ETV back on ArabsatAugust 17th, 2010
A senior official at ETV told Capital in anonymity last Friday that the state television program has resumed its transmission on Arabsat two days ago.
The Ethiopian government had announced earlier that it is under discussions with Arab Satellites Communication Organization (Arabsat) about the retransmission of its national television program through their satellite.
Shimeles Kemal, State Minister of Government Affairs Communication Office, a week ago told Capital that the transmission of Ethiopian Television (ETV) on Arabsat has been suspended due to a technical problem. The Communication Office executive has not stated the exact technical problem that caused the state owned TV broadcast to be off the air for the last three weeks, from its Arabsat frequency.
"I have no detailed information about the problem that interrupted the transmission," Shimeles said. But the two sides are under talks to solve the problem and to broadcast the ETV programs again on Arabsat frequency, he noted.
Ethiopian Television and Radio Agency (ERTA) has been using the Arabsat frequency to transmit its programs to the Middle East, Europe, central and northern part of Africa over the last few years.
Recently, the agency announced that its viewers can use Eutelsat satellite frequency to watch ETV transmissions in some areas that previously used Arabsat. ERTA also launched its transmission on Multi Choice W7 Satellite (DSTV), a pay satellite TV, for African viewers.
Currently, ERTA is using Eutelsat W3A, Galaxy 12, Telestar 12 and NSS 12 to broadcast its programming all over the world.
The national TV transmitter is the only TV transmitter all over the country, while Oromiya region and Dire Dawa Administration have launched their regional transmission a few years ago. Other regions are under process to commence regionally owned TV broadcasts.
ETV is the only TV transmitter from Ethiopia, ESAT an Amsterdam-based Ethiopian Satellite Television transmission was launched in May, 2010 on Arabsat satellite in Amharic (Ethiopian official language). However, ESAT’s broadcast has been off the air since the end of July. ESAT has accused the Ethiopian government of disrupting its signal, in a statement it released on July 27, 2010.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, told local journalists at a press conference last Wednesday that he did not want to say anything about the transmission problem of the new Amharic television, ESAT.
The Arab Satellite Communications Organization (often abbreviated as Arabsat or ASCO) is a communications satellite operator in the Arab world, headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Arabsat owns and operates five satellite platforms in orbital positions 26° and 30.5° east. Arabsat was created to deliver satellite-based, public and private telecommunications services to the Arab States, in accordance with international standards. With more than 20 member countries, the organization plays a vital role of enhancing communications in the Arab world.
ASCO was established in 1976 by the member states of the Arab League with a defined goal of serving in telecommunication, information, culture and education sectors. Arabsat has operated the Arabsat GEO telecommunications system since its first satellite launch in 1985. According to the organization profile, Arabsat’s satellites provide coverage to more than 100 countries in the Middle East, Africa and the major parts of Europe. --Capital