Report: Eutelsat Turns down European Parliament Invite to Discuss NTDTV
[Satellite Today 01-15-09] Eutelsat turned down an invitation from the European Parliament to discuss the company’s termination of independent Chinese-language television network New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), Reporters Without Borders announced Jan. 14.
The report claims that the company turned down the request in a Dec. 23 letter on behalf of Eutelsat CEO Giuliano Berretta.
In July, Eutelsat was accused of shutting down transponders on the W5 satellite due to complaints from the Chinese government. The W5 satellite, which broadcasts NTDTV, experienced an anomaly that led to the loss of one of the spacecraft’s two solar arrays and the shutdown of four transponders.
In an interview with Satellite News, Berretta denied accusations of censorship. “Eutelsat holds absolutely no prejudice against channels broadcast by our satellites including NTDTV, which broadcasts in Europe via our Hot Bird video neighborhood,” said Berretta. “NTDTV has been treated in every respect in identical fashion to other channels present on the W5 satellite which experienced a technical incident in the night of June 16 to 17, which necessitated the shut down of four of the spacecraft’s transponders. The problem affecting W5 has been explained to NTDTV. … We totally refute any allegation that we are exploiting a technical situation to conduct a policy of discrimination.”