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HONG KONG-In what has been described as a cheeky move, News Corp.'s Star TV will use a rival satellite operator to persuade Indonesian viewers to switch to its service.

On March 4, Star TV started using Indonesia's Palapa B2P satellite to beam a promotional channel into homes that don't fall within the broadcast reach of Star's current satellite Asiasat-1.

Homes with satellite dishes pointed at Palapa can receive ESPN Asia, CNN International, MTV Asia and several other regional channels in Asia.

Indonesia is the biggest Asian user of satellite-delivered TV signals due to its geographic make-up of more than 13,000 islands.

Star TV has exclusive regional broadcast rights to the Asiasat-1 satellite, whose broadcast reach stretches from Asia to the Middle East. It has harnessed those rights to great effect, reaching an estimated 220 million homes across the region.

Asiasat-1's only limitation is that it does not reach much of Indonesia, Asia's third most populous country and No. 5 in the world.

Although a second generation Asiasat-2 is due to launch later this year and will cover an area from Australia to the Middle East, Star TV wants to whet appetites in Indonesia for the 15-channel pay TV service it will carry.

The Star TV channel on Palapa carries a combination of Star's Movie, Music and Sports channels.

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