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SkyAngel Too Limited


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8 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Mike Richardson

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Posted 06 March 2004 - 04:05 PM

Sky Angel is too limited currently. They can't have any more than 20 TV channels and 20 audio channels. They really need another transponder and then they could launch 10 more TV channels and 10 more audio channels, or up to 12 more TV channels, or other combinations of those. But how would they get more space?
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#2 OFFLINE   Mike123abc

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 12:21 AM

Sky Angel actually owns 8 transponders. They lease 6 of them to Dishnetwork. For the lease of the 6 transponders Dish provides the satellite.

#3 OFFLINE   Mike Richardson

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Posted 07 March 2004 - 11:50 AM

Sky Angel actually owns 8 transponders. They lease 6 of them to Dishnetwork. For the lease of the 6 transponders Dish provides the satellite.


So they would have to get back one of the transponders they lease to DISH. That would be pretty hard.

Maybe Sky Angel should launch Cable Angel and overbuild in big markets. :lol:
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#4 OFFLINE   jegrant

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 05:15 AM

I was sort of surprised that Sky Angel didn't try to partner somehow with VOOM (at least, perhaps, trying to get Angel One added as a PI channel) - but maybe VOOM wasn't interested, or since VOOM is using a newer technology that's not compatible with the E* datastream, it was just not feasible. I wonder if SA has at least applied to VOOM for PI consideration?

It could also be that after all the hassle they have had with E*, SA might prefer to go it alone from here on out.

#5 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 10:18 PM

Actually the limit is 20 video, 16 audio, but I agree that "the Dominion" has delt away their greatest asset - satellite transponder licenses.

E* had their bird available for 61.5 and it was down to use it or lose it time with the FCC to get their channels on the air. Personally I feel that they should have lost the transponders for failure to meet the terms of their license --- to contract for, build, and launch a satellite to provide their services. (They have permanently lost eight slots in the west due to missed deadlines.)

But instead they traded USE of their licenses to E* for USE of the satellite. They gave up six transponders to get two on the air. And they STILL have not built a satellite. Their planned satellite is also outside the box ... looking to serve other countries and NOT the US where they have their licenses!

Considering they were the FIRST company to get permission to launch services it is a shame that they have squandered the opportunities they had. Perhaps it is all about the Benjamins -- they never got the $$ to make a real entrance to the field.

Why are they not on Rainbow 1, Voom's Satellite? Good question. Voom just launched that satellite late last year. It was designed for their orbital space (11 licensed transponders) but obviously can handle more since it is handling two temporary transponders. Now that it is launched, it could take over SkyAngel from E*3 -- but then there is the "other half" of the lease from E*.

E* has agreed not to carry channels that are primarily religious in nature (other than those that preexisted the deal) and SA has agreed ONLY to carry channels that are primarily religious. If SA moves to their own bird or Rainbow 1 they lose that prohibition. The current suit to remove FamilyNet and Daystar from E* falls moot and E* can add any channel it wants.

In addition, SA relies on E* for the manufacture and distribution of equipment. Whatever satellite the end up on would have to be compatable with E*'s setup. AND E* handles SA's authorization and EPG. There are a lot of services that SA should be doing as an independent satellite provider that would be lost if they left E*.

So their deal stays. Perhaps they can re-cut the deal and get one of their transponders back from E* so they can actually expand to 30 video 24 audio ... but I doubt if they will. They seem happy with their little world of 36 channels.

E* would probably give them a deal on TP28, since it seems to be dead. :)

JL

#6 OFFLINE   jegrant

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 11:31 PM

Oh, I understand why they are not combining technical functions with VOOM - I was just wondering more about the programming side of things. SA claims that the new broadcast center they are now building, when complete, will completely take over transmitting both their transponders and the authorization/etc. datastream. (i.e. SA will, once this new center opens, be authorizing their own receivers without going thru E*.)

I wonder if Dish would consider giving SA an additional transponder (giving E* 5 and SA 3) in exchange for SA dropping the current complaints against Dish and dissolving the religious/secular agreement, plus allowing FamilyNet and Daystar to remain on Dish. I think if that is how it goes, though, that SA ought to hold out to get at least 2 more transponders (4 for Dish, 4 for SA) so that they could double the size of their service - if they were able to add a few more Christian networks (for example, many current SA programmers operate additional channels not currently carried by SA) and maybe a few family friendly programming channels, perhaps they could finally acquire a larger customer base.

I've really begun to wonder how long the arbitration is taking, because http://www.skyangel....echostarlawsuit was last updated 1/30/04 and claims that arbitration was supposed to commence in 30 days or less. I would have thought that meant the issue would be solved by the end of Feb. or beginning of March, surely.

#7 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 16 March 2004 - 02:06 AM

SA claims that the new broadcast center they are now building, when complete, will completely take over transmitting both their transponders and the authorization/etc. datastream. (i.e. SA will, once this new center opens, be authorizing their own receivers without going thru E*.)

That will be interesting. Any word on when this long delayed center will finally be open? Having their own uplink is another promise to the FCC that SkyAngel has failed to meet.

Dominion plans to launch one or more high-power DBS satellites in the year 2002, to be constructed by Orbital Sciences Corp. (OSC) of Germantown, Md. The OSC-Dominion DBS satellites are to be co-located with the EchoStar III DBS satellite at the 61.5 degree W.L. orbital location and used exclusively by Dominion to operate all eight of its licensed DBS frequencies for international DBS service.

It's obvious that they havn't met that goal either.

I wonder if Dish would consider giving SA an additional transponder (giving E* 5 and SA 3) in exchange for SA dropping the current complaints against Dish and dissolving the religious/secular agreement, plus allowing FamilyNet and Daystar to remain on Dish.

Use of six of SA's transponders is payment for allowing the other two on E*3. E* has already lost use of TP28 (it apparently died earlier this year). E* also lost use of TP23 and TP24, unlicensed but used under STA. I don't believe they want to give up another transponder - they are down to 16.

I've really begun to wonder how long the arbitration is taking, because http://www.skyangel....echostarlawsuit was last updated 1/30/04 and claims that arbitration was supposed to commence in 30 days or less. I would have thought that meant the issue would be solved by the end of Feb. or beginning of March, surely.

That rebuke of the Lambs and Daystar is almost funny considering the Dominion's dealings. Trading away 75% of their license space and making a deal attempting to block religious programming from E* ... it doesn't sound like a ministry bent on spreading the Gospel -- it sounds more like a business bent on being the number one distributor of religious programming. A fine goal if they would do it by BEING BETTER, not by trying to bring down others.

Perhaps SA should change their business model and rent space. Launch their own bird complete with 8 working US transponders and add all PAX and TBN channels ... that would be a good start. The more selection they have the better - and the idea of having enough space that they never have to drop a channel to add a new one is pleasing.

JL

#8 OFFLINE   jegrant

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 03:15 AM

Well, as far as I know (unless they can renegotiate it or buy E* out) SA* is bound to the current 6/2 transponder agreement for the operational lifetime of the E*3 satellite (nominally 2010 or so, AFAIK). Whether E* wants to or not, if SA* is prepared to provide service to their transponders on their own satellite when E*3 dies, E* will have to lose the transponders unless they negotiate another deal.
(I am fairly certain that Dominion 1 (SA*'s first satellite) will be equipped for US domestic service, because they have mentioned in the past that once it's in the air, they will consider it to be (at least for SA*'s own services) an in-orbit backup.)

They already have a PAX affiliate and a TBN affiliate - are you indicating that they should pick up all the digital feeds offered by each network? They already carry Worship TV and Faith TV (which, IIRC, are the only two non-PAX feeds in the PAX digital bouquet).
TBN and SA* seem to be at an impasse - I think TBN would be glad to offer their multi-channel content for free, but SA* would also like them to occasionally promote the Sky Angel service, and TBN doesn't want to do that (based on my observation of their actions). This was somewhat resolved by SA* carrying a TBN affiliate, because only the affiliate station (SuperChannel WACX) is obligated to promote SA*, not the entire network. What seems odd to me is that TBN doesn't hesitate to promote secular satellite services that carry their programming, but won't mention a completely Christian alternative. TBN has even called Sky Angel a "ghetto" in the sky. Furthermore, at the current time, Sky Angel will only carry one 24 hour Radio and one 24 hour TV network per programmer, unless special arrangements are made. (Special arrangements in the past have included carriage of both Worship TV & Praise TV on SA* in exchange for nationwide TV commercials on the PAX network. A current arrangement is the one with Spirit Communications (TVU, RadioU, Spirit) - where their promise to keep Spirit as a "SA* Exclusive" channel has allowed them to expand beyond the 1&1 limit.)

I will agree that I think it would be a much better idea for SA* to better serve its existing paying customers first rather than beginning (free?!) international service. I understand the goal, but paying customers should come first if any business wants to stay in business, IMO.

#9 OFFLINE   RJS1111111

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 04:23 PM

As long as they're going to the expense of launching their own satellite, they should try to orbit the most versatile payload that they ever anticipate needing during its lifetime, at least within their budget.

If they orbit such a payload, then why not start to make use of it as soon as possible, once they have been granted any additional required licenses, and have either produced or identified some of the international programming to be aired?

Spotbeams for Africa, Europe, and North America would help them to at least triple the use of their eight transponder frequencies. They could possibly even beam appropriately different programming and languages separately into each nation to be reached.

The FTA broadcasts to the USA would not have to conflict with their existing domestic pay TV service. For example, they might choose to broadcast FTA sermons and events that were either originally preached or translated into various languages other than English. This would be a free service to those who have other native languages in the USA. It could also keep paying subscribers and donors informed about the actual international broadcasts that are funded by their subscriptions.

Here's another idea: Provide multiple audio channels in many different languages to accompany the same video channel. DISH already does this for some channels. They could even beam the video channel on a continent-wide spot, and appropriate audio channels for each country or region on smaller spots. :confused: Although I suppose this last idea would require two tuners (one for the tp carrying the video program, and one for the tp carrying the audio program), plus special receiver software to recognize and combine the two into a single, synchronized program.




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