Join our Mailing List

"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Independent Chinese TV Launches Freedom Satellite Plan to Against China's Censorship

October 6, 2008

By Ben Bendig,
The Epoch Times
October 4, 2008

New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) has begun an effort to raise
money toward directly renting or purchasing satellite access to
broadcast into China after encountering problems with satellite
providers denying service, owing to interference by the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP).

NTDTV, an independent Chinese-language TV network, provides
uncensored news concerning China and important issues such as human
rights that the current Chinese regime finds threatening. The station
has faced a variety of forms of interference from the regime,
especially concerning its satellite broadcasts into China.

The most recent incident was on June 16, when Eutelsat, the satellite
provider that had been broadcasting NTDTV on its W5 satellite since
2004, stopped the NTDTV signal, citing technical reasons. A July 10
investigative report by Reporters Without Borders revealed, however,
that this was a premeditated act, owing to influence by the CCP.

The CCP finds satellite broadcasts threatening because they have no
way of blocking the signal—and therefore resort to pressuring
satellite providers to block independent news programming.

"We know that it only takes about six satellites to cover the entire
world," said NTDTV spokesperson Carrie Hung. "However, CCTV, the
CCP-owned TV station, is on 33 satellites around the world. So
obviously, they are using this as an opportunity to monopolize the
satellite industry so that when it's time they can use it to threaten
the satellite companies. Many of these Western satellite companies,
because of short-term interest, have caved into pressure."

Prior to using Eutelsat, NTDTV encountered similar problems with
other providers.

In order to continue to reach those in China with access to satellite
dishes, NTDTV is seeking to rent two satellite transponders, in an
effort they call the "Freedom Satellite for China" plan. Transponders
are units within a satellite that can be rented, instead of
purchasing an entire satellite, which would run around $200 million
before launching costs.

There are an estimated 30 to 40 million satellites dishes in China
capable of picking up NTDTV broadcasts. Conservatively, this may mean
as many as 100 million Chinese viewers, as it is known that families
share receivers, and in rural areas, entire villages sometimes share
just one satellite dish. Given the right technical information,
anyone can tune into NTDTV if they have a dish.

Part of NTDTV's mission is to provide uncensored news to China -- and
Eutelsat's blocking comes at a time where unfiltered news is all the
more important, with tainted food scandals, suppression concerning
the Olympics and Tibet, and the Sichuan earthquake.

One transponder can carry multiple TV and radio channels, so NTDTV is
seeking independent media to join with them in this effort. "The idea
for this platform is to invite all the independent media to join us,"
says Hung.

"What NTDTV is doing here is taking the initiative, that first step,
and we welcome everyone to join us, either in Chinese language or in
English, as long their mission is to bring the free flow of
information to … China," said Hung.

Having two transponders will ensure better coverage of China, and
will also allow for continuation of the signal even with possible
interference by the CCP.

NTDTV is seeking help with this initiative, through monetary
donations, as well as any information or connections to those who
would be interested in pursuing such a channel of free information into China.

The cost of renting two transponders will be $30 million to establish
a 5-year contract.

The TV station is also asking people to spread this information, so
as to let more people know about the situation in China and the
importance of this initiative for independent news to reach China.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank