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In October 1990, MTV announced that it had signed an agreement with the Soviet television company Gostelradio to provide the main Soviet television channel with a weekly hour of MTV programming. At that time, the hour-long MTV show was the first program on Soviet television that was commercially sponsored. As of 1994, over 88 million households in the former Soviet Tag Heuer Replica Union received the program. Today, MTV is available twenty-four hours per day in over 10 million homes in Russia.
As we will note later in this chapter, the Internet has accelerated the collapse of our sense that we are divided by national boundaries. When we search the Internet for news about a national event, for example, we now routinely retrieve any coverage of it from places as far away as Sydney, Australia.
The ability of mediated messages to cross national boundaries changed the face of politics in the 1970s and 1980s. In the late 1970s, underground radio stations originating in a suburb of Paris carried a message that was dubbed to tape recorders. These dubbed cassettes passed through the underground to Iran, where the transmitted words of the Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini helped inflame a revolution against the Shah of Iran.
In summer 1989, satellite transmission carried pictures of demonstrating students building a Goddess of Democracy in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Countries around the world beamed back evidence of international support for the student movement. Ironically, days later the same satellite feeds were used by Beijing police to identify and capture dissidents. Had it not been for television, the students might, in the words of columnist David Broder, "have escaped into anonymity."
The emergence of global media in global markets is comparatively recent. In the early 1970s, only 24 nations had earth-based broadcasting facilities. By that decade's end, more than 135 nations were using the Intelsat global satellite system full time.
As the 1980s drew to a close, satellite transmission was changing our conception of the world and of international affairs. The Soviet protest over the U.S. invasion of Panama was not delivered first to a U.S. embassy or to the White House. Instead, a Soviet leader called the Moscow bureau of CNN.
Breaking Informational Barriers More efficient forms of protest are not the only byproduct of the new informational age. To deliver satellites into space, previously inconceivable forms of technical and economic cooperation are emerging. In 1989, the White House agreed to allow China to use its Long March rocket booster to launch U.S.-made satellites; China has had a series of failed launches Replica Breitling Watches with its Long March-1 and Long March-2 rockets.16 Arianespace, a French-based organization owned jointly by Western European governments and companies, has secured 53.5 percent of the commercial launch market over the past decade. Because of the great demand for satellites in a number of communications areas -- television, telephone, and other information transmitting systems--several new companies around the world are also looking into providing commercial launch services.
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