Monday, August 14, 2006

Digital Broadcasters|ASTRO Adds 7 Channels

Digital broadcaster, Astro - All Asia Networks plc in Kuala Lumpur is allocating 600 million Rinngit (US$150 million) for local and international program content in the current fiscal year, said ASTRO TV CEO, Rohana Rozhan.

A report in the Star Newspaper quoted Ms Rozhan as saying the amount, represented about 30 per cent of expected revenue to ensure program TV content remained fresh and compelling.

Ms Rozhan headed a press conference to announce 7 channels were being added to pay-TV operator, ASTRO's line up from August 31.

The reason for the increased digital broadcaster's investment was to attract an additional 250,000 to 300,000 subscribers, which would mainly come from the Malay segment of the market. Currently, it has about 1.9 million subscribers nationwide.

The new TV channels comprise three Astro branded and packaged channels – Astro Ceria, Astro Aruna and Astro Kirana, two Chinese- language channels – local WaTV and from China CCTV4, the Hindi variety entertainment channel ZEE from India, and Japanese anime channel, Animax.

The TV channels will be available at no additional cost until Feb 28 for existing subscribers or new customers who sign up before Sept 30.

Repeating earlier comments regarding expansion in digital TV channels. Ms Rozhan said that when the MEASAT-3 (M3) satellite was in operation it would enable ASTRO an 50 TV channel capacity.

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