What's the difference between the Marie Celeste and Star TV's senior ranks? The answer is, after a spate of resignations, not a lot. The upper levels of the News Corp-owned satellite and cable TV channel are undergoing an exodus at the moment as several well-known figures depart. Music service Channel V is losing its chief Don Ateyo, who may well be the longest-serving member of staff, after his decision to step down in August to tend the garden of his home in France. At the same time, Darren Childs and Ed Sharples have also decided to move on from the Hunghom-based operation or its regional bases. Joining them on the transfer list is corporate communications manager Susan Williams, who is leaving the network at the end of this month to return to the United States. A notice issued by Star TV yesterday confirming Ms Williams' departure suggested that future media inquiries should be addressed firstly to Lily Chan, director of corporate affairs and publicity. Ms Chan is a former TVB spokesman who moved across to Star TV and effectively disappeared from view. Media covering the cable and satellite TV industry will be looking forward to encountering Ms Chan once more after a period in which she was scarcer than hen's teeth. The Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa) is pushing the boat out this week with its first cocktail reception for members and their guests. Spurning the safe option of a function room at a five-star hotel, president S.K. Fung and executive director Christina Rose have opted for the upstairs area of BBs bar in the wilds of Wan Chai this Friday evening from 6.30 pm. Casbaa, an association of cable and satellite TV programmers, equipment suppliers, and advertising and research agency executives, promises an evening of meeting fellow industry professionals, complimentary cocktail snacks and happy-hour-price drinks. After six months marked by the departure or disappearance of CNBC, NBC Asia and MGM Gold and the dampening effects of the regional recession, a few Friday-night tinctures sounds like just what the industry needs to cheer itself up. Interesting news from ESPN Star Sports, which has been polling viewers in five markets about what makes them subscribe to cable and satellite TV. Respondents in five countries and markets - India, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong - told researchers that it was live sports that made them pay extra to watch TV channels not available on their terrestrial selection. About 15 per cent of Asian homes take cable or satellite TV, compared with 75 per cent in the United States, and it seems that two out of five of these regional households, or 38 per cent of respondents, said live coverage of important events was what made them subscribe. This information did not impress Soundbites' life partner, who has become used to her other half getting up in the middle of the night to watch obscure football matches live from Europe. 'Nearly 40 per cent of people say sport is the reason they watch pay TV, you say,' she said tersely, before adding with uncharacteristic venom in her voice: 'Tell me something I didn't know.'