SkyREPORT 06/01/2006 - Sky Angel Rebounds from Satellite Anomaly

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Sky Angel Rebounds from Satellite Anomaly
Dominion, which operates the Sky Angel Christian-focused DBS service, acknowledged that the satellite it's using recently experienced an anomaly that knocked some of its channels off the air.

Spokesperson Nancy Christopher said that in mid April Sky Angel lost some of its programming due to a technical failure aboard the EchoStar III satellite the company uses for delivery of its content. Sky Angel utilizes the satellite at 61.5 degrees through an agreement it has with EchoStar.

Sky Angel was successful in working with EchoStar to get most of the channels back on the air quickly, Christopher said. However, three channels were not reinstated, "and this technical failure evolved into contractual issues with EchoStar that we were not able to work out," the spokesperson said.

The impacted channels are ABN, Spirit and Golden Eagle Broadcasting.

Christopher said Sky Angel is exploring an option that may enable the service to add one or two channels sometime in the future.

Also, Sky Angel announced Wednesday it's trading the SuperChannel TBN feed with the national Trinity Broadcasting Network this week. TBN carries many of the same programs that aired on Golden Eagle and others that were not previously on Sky Angel, Christopher said.? Also, certain programs on 3ABN are carried via a couple of existing Sky Angel channels. Additionally, Sky Angel is looking for ways to add more Christian music in cooperation with Spirit Television, Christopher said.

EchoStar has acknowledged problems with the satellite. In April, an anomaly aboard EchoStar III limited the satellite to 20 usable transponders out of a maximum of 32, the company said in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Due to what the company called redundancy switching limitations and channel authorizations, the satellite can only operate 16 of the 19 authorized frequencies utilized at the 61.5 degree-orbital location.
 

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