Satellite news 29.11.05


MTV signs long-term capacity deal with Astra

Satellite operator Astra has signed a long-term deal with MTV Europe for further capacity on an Astra satellite at 19.2° East. MTV will use the newly contracted transponder to launch TV channels for different European markets, but primarily France and the Netherlands.

ITV News Channel could be set to shut down

The ITV News Channel is set for "imminent closure" according to a document that has been leaked to staff. The Gurdian reports that a piece of paper was left on a printer by a senior ITV executive and then circulated among staff in the ITV newsroom. However ITV News' editor-in-chief, David Mannion, claimed the document was a "contingency plan" and nothing was definite. However, there are fears among staff that the channel could be replaced early in 2006 by ITV's soon-to-launch kids channel.

Five new channels from dating channel company

Having launched the dating TV channel Look4LoveTV last January, broadcaster Television Concepts (TVC) has now said it plans to add more stations to its line-up. The company is planning up to five additional TV channels covering comedy and shopping.

Quiz channels facing Ofcom investigation

Ofcom, the UK media watchdog, is looking at the extent to which some channels blur the lines between editorial and advertising in promoting their premium rate phone lines. The news comes as Icstis, the phone line regulator, considers a new licensing regime following more than 100 complaints. At least 20 channels fall in to the genre, which includes everything from virtual horse racing and roulette to psychic readings and soft porn sex lines. Rather than relying on reaching millions of viewers, the channels can survive on audiences ofof just a few hundred who try to get through to the studio on phone lines charging up to Ł1 a time.

National Geographic Channel joins Sky HD

The National Geographic Channel has become the first non-Sky channel to confirm it is to join the Sky high definition TV (HDTV) channel line-up. National Geographic HD, a new channel, will offer a range of programmes on Sky's HD service such as factual programmes produced in the UK and around the world covering natural history, wildlife, science and world exploration. Brian Sullivan, Sky’s Director of customer products and services, said: "The clarity and vibrancy of HD is a perfect match for a National Geographic channel. Watching wildlife programmes in HD will transport you around the world and take you up close to some of nature’s most amazing creatures in more detail than ever before." Sky HD launches in 2006.

TCM to launch new classic films channel

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is to launch a brand new channel in the third quarter of 2006. The new channel will be called TCM2 and will complement the current offering on the main channel, concentrating on core library movies such as Casablanca and Gone With The Wind. In a statement, TCM's VP and Channel Manager, Alan Musa, said: "By launching TCM2, we hope to be able to concentrate on showing classic library content to ensure that there is plenty of choice for our viewers. In an increasingly fragmented marketplace, viewers are looking for the best content available and TCM is regarded as a trusted brand. It is essential that we are able to broadcast a wide and diverse offering and having a second channel will allow us to do this as well as introducing new viewers to the value of golden greats."

Bravo gaming channel to launch in 2006

Flextech TV is preparing to launch a new channel early next year called Bravo Player. The debut of the male-targeted gaming channel in the first half of 2006 was announced this week. The new channel will place a strong emphasis on audience participation.

Sky News' breaking news claim is questioned

The claim by Sky News that it is the 'first for breaking news' has been challenged by a report and the BBC, which argue that the station's breaking news is actually based on 'predictable diary events'. The Cardiff University findings, which have been published as part of a report into rolling news channels, imply that Sky News' claims are misleading. The report claims that 79.4% of its "breaking news" during a two week period last year was in fact applied to "routine, predictable events" that did not deserve the title of breaking news. Peter Horrocks, the BBC's head of television news, has added his voice to the debate and described Sky News's breaking news boast as simply a "marketing trick". The report has been slammed by Sky News bosses, who claim the research was funded by the BBC and based on nine stories during two weeks in July 2004, in contrast to the 15,000 stories covered by Sky News in a year.

Two new channels from Optimistic Entertainment

Broadcaster Optimistic Entertainment has launched two new TV channels which join its existing stations QuizNation and Life 2. The newcomers are SportNation, which provides coverage of niche sports such as sailing, and 'Bonanza Bonanza', which provides classic US TV shows.

Treasures TV joins Sky's shopping channels

New shopping channel Treasures TV has launched on Sky Digital channel 781. It claims to be the first to offer people antiques, collectibles, memorabilia and modern limited editions. Its opening week's schedule includes shipwreck porcelain, signatures of sports stars and collectibles of World War Two.

'It's business as normal' says eeZee TV bosses

Shopping channel eeZee TV has said reports that it is to close are false. A statement from the company said: "We have ceased live broadcast from November 25th and will be broadcasting pre-recorded material from now on. There will continue to be the same high level of customer service and all orders will be fulilled as usual."

Digital TV news in brief:

Project Runway, the Emmy-nominated fashion reality series that is being adapted for Sky One in the UK, is facing a lawsuit after its was claimed that the format is a clone... ITV has confirmed its network is to undergo a major rebranding, its first in three years. The network's current blue and yellow branding will be replaced with promos representing viewers emotions... ITV has signed a deal with mobile phone company 3 to offer TV on mobiles. Users will be able to watch clips from shows including I'm a Celebrity and X Factor.... Sky has demonstrated its upcoming HDTV service to journalists in London... News channel EuroNews is launching Terra Viva, a magazine programme about how European cities are trying to tackle environmental problems.

Regards Satdude.