Princeton, N.J. -- GE American Communications Inc. is
expected to detail this week an aggressive program to garner cable interest in its
satellite slots: free 3.8 dishes for cable operators with 11,000 or more subscribers.
GE Americom operates one satellite, GE 1, with a payload of
24 36 megahertz, 20-watt C-band transponders. A second, GE 4, will carry 24 46 MHz,
110-watt Ku-band transponders with a nationwide footprint, starting in the second quarter
of next year. That bird will replace Spacenet 4.
In the new antenna program, GE will distribute up to 2,500
antennas, in an effort to reach up to 90 percent of cable subscribers in the U.S.
GE currently carries some Rainbow Sports services, and
plans to be a satellite distributor for other new cable programmers and services migrating
from Spacenet 4, executives said.
"This is one more step toward establishing GE 1 and GE
4 within the select group of premier cable satellites serving U.S. programmers, cable
headends and cable subscribers," said Carl Capista, vice president of satellite
services for GE Americom, who described the new antenna program as a "significant
investment" for the company.