Mediaweek Asia: Weekly roundup

Peter Olszewski round out the week’s media news in the Asian market

GroupM signs on for Thailand’s Got Talent

Thailands-got-talent

GroupM Thailand has signed exclusive rights to produce and broadcast Thailand’s Got Talent Season 6, and will also providing the shows online through the Thailand’s largest web portal, Sanook.com. Kevin Clarke, chief executive officer of GroupM Thailand and Myanmar, told The Nation newspaper that the company had joined forces with Sanook.com to open a new channel for the show and related activities including online registration, online video clips and behind-the-scenes footage. Sresuda Winitsuwan, head of content business at Sanook Online, added that her website would provide a second-screen platform for audiences, with high-quality pictures and exclusive content.

South Korea and Thai media co’s form JV

CJ E&M, the entertainment and media arm of South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, has signed an MOU with TrueVisions, the media affiliate of the Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group. The new partnership venture will be launched by the end of this year, with a plan to create three TV shows together by next year, and 10 shows by 2021. Ultimately the partnership will expand to OTT platforms, and jointly organise festivals and manage entertainers.

Malaysia’s Astro launching eSports channel

Malaysia’s Astro claims it will be the first in Southeast Asia to launch eGG or Every Good Game, a dedicated 24/7 eSports channel. Astro’s eGG channel 808 will be available free to all its Malaysian customers in June. Astro’s vice president of sports Lee Choong Khaysaid, “From trendy to mainstream, eSports is a growing global phenomenon among the millennials and is expected to reach over 218 million audience worldwide by year end 2016. Enjoying booming popularity among a growing community of eSports fans, we believe that a dedicated 24/7 eSports channel, eGG will play a pivotal role in bringing together a connected ASEAN community of eSports fans.”

Globaltronics invests in digital newsstand Freyo

Manila-based digital signage advertising firm Globaltronics has invested US$213,000 (A$284,000) in Filipino digital newsstand company Freyo.

Globaltronics chairman William Guido told DealStreetAsia that the funding is just the start and the company might invest more if other business partners come in.

Freyo is a mobile app that lets users have free access via PCs or mobile devices to more than 800 magazines on topics ranging from fashion, travel, celebrities, food, weddings, sports, and cars.

Indonesian investor seeks to expand Indovision

Indonesia’s media conglomerate MNC Group is still in talks with several foreign investors who want to invest in its PT Sky Vision Network, a new holding company for the group’s pay-TV, IPTV, OTT and broadband business. Indonesian tycoon and politician Hary Tanoesoedibjo, who controls the group, told DealStreetAsia,It is still too early to say when we are going to close the deal. But let me tell you that there are a lot of strategic investors who have approached us.”

The main focus of the group this year will be to develop Sky Vision, the operator of pay-TV Indovision. Play Media, a fibre-based network service provider which also falls under Sky Vision’s banner, provides a fibre-based network service that has 600,000 homepass subscribers and targets 1.5 million in three to five years.

Jakarta journalists paid below minimum wage

Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists stated that the minimum monthly salary for journalists in Jakarta should not be less than Rp 7.5 million (A$755). At present the average salary of journalists in Jakarta is only around Rp 3-4 million, slightly above the 2016 Jakarta minimum wage of Rp 3.1 million. The Newspaper Publishers Union reported in 2015 that 20% of its 500 members, as well as a large number of non-member media companies, still paid their journalists below the minimum wage.

Thai broadcasters seek Olympic rights

Thailand’s broadcasting regulator is seeking 150 million baht (A$5.65 million) from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s research and development fund to support TV Pool’s effort to acquire the local broadcasting rights to the Summer Olympics.

TV Pool consists of Bangkok Entertainment Company’s Channel 3, the Army’s TV5, Bangkok Broadcasting and Television’s Channel 7, MCOT’s Modernine TV and the Public Relations Department’s NBT.

iFlix partners with telco, names new Asia chief

iFlix has partnered with Indonesia’s third-largest mobile phone operator, Kuala Lumpur-headquartered company Indosat Ooredoo, to deliver thousands of TV shows, movies and other programming from its library to select Indosat customers.

iFlix also recently announced telco and media expert and iFlix advisor David Goldstein would be its new Asia chief. Goldstein has held senior executive positions with Indonesian companies the Emtek Group, SCTV and Nexmedia. In Malaysia he has worked with DiGi, Khazanah Nasional, and served as special advisor to the chief executive of Malaysia-based telecommunications group Axiata. He has also worked in Australia with Telstra and with Swisscom in Switzerland.

ATV Hong Kong could become TV and shopping platform

Hong Kong listed tech company China Trends said it would lend recently shut broadcaster ATV a startup fund of HK$500 million (A$83.6 million) to turn it into an online TV and shopping platform with at least 16 channels covering 240 million viewers in the mainland.

ATV would also have the right to use all programs of Wealth Storm Interactive TV, an e-commerce media platform under China Trends.

The tech company offered an additional HK$50 million in cash to pay all outstanding wages to ATV staff, and also pledged to pay the charges of Deloitte as of 1 April, the day ATV went off air.

But this all hinges on whether an ATV debt-restructuring proposal is approved by Hong Kong’s High Court, and whether ATV’s largest creditor Wang Zheng approves of the deal.

China Trends chief executive Xiang Xin told the Hong Kong Standard the company is willing to invest in ATV before it goes bankrupt.

In Brief

• Moonshot Digital is a new public relations and content agency set up in Bangkok last week as a 50:50 joint venture between Thai digital media agency Rabbit’s Tale and Jakrapong Kongmalai, a former vice president of Sanook Online, the operator of Sanook.com, and head of its content business.

• In an attempt to increase its Southeast Asian numbers, Netflix has suggested it might produce programs in Singapore, or by Singaporeans. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told the Straits Times, “If we’re making a show only for Singapore, then it might be considered small. But if we’re making something in Singapore for the world, it can be quite big.”

• Cignal pay-TV in the Philippines and Indovision pay-TV in Indonesia will adopt the Dolby Atmos sound technology in their set-top boxes. Cignal president Jane J. Basas said, “The introduction of Dolby Atmos in the home is another first in Philippine pay TV, an affirmation of the fact that Cignal is committed to providing our customers with the best products available in the market to satisfy their increasingly sophisticated tastes.”

• Major Filipino commercial TV network TV5 has partnered with local tech leader Starmobile to deliver extensive in-depth coverage of this month’s Philippines national elections. TV5 will use Starmobile’s digital TV-enabled smartphones Knight Vision, UP Vision, and UP Max to ramp up its news coverage in broadcast, digital, mobile, and social platforms.

• China’s tech group Kuang-Chi is considering investing US$20 million in Israeli company EyeSight Technologies, whose software lets a fingertip point control a TV set. EyeSight’s software is already used by Toshiba, Royal Philip and Lenovo according to the company.

• Vietnam’s Steering Committee for Digitising Television Plans will stop analogue transmitting to its major cities of Hanoi, Hai Phong, Can Tho, and Ho Chi Minh City on 15 August.

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