Sky bird hits tech problems

Won't affect growth schedule

MIAMI — Beset by technical problems, Latino satcaster Sky has had to order up a replacement bird from service provider PanAmSat.

To carry Sky platforms for Brazil and Spanish-speaking South America, Pas-6B is slated to fly in the fourth quarter and be operational in early 1999, PanAmSat announced Thursday.

PanAmSat spokesman Dan Marcus said the power supply problem was not yet grave enough to affect Sky’s operations.

“With our Pas-6 and Pas-3 satellites, we have more than enough capacity to allow the Sky business to grow according to plan,” Marcus said.

Backed by News Corp., Televisa, Globo and TCI Intl., Sky is engaged in a head-to-head battle with Hughes and Cisneros-backed Galaxy Latin America for Latino subscribers.

Per regional industry organ Private Advisor, Galaxy’s DirecTV service had 329,000 subs by January this year, against 198,500 for Sky.

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