Eutelsat’s Double Losses From Discontinuing NTDTV’s Broadcast

July 27, 2008 Updated: August 8, 2008

According to a Reporters Without Borders[1] investigation, Eutelsat CEO Giuliano Berretta issued an order to break contract and suspend New Tang Dynasty Television's (NTDTV)[2] broadcast into China via its W5 satellite on June 16, 2008. The investigation revealed he did this to garner favor and business contacts from China’s communist regime.

A parallel investigation conducted by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong showed that China’s ambassador to Italy, Sun Yuxi, repeatedly pressured Eutelsat to discontinue NTDTV's broadcast signal.

Though Berretta has sacrificed business ethics and reputation to please the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), his obsequious wooing has gained him nothing. According to the Reporters Without Borders’ report, Eutelsat’s representative in Beijing said that after the disconnection of the signal, the Chinese regime has not even contacted Eutelsat, not to mention offered it business contracts.

If Berretta had read the “Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party,” he would have known better about the nature of the unscrupulous CCP. The CCP stops at nothing in pursuing its aims, but once getting what it wants, the CCP has never been one to show loyalty to abetting parties.

An example of this nature of the CCP was Mao Zedong’s treatment of Peng Dehuai, a renowned general of CCP’s Red Army. To encourage Peng to attack the Kuomintang army led by General Hu Zongnan, Mao flattered Peng at every chance, even writing poems to extol him. However, after his use for Peng was through, Mao showed no mercy when he labeled Peng as an enemy in 1959 and ordered his arrest. During coercion Peng was tortured so cruelly that his internal organs were crushed and his back splintered. Peng was not alone in his misery. As a matter of fact, few of the key figures who helped the CCP take power in its early days were able to escape subsequent purges. Their past contributions meant nothing to the CCP next to its own immediate interests.

If Eutelsat had not disconnected NTDTV’s signal, the Chinese regime could have done nothing but employ hard and soft tactics to pressure Eutelsat. That being the case, Eutelsat might have been offered quite a few contracts. However, once Eutelsat disconnected NTDTV’s signal, it should have had no reason to expect favors from the Communist regime.

Even worse for Eutelsat, breaking contract with NTDTV has jeopardized tremendously its reputation among customers who have other satellite providers to choose from. Eutelsat may lose a lot of business in the future.

Instead of making a gain, Eutelsat has suffered a double loss from the discontinuation of NTDTV’s broadcast. Not only have they received no business contract from the CCP, also they stand to lose existing and potential contracts. It is urgent for Eutelsat to resume NTDTV’s signal to restore its own reputation. If they do, the CCP may eagerly throw bait at them. Eutelsat could well swallow the bait while spitting out the hook. With profits gained from the CCP, Eutelsat can bring more uncensored broadcasts into China and thus really earn the loyalty and respect of the Chinese people—who are sure to outlast the faltering CCP.


[1] Reporters Without Borders: a Paris-based international non-governmental organization that advocate freedom of the press around the world.

[2] NTDTV: a nonprofit television based in New York City broadcasting uncensored Chinese language programs into mainland China through satellite.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Zhang Tianliang (Shujia Gong), Ph.D. former adjunct professor of George Manson University, is dean of the Department of Liberal Arts and Science at the New York Based Feitian Academy of writes on China's history and politics. He contributes to a variety of publications, including the Arts. He is a popular columnist at the Epoch Times and senior commentator at the New York-based New Tang Dynasty Television and a guest commentator at Voice of America’s Chinese service. He is the author of China's Path to Peaceful Transition.