In one of the more historic moments of the new year, pay TV was broadcast
to subscribers' loungerooms from 4 pm yesterday - and being Australia, it was
fitting that the first test broadcast was the launch of a sports channel.
he Ashes third Test? The finale of the stragglers in the Sydney-Hobart yacht
race? No. A good diet of United States NBA basketball between the Charlotte
Hornets and Orlando Magic, a soccer game from Germany, and a netball Test
between England and South Africa was in store for subscribers in Sydney and
Melbourne who have joined Galaxy TV over the past month.
Mr Rick Jemison, general manager of Galaxy's Premier Sports Network, said the
official launch of the 24-hour-a-day sports channel would be on January 26. It
was broadcasting from 4 pm to midnight until then to test the system and sort
out any difficulties.
"It is particularly exciting for sports lovers because PSN gives them access
to a tremendous range of local and international sports programs they would
otherwise never have seen," he said.
Mr Jemison said Australian sport during early January was dominated by
cricket and tennis, the rights to which were held by channels Nine and Seven.
From January 26, PSN would cover Australian sport, such as the Vines golf
classic from Perth, as well as international events with an Australian interest,
such as golfer Greg Norman competing in the Philippines.
After January 26, personalities such as cricketers Dean Jones and David
Hookes, footballer Ben Elias and golfer Ian Stanley will present some programs,
along with hosts Andy Paschalidis and John Casey.
Over the next six months, Galaxy - the marketing name for the Australis group
- will introduce channels including first release and classic movies, music,
and news and current affairs.
Mr Mark Collier, Galaxy's head of marketing, said technical staff would
install decoders in 300 homes a day from next week. He was unable to tell the
Herald how many people had subscribed.
He said that when Galaxy placed its first advertisement in a Melbourne
newspaper in early December, 280 of the 1,000 people who rang that day paid the
$299 installation fee on the spot.
Galaxy aims to have 200,000 subscribers by the end of the year.
PREMIER SPORTS NETWORK 4.00 This is PSN 4.30 NBA game of the week Charlotte
Homets v Orlando Magic 6.00 Inside Stuff Basketball 6.30 High Five
Skating,snowboarding, jetskiing 7.00 Soccer German Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund
v TSV 1860 Munchen 8.30 Soccer Highlights 9.00 Boxing Wayne McCullough v
Andreas Cazares, Las Vegas 10.00 Futball Mondial World soccer Highlights of 1994
10.30 Netball England v South Africa - 1st Test 11.30 High Five Paragliding