Star, MGM put faith in Indonesia

Rose Major

Two global broadcasters have signed deals with Indonesia’s leading pay-TV platform, Indovision, which sees them ramp up their offerings in the country.

News Corp’s Asian broadcaster, Star TV, is expanding its Indonesian offering, adding nine channels to the three already carried by Indovision. Among these are the US’s Fox News and the UK’s Sky News.

Indovision already offers Star World, Star Movies and Channel [V] International. To these will be added Hindi-language Star Plus, Star One, Star Gold, Star News and Channel [V] India. The platform will also add Mandarin-language channels Star Chinese Movies 2 and Channel [V] Taiwan.

MGM is also expanding its presence in Indonesia. A local-language channel will be added to Indovision’s platform, as well as that of sister platforms Okevision and Top TV. MGM already has a channel on the networks of First Media and Telekom Indonesia, but the new channel will be subtitled into the local language.

Bruce Tuchman, president of MGM Networks, said that the market “continues to impress us with its dynamism and enormous potential.”

In truth, there is much potential as no pay-TV company has yet made much headway in the country. With an estimated 1.1 million multichannel homes, penetration stands at just 3% of the massive market. Indovision accounts for some 60%.

But some 34% of the top tier of society have access to subscription TV, according to Synovate’s PAX survey. And growth has also been brisk over the last two years, up from 500,000 in 2007 to 750,000 in 2008 to 1.1 million by mid-2009.