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BSkyB Completes Analogue Switch-Off Ahead of Target

London - Sept. 26, 2001
British Sky Broadcasting has announced the cessation of its analogue Direct-To-Home (DTH) satellite subscription service when after 12 years of service the final three Sky channels carried on the analogue service, Sky Premier, Sky One and Sky Sports 2, will be switched off at 00:01 on September 28, 2001. The leases on the associated transponders have been terminated.

This marks the final step in BSkyB's transition to a digital service, which began with the launch of Sky digital in October 1998. BSkyB initially planned for analogue switch-off by December 31, 2002. Switch-over has, instead, been achieved 15 months early.

Today's announcement is merely one of many milestones on the road to transition. Some other key highlights:

The digital satellite system was launched anticipating it would reach 1.2 million homes in two years; that figure was achieved in six months. Sky achieved its target of 5 million DTH subscribers, set for the end of calendar 2000, two months early.

At June 30, 2001, there were 5.3 million subscribers to Sky digital and 145,000 remaining subscribers to the analogue service. Sky digital therefore remains the leading digital television and interactive service in the UK, far exceeding the combined total of digital cable and digital terrestrial homes.

Commenting on the announcement, Tony Ball, Chief Executive of BSkyB said: "Sky is now operating a fully digital system and continues to offer the best value and the widest choice in digital television."

The Sky offer of a free minidish and digibox, which was launched in May 1999, will remain available to all homes wishing to receive digital satellite broadcasts for the foreseeable future.

BSkyB will announce its results for the 3 months to September 30, 2001 on November 2, 2001.

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Loral Wins DirecTV Contract
New York - Sept. 6, 2001
Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) will build a new high-power spot beam satellite that will enable DirecTV to serve additional markets with local channels and add new services. The new satellite, named DirecTV-7S, will be delivered in the second half of 2003, and will be the second spot beam satellite in the DirecTV fleet following the launch of DirecTV-4S later this year. DirecTV expects to have DirecTV-7S in service by the end of 2003.