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Illawarra Mercury


Date: 17/03/2000
Words: 307
          Publication: Illawarra Mercury
Section: Applause
Page: 55
APRIL 1 is best known as April Fool's Day and AUSTAR is taking the title to heart by fooling around with its schedule.

From next month the service will introduce SKY News Australia and the Disney Channel to its line-up.

SKY News, produced by Australians, presents news on the hour, every hour as well as capturing breaking news items as they occur.

The news channel already has an established base in capital cities via FOXTEL and Optus but now will reach regional and rural areas.

As well as using its own resources to produce more than 80 hours of news and current affairs each week, it draws information from its shareholders the Nine Network, Seven Network and British Sky Broadcasting.

Fans of family entertainment will be happy to see the Disney Channel being added to the basic tier of programming on AUSTAR's digital satellite platform and Darwin cable system.

It features animated series and movies, live action series and preschool programming.

Both channels begin operation on April 1. Check guides for full programming details.

FOR those who believe sport is just a game...

Pay TV was dragged into the media spotlight this week when C7 Sport's coverage of a Melbourne AFL match sparked discussion about television rights.

Carlton considered taking legal action in the wake of the channel's decision to broadcast the Blues' match against Brisbane live on Sunday.

Blues' president John Elliott believed both the pay TV operator and the AFL acted unlawfully after the club refused to give its permission for the game to be beamed live into Melbourne from its home ground.

Officials believe the coverage impacted adversely on crowd numbers at the game which drew only 22,000, well down on Optus Oval's capacity of about 36,000.

Wasn't television coverage at the centre of the rugby league/superleague fiasco?

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