International Airwaves Roundup

Telstar 18 completes testing, deemed fully operational

Telstar 18, a powerful satellite launched in late June to provide services across Asia, has completed its in-orbit testing and is now fully operational. Built by Space Systems/Loral and operated by Loral Skynet, Telstar 18 was launched June 28 aboard a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket. During the launch, the rocket's upper stage shut down early and placed the satellite in a lower-than-expected orbit. SS/L engineers were able to raise the satellite to its proper orbital position at 138 degrees east longitude. The satellite still has sufficient on board fuel to exceed its specified 13-year life.

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Interactive television coverage of Olympics a hit with BBC viewers

More than six million viewers of the Olympics tuned into the BBC’s interactive coverage of the Games in August. The BBC counts anyone who watched at least one minute of Olympics coverage among the interactive viewer total.

The success of interactive television for Olympics coverage can be attributed to the fact that so many events occurred simultaneously during the competition. Interactive TV gave viewers an opportunity to select which event they wished to watch.

EBU signs $746 million deal for Olympic broadcast rights

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has signed a $746 million contract with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the European broadcast rights to the Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the 2012 Summer Games.

The agreement, which excludes Italy, covers 51 countries. It provides for the broadcast rights as well as rights to emerging new media categories, such as multimedia rights and mobile telephony rights.

The $746 million contract is valued at about 40 percent higher than the existing contract.

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