Satellite news 20.10.05


BBC wants hike in licence fee to pay for digital

The BBC has asked for a new license fee increase of inflation plus 2.3% which it says reflects the expense of the switch to digital. The government has said it expects the licence fee to cover converting the disadvantaged, but the BBC expects most to pay ‘a modest fee' in addition to the licence, and its new fee claim does not include funding any subsidy. When questioned on whether the funding of the switchover might end up being separated from the licence fee deal, Chairman Michael Grade said: "That will be a discussion that will be had over the next three months, if we can't pin the numbers down."

Premier League TV rights deal is on the cards

The Premier League is getting closer to agreeing terms with the European Commission about the sale of football rights - and it now looks likely that Sky's 13-year monopoly will end next year. The Premier League has reportedly agreed to stick by its December 2003 agreement to share the next round of TV rights. It has been reported, however, that the proposed 50% cap on the number of live matches shown by a single broadcaster is to be increased to 80% because the 138 games will be separated into five batches, with no one broadcaster able to own more than four. Sky is most likely to win four out of the five packages with the BBC, Five, ITV, NTL and Irish broadcaster Setanta Sports bidding for the remaining bundle

ITV4 unveils feast of sport for launch schedule

ITV4 will launch on November 1 with live coverage of the UEFA Champions League clash between Chelsea and Real Betis. The new channel will then become the home of ITV's second Champions League match on Tuesdays, through to the semi-final. ITV4 will also broadcast live coverage, on November 5, of the UK's Olympic boxing sensation Amir Khan

Sky to buy broadband Internet provider?

Shares in Easynet, a broadband Internet services provider, rose sharply after reports that Sky was poised to announce a takeover offer of about Ł150million. It comes after Sky announced last week that it aims to go on an acquisition spree after raising Ł1bn in a bonds issue

Unilver buys whole of ITV4's first advert break

Household consumables manufacturer Unilever has bought the entire first advert break on ITV4's launch night, 50 years after the inaugural ad break it booked on ITV's debut night. ITV4 is to debut on November 1 with Unilever brands including Lynx body spray, Sure for Men and Marmite. As well as Unilever products securing the first ads on ITV's launch in 1955 with Gibbs SR toothpaste, the company also bought the first ad break on ITV3's launch night. Advertisers are increasingly keen to get involved with launch night deals - French car manufacturer Renault booked the whole of the first ad break on Channel 4's new More4 channel last week

November start for new shopping channel

A new shopping channel is set to launch on Sky Digital in November. Called Treasures TV, it is set to debut on November 21, and will offer collectables, antiques and memorabilia. It will be on air from 9am to midnight each day

New movies channel set for 2006 debut on Sky

A new movie channel is set to launch on Sky Digital next February. To be called 'Inside Movies', it will provide features and information about cinema hits including listings, previews and behind the scenes footage from films. Viewers will also be able to access information about new releases through an interactive service. The 24-hour channel will be on air seven days a week

Time-shifted More4 channel goes on air

A time-shifted version of Channel 4's brand new entertainment channel has launch on Sky Digital in the Entertainment section. Called More4+1, it is available on channel 286

Digital TV news in brief...

BBC 6 Music has been named Best Radio Station at the 2005 BT Digital Music Awards... Sky Box Office Events has moved to Sky channel 755 from channel 770... Soon-to-launch TV channel Legal TV has postponed its launch on Sky Digital from October to until January 2006... On Sky channel 247, Classics TV has been replaced by DoveVision TV... Ofcom has proposed to expand UK digital radio by releasing DAB spectrum for up to 10 new national stations, as well as to fill gaps in local coverage... E! Networks has announced the further expansion of its UK presence with its launch in NTL's digital TV Family Package... ITV is planning to launch to a new advertiser initiative that will allow viewers to use their mobile phones to interact with commercials...

New faces join Sky News reporting team

Former MP Oona King and Rachel Whetstone are to join Sky News as special correspondents for the channel's new 7pm show, which is set to start next week. Former Labour MP King, who was ousted by George Galloway in the recent election, and Whetstone, Michael Howard's former political secretary, will appear most Fridays on The Sky Report, to be anchored by Julie Etchingham

Channel 4 takes stake in Freeview consortium

Channel 4 is to take a stake in Freeview by joining the consortium of Crown Castle, Sky and the BBC that owns the free-to-air digital TV service. The partners are planning to market the Freeview box more aggressively

Regards Satdude.