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In this paper, we propose a channel-aware scheduling algorithm that exploits the reported channel state information (CSI) from all users in the multicast group for reliable transmission of multicast information over a geostationary satellite network. Reliability is guaranteed via a multicast transport protocol that retransmits lost segments to the multicast group. The proposed scheduling mechanism uses cross-layer CSI before making a decision whether or not a data segment is to be transmitted. As such, the algorithm avoids unfavourable channel conditions to reduce the forward link resources that would be wasted to retransmit lost segments. Scheduling delay and retransmission delay are found to be the elements of a trade-off, and simulations are conducted to attain optimal algorithm parameters to minimize session transfer delay in the face of L-band mobile channel conditions.