available in Europe, Russia and the Middle East.

JimJam Heads to Israel

International preschool channel JimJam, a joint-venture between Hit Entertainment and Chelllo Zone, will launch in Israel after a carriage deal signed with satellite broadcaster Yes.

The channel will launch on Yes in January 2010 as a 24-hour service, forming part of the platform’s basic tier of channels, reaching some 560,000 new subscribers in the territory.

JimJam will be broadcast initially in English and Russian languages.

 
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SBB looks to Macedonia

The DTH platform Total TV, which is operated by Serbia Broadband (SBB), will shortly make its debut in Macedonia. 

According to MPortal, the platform is already available in Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro as well as its home market Serbia, offering viewers a total of 53 channels in four packages. 

SBB is backed by Mid Europa Partners, whose other interests in the CEE region include the former UPC Slovenia.

Sky Deutschland increases HD capacity

Sky Deutschland has contracted three additional transponders on Astra’s orbital position 19.2 degrees East in order to boost the number of HD channels it offers during the next few months. The first of the three transponders will be brought into use in mid-2010. The other two transponders will follow in mid-2011 and mid-2012. Including the newly contracted capacity, Sky Deutschland will use a total of 10 Astra transponders. Sky Deutschland today broadcasts seven HD channels in the German-speaking market.

Alexander Oudendijk, chief commercial officer of SES Astra, said in a statement: “The agreement proves that the roll-out of HD in Germany is gaining further momentum and that SES Astra continues to play an important role as a partner for broadcasters. With nearly 90 HD channels on our satellite fleet across Europe, Astra today represents the most important distribution platform for HD content from leading broadcasters. Our innovative activities in HD, and the recent transponder contracts with Sky Deutschland, will help to further drive digitalization and show that our strategy to convert analogue into digital capacity through HD is bearing fruit.”

Hans-Jürgen Croissant, senior VP Communications of Sky Deutschland, said: “With currently seven HD channels, Sky already has the most comprehensive HD service in the German-speaking market. With this commitment to lease three additional transponders, Sky Deutschland underlines its intention to continue to expand its HD service, not only with the most compelling live sport and the latest movie releases, but also with an expanding range of HD channels, starting with an additional four channels in mid-2010.”

New satellite pay service for Russia

Orion Express, the operator of the Russian DTH platform of the same name, has announced plans to launch a new satellite-delivered service named Continent TV. 

Targeted at individual subscribers, it will be distributed by the Intelsat 15 satellite at 85.15 degrees East, due to be launched from Baikonur on November 30, and make its debut in Q1 next year.

Intelsat 15 will cover the whole of Russia, as well as CIS countries. Reception will be possible with 60cm dishes in the highest populated areas of European Russia, Siberia and the Far East. 

Orion Express has provided TV services to cable operators since 2005 and individual clients since 2007. It currently claims over 250,000 subscribers.

Thor 6 takes flight in Kourou

The latest addition to the Telenor Satellite Broadcasting fleet successfully launched from the Ariane facility in Kourou, French Guiana at 20.00 GMT. It represents the 34th consecutive successful launch for the Ariane 5 launcher.

Twenty minutes after launch signals from the launcher were picked up in Gabon; separation of NSS 12 was achieved at 20.26 and of Thor 6 at 20.31. You can see a video of the launch here.

“This is a fantastic time for Telenor, we’ve doubled our capacity,” said Cato Halsaa, MD, Telenor Satellite Broadcasting. “We can now tell our customers they can expand their services on our satellites.”

Telenor is investing €150 million in Thor 6, of which approximately half is being spent on launch and insurance costs and the remainder on the satellite itself.

Thor 6 was accompanied on its journey by NSS 12, operated by the recently rebranded SES World Skies, and slated to provide communications facilities from 57 degrees East.

Thor 6 will replace 36 transponders on Thor 3 and add an additional 20 transponders to the fleet. This brings the total number of transponders at One West to 71.

The expansion capacity, largely aimed at the Central and East Europe market, is being shared with long-term partner Intelsat. Currently 15 million households receive their television signals from one degree West. This includes 5.5 million in the Nordics, largely from Telenor’s Canal Digital operation, 3m DTH subscribers in CEE and 4.7m cable customers CEE.

The CEE client base already includes Romanian Digi TV, the separate Focus Sat operations in Romania and Moldova; and the Ukranian start-up MyTV that is currently broadcasting on two Thor 3 transponders before moving to Intelsat operated capacity on Thor 6. From next Spring they will be joined by UPC Direct, adding a further 350,000 homes.

Broadband TV News understands Telenor is actively considering the next satellite to add to the One West fleet. A request for proposals could come as early as the first quarter of 2010.

Sonnenklar.TV plans analogue shutdown

The German travel booking channel Sonnenklar.TV will end its analogue broadcasts on Astra on December 31. It will continue to be available in digital on the main Astra position for the German market, 19.2 degrees East.

The channel is also available as a 24/7 stream on the internet and as part of the digital offer on the three main German cable operators, Kabel Deutschland, Kabel-BW and Unitymedia.

Just recently, Sonnenklar.tv launched a prime-time window on the general entertainment channel Das Vierte with a daily programme between 19.00 and 20.15 hours.

 
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Iran’s first digital TV channel airs documentaries

Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has commenced the test broadcast of the over-the-air digital ‘Documentary’ free channel as the world moves toward switching from analogue to digital. “The Documentary Channel is currently being transmitted five hours a day between 7 pm and midnight local time (1530-2030 UTC) across the Iranian capital, Tehran,” the Jaam-e-Jam newspaper quoted assistant director of IRIB TV4, Mohammad Zeinolabedini, as saying.

He added that the new channel, for the time being, relies on Iranian as well as foreign-made documentaries produced on the themes of culture, Iranology, nature, political developments, scientific advancements and social life. Mr Zeinolabedini underlined that a digital-to-analogue converter box is required to watch ‘Documentary’ television broadcasts on analogue TVs.

Eutelsat W7 satellite due for launch on 23 November

The Eutelsat W7 satellite arrived at the Baikonour Cosmodrome on 20 October, and is now in final stages of preparation for launch on 23 November 23 by International Launch Services (ILS) on board a Proton Breeze M booster. The Proton lift-off is scheduled on November 23 at 14.22 UTC.

Built for Eutelsat by Thales Alenia Space, Eutelsat’s newest and most powerful satellite to date will be co-located with W4 at 36 degrees East to more than double resources at one of Eutelsat’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods.

Through a configuration of up to 70 transponders connected to five high-performance fixed and steerable beams, W7 will provide coverage of Russia and sub-Saharan Africa for digital broadcasting services including pay-TV, and add significant resources and flexibility for expanding video and telecommunications markets in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and central Asia. The satellite will also enhance service provided since 2000 by SESAT 1 which, following W7’s entry into service at 36degrees East, will be redeployed at an alternative location.

W7’s launch marks the latest step in Eutelsat’s far-reaching investment programme of new satellites designed to expand, renew and secure its in-orbit resources. Four further satellites will be orbited by the end of 2011 (W3B, KA-SAT, W3C and Atlantic Bird™ 7).

Al-Jazeera English to launch on FM in Qatar

Qatar-based Al-Jazeera English TV is to begin broadcasting via FM radio in Doha, Gulf Times website said on 2 November. The station will be carried on 101.7 MHz. The launch will coincide with the third anniversary of the network. “Earlier this year, Al-Jazeera Arabic channel launched its FM radio service in Gaza, following the channel’s transmission on local FM radio in Qatar,” Gulf Times added.

Sky Deutschland Increases HD Capacity On Astra

SES Astra has announced that the German TV entertainment platform Sky Deutschland has contracted three additional transponders on Astra’s prime orbital position 19.2 degrees East. Sky Deutschland will use the additional capacity primarily to offer more HD channels. The first of the three transponders will be brought into use in mid-2010. The other two transponders will follow in mid-2011 and mid-2012. Including the newly contracted capacity, Sky Deutschland will use a total of 10 Astra transponders. Sky Deutschland today broadcasts seven HD channels in the German-speaking market.

France Télévisions signs contract to broadcast all France 3 regional channels on satellite

France Télévisions has signed a long-term contract with Eutelsat Communications to broadcast the regional channels produced by France 3 on the Atlantic Bird™ 3 satellite located at 5 degrees West. From 28 October, all homes in France equipped with a dish to receive Atlantic Bird™ 3 and a subscription-free Fransat decoder will have access to digital reception of all 24 of France 3’s regional channels.

This new initiative, which enables viewers to access the regional window of their choice, forms part of the progressive digitisation of France’s broadcasting network. It will benefit viewers beyond range of terrestrial reception after analogue switch-off, as well as homes already equipped for Direct-to-Home analogue TV reception from Atlantic Bird™ 3 and who will simply need to change their decoder to switch to digital.

The 24 regional channels produced by France 3 will join the 18 national channels in Standard Digital and the four channels in HD that are already available on a subscription-free basis via Fransat. Launched by Eutelsat in June, Fransat complements coverage of France’s DTT channels and aims in particular to serve homes already equipped with a dish pointing to Atlantic Bird™ 3 at 5degrees West. This orbital position occupied by Eutelsat has been used for more than 20 years to deliver France’s national channels in analogue to terrestrial transmitters and to complement the terrestrial network for homes in “shadow” areas.

Availability in digital quality of all 24 regional channels produced by France 3 adds new impetus for French homes to switch to digital. For all homes equipped for DTH reception from Atlantic Bird™ 3, the switch involves a simple change of decoder with no change required to outdoor equipment. For France 3 this additional broadcasting platform represents a new step, which further broadens its reach by enabling viewers to connect with a region even when if they are beyond range of terrestrial reception, and by expanding the overall range of regional programmes available to viewers across France.

Armenia has Internet audio news in 13 languages

We have some good news and some bad news about Public Radio of Armenia. Although only six languages are listed for its foreign service in the 2009 WRTH, its website offers audio news in 13 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Georgian, Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, Azeri, Kurdish and Assyrian plus a language abbreviated as ‘Ezid’. Can anyone tell me what that is?

That was the good news. The bad news is that the lady reading the English news speaks so quickly and has such a strong accent that I couldn’t understand most of what she said. Judge for yourself by listening to the latest bulletin via the player on this page.

The French bulletin sounded much better and the lady appeared to be a native speaker of French. The German bulletin was not available when checked just before 1700 UTC, but the Spanish newsreader also spoke very fast and didn’t sound like a native speaker of the language.

Fortunately the news is also available in text form with graphics. The international pages default to English, and other languages can be selected by clicking on the abbreviations under the banner at the top of the page.
Farsi service

____________________________________

پخش ماهواره ای شبکه خبری عرب زبان العالم ایران از دو ماهواره عرب نایل ست و عرب ست قطع شده است: هیچ دلیلی از سوی صاحبان این دو شرکت ماهواره ای برای این اقدام ذکر نشده است. قطع پخش العالم از دو ماهواره عرب زبان به دنبال نشست وزیران اطلاع رسانی کشورهای عربی در عربستان سعودی صورت گرفته است. این نشست روز سه شنبه صورت گرفت و در آن همکاری های کشورهای اتحادیه عرب در مورد پخش ماهواره ای مورد بررسی قرار گرفت. رسانه های ایرانی گفته اند که هیچ توضیحی از سوی مسئولان این دو ماهواره به مقام های ایرانی داده نشده است. مسئولان العالم می گویند قطع پخش این شبکه تلویزیونی از دو ماهواره عرب ست و نایل ست، ناقض قرارداد میان طرفین است.

عرب ست در تملک اتحادیه عرب و مقر آن در ریاض عربستان سعودی است. مصری ها نیز مالکیت ماهواره نیل ست را در دست دارد. شبکه العالم در سال 2003 از سوی صدا و سیمای جمهوری اسلامی راه اندازی شد و یکی از محبوب ترین رسانه های تلویزیونی عرب زبان به حساب می آید. ایران و مصر روابط دیپلماتیک ندارند. عملکرد این شبکه بارها با اعتراض دولت مصر رو به رو شده که شدیدترین آن به دنبال پخش مستند "اعدام فرعون" در باره ترور انور سادات در این شبکه بود که این اقدام منجر به حمله پلیس مصر به دفتر این شبکه و توقیف برخی وسایل آن شد.


تحلیلگران می گویند برخی کشورهای عربی از جمله عربستان سعودی از محبوبیت العالم در جهان عرب ناراضی هستند. از دیگر عوامل نارضایتی این کشورها، استخدام تعداد زیادی نیروی شیعه در این شبکه خبری عنوان شده است.

روابط ایران با عربستان نیز طی ماه های اخیر با تنش همراه بوده است. عربستان از اظهارنظرهای مقام های ایران در مورد مراسم حج امسال ناخشنود هستند و اعتراض خود را به "سیاسی کردن" حج اعلام کرده اند. علاوه بر این اتهام حمایت ایران از شورشیان شیعه در یمن، باعث شده تا روابط میان دو کشور تحت تاثیر این مساله قرار گیرد. ایران این اتهام را رد کرده است.

اردن نیز چند ماه پیش فعالیت دو شبکه ایرانی العالم و پرس تی وی را به دلیل نداشتن مجوز لازم تعطیل کرده بود!

Hotbird 8 (13E) 
Europe and some parts of Asia 
Frequency: 12437 
Symbol rate: 27500 
Polarization: horizontal 
FEC: 4/3 

-------------------------- 

Telstar 12 (15W) 
America 
Frequency: 11806 
Symbol rate: 7596 
Polarization: vertical 
FEC: 4/3
 

----------------------- 
Galaxy 25 (97W) 
North and Central America 
Frequency: 11836 
Symbol rate: 20765 
Polarization: vertical 
FEC: 4/3 

---------------------- 
Asia sat 2 (100.5E) 
Asia-Pacific 
Frequency: 3660 
Symbol rate: 27500 
Polarization: vertical 
FEC: 4/3

منبع : Al-Alam network taken off air by 2 Arab satellites

 
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Poles voice support for free TVP platform

Polish viewers have declared themselves overwhelmingly in favour of a TVP satellite platform offering free to view channels.

The results of a survey undertaken by TNS OBOP and published in Wirtualne Media show 85% support for such a service, with 58% of respondents confirming they have heard of the TVP platform launch.

This took place on September 15, while the survey was undertaken at the beginning of this month.

Since then TVP has taken the unusual step of re-encoding the channels it had offered for free, prompting disbelief and protests from many sections of the TV industry.

At the PIKE conference in Ossa earlier this week, TVP said it would shortly provide an official statement on the controversial move.

Speaking to Broadband TV News at Ossa, a senior media executive described the TVP platform as now being “a dead duck”.

Cyfrowy Polsat looks to quad play

Poland’s leading DTH platform Cyfrowy Polsat is on course to become a quad play provider next year. 

Quoted in Wirtualne Media, its president Dominik Libicki said that it will begin trailing an internet service next month, employing the 850-900 MHz frequency range, and launch a triple play offer consisting of TV, internet and mobile telephony in Q1 2010.

Fixed line telephony may be added later in the year. Cyfrowy Polsat has been an MVNO since 2008 and will target its triple play service and will initially target the 36% of its subscribers who live within a 10% geographical area of Poland.

In a related development, Sfreria, company owned by Polsat founder and owner Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, and Aero2 plan to launch a fast mobile internet access service employing Evolved HPSA technology.

News Corp has patience with Sky Deutschland

The investment in Sky Deutschland runs into the millions, yet James Murdoch believes in the success of the Germany pay-TV operator.

“We knew from the outset that this is a tough one and that we need time, but we’ll get through this,” Murdoch said this weekend in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel.

“In Germany we are still at the very beginning,” he added. “But a lot of things have not been tried in Germany. We now bring the experience and a team with us.” In other countries the arrival of News Corp has also met with sceptism. But Sky Deutschland will be for News Corp “pretty sure one of the next major milestones.” In Italy, Sky Italia acquired five million customers for its pay-TV within five years, while in the UK there are now nearly ten million subscribers.” And they all came voluntarily.”

In good fashion, Murdoch also repeated his sharp criticism of the dominance of public broadcasters such as the BBC, which makes it increasingly difficult for private publishers to operate profitable journalism on the internet. “I’m just disturbed that they can carry on without a rational discussion, because the public apparatus is almost everywhere seen as sacred and untouchable.”

Fransat adds all regional France 3 variations

The French free-to-view DTH platform Fransat has added all 25 regional variations of the public channel France 3 on its Atlantic Bird position at 5 degrees West.

The 25 regional channels take up two transponders on the satellite. Programming is mostly the same during the day with a regional window of one hour per day. Fransat offers the full terrestrial digital TV bouquet of free-to-air channels including the HD channels TF1 HD, France 2 HD, M6 HD and Arte HD. Also part of the bouquet is France O, the channel for the overseas territorries, which is available in the Paris region on air.

The similar TNTSat platform from CanalSat at the Astra position of 19.2 degrees East already carries all regional variations of France 3.

France Télévisions has signed a long-term contract with Eutelsat Communications to broadcast the regional channels produced by France 3 on the Atlantic Bird™ 3 satellite located at 5 degrees West. From 28 October, all homes in France equipped with a dish to receive Atlantic Bird™ 3 and a subscription-free Fransat decoder will have access to digital reception of all 24 of France 3’s regional channels.

This new initiative, which enables viewers to access the regional window of their choice, forms part of the progressive digitisation of France’s broadcasting network. It will benefit viewers beyond range of terrestrial reception after analogue switch-off, as well as homes already equipped for Direct-to-Home analogue TV reception from Atlantic Bird™ 3 and who will simply need to change their decoder to switch to digital.

The 24 regional channels produced by France 3 will join the 18 national channels in Standard Digital and the four channels in HD that are already available on a subscription-free basis via Fransat. Launched by Eutelsat in June, Fransat complements coverage of France’s DTT channels and aims in particular to serve homes already equipped with a dish pointing to Atlantic Bird™ 3 at 5degrees West. This orbital position occupied by Eutelsat has been used for more than 20 years to deliver France’s national channels in analogue to terrestrial transmitters and to complement the terrestrial network for homes in “shadow” areas.

Availability in digital quality of all 24 regional channels produced by France 3 adds new impetus for French homes to switch to digital. For all homes equipped for DTH reception from Atlantic Bird™ 3, the switch involves a simple change of decoder with no change required to outdoor equipment. For France 3 this additional broadcasting platform represents a new step, which further broadens its reach by enabling viewers to connect with a region even when if they are beyond range of terrestrial reception, and by expanding the overall range of regional programmes available to viewers across France.

..................................................
This is a ‘new step’ for France, but in some other European countries regional programmes are already available by satellite. The next step, for all countries, should be to make these public services available across the whole of the EU, to comply with the European Commission’s ‘open skies’ policy. It’s ridiculous that publicly-funded services are restricted by encryption and/or narrow beams in order to comply with out-of-date copyright procedures that were put in place before DTH satellite broadcasting became commonplace. Of course, commercial operators of pay TV services should continue to encrypt, but they should be allowed to sell their services to expats in all countries.

No change despite Sky court win over Mediaset

A Milan court hearing into the refusal by Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset to carry advertising from Sky Italia has ended with both sides claiming victory.

Ruling on a claim brought by Sky Italia’s parent company News Corp. The judge said the move by Mediaset’s advertising arm Publitalia Spa was anti-competitive, but added he could not force Mediaset to take advertisements from the satcaster.

In a statement, News Corp expressed its satisfaction over the ruling, brought under anti-trust rules contained in article 82 of the European Treaty and for unfair competition.

However, News Corp failed in its bid to restrict Mediaset in its promotion of the DTT pay service Mediaset Premium on its linear channels. “The court’s decision shows that Publitalia does not apply “prejudicial rejection” of advertising campaigns for Sky Italia in order to advantage the Mediaset Premium offer,” said Mediaset’s statement, adding that 3,107 advertisements for Sky Italia had been shown on its channels during 2009.

Competition between Sky Italia and Mediaset has intensified in recent months following the launch of the Mediaset-backed Tivù Sat and the withdrawal of its channels from the Sky Italia platform. Sky has countered with the launch of a USB stick that will take the channels’ terrestrial signals and include them in its EPG.

JimJam set for Israel

The pre-school channel JimJam, which is a joint venture between HIT Entertainment and Chello Zone, is to launch in Israel.

It will become available on the yes DTH platform, which has 560,000 subscribers, in January 2010. 

A 24-hour service, JimJam will be broadcast initially in English and Russian audio, in the latter instance targeting the almost one million Russian speakers living in the country.

 
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NSS-12 and THOR 6 Ready for Launch

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's October 29 mission is now complete following the installation of its second payload - the NSS-12 satellite for telecommunications operator SES WORLD SKIES. 

Encapsulated in an ogive-shaped protective fairing, NSS-12 was mated atop Ariane 5, positioning it as the launch vehicle's upper passenger. Located below it in the launcher payload "stack" is the mission's lower passenger, Telenor Satellite Broadcasting's THOR 6 relay platform. 

This integration activity took place in the Final Assembly Building at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, enabling a final series of preparation milestones to begin - including the launch readiness review on October 27, followed by Ariane 5's rollout to the ELA-3 launch zone on the next day and the countdown to an October 29 evening liftoff.


Ariane 5 is to deliver a payload lift performance of 9,515 kg. during the upcoming mission, which includes a combined total of 8,700 kg. for the
NSS-12 and THOR 6 satellites, plus the launch vehicle's dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware. 

NSS-12 was produced in the United States by Space Systems/Loral based on its
SS/L 1300 platform, and weighs approximately 5,700 kg. for liftoff. The
powerful spacecraft is outfitted with 48 active Ku-band transponders and 40 C-band transponders, and will be operated by SES WORLD SKIES from a geostationary orbit of 57 degrees East - providing direct-to-home television broadcast services for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. 

THOR 6 will be the first satellite launched by Arianespace for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting AS, a subsidiary of the Norwegian operator Telenor. This 3,000-kg. payload was built in Europe by Thales Alenia Space using a Spacebus 4000B2 platform, and carries 36 Ku-band transponders. It will be positioned at 1 degree West, and is to distribute direct-to-home services to the Nordic region and throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

Digital+ Continues to Lose Subscribers

The number of subscribers to the Spanish satellite platform Digital + fell again during the last quarter. On 30 September 2009 the number of subscribers to Digital+ was 1,899,216. Therefore very low compared to 1,930,793 subscribers in July 2009 or to 2,080,000 in March 2008. The average revenue per subscriber has also compressed again as a result of the low income of the events on pay-per-view and particularly football matches. The "Football War" Digital + Spain has in fact forced to dispose of the exclusives on lots and to sell part of the rights. 

The average revenue per subscriber at the end of September was 39.3 euros, including 1.3 euros from the events on pay-per-view. The new iPlus PVR (launched in August 2007) have nonetheless helped to maintain the consistently high average earnings, given that new subscribers have declined overall by 11, 4% from last year.

USB key brings lost channels back to Sky Italia

Sky Italia has announced the launch of a DTT-enabled USB key that will plug into the back of its receivers. At the same time the broadcaster has announced it will boost the number of HD channels available on the platform to 30 from the present 16.

Launching in December, the USB stick neatly sidesteps the problem of the Mediaset and RAI channels that have been encrypted and consequently unavailable to Sky Italia households, since the launch in August of TivùSat. The miniature DTT tuner will simply pick up those and other channels from the local terrestrial transmitter. Sky Italia subscribers will enjoy a seamless experience, the channels being integrated with the existing programme guide, enabling the use of a single remote control. The device works with both the HD and HD PVR receivers.

The satcaster confirmed on Monday that its HD line-up will increase to 30 channels by the end of 2010. One million of Sky Italia’s 4.8 million subscriber are currently signed up to the HD package.

New programme packages will come into effect from October 23, bringing down the price of the monthly subscription to its sport and movie packages by separating them from the main multichannel bouquet. For example the Cinema package now costs €34, some €9 less than previously.

Eutelsat W7 arrives in Baikonur

he Russian federal space agency Roskosmos has announced the arrival of the Eutelsat W7 spacecraft at the Baikonur cosmodrome, where the launch will take place on November 18.

The satellite was delivered by the AN-124 cargo plane (see picture, courtesy of Roskosmos). “After customs clearance, the container with the spacecraft and support equipment will be reloaded on the shipping unit and transported to the integration and test building site 92A-50, where the spacecraft will undergo final tests.”

The Eutelsat W7 satellite is built by Alcatel Alenia Space and is a Spacebus-4000C4, which carries 70 Ku-band transponders with six beams aimed at Europe, Russia, Africa, Middle East and Central Asia.

The November 18 launch will take place from a Proton-M rocket with Briz-M booster

High definition drives £39 Sky ARPU rise

Sky’s HD services helped the broadcaster add an additional £39 (€43.1) per subscriber over the last 12 months. The ARPU (Average revenue per user) reached £469 as Sky+ HD put on another 287,000 net additions to reach 1.6 million households. Around 30% of customers joining took HD, up from 25% in the previous quarter.

In the quarter to September 30, 2009 Britain’s leading multichannel television provider added a further 94,000 subscribers to reach 9.536 million households. One sour note was an increase in annualised churn from 10.9% to 11.3%. In an analyst call Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said the churn had been impacted by the combination of tightened credit procedures and the current smart card swapout that had so far been completed for seven million subscribers.

The linking of Sky’s broadband to its telephony service has also resulted in an increase in the number of customers taking TV, broadband and telephony. 17% of customers now take the triple play package as opposed to 12% in the prior year.

Revenues increased by 10% to £1.38bn and operating profit was up by 11% to £198 million.

The basic Sky+ PVR put on another 411,000 subscribers to reach 5,902 million households. Even the Multiroom product added 62,000 homes, 11,000 more than in the September quarter of 2008, to reach 1,897,000. Many households opt for Freeview on their second sets, but this may change when Sky introduces the ability to access content across the home from a single PVR.

Addressing Sky’s plans for a 3D channel, Darroch said it would most likely launch towards the backend of 2010. “We’re going to start small and that’s going to lead us to a pay-as-you go model”.

SES: 5% growth despite German ASO

Satellite operator SES says it expects revenues to grow at a rate of 5% over the next few years despite the analogue switch off of services in the German market.

Announcing its results for the first nine months of the year, the Luxembourg-based operator said it expected the bulk of the analogue DTH transmissions in Germany to cease in 2012. The Astra satellite system at 19 degrees East still carries close to 40 analogue channels, the vast majority in the German language, and the operator will be looking to further growth in HD services to make up the short fall.

“SES delivered a solid core infrastructure performance, underlining the resilience of our business model. EBITDA growth was in line with our expectations, while top line revenue progression was reduced due to timing of revenue recognition on certain large service contracts,” commented Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES.

Reported revenue was up 5.4% to €1,259.7 million, while EBITDA rose 8.2% to €901.1 million.

SES is continuing to offer recurring revenue guidance in a range between 3% and 4%, but the company warned that volatility in some service activities may push this down to 1.5% in the immediate term.

 
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Power Star - New Asian DTH Company To Start Operations By Year-End

Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) has announced, that Power Star Limited (PSL), a company incorporated in Hong Kong and a joint venture company of AsiaSat and Echostar Corporation, has submitted an application to the 
Broadcasting Authority for a “Non-domestic Television Programme Service Licence” to provide direct-to-home subscription television service. The application is currently under review by the Broadcasting Authority. In the case of a Non-domestic Television Programme Service Licence, the service does not primarily target Hong Kong. The proposed service of PSL is not intended to compete head-on with local free and pay TV operators. PSL was incorporated in Hong Kong on 18 June 2009. 

The target launch date of this service is the end of 2009. Programming and subscription packages will be determined and announced in the coming months. PSL plans to provide a direct-to-home subscription television service comprising about 35 - 45 high definition channels.The channels will mainly broadcast in English and Putonghua, principally targeting viewers in Taiwan.The service will be uplinked from Hong Kong to the AsiaSat 4 satellite. The service footprint covers Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong and South China areas

End of Sharing Sky Italia ?

For a long time, all platforms, regardless of what coding system struggled with the growing danger sharingu phenomenon, which de facto replaced the traditional piracy with software or cards left in the tuner. Of approximately week, one of the largest providers of conditional access systems - NDS blocked-sharing platform for the Italian Sky Italia encoded in VideoGuard

In recent months most of the channels offer satellite platforms in Europe is available through sharingu, or share encrypted channels over the Internet for a specific IP address. This is done by transmission of power from the card via the Internet to another receiver, and having a connection to the network, using appropriately prepared protocol 

According to information appearing on the network that the blockade, which started October 13, is to switch to the use of random length of the ECM, the same information about the length is probably also encrypted, so a breach of that security will not be easy. Any success on the Italian market could result in the transfer of this solution also to the UK and British Sky Sky German Deutschland, which would effectively block sharingu and thus any unauthorized access to all platforms that use NDS VideoGuard

China to Build a satellite for Laos

The Lao National Authority for Science signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the Lao satellite broadcasting and telecommunication system construction with the China Asia-Pacific Mobile Communications Satellite Company Limited. 

The Lao satellite broadcasting and telecommunication system construction project is worth 2.1 trillion kip or US$250 million. 

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has assigned the China-APMT to execute the Lao satellite broadcasting and telecommunication system construction.

China to Build and Launch a Satellite for Bolivia

China will build and provide launch services for Bolivia';s first telecomunications satellite.The 300 million dollar satellite, whose design is set to be completed by March 2010 , will be named after Tupac Katari, a Bolivian indigenous leader who fought against Spanish colonial rule.The satellite will be ready for a 2013 launch.

ATG Launches 2 New Channels in Jordan 

ATG, Arab Telemedia Group will launch new TV stations and radio stations in Amman . ATG will launch an entertainment TV station and a news TV station in a few months. The TV stations will be launched along with entertainment and news fm Radio stations

Cyfrowy Polsat opts for EchoStar

Poland’s leading DTH platform Cyfrowy Polsat has introduced its first HD PVR recorder. 

The EchoStar DVR-7400 HD, previously mooted in July incorporates a 320 GB hard disk and has been custom made for the platform.

The recorder is being made available for a one-off activation fee of PLN149 (€35.6) and a monthly subscription fee of PLN15.

It will give access to the six HD channels that Cyfrowy Polsat currently offers that include Eurosport, Discovery, Polsat Sport and HBO.

Cyfrowy Polsat already employs the EchoStar DSB-7200 HD receiver.


 
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Eutelsat strengthens its position in Poland

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) announces a further extension of its multi-year relationship with Cyfrowy Polsat, Poland's leading pay-TV operator, with the renewal of a contract for three transponders at the HOT BIRD(TM) neighbourhood. This new lease with Eutelsat follows the contract for a fourth transponder inked by Cyfrowy Polsat in March 2009 to support the on-going expansion of Poland's leading pay-TV platform with the launch of new TV services.

Launched in 2000 from Eutelsat's HOT BIRD(TM) position, Cyfrowy Polsat currently broadcasts over 75 Polish-language channels to more than 2.8 million subscribers. In 2007 Cyfrowy Polsat launched HDTV in its platform and now offers six channels, including Polsat HD, Polsat Sport HD, Eurosport HD, HBO HD, MTVNHD and Discovery HD. In addition, Cyfrowy Polsat subscribers can access over 500 free to air television and radio channels which can be received in Poland from the HOT BIRD(TM) satellites.

Model of Azerbaijan’s national satellite to be presented in Baku

US company Orbital Sciences Corporation will make presentation of the approved model of the national satellite Azerspace within the Azerbaijani international exhibition BakuTel-2009, the organizer of the exhibition, Iteca Caspian, said. Orbital Sciences Corporation won the tender to create the Azerspace satellite.

The satellite will have transmission facilities for TV and radio broadcasting and Internet. It will cover the countries of Europe and significant part of Asia. According to the approved plan, the Azerspace satellite will be launched into orbit in 2011.

The active life of the satellite will be 15 years, and the payback period is about five years. Azerbaijan intends to use about 25 percent of resources of the satellite, and the rest will be offered to operators in other countries.

At present, the ITU has given Azerbaijan two positions on a geostationary orbit for local use and one position for international use,

Satellite operator SES Astra

Satellite operator SES Astra is confident that it will be able to convince many DTH households to purchase a set-top-box for its German HDTV platform HD+. 

We are in close contact with manufacturers and retailers. Based on their estimations, the sale of HD+ receivers in 2010 should reach a clear six-digit figure said a director of Astra subsidiary HD Plus. 

The offer, which will be encrypted in Nagravision, will launch on Astra (19.2° East) on November 1, with the HDTV versions, of commercial general interest channels RTL and VOX onboard, followed in January by Sat.1.

ProSieben and kabel eins. Discussions are taking place with further broadcasters, stressing that the reception fee will not be increased if new channels join the platform.

The price will remain at €50 per year. This is a technical service fee, not a fee for the programmes. It has nothing to do with the amount of channels or the content. 

Rejected criticism that the advertising-financed free-to-air channels want to use the reception fee to introduce a kind of low-cost pay-TV through the backdoor. 

The channels which have announced their HD distribution via HD+ are free-to-air channels. The sole fact that reception will cost something is not sufficient criterion to turn the channels into pay-TV services.
Public broadcasters and cable television aren’t pay-TV simply because reception and connection costs something. 

Astra confirmed that a solution to enable pay-TV operator Sky Deutschland’s subscribers to receive HD+ was being worked out.
We are undergoing discussions with Sky and want to achieve a sound solution for Sky customers. We are currently working on this, although at this point in time nothing further can be said.

Eurosport to debut on Norway’s RiksTV

Eurosport is to launch on the Norwegian DTT platform RiksTV by November 15. It follows the closure in September of the Viasat-operated SportN.

“We have worked intensively to put in place a channel to compensate for SportN and are pleased that we now can offer Eurosport in the Rikspakken (national pack),” said RiksTV CEO Espen Thorsby. “Eurosport is a strong brand, and has attractive sports rights, such as winter sports, motor sports, tennis and cycling.”

Amanda Evans, managing director of Eurosport Television in the Nordics, said the agreement would bring RiksTV viewers a whole spectrum of sports that they had previously been unable to see. “With this distribution, Eurosport will have 80% penetration in Norway, and we are glad that many Norwegians will be able to see the exclusive events that Eurosport continues to show,” she said.

Eurosport launched local broadcasts for the Nordic region in 1993 from a studio base in Stockholm. Since 2006, Norwegian commentaries have been broadcast from new facilities in Oslo. Of interest to Norwegians will be the channel’s coverage of alpine skiing, ski jumping, cross country, curling, snowboarding, and the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

In its two years of operation RiksTV has grown to 420,000 subscribers, though short of initial expectations.

ARD and ZDF plan April 2012 switch-off


The German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF plan to switch off their analogue transmissions on Astra on April 30, 2012, according to Carl Eugen Eberle, ZDF Director of Legal Affairs, who announced the news during the FRK cable congress in Leipzig.

At the moment, the two main channels from ARD and ZDF are available in analogue on the Astra position of 19.2 degrees East. Also, all so-called “third channels”, the regional broadcasters, are still broadcasting in analogue.

This time it looks like a “firm” deadline has been set. However, the main commercial broadcasters, the RTL Group and ProSiebenSat.1, still have to set their deadlines, but it is now believed they will also switch off at the same time.

The analogue broadcasts come at a considerable cost to the broadcasters, especially as both ARD and ZDF plan HD simulcasts for their main channels starting this winter. In effect, this will mean that ARD and ZDF will be available in digital SD and HD as well as in analogue for a period of more than two years.

The analogue switch-off concerns only satellite; digital terrestrial transmissions in the country have already stopped.

It remains to be seen what cable operators will decide; they still distribute both analogue and digital versions of the public channels.

German public TV channels ARD and ZDF have announced the date of switch off their analog transmissions and the total move to digital satellite transmissions via the Astra satellite system and Carl Eugen Eberle, ZDF director said that the switch-off will take place on 30 apal 2012.Currently, both ARD ZDF that transmit analog posts by Astra satellites at 19.2 degrees East The same goes for the "third channel" (the German regional channels)In Germany there is still a large slice of the television marke which still follows the analogue channels via satellite. Different broadcasters have more than once announced they want to switch off these services but the dates have always been rejected and postponed.

Controversy Over TVP's DTH Service


Poland’s TVP has taken a surprising step of when it started to encrypt four of the five channels it currently offers over its FTA service available via ASTRA at 19.2 degrees east. 
TVP1, TVP2, TV Sport and TVP HD has been scrambled with only TVP Info remaining Free to Air . Four more commercial FTA channels (Polsat, Polsat 2, TVN and TVN 7) are planned to join the service in December as well as other pay channels, to be offered tin the near future. The reason for the encryption of the basic channels is so far unknown.

 
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