Midnight Mass, and Blessing "Urbi et Orbi" to Be Broadcast Worldwide

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WASHINGTON, D.C., DEC. 16, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Television coverage of Midnight Mass from St. Peter´s Basilica and the Christmas Day blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) of John Paul II will be provided for worldwide distribution by RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana), in cooperation with the Vatican Television Center.



Coverage will be coordinated by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, apostolic nuncio to the United States, released information about the broadcasts. Scheduling and related information follows.

Monday, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, 22.55 - 00.45 hours UTC (GMT), Midnight Mass celebrated by John Paul II in St. Peter´s Basilica.

Tuesday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day, 10.55 - 11.40 hours UTC (GMT), Christmas greetings and blessing "urbi et orbi" of the Holy Father, from St. Peter´s Square.

Satellite uplink of the broadcasts via Intelsat is offered free to all countries outside the European area.

Commentary positions for interested broadcasters will also be available at the Braccio di Carlo Magno, Vatican City, upon request to Laura Maggiore (RAI Eurovision Office, Rome; telephone 39.06.3317.2814; fax 39.06.3317.1151; e-mail: l.maggiore@rai.it).

Otherwise, broadcasters may avail themselves of the Vatican-provided commentaries in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Ukrainian. A commentary in Italian, provided by RAI, will also be available.

To receive the video feed and international sound, in the case of countries outside Europe, television broadcasters should ask their telecommunications provider to contact Telespazio (Sergio Bernardi, telex 620424 TSPZRO I; fax 39-06-407-1790; telephone 39-06-4079-3487).

For the Americas, a video feed complete with the Vatican commentary in Spanish will be available through Telespazio.

Important new information regarding audio:

The recent digitalization of the Intelsat network permits the use of additional audio channels. Therefore, along with the feed of video and international sound, the satellite transmissions in all regions will carry clean feeds on separate channels of the Vatican commentaries in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. These services may be ordered through Telespazio.

Broadcasters are urged to make their requirements known without delay to the respective provider or providers.

Here is part of a message released by Telespazio:

To: ALL ENTITIES INVOLVED

From: Sergio Bernardi TELESPAZIO Customer Support

Subject: SCHEDULE OF TV SERVICES FOR CHRISTMAS 2001

Ouref. TV/OCT-2001/ALL/SB

PLEASE BE INFORMED THAT, CONCERNING EVENT IN SUBJECT, TELESPAZIO HAS RESERVED THE FOLLOWING DIGITAL (9 MHz) FEED INTELSAT SATELLITES (ALL CONFIRMED).

DIGITAL DETAILS FOR ALL TRANSMISSIONS: MPEG2 DVB NDS 4.2.0. -- SYMBOLRATE 5.632 MS/S -FEC 3/4

24 DEC. 2001 (2255 - 0045 GMT) CHRISTMAS MIDNIGHT MASS

SAT-335.5 CH 1-A (9Mhz) 525/NTSC (INTL.MIXED SPANISH) ID 1000481928

SAT-335.5 CH 1-B (9Mhz) 625/PAL (INTERN. SOUND) ID 1000482109

SAT-325.5 CH 1-A (9Mhz) 525/NTSC (INTERN. SOUND) ID 1000481933

SAT-60 CH 1-A (9Mhz) 625/PAL (INTERN. SOUND) ID 1000481937

25 DEC 2001 (1055-1140 GMT) CHRISTMAS MASS + BLESSING "URBI ET ORBI"

SAT-335.5 CH 1-A (9Mhz) 525NTSC (INTL.MIXED SPANISH) ID 1000481929

SAT-335.5 CH 1-B (9Mhz) 625/PAL (INTERN. SOUND) ID 1000482110

SAT-325.5 CH 1-A (9Mhz) 525NTSC (INTERN. SOUND) ID 1000481935

SAT-60 CH 1-A (9Mhz) 625/PAL (INTERN. SOUND) ID 1000481938

* * *

Other audio requests should be sent to Telecom Italia:

Fax 39.06.3689.4413 or 3689.4506;

Phone 39.06.3689,4067 or 3689.4432.

Requests should include exact satellite path and channel, standard line, audio commentary and Intelsat ID number.