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TCI backs Asian biz channel

Asian business is not only news — it’s big money. That’s one reason why a major consortium is poised to launch a business channel on the Indonesian Palapa satellite.

The Asia Business News service will be launched this fall by a consortium of Television New Zealand and Tele-Communications Inc., both with 36% shares. Backing them are Asian partners Business News Network from Hong Kong (18%) and Singapore International Media (10%).

TVNZ spokesman David Nicholson said the service would be financed by advertising, which he said is growing in theregion by about 20% a year.

The channel will initially broadcast in English to business travelers and to private dish owners.

“As soon as possible after the launch, we are looking at getting dishes into businesses and government departments,” he said.

ABN will operate 18 hours weekdays and six hours Saturdays. In the early stages, transmission will be free to air and will provide a regular turnaround of Asian market trends and business news.

Company chairman Adam Singer, VP, international, for TCI, called Southeast Asia the world’s most economically dynamic region. “The region lacks the up-to-the-minute financial information and analysis which this dynamic entrepreneurial community needs for informed decision-making” he said.

The Palapa footprint covers 17 Asian nations from China in the North to Papua New Guinea in the South. Television New Zealand, which already provides a satellite service to its Pacific Island neighbors off its Intelsat transponder will manage the new service.

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