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Fiji TV Spends $6m To Extend Satellite Coverage

Fiji TV Spends $6m To Extend Satellite Coverage

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FIJI TV SPENDS $6m TO EXTEND SATELLITE COVERAGE
http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/docs/news/wansolnews/2004/feb/wansol1902041.html

By Tara Chetty

NADI (Wansolwara Online/Pacific Media Watch): Fiji Television Ltd plans to invest F$6 million in extending satellite coverage to the outer islands of the archipelago and to nearby countries.

Speaking at the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) conference in Nadi, Fiji TV chief executive officer Ken Clark said the new service was expected to begin from July 1.

The satellite transmission will beam the free-to-air channel Fiji One and six pay-TV channels.

For the first time, Fiji's outer islands and other countries within the region will receive Fiji Television broadcasts.

"The main objective is to make sure that people who have never had television in this country have it," Clark said.

"Secondly there are people, particularly in Vanua Levu, who have never had pay-TV and we are aware that they want it ­ so this will solve that problem."

The pay-TV service will be increased to six or more channels, said Clark.

The satellite broadcast will cover Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Niue and parts of New Zealand and Australia.

However, Fiji TV expects some transmission problems, particularly during poor weather.

"Using KU Band (satellite feed) there's always something called Œrain-fade' and while we expect to be 99.6 per cent efficient, during some periods of the year, the signal will disappear for a little while," Clark said.

Fiji TV expects to recover the set-up costs through revenue from the existing TV service, the expanded pay-TV service and an expected modest return on the rent and sale of the satellite receivers and set-ups to customers.

The satellite dishes customers will need for receiving the new signal are expected to cost around F$1000.

The new service will provide an avenue for locally produced programming to be beamed further afield.

Fiji TV also distributes and dubs overseas content and viewing rights to smaller countries within the region.

+++niuswire

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