Eutelsat Denies NTDTV Censorship Accusations

[Satellite Today 07-29-07] Eutelsat‘s General Counsel, Philippe McAllister, denied accusations that the satellite operator censored an independent Chinese-language broadcaster at the request of the Chinese government, Eutelsat announced July 29.
    Reporters Without Borders accused Eutelsat July 10 of shutting down transponders on the W5 satellite due to complaints from the Chinese government about broadcasts by New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV).
 “Eutelsat affirms that it holds absolutely no prejudice against channels broadcast by its satellites and notably NTDTV,” McAllister said. “NTDTV continues to broadcast in Europe via our Hot Bird video neighborhood. … Eutelsat has no direct relationship with NTDTV, which procures its services from RRSat, a worldwide operator of broadcast services. Our activity as an independent satellite operator gives us no authority or prerogative of control over the content transported by capacity leased by client broadcasters.”
    The W5 satellite experienced an anomaly in June that led to the loss of one of the spacecraft’s two solar arrays and the shutdown of four transponders. Alternative capacity to host NTDTV was sought on other Eutelsat satellites, but the operator said there is no alternative satellite providing coverage of Southeast Asia and parts of China and that it has not been possible to propose a solution for clients only interested in broadcasting content over this region.

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