Orbital Media Takes Up Where CCSS Left Off
Reprinted with permission of Radio World on March 11, 2015
A new company has acquired the former Clear Channel Satellite Services and is continuing support of its clients.
Radio World reported in November that CCSS parent iHeartMedia planned to stop services to non-iHeartMedia users. Business observers speculated at the time that the big company preferred not to be in the business of providing backbone transport capacity to competitors of its own stations and other holdings. At the time a spokeswoman told RW only that its move to cease programming distribution to outside clients was a strategic business decision.
The move set off a scramble among some users to find alternate providers.
Now the CCSS satellite and distribution business (which, very briefly, bore the name iHeartMedia Satellite Services) has been acquired and its name changed to Orbital Media Networks. Its owner and president is Sam Dibrell Jr.
“Orbital Media Networks Inc. will continue to operate from the Englewood, Colo., facility previously occupied by CCSS with no interruption in satellite service or customer support,” Dibrell told clients in a letter.
“The previous notification made by CCSS regarding discontinuation of satellite services is officially rescinded, and we are honoring all existing customer contracts under their original terms.”
Read more: Orbital Media Takes Up Where CCSS Left Off
AMC1 to SES3 Transition
On Sunday, June 7, 2015 services on AMC1 switched to SES3 in the same orbital location.
Quick History of AMC1
When the AMC-1 satellite was launched back on Sept 6, 1996, engineers implemented 26° skew to the polarization in hopes that it would reduce the chance of rain fade. While this was a logical move at the time, the actual performance showed there wasn’t enough gain in performance to make much of a difference to the average user. Most satellites have a have a lifespan of 15 to 18 years, and now it’s time to replace AMC-1. SES-3 was successfully launched and placed into orbit alongside AMC-1 at 103°W. The new satellite has been designed to operate with the correct skew to the polarization, which means ground station antennas will need to be adjusted accordingly.
This correction will eventually effect all ground station antennas, however this document will address only the receive antennas for the network customers of Clear Channel Satellite, and their affiliate stations.
Benefits of SES-3
From a daily operational standpoint, you should expect a highly reliable and available signal from SES-3 at your downlink locations in North America. The satellite’s higher power levels will provide additional rain-fade margin, presuming the antenna is aligned correctly.
Additionally, since SES-3’s operational life is planned to exceed 15 years, you and your affiliates should expect a very stable, long-term delivery platform for your services. Due to the corrected skew angle, SES-3 is expected to have improved adjacent satellite performance, and it also has a larger footprint than its predecessor.