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Telesat gets new broadcast bird slot

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Telesat Canada
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HDTV/digital television
OTTAWA - Telesat announced today that the Canadian government has approved the company's bid to design, build and launch another new direct broadcast satellite that will carry a wide range of advanced direct-to-home (DTH) services to consumers.

"The satellite will enable the expansion of services such as high-definition television, local services and new broadcast technologies as they evolve," says the company's press release.

"Telesat is pleased to continue its long tradition of innovation with a new direct broadcast satellite that will bring important new services to our customers," said Larry Boisvert, Telesat's president and CEO. "Telesat's satellites are the foundation for the success of Canadian direct-to-home satellite television. The new orbital location gives us the opportunity to expand our fleet and plan for growth in the DTH marketplace."

Following a call for interest by Industry Canada, the government approved Telesat's plan to serve customers from Canada's orbital position at 72.5 degrees WL. Telesat will announce specific plans for the satellite, including a proposed launch date and customers, "in the near future." it said.

The new satellite will be Telesat's third direct broadcast satellite. The company is currently flying nine satellites - five for its own customers, and four for other service providers. Two new Telesat satellites are also under construction, with Anik F2 scheduled to launch in 2004, to be operational by August and used by Star Choice.
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