Satellite Drifts, but Officials Call TV Disruption Unlikely

An out-of-control television-communications satellite is drifting dangerously close to another satellite, but officials played down the risk of a collision or potential disruption to U.S. programming.

Intelsat Ltd. said last month that it had lost control of one of its satellites, Galaxy 15, resulting in an eastward drift that threatened to interfere with other satellites along its path. One such satellite is AMC 11, run by rival SES World Skies, which operates a satellite that serves a number of U.S. cable providers.

Because Intelsat’s Galaxy 15 is still broadcasting its signal, there is the potential for a conflict when it gets close to AMC 11 on May 23; however, officials at Intelsat and SES World Skies, which is owned by Luxembourg-based SES SA, say they are taking steps to avoid any interference.

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