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Archive for the ‘NTDTV’ Category

Taiwan satellite carrier agrees to renew independent TV station’s contract

Posted by Author on July 1, 2011


Without fuss or ceremony representatives of New Tang Dynasty Asia Pacific and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) inked a new contract on June 27, assuring that NTD AP will continue broadcasting via satellite to Asia, including mainland China. Backers of the station say the new deal closes one chapter on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ongoing attempts to cut off NTD AP’s influence on the Chinese people.

The contract signing ended a controversy that began in early April when CHT abruptly informed NTD AP it would not renew the station’s contract to broadcast on CHT’s satellite—a refusal that NTD AP characterized as illegal under Taiwan telecommunications law. NTD, the global network to which NTD AP belongs, is a media partner of The Epoch Times. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Asia, China, Communication, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Media, News, NTDTV, Satellite, Taiwan, Technology, TV / film, World | Comments Off on Taiwan satellite carrier agrees to renew independent TV station’s contract

NTD AP and Taiwan Chunghwa Telecom Renew Satellite Broadcast Contract

Posted by Author on June 29, 2011


[Ruey-lan Chang, CEO of NTD Asia Pacific]:
“On behalf of all of NTD AP’s staff, I’d like to thank Taiwan’s main and opposition parties, and the support from various channels, in helping NTD AP secure service with the ST-2 Satellite, which has state protection.”

On Tuesday, CEO of NTD Asia Pacific Ruey-lan Chang announced the renewal of its contract with Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom. It was signed on Monday evening. It ensures that our partner station will continue to broadcast NTD’s programming to the region, and to parts of mainland China. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Asia, China, Media, News, NTDTV, Satellite, Speech, Taiwan, Technology, World | Comments Off on NTD AP and Taiwan Chunghwa Telecom Renew Satellite Broadcast Contract

Legislators Seek to Protect Independent TV Broadcasts to China

Posted by Author on May 18, 2011


WASHINGTON—Lawmakers in the United States, Hong Kong, and Taiwan believe the Chinese Communist regime is responsible for a move that would potentially bar New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television from broadcasting to mainland China. They are asking the government of Taiwan to act to protect press freedom.

In a letter to Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher wrote, “The democratic government of Taiwan should be encouraging the spread of ideas favoring freedom and traditional values across the strait.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Asia, China, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Media, News, NTDTV, People, Politics, Press freedom, Speech, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Legislators Seek to Protect Independent TV Broadcasts to China

Chinese reporter tells story of ‘EU censorship’ during China-EU summit

Posted by Author on October 12, 2010


ANDREW RETTMAN AND ANDREW WILLIS, The EUobserver.com, 11.10.2010 –

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – One of the reporters temporarily excluded from the China-EU summit last week has talked to EUobserver about his “surprise” at facing Chinese-style censorship in the bosom of the European Union.

Lixin Yang, who has full press accreditation in the EU institutions in Brussels, was first denied entry when he and three colleagues arrived at the metal detectors at the summit venue, the EU Council’s Justus Lipsius building, at 2pm local time last Wednesday (6 October). He works for the government-critical media The Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty Television, which have links to the repressed Falun Gong movement. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in censorship, China, Europe, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, NTDTV, People, Politics, Press freedom, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese reporter tells story of ‘EU censorship’ during China-EU summit

China threatening to kill me, Canada reporter says

Posted by Author on September 23, 2010


By ANDREA WOO, Vancouver Sun, Canada,  September 22, 2010 –

A Surrey-based reporter says China’s Ministry of State Security is threatening his family, life and livelihood for his critical coverage of the Chinese government.

Surrey resident Tao Wang moved to B.C. from China in 2007 and began working as a local general assignment reporter for the Canadian branch of Falun Gong-affiliated New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) in July 2009.

Most of his assignments for the international broadcaster have been innocuous, on topics such as the opening of the Canada Line, the Olympics and the harmonized sales tax.

However, some of his reports have been critical of the Chinese government and its practices. NTDTV is one of the few networks with dissenting views that broadcasts in the Communist nation. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Canada, China, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, NTDTV, People, Politics, Speech, World | Comments Off on China threatening to kill me, Canada reporter says

Higher Paris Court Orders Investigation into Eutelsat Termination of NTD China TV Broadcast

Posted by Author on July 3, 2010


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, NTD TV –

Paris, June 30, 2010 – After two weeks of deliberation, the Paris Court of Appeals (Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris) reversed a lower court’s decision against New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television. It ruled that an expert should be appointed to investigate Eutelsat’s termination of NTD’s China broadcast in June 2008.

In his ruling, presiding judge Mr. Marcel Foulon summarized the duties of an appointed expert were to determine the true cause of the broadcast termination, and whether NTD suffered any economic damage as a result of Eutelsat’s actions. This decision signals the court’s recognition of the formal business relationship that existed between NTD and Eutelsat in June 2008, and that NTD is entitled to a full accounting of the true cause of the termination of its satellite broadcasts to China. It also opens the door for NTD to receive compensations for damages it suffered.

“We welcome this decision,” stated NTD spokesperson Carrie Hung, “This is a first step toward exposing the truth. Hopefully Eutelsat eventually will see that cooperating with a totalitarian Chinese communist regime in limiting information freedom is a bad business decision.”

On June 16, 2008, Eutelsat abruptly terminated the NTD’s broadcast over mainland China under the guise of a “power anomaly” to its W5 satellite. On July 10, Paris based Reporters Sans Frontiere (RSF) published an investigative report, revealing the reason behind NTD’s broadcast interruption not to be technical as Eutelsat claimed, but a pre-meditated political move to appease the Chinese communist government. In order to curry favor with Beijing and pave the way for future business deals, Eutelsat Chairman and CEO Giuliano Berretta chose to shut down NTD’s broadcast mere weeks before the start of the 2008 Olympics.

In an earlier decision, the Paris Commercial Court had declined to hear the case on the grounds that NTD did not have a direct contractual relationship with Eutelsat at the time of the service termination.

NTD Contact:

Carrie Hung, NTD Spokesperson, 917-319-0219 carrie.hung@ntdtv.com

Isabelle Chaigneau, NTD France, +33 (0)6 24 30 66 55 ichaigneau@ntdtv.com

###

About New Tang Dynasty Television

Established in 2002, New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television is a non-profit television broadcaster and the only independent Chinese-language television to broadcast into China. NTD is dedicated to providing objective, uncensored news to Chinese residents. As a vital news source, NTD reported on the SARS outbreak in China three weeks before Beijing admitted to its existence. NTD also reports on environmental and human rights issues in China, generating awareness among Chinese citizens on important issues their government withholds from them.
NTD TV

Posted in China, Europe, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Law, Media, News, NTDTV, Politics, Social, Speech, Technology, TV / film, World | 1 Comment »

NTD TV to Appeal French Court’s dismissal of investigating Eutelsat’s shutdown of satellite broadcasts to China

Posted by Author on November 18, 2009


New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), Nov.18, 2009 –

Paris, November 18, 2009 – The Paris Commercial Court has dealt a set-back to NTDTV’s request to appoint an independent investigator to examine fully Eutelsat’s June 2008 shutdown of NTDTV’s satellite broadcasts to China. In reviewing the court’s decision, the channel’s legal counsel expressed surprise that the judge dismissed the case on technical grounds while ignoring the compelling evidence presented in a report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), in which Eutelsat’s Beijing representative admitted NTDTV’s uncensored programming was cut off as a goodwill gesture to the Chinese regime.

NTDTV spokesperson Carrie Hung expressed disappointment that the court’s judgment yesterday did not address, and neither did Eutelsat refute, the RSF recorded evidence demonstrating Eutelsat’s pre-meditated and discriminatory decision to silence NTDTV. “When we presented this same set of evidence to the European Parliament at the beginning of the year, the MEPs found there was sufficient cause to pass a resolution censuring Eutelsat for its actions and calling for an independent investigation into the company’s conduct,” stated Ms. Hung.

Ms. Hung said that NTDTV is confident of its case if its evidence receives a full and fair hearing. She confirmed that the channel will appeal to the next level in the French legal system, in order to seek full accountability and transparency in Eutelsat’s shutdown of the world’s only non-governmental Chinese-language TV broadcast to China.

NTDTV Contact:
Carrie Hung, NTDTV Spokesperson, 917-319-0219, carrie.hung@ntdtv.com

###

About New Tang Dynasty Television

Established in 2001, New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) is a non-profit television broadcaster and the only independent Chinese-language television to broadcast into China. NTDTV is dedicated to providing objective, uncensored news to Chinese residents. As a vital news source, NTDTV reported on the SARS outbreak in China three weeks before Beijing admitted to its existence. NTDTV also reports on environmental and human rights issues in China, generating awareness among Chinese residents important issues their government withholds from them.

NTDTV

Posted in China, Europe, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Law, Media, News, NTDTV, TV / film, World | Comments Off on NTD TV to Appeal French Court’s dismissal of investigating Eutelsat’s shutdown of satellite broadcasts to China

Eutelsat Hearing Postponed Due to Last Minute Submissions

Posted by Author on October 14, 2009


Press Release, NTDTV, Oct. 14, 2009-

On 13 October 2009, the Commerce Court in Paris was to hear the merits of a petition brought forth by New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) to determine whether to appoint an expert to investigate Eutelsat SA’s termination of NTDTV’s broadcast over China. However, Eutelsat legal counsel Jean-Michel Lepretre presented a new stack of documents to the court very late in the evening before the day of the hearing. In order to study and digest the newly produced documents, NTDTV legal counsel William Bourdon asked for and received a postponement to the hearing. The Commerce Court has rescheduled the hearing to 5 November 2009 instead.

Although the hearing date was set more than two months in advance, such an act is often employed as a stalling tactic, according to Joseph Breham, an associate of Mr. Bourdon. He expressed confidence in the strength of NTDTV’s case, and indicated that the additional documents should not pose any problems for him and he intended to use the allotted time to examine the newly produced documents and prepare a response.

Background

In June 2008 Eutelsat terminated NTDTV’s broadcast to China on its W5 satellite, ostensibly due to technical failures onboard the craft. Days later, Reporters Without Borders obtained evidence that Eutelsat intentionally shut down NTDTV’s broadcast to appease the Chinese communist regime, and that contrary to Eutelsat’s claims, W5 had sufficient capacity to resume NTDTV’s broadcast.

Known for beaming uncensored news into mainland Chinese homes, NTDTV has long been a thorn in the side of the Chinese regime. The interruption to NTDTV’s broadcast represented a further setback for information freedom in China.

Recognizing NTDTV’s importance to the Chinese people, the European Parliament passed a resolution in January 2009 calling on the European Commission and EU Member States to take the necessary action to help restore NTDTV’s broadcasts to China and to support access to uncensored information for millions of Chinese citizens.

According to the convention that established Eutelsat in 1982, Eutelsat is obligated to “insure the freedom of expression and of information” in providing cross border television service. Citing “opacity of [Eutelsat’s] behavior”, the lawsuit seeks to shed light on the facts surrounding W5’s malfunction, so a determination can be made on damages and interest in compensation of any prejudice suffered by NTDTV.

For the latest update on the progress of this legal action and its background, please contact Carrie Hung at 917-319-0219 or carrie.hung@ntdtv.com.

About New Tang Dynasty Television

Established in February 2002, New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) is a non-profit television broadcaster and the only independent Chinese-language television to broadcast into China. NTDTV is dedicated to providing objective, uncensored news to Chinese residents. As a vital news source, NTDTV reported on the SARS outbreak in China three weeks before Beijing admitted to its existence. NTDTV also reports on environmental and human rights issues in China, generating awareness among Chinese residents important issues their government withholds from them.

Posted in censorship, China, Europe, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Law, Media, News, NTDTV, Politics, TV / film, World | Comments Off on Eutelsat Hearing Postponed Due to Last Minute Submissions

MEPs call for uncensored Chinese TV to be put back on air

Posted by Author on January 30, 2009


Martin Banks, The Parliament,  Belgium, 29th Jan 2009 –

A cross-party group of MEPs have called for the uncensored Chinese language broadcaster NTDTV to be put back on air.

The demand follows a move by the Chinese authorities last June to shut down NTDTV’s broadcast via the Paris-based satellite carrier Eutelsat.

Critics of the Chinese regime say Beijing did so by applying “political pressure and business interest lures” to Eutelsat.

The MEPs’ demand comes a day before Chinese premier Wen Jiabao is due to visit Brussels for meetings with, among others, commission president José Manuel Barroso and EU foreign affairs supreme Javier Solana.

Several deputies held a news conference in parliament on Wednesday to call for the ‘ban’ on NTDTV to be lifted.

UK Tory Edward McMillan-Scott, a vice president of the assembly, said he wants the French government to press the Eutelsat to restore the station’s broadcasts to China.

He pointed out that recently some 476 MEPs signed a written declaration urging Eutelsat to resume the service.

“The other EU institutions, including the commission and council, should take note of the fact that so many MEPs signed what amounts to a resolution,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that Paris succumbed to pressure from the Chinese so the French government and its president Nicolas Sarkozy should also take note of the strength of feeling on this issue.

“The EU has a specific role to play here in putting pressure on the French to restore this vitally important service to the Chinese people.”

Italian ALDE deputy Marco Cappato, who also spoke at the news conference, said, “As the west celebrates the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, in 2009 China will observe the 50th anniversary of the Chinese communist government’s rule in Tibet, the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the 10th anniversary of the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.

“This strong contrast highlights the need for information freedom in China.

“Without NTDTV’s pioneering work to bring uncensored information to China, the vast majority of the Chinese population will have no access to information commemorating these solemn occasions.

“Since it seized power, the Chinese regime has continuously suppressed media voices that do not toe its political line and last June the regime succeeded in shutting down NTDTV’s broadcast by applying political pressure and business interest lures to Eutelsat.

“With the passage of the written declaration on media freedom by a large majority of MEPs, parliament is signalling its will to defend media freedom in China.”

– The Parliament: MEPs call for Chinese TV station to be put back on air

Posted in China, Europe, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Media, News, NTDTV, People, politician, Politics, Press freedom, TV / film, World | Comments Off on MEPs call for uncensored Chinese TV to be put back on air

European Parliament Supports NTD’s Free flow of information to China

Posted by Author on January 16, 2009


NTDTV ,  15 Jan 2009 –

CHAN:
Some good news… By last night (January 14), more than half of the members of the EU parliament have signed a declaration supporting the restoration of NTD’s broadcast, via satellite, into mainland China.

In July of last year, NTD’s broadcast into China was cut off by French satellite provider Eutelsat.

STORY:
At the parliamentary meeting in Strasbourg, France 441 members of the European Parliament signed the declaration.

[Charles Tannock, UK Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman]:
“I’m very happy, because this is a remarkable achievement. It is extremely difficult to get more than half the members of the Parliament to sign these declarations. There are only about two or three of these a year that pass through these mechanisms, so it’s a great achievement because it is a very worthwhile cause.”

This is the first time a declaration has been passed regarding a Chinese issue.

[Charles Tannock, UK Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman]:
“It is totally unacceptable in my view that the People’s Republic of China uses its huge commercial muscle to threaten to withdraw other contracts to put pressure on western satellite providers, telling them to take NTD television channel off air.”

This written declaration will be announced as a resolution on the 15th of January.

[Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President, European Parliament]:
“The status is the highest status on any resolution in the European Parliament but of course it asks for certain actions. It asks the commission to take action. It asks the French authorities to take action. It points the way forward for the restoration of the services of NTDTV, broadcast via satellite.”

Outside parliament, many NTD supporters were showing their support for a restoration of NTD’s broadcast into China.

Shujia Liu took part in NTD’s International Chinese Vocal Competition, held in New York City. She tried to encourage some of her friends to participate, but the Chinese Communist Party would not allow them out of China. She said her friends were harassed and had their homes searched.

[Shujia Liu, Supporter]:
“I think this event is very important. Many audience members from mainland China can not receive news from NTDTV. Because NTDTV reports the truth, it is the most righteous media and is very popular. It speaks out for those who are weak and supports the rights of citizens. In mainland China we can just hear lies. The CCP only reports its glories. It never reports on how it persecutes people.”

Many supporters of NTD feel the EU’s declaration is a strong message to Eutelsat and a victory for those who have been raising awareness about China’s human rights situation.

NTDTV

Posted in China, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Media, News, NTDTV, People, Press freedom, World | Comments Off on European Parliament Supports NTD’s Free flow of information to China

Eutelsat Discusses Termination Issue of NTDTV’s China Broadcast

Posted by Author on October 12, 2008


By Zhang Yue, Epoch Times Staff, Oct 11, 2008 –

CAEN, FRANCE—On June 16, 2008, satellite transmission company Eutelsat terminated New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV)’s Asian broadcast through its W5 satellite, citing a power generator subsystem anomaly.  While no technical problem could be substantiated, Eutelsat’s real motive was in satisfying Beijing’s precondition of major business proposals for the satellite company.

On October 8, Eutelsat shareholders at the well-known Vinci building enterprise had a share holders’ meeting in Caen, France. During the meeting they discussed the NTDTV’s broadcast termination earlier this year…

On July 10, 2008, Reporters Without Boarders (RSF) released a transcript of a recorded telephone conversation between a Eutelsat employee and a caller the employee thought was a Chinese Propaganda Department official. In substantial and convincing detail, the transcript revealed Eutelsat’s behind-the-scenes technical manipulations to shut down NTDTV to satisfy Beijing’s request. While they have received evidence of this recording, Eutelsat has never offered an explanation.

During the shareholders’ meeting, the issue of NTDTV’s termination was raised again after Vice President of Eutelsat, Mr. Brillaud and President of Vinci, Mr. De Silguy delivered their presentations.

While he refused to address the recorded telephone conversation, Brillaud attempted to explain the company’s position, “NTDTV misunderstood…, however we can’t bring back the satellite from outer space to show you that it is due to technical problems,” he said.

Later, another Eutelsat shareholder also requested that Brillaud offer an explanation for cutting off NTDTV’s Asia broadcast.  He cited the issue of benefit losses as the company’s reputation might be ruined because of this incident.

Before, during and after the shareholders’ meeting, NTDTV and many of its supporters held a press conference outside the conference building, distributing flyers to revealed the facts of the incident. The flyer described how Eutelsat sought to gain business from the Chinese Communist Party, depriving millions of Chinese citizen’s their rights to know the truth of the CCP in the process.

The shareholders also received these flyers and asked NTDTV supporters for further details of this incident. Many shareholders claimed that they support freedom of the media and will do anything they can to help NTDTV.

The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Europe, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Incident, Media, News, NTDTV, Politics, Satellite, TV / film, World | 2 Comments »

Independent Chinese TV Launches Freedom Satellite Plan to Against China’s Censorship

Posted by Author on October 4, 2008


By Ben Bendig, The Epochtimes-

New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) has begun an effort to raise money toward directly renting or purchasing satellite access to broadcast into China after encountering problems with satellite providers denying service, owing to interference by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

NTDTV, an independent Chinese-language TV network, provides uncensored news concerning China and important issues such as human rights that the current Chinese regime finds threatening. The station has faced a variety of forms of interference from the regime, especially concerning its satellite broadcasts into China.

The most recent incident was on June 16, when Eutelsat, the satellite provider that had been broadcasting NTDTV on its W5 satellite since 2004, stopped the NTDTV signal, citing technical reasons. A July 10 investigative report by Reporters Without Borders revealed, however, that this was a premeditated act, owing to influence by the CCP.

The CCP finds satellite broadcasts threatening because they have no way of blocking the signal—and therefore resort to pressuring satellite providers to block independent news programming.

“We know that it only takes about six satellites to cover the entire world,” said NTDTV spokesperson Carrie Hung. “However, CCTV, the CCP-owned TV station, is on 33 satellites around the world. So obviously, they are using this as an opportunity to monopolize the satellite industry so that when it’s time they can use it to threaten the satellite companies. Many of these Western satellite companies, because of short-term interest, have caved into pressure.”

Prior to using Eutelsat, NTDTV encountered similar problems with other providers.

In order to continue to reach those in China with access to satellite dishes, NTDTV is seeking to rent two satellite transponders, in an effort they call the “Freedom Satellite for China” plan. Transponders are units within a satellite that can be rented, instead of purchasing an entire satellite, which would run around $200 million before launching costs.

There are an estimated 30 to 40 million satellites dishes in China capable of picking up NTDTV broadcasts. Conservatively, this may mean as many as 100 million Chinese viewers, as it is known that families share receivers, and in rural areas, entire villages sometimes share just one satellite dish. Given the right technical information, anyone can tune into NTDTV if they have a dish.

Part of NTDTV’s mission is to provide uncensored news to China—and Eutelsat’s blocking comes at a time where unfiltered news is all the more important, with tainted food scandals, suppression concerning the Olympics and Tibet, and the Sichuan earthquake.

One transponder can carry multiple TV and radio channels, so NTDTV is seeking independent media to join with them in this effort. “The idea for this platform is to invite all the independent media to join us,” says Hung.

“What NTDTV is doing here is taking the initiative, that first step, and we welcome everyone to join us, either in Chinese language or in English, as long their mission is to bring the free flow of information to … China,” said Hung.

Having two transponders will ensure better coverage of China, and will also allow for continuation of the signal even with possible interference by the CCP.

NTDTV is seeking help with this initiative, through monetary donations, as well as any information or connections to those who would be interested in pursuing such a channel of free information into China.

The cost of renting two transponders will be $30 million to establish a 5-year contract.

The TV station is also asking people to spread this information, so as to let more people know about the situation in China and the importance of this initiative for independent news to reach China.

Ways to Donate

NTDTV has set up a Web site for donations, by check or wire, at www.ntdtv.com/fsc.en

By check
Please make the check payable to “New Tang Dynasty Television”
Mailing Address:
New Tang Dynasty Television
Attn: Freedom Satellite for China
229 W 28th Street, Suite 1200
New York, NY 10001

By Wire
Please state the purpose of the fund as “Freedom Satellite Platform.”
For further details, please visit the web link above

New Tang Dynasty Television Launches Satellite Initiative, The Epochtimes

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Media, News, NTDTV, politician, Politics, Social, Speech, World | Comments Off on Independent Chinese TV Launches Freedom Satellite Plan to Against China’s Censorship

(video) Reason to cut off NTDTV’s broadcast to China provided by Eutelsat is bogus, says IFJ

Posted by Author on August 27, 2008


NTDTV, Aug. 23, 2008-

CHEN:
We have an update on the situation with NTD’s broadcast into Mainland China. Over two months ago, NTD’s satellite broadcast was cut off by our satellite provider Eutelsat, because of what they claimed were technical difficulties. Well, now the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) says those so-called “technical difficulties” are looking, “increasingly bogus.”

In an August 20th press release, IFJ General Secretary Aiden White said this:

“The likelihood is that official Chinese pressure has led to the exclusion of…NTDTV from access to the satellite. It’s time to end this absurd posturing and let NTDTV get back on the air.”

The Chinese regime has been trying to shut down NTD since it was founded in 2001. NTD’s satellite broadcasts have provided the only uncensored TV news for mainland Chinese highlighting topics such as human rights and the movement to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Last month, Eutelsat published a statement saying it had, “no prejudice” against NTD. But they have not officially responded to the recent statement by the IFJ.

If you’d like to support NTD’s China broadcast, you can sign our online petition at english.ntdtv.com.

– NTDTV News on Youtube: IFJ: Restore NTD’s China Broadcast

Posted in Business, China, Company, Europe, Media, News, NTDTV, Politics, Speech, Video, World | Comments Off on (video) Reason to cut off NTDTV’s broadcast to China provided by Eutelsat is bogus, says IFJ

European Commission questions Eutelsat on the shutdown of NTDTV’s broadcasting to China

Posted by Author on August 23, 2008


Michael Hedges, Follow The Media,  August 22, 2008-

The controversy over satellite operator Eutelsat cutting off a broadcaster beaming into China continues to simmer. EC Info Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding wants to know “what exactly is going on,” said a spokesperson. Suspicions of the suspicious are that Eutelsat was pressured to cut off Chinese-language NTDTV.

Eutelsat is a pay-to-play satellite broadcast supplier. It operates 24 satellites. Announcing first half 2008 financial results (July 31) the company said it planned to launch three to five more birds this year. Business is good. The company lifted its revenue projections to 6% between this year and 2011.

“It’s because of our good performance and a market that is proving to be particularly robust, especially in emerging markets,” said Deputy Managing Director Jean-Paul Brillaud to Reuters (July 31).

NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty TV) is a New York based Chinese language television and radio broadcaster. It is owned by the Falun Gong sect, which is critical of and unpopular with Chinese authorities.  Falun Gong also owns The Epoch Times and Sound of Hope radio station.

“We are all familiar with the stories that companies like Yahoo and Cisco are assisting the regime on their internet blockage,” said a NTDTV spokesperson at a Brussels press conference (August 21). “Now, it looks like Eutelsat is willing to follow suit.”

Last June Eutelsat cut NTDTV’s transmission, citing a technical problem with transponders. Smelling a Chinese rat, Reporters sans Frontiers (RSF) and the International Federations of Journalists (IFJ) – two of the biggest and loudest press freedom advocates –- set about investigating. Et VOILA! RSF came up with a transcript of a telephone call in which an unnamed Eutelsat employee said CEO Giuliano Berretta made the decision to cut NTDTV because of pressure from Chinese authorities. Three Mandarin language radio stations, not related to NTDTV or the Falun Gong, were also cut.

The employee also mentioned an implied threat from the US government to cut its contract with Eutelsat. Et VOILA! At the end of July the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) – the agency overseeing US international broadcasting – dumped its Eutelsat contract for – easy, now – distribution of VOA and Radio Free Asia on AsiaSat, which is owned by the Chinese government.

Eutelsat maintains NTDTV was dropped because of transponder failure in June. Technical analysts maintain that four transponders did, in fact, fail. The company has steadfastly avoided further comment.

“We expect Eutelsat to stop hiding behind technical mumbo-jumbo and let this broadcaster operate freely,” said IFJ General Secretary Aiden White in a statement (August 20).

Why, you might wonder, is Commissioner Reding getting into this olympic contest? One of Eutelsat’s significant shareholders is the French State financial institution Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations.  And, too, Commissioner Reding has just proposed a single pan-European satellite license (August 7) just in time for the SES-Astra – Eutelsat joint venture Solaris Mobile, expected to launch next year. Forty percent of the world satellite manufacturing and operations are European.

– Original: European Commission questions Eutelsat

Posted in China, Europe, Human Rights, Incident, Media, News, NTDTV, Politics, Speech, Technology, Trade, TV / film, World | Comments Off on European Commission questions Eutelsat on the shutdown of NTDTV’s broadcasting to China

Eutelsat Should Restore the Independant Chinese TV Broadcasting to China Today: RSF

Posted by Author on August 19, 2008


Reporters Without Borders, Aug. 18, 2008-

Reporters Without Borders has written to Giuliano Berretta, the head of the French satellite company Eutelsat, urging him to resume transmission of the Chinese-language television station NTDTV on his W5 satellite and thereby respect the principles of equal access, pluralism and non-discrimination enshrined in article 3 of the convention that governs Eutelsat’s operations.

Eutelsat’s W5 satellite stopped carrying the Asia broadcasts of NTDTV and three Mandarin radio stations, including Sound of Hope, after reporting a technical incident on 16 June.

The Chinese government has often criticised NTDTV’s programmes about the human rights situation in China and there are grounds for suspecting that Eutelsat’s suspension of its broadcasts is not due solely to a technical problem.

In addition to the statements of a Eutelsat employee in China confirming that the Chinese government had been pressuring the company, Reporters Without Borders has obtained new information indicating that Eutelsat would be technically capable of restoring NTDTV’s broadcasts to Asia today, thereby ending a crisis that has damaged Eutelsat’s credibility.

“One of your clients, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which handles the broadcasts of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, has just withdrawn from W5,” the letter says. “This therefore leaves sufficient capacity on one of the transponders, C2, for restoring NTDTV. In fact, in July, BBG was using your satellite to broadcast five TV stations and 12 radio stations to Asia.”

A BBG spokesperson has confirmed to Reporters Without Borders that none of their broadcasts have been carried by this Eutelsat satellite since 1 August. So how, when room has been freed up on one of W5’s transponders, can Eutelsat continue to insist that it is impossible to resume broadcasting of NTDTV?

Eutelsat claims that four of the satellite’s transponders, including C4 and C6, had to be turned off to allow the other 20 to keep going. But Reporters Without Borders has learned that the C6 transponder has been used again for transmission, although reports about the 16 June incident by Eutelsat-Thales Alenia Space (the satellite’s constructor) said this would not be possible.

NTDTV representatives always get the same answer from Eutelsat: “We cannot resume broadcasting for technical reasons. Contact our competitors.” A Eutelsat release on 11 July said that, because of the 16 June incident, it would not be possible to get the four transponders running again.

Why is Eutelsat refusing to broadcast NTDTV and three radio stations although some of the transponders that were turned off in June have again been used?

“With the Olympic Games taking place in China, it is vital that Chinese TV viewers should have the possibility of accessing independent news and information,” the letter adds. “We therefore urge you now to take the necessary measures so that NTDTV broadcasts are again transmitted by the W5 satellite. The many protests by the station’s viewers demonstrate its utility and importance”, concluded Reporters Without Borders in its letter addressed to Giuliano Berretta.

– Original: Reporters Without Borders

Posted in Beijing Olympics, censorship, China, Europe, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Incident, Media, News, NTDTV, Politics, Press freedom, Speech, Sports, TV / film, World | Comments Off on Eutelsat Should Restore the Independant Chinese TV Broadcasting to China Today: RSF

Independent Chinese language TV programming cut off in China

Posted by Author on August 1, 2008


The International Journalists’ Network, USA, 30/07/2008-

An independent U.S.-based TV channel that began broadcasting to China last May has been cut off by Paris-based satellite company Eutelsat. Among the channel’s top programs are news coverage of human rights issues and democracy advancement in China.

Eutelsat claims it was forced to suspend NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty Television) on June 16 because of a technical problem but a recorded conversation shows it was a politically-motivated decision, according to the press freedom advocacy group Reporters without Borders (RSF).

According to a statement, NTDTV was created to produce and broadcast independent, uncensored programming to inform, enrich, and give a forum to Chinese communities everywhere. According to its mission, NTDTV aims to “contribute to pluralism and free flow of information in Chinese language media” and “foster understanding between Chinese and Western societies.”

For more information, go to http://www.ntdtv.com or http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=27818.

– Original: Independent Chinese-language TV programming cut off, The International Journalists’ Network

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The only uncensored Chinese language TV network shut down in China

Posted by Author on July 31, 2008


Leslie Fulbright, Chronicle Staff Writer, San Francisco Chronicle,  USA, Saturday, July 26, 2008-

The only uncensored Chinese-language TV network broadcasting in China says its satellite company has shut down its signal because of pressure from the Chinese government.

The satellite company, Paris-based Eutelsat, says the signal to China was cut because of a technical problem. But New Tang Dynasty Television, an independent station with offices in 70 U.S. cities, including Palo Alto, says Eutelsat cut its signal at the request of government officials in China.

NTDTV covers a number of human rights issues, including the Falun Gong spiritual movement, repression in Tibet and China’s underground Christian movement. In China, news is controlled by the government’s Central Propaganda Department, and the government is notoriously unfriendly to outside media.

“We are the only (Chinese) channel not under the state’s control,” said Cathy Zhang, general manager of the Palo Alto office of the nonprofit station. The station estimates it has 225 million potential viewers worldwide, including 100 million in Asia. “Our coverage is controversial from the communist regime’s point of view.

“We just want to bring the truth to the Chinese people. They get a filtered view from the government.”

Station officials are asking members of Congress to appeal on their behalf to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the federal agency responsible for international broadcasting.

With the Olympic Games starting in Beijing in a few weeks, NTDTV is desperate to get the China satellite back and has enlisted the help of groups that promote freedom of expression.

Reporters Without Borders, an organization that advocates for freedom of the press worldwide, says it has proof that the shutdown of the station’s signal was politically motivated.
Undercover inquiry

At a news conference July 11 in New York, the group released a transcript of a recorded telephone conversation with a Eutelsat employee in Beijing. A person working with a human rights organization, which Reporters Without Borders declined to name, pretended to be an official with the Central Propaganda Department and talked to the Eutelsat employee June 23 in an attempt to get information about the reason for the shutdown.

“It was our company’s CEO in France who decided to stop NTDTV’s signal,” the Eutelsat employee allegedly said. “We could have turned off any of the transponders. It was because we got repeated complaints and reminders from the Chinese government. Two years ago, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television kept saying the same thing over and over: ‘Stop that TV station before we begin to talk.’ ”

According to the transcript, the Eutelsat employee said the company was trying to please the Chinese government to win more business contracts.

Reached in Paris, Eutelsat Communications Director Vanessa O’Connor called the shutdown a “technical anomaly” that could not be avoided.

Eutelsat is looking into it

“Eutelsat has no authority to exercise any control over the content released by clients on our satellite,” O’Connor said.

She said the station was not the only service affected; Euronews and C Music TV, two stations that also broadcast in China, were switched off. She said the company investigated the shutdown and concluded that nothing could be done to fix it.

As for the recorded phone conversation with the Eutelsat employee in Beijing, she said the company is looking into it.

“Whether or not it took place, the overriding position of Eutelsat is that we have no authority to interfere with content.”

Tala Dowlatshahi, the New York representative of Reporters Without Borders, said her organization went through steps to ensure the validity of the conversation with the Eutelsat employee before holding its press conference.

“There has been a great deal of pressure from the Chinese government to limit information and to repress news agencies that air anything deemed to threaten their interests,” Dowlatshahi said. “The conversation proves it.”

NTDTV, which began broadcasting in 2002, has had previous problems with its broadcasts to China. In 2005, Eutelsat refused to renew its contract, but after media reports and demonstrations, the company had a change of heart.

“They had to give up their plan and renew with us,” Zhang said.

The station, which continues to air in the United States, Europe and Australia, has done stories on the anniversary of the June 4 student movement; Majora Carter, the torch bearer who carried the Tibetan flag; and a declaration by Santa Clara County designating August as Human Rights Month for Chinese People. Station officials say these are welcome stories for people in China who have limited access to TV, the Internet and newspapers.

“Our station is built to benefit Chinese people and be the true voice of the community,” said Ying Yang, a project manager for the station. “We do objective and neutral reporting on human rights and culture issues of Chinese and other ethnic groups.”

Censorship in China

In China, you can’t just read the New York Times or other newspapers on the Internet, Zhang said. Google is filtered. If you type in the word Tibet, you see only the government’s point of view of the uprising. All press releases come from the Central Propaganda Department.

“The first thing you learn in journalism school is that the media is the mouthpiece for the party,” Zhang said. “It said that on the first page of my newswriting book.”

The station had hoped to cover the Olympics in Beijing but was denied press credentials.

“There’s so much happening,” Yang said. “They promised they would improve human rights before the Olympics, but they just limited traffic and shut down factories to improve the air quality.

“People’s lives are being affected. It needs to be covered.”

– Original: TV network says it’s been shut down in China, San Francisco Chronicle

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French Satellite Company Lies About Shutdown of Independent Chinese TV Station, Says Recording

Posted by Author on July 13, 2008


By Cindy Drukier, Epoch Times Staff, Jul 12, 2008-

On June 16, when Eutelsat took New Tang Dynasty Television off the air, the satellite company claimed that it was due to a power supply “anomaly” on its W5 satellite and that the source of the anomaly was being investigated. On July 11, Eutelsat issued a 97-word press release containing only one conclusion from its three-and-a-half-week investigation, “it will not be possible to recover operational use of the four transponders that were switched off as a result of the technical incident.”

However, according to incriminating new evidence contained in a recording of a conversation with a Eutelsat employee in Beijing on June 23, there was no anomaly, no investigation, and Eutelsat’s CEO in France, Giuliano Berretta, was the source of the power cut.

The highly sensitive recording was obtained by press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontieres – RSF) and released on July 10. The phone call was made by a Chinese interlocutor claiming to be a Director in the Central Propaganda Department calling a key official at Eutelsat’s Beijing office to check up on the status of the case.

In the transcript, translated from Chinese, the caller asked, “Are those few [transponders] really broken, or are we just using this technical excuse to stop them?”

The employee repeatedly responded that “the transponders are not broken” and goes on to explain that any of the satellite’s transponders could have been turned off and that it was a political decision to shut down NTDTV.

“We can choose to turn off this transponder, or another transponder. …But our CEO [Giuliano Berretta] issued the order to turn that one off,” said the employee. When the caller asked if it was because NTDTV was on that one, the answer was “Yes.”

The employee went on to say that Berretta turned off NTDTV because of “repeated complaints and reminders from the Chinese government.” He added that two years ago, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television had “only had one sentence for us, ‘Turn it off before we can talk.'”

Pulling the plug on NTDTV was therefore Berretta’s “very friendly message” to the Chinese regime that Eutelsat wanted to talk, said the employee.

For several years Eutelsat has been vying to sign lucrative contract deals with China. In 2005, Berretta attempted to sacrifice NTDTV to win favor with Beijing by refusing to renew the TV station’s contract. That time, due in large part to an international outcry, the effort failed.

Carrying NTDTV had been so troublesome for Eutelsat, the Beijing official said laughing, that they’ve been “cursing it for several years,” hoping the W5 satellite would break down. The China office had even suggested that the Chinese regime simply shoot it down to put everyone at ease.

NTDTV was founded in 2001 and has been broadcasting via satellite, independent, uncensored Chinese-language programming into mainland China and across Asia since 2004. It has always been seen as an enemy by the Chinese Communist Party, because it reports truthfully on topics that the regime considers forbidden such as SARS, Taiwan, the persecution of Falun Gong, repression in Tibet, the underground Christian church and various other human rights and corruption issues.

Backup system kept secret

Another critical revelation contained in the recording is that the W5 satellite has a backup transponder in case there are technical problems with a principle transponder. The existence of this backup system was deliberately hidden, said the employee:

“Actually, on the satellite, there should still be another transponder. A small part is still reserved… as a back up. In case any other is not functioning well, this is reserved.

“But this is very, very private information that cannot be announced to the outside. If the U.S. got the information, then our company cannot stand this kind of pressure. If people learned that you still have a spare one, that’s terrible,” he said, ironically adding, “Of course, if people get that information, it means that we have a mole in our company, ha ha [laughs].”

With the Beijing Olympics weeks away, NTDTV is anxious to get back on the air because it says that Chinese people need access to uncensored information.

“Mr. Berretta shut down NTDTV, slammed shut the only window of free information to millions of Chinese people,” said an NTDTV statement.

“Since the inception of the NTDTV broadcast on W5, it has become indispensable to a vast number of Chinese viewers,” the statement continued.

Since going off the air, NTDTV has received over 1,200 comments of support from viewers and signatures on its petition to Eutelsat to resume broadcasting.

Three viewers from Mainland China, Xiaoguan, Yong and Yushi Liu, wrote that “missing NTDTV is like having no fresh air to breathe. We suffocate when we see the fake news and reports from other TV stations.”

Another viewer, J. Zhuang said “there are too many people relying on the truthful reporting from NTDTV. Our hearts are burning! No matter what reasons, it is your utmost responsibility to resume the broadcasting.”

RSF said to ensure the safety of the interlocutor and the Eutelsat employee, their identities cannot be released.

Tala Dowlatshahi, U.S. Representative for RSF, said that her organization had taken rigorous steps to ensure the recording’s authenticity, had consulted with their lawyers, and were confident enough with the veracity of the materials to go public.

“Clearly as an organization that is representing scores of journalists we have to make sure that this is not just merely an allegation,” said Dowlatshahi.

Dowlatshahi said that RSF was in the process of trying to secure a variety of important documents regarding the case that the recorded employee had agreed to email to the supposed Propaganda Department Director during the course of the conversation.

Eutelsat could not be reached at its headquarters in Paris or its Washington office for comment.

Original report from The Epochtimes

Posted in censorship, China, Europe, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Incident, Law, Media, News, NTDTV, Politics, Satellite, Social, Trade, TV / film, World | 2 Comments »

China Corrupts Free Trade and Commerce Agreements: Eutelsat shut NTDTV Signal

Posted by Author on July 12, 2008


Li Xin, The Epoch Times, Jul 10, 2008-

French-based satellite operator, Eutelsat turned off its W5 satellite signal for New Tang Dynasty Television’s (NTDTV) broadcasting into communist China on June 16, claiming an anomaly in the power subsystem occurred. Eutelsat has provided no further explanation to NTDTV and the signal has remained off since then.

NTDTV is an independent, not-for-profit television station headquartered in New York. The station has encountered alleged interference from the Chinese regime in the past due to the station’s uncensored coverage of human rights abuses and state corruption in China.

Its spokesperson Kelly Hong said, “NTDTV has tried its best to communicate with Eutelsat. According to insiders, we are certain that Eutelsat absolutely has the capability to immediately resume NTDTV’s signal over Asia. However, the signal remains off due to the Chinese communist regime’s pressure.”

What is really going on?

In the past, Eutelsat unsuccessfully attempted to enter the Chinese market. Not until Eutelsat signed a one-year contract with NTDTV in March 2004, were they finally able to crack open the door. They set up their office in Beijing in 2004.

On May 26, 2004, Eutelsat notified NTDTV that they were under pressure from the regime-controlled China Satcom to terminate satellite service to NTDTV.

By December that same year, Eutelsat’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Skylogic, signed a generous contract with China Satcom.

Under pressure from international communities, Eutelast continued its contract with NTDTV through the following year. However, the regime has never ceased trying to influence Eutelsat to drop NTDTV.

On March 22, 2006, Eutelsat’s long-term partner, the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) on its company website reported that they had reached a broadcasting agreement with China Netcom Corporation (CNC) for the Beijing Olympic Games.

June 2006, Eutelsat’s chief representative in Beijing, Eugenio Candi, made it clear that Eutelsat would broadcast the Beijing Olympic Games.

Eutelsat’s CEO, Guiliano Beretta, confirmed during an interview with China Daily in September 2006 that Eutelsat and CNC had signed a collaborative agreement for broadcasting the Beijing Olympic Games.

Here is where gets really interesting.

According to an April 28, 2008 Wall Street Journal report, Eutelsat purchased precedent-setting insurance enabling the company to use Chinese rockets for future launches. The rocket could launch as many as nine satellites simultaneously. The first satellite is expected to be launched by China around 2010. With the Chinese rocket, the cost of each satellite launch is approximately half of the cost of a U.S. or European launch. The estimated cost of the contract is US$ 450 million to launch nine satellites.

However, it is also reported that a spokesperson for Eutelsat Communications Group SA indicated three days earlier that the rocket launch contract was still pending due to an unpublicized provision. Details of the provision remain under wraps. Could it be a coincidence that the only available uncensored satellite signal over China, that of NTDTV, was cut off the airwaves? NTDTV was broadcasting 24 hours a day via Eutelsat, and was suddenly and indefinitely shut off seven weeks later with the excuse of a technical failure.

Following the shut down of NTDTV’s signal, Eutelsat published a brief press release on its website, stating that the source of the anomaly experienced by the W5 satellite “is currently under investigation in collaboration with the satellite’s manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space.”

Eutelsat claimed that such a serious failure of a satellite only five years in service is very rare. Normally, a failure such as this is a blow to the satellite manufacturing company. Thales Alenia Space should have adopted serious measures to repair and restore the negative impact. However, they have not appeared to react to it or worry about their reputation.

Why? Let’s Examine the Facts

Two months earlier, Eutelsat had appointed Thales Alenia Space to manufacture the W3B satellite, expected to be launched in 2010 by a Chinese rocket.

Thales is also Europe’s largest defense electronics supplier.

The Alcatel-Lucent company, Thales Alenia Space’s shareholder and partner, officially announced that they signed a US$ 1 billion contract with China Mobile, which is under control of the regime, on June 16, 2008, the same day NTDTV’s signal was cut off.

Thales Alenia Space and Alcatel-Lucent have a close relationship. Thales Alenia Space was originally called Alcatel Alenia Space. Some time after the share exchange merger, it was renamed Thales Alenia Space. Later it acquired the Lucent Technology, a U.S. company. Then it transformed into the present Alcatel-Lucent company. Thus, it is interesting to consider how the US$1 billion contract came about…

So, what result will the cooperation between Eutelsat and Thales bring? Can they find out why the W5 satellite is out of order? After all, in theory, the breakdown only affects NTDTV and numerous common people in China. But for Eutelsat and Thales, it means enormous sums of U.S. dollars and euros.

We have only presented published information. As for the inside story, we don’t know yet. How many times has the CCP unscrupulously manipulated so called ‘partners’ for its own desires and the consolidation of its power? And how many people in Western society follow along for their own self-interest?

Can a simple technical failure explain the NTDTV incident? The CCP bribes large Western companies to block information for its own interests, undermining free and fair competition and undermining the environment of transparency, impartiality, fairness, and integrity.

Social values cannot be built up overnight, but evil power guided by the CCP, packaged with economic benefits, can destroy them in a few years or even a few months.

So here, I appeal to all people with conscience to take action to support NTDTV for the right to broadcast freely into China, that the Chinese people will have the right to obtain uncensored information freely, and that the values of Western democracy and freedom will not be corrupted.

– Original report from The Epochtimes: Chinese Communist Party Corrupts Free Trade and Commerce Agreements

Posted in Business, censorship, China, Company, Europe, Freedom of Information, Human Rights, Incident, Law, Media, News, NTDTV, Politics, Satellite, Social, TV / film, World | 1 Comment »

Press Conference: Latest Evidence Shows Eutelsat Shutdown of NTDTV Politically Motivated

Posted by Author on July 11, 2008


PRNewswire, Via Marketwatch.com, July 10, 2008-

NEW YORK, July 10, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — On June 16, 2008, New Tang Dynasty Television’s (NTDTV) broadcast to China via Eutelsat Communications’ W5 satellite was abruptly terminated.

On July 10, 2008, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released a statement exposing the real reason behind NTDTV’s broadcast discontinuation to be a politically motivated decision by Eutelsat Chairman and CEO Giuliano Berretta to curry favor with the PRC regime, which has steadfastly sought to shut out all media beyond its censorship control.

Since the shutdown, the only explanation provided to NTDTV by Eutelsat was “an anomaly to part of its [W5’s] power generator subsystem.” To date, there has been no update or additional explanation from Eutelsat to the continued service blackout.

With the Beijing Olympics mere weeks away, Chinese people’s need for uncensored news has never been greater. Yet at this critical juncture, Mr. Berretta’s decision closed the only window of free information to millions of Chinese people. What the PRC regime has not been able to accomplish for years, Mr. Berretta has delivered by the flip of a switch.

NTD invites our media colleagues to come find out the latest development and its impact on China’s press freedom.

WHAT: Urgent Press Conference on NTD Broadcast to China

WHEN: July 11, 2008, Friday
1:30pm – 3:00pm

WHERE: Room: The Gramercy Park
The New Yorker Hotel
481 Eighth Ave. (Corner of 34th St and 8th Ave.)

SOURCE New Tang Dynasty Television
http://www.ntdtv.com

Marketwatch.com

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European satellite operator shut down independent TV signal to satisfy China

Posted by Author on July 11, 2008


Reporters Without Borders, 10 July 2008-

Reporters Without Borders calls on Giuliano Berretta, the CEO of the European satellite company Eutelsat, to quickly reverse its decision to suspend independent Chinese-language broadcaster NTDTV’s use of Eutelsat’s W5 satellite to broadcast to Asia.

Eutelsat claims it was forced to suspend NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty Television) on 16 June because of a technical problem but a recorded conversation with an employee of Eutelsat show it was a premeditated, politically-motivated decision violating the free flow of information and the convention under which Eutelsat operates.

“The real reason for the decision to suppress NTDTV exposes how Eutelsat operates in China,” the press freedom organisation said. “The company’s credibility is at stake and we urge its shareholders to intervene as quickly as possible so that NTDTV can resume broadcasting on this satellite. If that is not done, none of the TV companies that are Eutelsat clients will ever be sure they could not also be arbitrarily disconnected one day because of their content.”

Reporters Without Borders added: “NTDTV’s broadcasts irked the Chinese government because, thanks to this satellite, they could be freely received in tens of millions of Chinese homes. Their suspension just a few weeks ahead of the Olympic Games looks like a favour provided by Eutelsat with the aim of obtaining new deals. Eutelsat tried to drop NTDTV once before, in 2005, but an international campaign forced it to sign a new long term contract.”

In a recorded conversation on 23 June with an interlocutor the employee thought was a Chinese Propaganda Department official, a Eutelsat representative in Beijing said:

“It was our company’s CEO in France who decided to stop NTDTV’s signal. (…)We could have turned off any of the transponders. (…) It was because we got repeated complaints and reminder from the Chinese government. (…) Two years ago, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television kept saying the same thing over and over: ‘Stop that TV station before we begin to talk.’

Reporters Without Borders is posting a transcript of this conversation on its website (www.rsf.org) and it has an audio recording that is available to the media.

A New York-based TV station with links to the Falun Gong spiritual movement, NTDTV began broadcasting in Chinese four years ago. Its programmes are very different from the content on China’s state TV stations. There is a great deal of coverage of human rights issues, including the repression in Tibet and of religious groups such as Falungong and the underground Christian churches.

The day after it stopped transmitting NTDTV, Eutelsat issued a statement saying the W5 satellite has suffered serious technical problems that had forced the company to reduce the number of transponders and stop broadcasting several TV stations.

Eutelsat and Thales, the French company that made the satellite, are doing more and more business in China. It was Thales that manufactured Zhongxing-9, the satellite that was put in orbit last month to guarantee good coverage of the Olympic Games. Eutelsat has signed a contract with China to use its Long March rocket to launch Eutelsat satellites. The Wall Street Journal wrote in April: “Eutelsat for years has been trying to find a way to penetrate the Chinese market, and launch contracts are widely seen as one way to help reach that goal.”

As a company headquartered in France, Eutelsat is nonetheless obliged to respect the principles of equality of access, pluralism and non-discrimination enshrined in article 3 of a convention governing the operations of satellite companies.

Ever since NTDTV was launched in February 2002, the Chinese government has been trying to get its broadcasts suppressed by pressuring satellite operators and governments.

(Note: Transcript of this conversation can be downloaded from:

http://www.rsf.org/IMG/pdf/Transcript_Eutelsat-2.pdf )

– Original: European satellite operator Eutelsat suppresses independent Chinese-language TV station NTDTV to satisfy Beijing, Previously unpublished conversation by Eutelsat employee confirms move was politically motivated

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Uncensored TV Service to China Shut Off Weeks Before Olympics

Posted by Author on June 27, 2008


Press release, NTDTV, New York, June 23, 2008-

Seven weeks away from the Olympics, millions of households in China are no longer receiving the satellite broadcast from the largest independent Chinese-language TV network.

New York, June 23 — On Monday, June 16th, at approximately 6:30 pm U.S. EST time, New Tang Dynasty Television‘s (NTDTV) satellite broadcast covering Asia suddenly stopped after more than four years on air.

Eutelsat Communications, the satellite operator, said that its W5 satellite had experienced “an anomaly to part of its power generator subsystem” and it had “reduced by a small number the operating transponders on the satellite” in collaboration with the satellite’s manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space.

One week has passed, NTDTV’s signal remains dark across Asia, and we still do not know what caused the anomaly, why NTDTV’s service was shut off, and when it will be restored. Under normal commercial practice, if a transponder goes down then the satellite company responsible rapidly assures alternative service for its channels.

“This is an urgent matter of highest importance to NTDTV and to our viewers who depend on us for uncensored news and information in Mainland China,” said Zhong Lee, President of NTDTV.

NTDTV has received much support on our audience feedback web site, including these messages from China:

“We feel like we cannot breathe the fresh air if we cannot see NTDTV. We feel suffocated when we see the faked news and reports from other [Chinese] TV stations.”

“We cannot live without NTDTV. Please resume as soon as possible.”

“Anger: Have not been able to view NTDTV for several days. Really, really anxious.”

“We do not need to change channels when we watch NTDTV. This is a common feeling among many of our friends. If it really is a technical problem, Eutelsat, please fix it ASAP ….We support NTDTV!”

Zhong Lee concluded: “The harm this interruption has caused to NTDTV and our audience must end. We will spare no effort to obtain a full accounting of the situation and to restore NTDTV’s open satellite broadcast over Asia as soon as possible.”

About NTDTV

New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV) is an independent, nonprofit Chinese language TV broadcaster that also features programming in the English language.

NTDTV began broadcasting via satellite in North America in February 2002 and extended its 24/7 programming to cover Asia, Europe, and Australia in July 2003.

Headquartered in New York City, NTDTV currently has reporters and correspondents in over 50 cities worldwide. The network has gained an international reputation for its objective and timely reporting of political, economic, and cultural stories in the Chinese language, and for multi-faceted educational and entertainment programs that bring together the finest in both Eastern and Western cultures.

– NTDTV: Uncensored TV Service to China Shut Off

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