YES satellite TV now has 280,000 subscribers, Yedioth Ahronoth reports, having recruited 30,000 new subscribers since the end of November.

If this rate of subscription is maintained, YES will end Q1 2002 with more than 300,000 subscribers, fulfilling one requirement for approval of the cable companies merger.

Yedioth further reports that Bezeq requested Communication Ministry approval to increase its investment in YES by another $40 million beyond the $200 million investment already approved. Minister Reuven Rivlin will probably agree to the request.

Bezeq's holding in YES has recently reached 45% after the phone company infused $170 million. Bezeq has in the past declared it will not overshoot maximum 49.9% holding in YES, so as to keep the satellite TV company from becoming a government company.