February 2020

International News



The Thaicom-5 Satellite has experienced an "incident regarding a technical anomaly resulting in technical limitations to monitoring the status of the satellite," according to the company. Thaicom together with the satellite's manufacturer (Alcatel Alenia Space) and a team of specialists have not been able to restore the satellite. Efforts continue, but Thaicom has migrated customers from Thaicom 5 to other satellites.

Thaicom 5 has 25 C-band + 14 Ku-band transponders - identical to Thaicom-3 which it replaced. Launched in May 2006, it had a 12 year projected life, and was located at 78.5 deg East.

It was originally ordered as Thaicom 4, but sold to Subhash Chandra's Agrani Corp. as Agrani 2 before completion. It was completed in 1997, and stored until June 2005 when it was cancelled and sold back to Thaicom as Thaicom 5.


FTA DTT channels France 4 and France Ô will cease broadcasting and turn to OTT distribution on August 9th, owner France Télévisions has confirmed. France 4 is dedicated to kids programming.

The decision to shift both channels to OTT was taken back in 2018, as part of a move to focus on digital activities.

The distribution of both these linear channels globally is estimated to be around €14 million.

These savings will be used to enhance programming of the other kids and overseas channels.


The 5 major To k y o - b a s e d private television networks will take turns airing daily coverage of the 15 day Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.

However, public broadcaster NHK will televise the event on all days (July 24 to Aug 8).

Out of the 15 days, other than the opening day, 4 days will be allocated to Nippon Television Network Corp, 3 days each to TV Asahi Corp, Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc and Fuji Television Network Inc, and 2 days to TV Tokyo Corp.

NHK will air competitions on 4K and 8K ultra-high-definition satellite channels and the internet, while the private networks are planning on jointly distributing the programs on the internet and broadcasting them on 4K satellite channels.


In a historic deal last year, Disney bought 21st Century Fox assets for $71.3 billion. The 20th Century Fox brand was formed by the merger of Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Film Corporation in 1935. Murdoch took control of 20th Century Fox in the mid 1980s & built a media empire under the Fox brand that is now heavily associated with its news network.

Disney is dropping the name "Fox" from the brands.

The 20th Century Fox film studio will be rechristened 20th C e n t u r y Studios, and Fox Searchlight Pictures will b e c o m e Searchlight Pictures.

The Tw i t t e r handles of 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight have also been altered now.

The logos will also be updated, by removing 'Fox" from them, but keeping the rest unaltered.


On Jan 7, China launched its heaviest satellite via its Long March-5 rocket.

The Shijian-20 satellite is the first verification satellite for China's new DFH-5 satellite platform, & the front runner for China's new generation of large geosynchronous satellites, to be deployed over the next 20 years.

It is capable of 5 K Watts power from its solar array spread over a total wingspan 10 meters wider than that of a Boeing 737 aircraft.

This was the third Long March- 5 launch ever. The rocket is supposed to be able to loft up to 25 Tonnes into geo transfer orbit. The second launch of this rocket was unsuccessful.


Discovery is launching its very popular w o m e n ' s home and l i f e s t y l e channel HGTV, as a free-to-air channel in Italy and in 11 Pay-TV markets across Europe including Romania, Hungary and Serbia.

The European roll out of HGTV is part of Discovery's international strategy to expand the reach of this former Scripps Network brand through its extensive distribution network.

The launches will increase HGTV's reach to an estimated more than 100 million potential viewers people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

HGTV launched last year in Germany and South Africa. In the U.K. the Home channel will be be rebranded as HGTV later this month.


A satellite operated by US DTH platform DirecTV, is in danger of exploding and needs to be moved away from the orbital slot it occupies with other satellites.

There is a "significant risk" that battery cells aboard Spaceway-1 could burst, DirecTV told the FCC, requesting permission to move it out of its orbital slot.

Spaceway-1, made by Boeing & launched in 2005, provides backup coverage for television viewers in Alaska. Its operations have been terminated and no customers were affected.


Comcast usa - the world's largest MSO, saw its cable TV subscriber exits increase sharply in 2019.

Comcast's video subscribers declined 3.2% in 2019 versus a 1.6% drop in 2018. Senior Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer Michael Cavanagh said to expect even bigger declines in 2020.

Comcast lost 133,000 residential video customers in Q4 and 671,000 subscribers for all of 2019; compared to a loss of 19,000 subscribers in Q4 of 2018 and a total 2018 decline of 344,000.

Q-4 cable TV subscription revenue fell 1.2% to $5.5 billion, and 1% to $22.3 billion for all of 2019.

However, broadband growth more than made up for Cable revenue losses. It increased 9% to $4.8 billion in Q4 & was and 10% higher for 2019 to $18.7 billion. Broadband customers grew 424,000 in the period, and 1.3 million for all of 2019.


SpaceX has promised to launch its satellite based broadband service by December.

The company has promised a competitive price, which many industry observers are sceptical. If genuinely low cost, the service could present a challenge for wireline broadband ISPs.

SpaceX already has around 175 satellites in orbit now and some 12,000 planned overall. n