NDS/DISH Piracy Case, SES in Europe

According to press reports, the federal judge overseeing the ongoing court case involving EchoStar and NDS Group was irked after NDS CEO Abe Peled traveled to California for the trial last week but departed after giving only a deposition. Apparently, the judge wanted Peled to testify. The judge noted, however, it was up to NDS to place the CEO on the stand. Press reports stated that the judge has asked both sides to present as many witnesses as possible for the case, which involves claims that NDS allegedly hacked EchoStar's conditional access technology and reportedly shared the information with pirates.

INTERNATIONAL - SES Astra launched a high-def bouquet targeting the Dutch and Belgian markets. Dutch satellite TV provider CanalDigitaal and Belgian sister company TV Vlaanderen broadcast HDTV packages via Astra satellites at the 23.5 degrees East orbital position.