Satellite news 05.01.06


Cilla Black considering launching TV channel

Cilla Black, soon to be back on screen again in Soapstar Superstar, is reported to be considering launching her own digital TV entertainment channel. The star of Blind Date, Surprise Surprise and Cilla Live said: "We're looking at the idea right now, as I have a wealth of old shows that I've bought back. I'm really up for the idea."

Channel 5's new digital station starts testing

Channel Five's new digital station Five.2 has been testing on Sky Digital ahead of its full launch. The spin-off channel will relay popular shows such as Milkshake, Home and Away and CSI from the flagship station and will also further promote its schedule. Tests have been available at 12.304GHz/H under the identity '9343'. Five is also planning another channel called Five.3 that will compete directly with ITV2 by focussing on female-targeted programming.

German TV soccer rights war erupts

The multi-million pound soccer spat between Germany's pay TV operator Premiere and sports rights dealer Arena is quickly becoming the most-watched battle in Germany's media scene. Arena, along with its cable parent company Unity Media, outbid Premiere in December to buy up the pay TV rights for the next three seasons of Germany's Bundesliga professional soccer league. With the Bundesliga as its flagship, Arena hopes to establish itself as a player on the German broadcasting scene.

Nick to launch pre-school block on Freeview

Kids channel Nickelodeon is to launch a pre-school programming block on Freeview this year. It plan to use the morning hours of its sister music channel TMF to simulcast the programmes from its Sky Digital channel.

New satellite will cut ambulance response times

A UK-built satellite is set to cut response time for ambulances, it has been reported. The Giove A satellite was launched last week and represents the initiation of the EU's Ł2.4 billion Galileo navigation programme, which will eventually incorporate around 30 satellites and is aimed at ending Europe's reliance on the Global Positioning System (GPS). Its creators hope that Galileo will even go as far as outstripping GPS technology. Rescue services will particularly benefit from the satellite's ability to remotely direct ambulances, transmitting instructions about the clearest and quickest route to an emergency call-out. A second satellite, named Giove B, is due to be launched into orbit in the spring, with two more scheduled to follow in 2008 in order to complete the current testing phase of the programme.

OFT clears Sky and NTL takeovers

The Office of Fair Trading has this week cleared NTL's $6bn takeover of rival cable TV operator Telewest and Sky's Ł211m purchase of internet company Easynet.

Living TV boss gets Sky One top job

Living TV director of television Richard Woolfe has secured the post of Sky One controller, replacing James Baker who has moved to head Sky Interactive. Woolfe brought a raft of pink and paranormal shows to Living TV such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Most Haunted. He joins Sky as director of programmes for Sky One in April and will also oversee spin-off channels Two and Three.

Irish Sky News bulletin to simulcast on Sky One

Ireland's version of Sky One will simulcast Sky News Ireland from January 9th. The 6.30pm bulletin that airs every weekday with Grainne Seoige will replace the current programme Malcolm in the Middle on Sky One Ireland. The show will only be seen by Sky One viewers in Ireland.

Digital TV news in brief...

BBC 4 is to screen a season of programmes celebrating the traditional music of the British Isles, starting with a three-part documentary called Folk Britannia in February...YooMedia, interactive media and games company, has sold its Avago gambling TV channel to Europe's largest betting and gaming operator, Gala Group... CNN has announced the appointment of Anjali Rao to the network's Asia Pacific regional HQ... A new survey has revealed that Star Trek is the show most people want to see back on their TV screens. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was second, followed by Friends...

Spain's DTT service off to a flying start

The penetration of digital terrestrial TV in Spain is surpassing industry forecasts with around one million homes already enjoying the 18 channel service just two months after its launch. This represents a penetration rate of 4.7 per cent, according to analysts.

Regards Satdude.