Satellite news 14.07.05


ESPN to launch classic sports TV channel

US sports broadcaster ESPN is to launch a UK version of its popular Classic Sport channel. The station, which has already launched in France and Italy, shows the 'greatest moments in sport' with footage including past Olympics. Russell Wolff, managing director of ESPN International, said: "We're very focused on launching in the UK." There are also plans to launch a 24-hour live channel across Europe

BBC wants to start to Middle East news channel

The BBC wants the UK government help to create a 24-hour World Service Arabic TV news channel to challenge Al-Jazeera. The World Service is now the biggest speech radio station in Iraq, where its weekly audiences have increased to 3.3 million (22 per cent of the radio audience) from 1.8 million (13 per cent) last year. The BBC says the service would cost Ł25 million a year to run

New names for Setanta's sports TV channels

Irish sports broadcaster Setanta has renamed its sports channels on Sky Digital. Setanta Sports 1 is the new name for Setanta Sports (channel 429), Setanta Ireland was formerly Setanta Sports (channel 433) and Setanta Sports 2 is the new identity for Setanta Soccer (channel 434)

Channel 4 buys top US shows for E4 and More4

Channel 4 has bought the rights to a number of US TV series from Warner Bros and Buena Vista in a bid to shore up the amount of quality programmes on its digital channels E4 and the upcoming More4. Channel 4 acquisitions boss June Dromgoole has bought the hurricane drama Invasion as well as family comedy series The War at Home and murder mystery Reunion

Sky One buys up rights to Fox crime drama

Sky One has announced that it has bought the free and basic pay TV rights to 20th Century Fox's hotly anticipated crime drama Bones, which stars David Boreanaz (Angel) and Emily Deschanel. It will be broadcast on Sky One in early 2006

BBC to launch more new digital channels?

The BBC could be set to launch more new digital TV and interactive services over the coming months, having bought a new transponder on the Astra 2A satellite at 28.2 degrees East. The BBC, which already has six ASTRA transponders on ASTRA 2B and 2D, will apparently use the additional capacity to "reconfigure the satellite delivery of its portfolio of TV, radio and interactive services." BBC Controller of Distribution Richard Waghorn said: "The BBC aims to deliver its services across the UK on the platforms where our audiences expect to find them, free-to-air. The new transponder will increase our flexibility to meet our audiences' changing aspirations for the satellite platform."

LivingTV buys up four Warner Bros TV shows

LivingTV has signed a major deal with Warner Bros to buy the rights for four key TV shows. The series include the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced legal drama Too Close to Home, scheduled to air on CBS in the autumn; UPN teenage drama Veronica Mars; KoMut Entertainment's comedy Four Kings; and the chat show The Tyra Banks Show

BBC has TV rights to 2012 Olympics sewn up

The BBC will be the big winner at the 2012 Olympics when it comes to London that year. The BBC has exclusive UK rights to cover the event because the Olympics is a government-designated 'A-list' sporting event which can only be acquired by a public service free-to-air broadcaster. The BBC won the rights as part of its European Broadcast Union bid last year

New Asian channel to launch on Sky shortly

SET Max, a new sister channel from Sony Entertainment Television, is to launch on Sky Digital shortly. The channel will show 24-hour films and live concerts. It already is a big hit in the Far East, where it has won the TV rights to cricket games between India and Pakistan.

Sky to offer movies over broadband

Sky is to beef up its online service to include movies over broadband. Sky currently offers news and and football coverage, but will soon offer movies to those who subscribe to its top-end TV packages. The films, which will number around 200 at the time of launch, will be available to download and maybe at some point in the future port on to a dedicated personal media player

Men & Motors goes free-to-view on Sky Digital

Men & Motors on Sky Digital channel 136 has switched from being a subscription service in the Sky Family Package to a free-to-air channel. This means viewers with a Sky Digital or free-to-air box can now watch the channel for free

Viewing figures soar for satellite news channels

Viewing figures for the news channels soared last week as news spread about the London terrorist bombings. Sky News recorded a 4.21% share of viewing, compared to 2.1% for BBC News 24 and 0.6% for the ITV News Channel. 630,000 viewers tuned in at midday, compared to 318,000 for News 24 and 145,000 for the ITV News Channel at 9.30pm. The audience was the ninth largest in Sky News’ 16-year history

London bombings draw visitors to Web sites

On the day of last Thursday's London bombings, the Sky News website attracted 2.1m unique visitors and had over 25m page impressions – more than the site would usually get in a month. It was the second-most visited news website in the UK on the day and was the 62nd most popular site worldwide. The BBC Web site had the most visitors in a single day in the history of its news website

Sky Sports overhauls its online content

Sky Sports is to revamp its Internet service by adding game highlights to the coverage its already has online. The broadcaster is under increasing pressure at the moment as cable operators Telewest and NTL are starting to offer video on demand services

Digital TV news in brief...

Interactive gaming channel Lucky Star has moved from the specialist group of channels in the Sky Digital EPG to the entertainment section on channel 278... Trevor East, formerly Sky's Deputy Managing Director of Sport, has joined Irish sports broadcaster Setanta... Hallmark is set to launch a second UK channel early next year... A Sky News report from Beijing Correspondent Dominic Waghorn’s about the dirty blood trade has won the award for Best TV News Item at the 45th Monte-Carlo Television Festival... Speculation has re-emerged that RTL, which owns 65 per cent of Channel Five, is in talks to take full control by acquiring the 35 per cent owned by United Business Media... BBC Three will premiere a programme on broadband for the first time when it streams the new series of hit comedy The Mighty Boosh a week ahead of its transmission on July 26... ITV News editor-in-chief David Mannion has attacked the authorities for not releasing up-to-date fatality figures in the aftermath of Thursday's bomb blasts... BBC1's coverage of the 60th anniversary celebrations marking the end of the Second World War proved to be a hit with the viewers on July 10 with a peak audience of 4.1 million at 5pm... Time Warner's involvement in a Ł6.6bn bid for ITV was once again the subject of speculation in various newspapers, amid reports that the US media giant is lining up to take a 30% stake in the broadcaster... MTV says the relaunch of its German channels has been a success, after the four-network family grew combined ratings by 7% over the first half of 2005 compared to the same period last year... All of Sky's live Premiership games will feature as part of its new HDTV service when it starts next year

Regards Satdude.