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Myanmar free-to-air TV market set for shakeup

Sunday 04 Sep 2011
The free-to-air television market in Myanmar is set for a shakeup, with Shwe Than Lwin Media planning to launch Myanmar National TV, or mn tv, before the end of the year, The Myanmar Times reports.

U Zaw Thet Maung, General Manager of the company’s free-to-air department, said the new channel would be available nationally.

“I’m not sure whether we can broadcast the whole country initially, though. Even if we can’t, we will broadcast in the major cities first and gradually expand the coverage area until it is national,” he said.

mn tv will compete with state-run MRTV, army-run Myawady, and MRTV-4, a joint venture between the Ministry of Information and Forever Group.

Shwe Than Lwin is also a partner in English-language Myanmar International with the Ministry of Information. Of the existing networks, only MRTV is available in all parts of the country.

mn tv’s strongest competition is likely to be MRTV-4, which recently celebrated its seventh anniversary. But U Zaw Thet Maung said Shwe Than Lwin was not focusing on the competition.

“We just focus on our own channel to ensure we are giving viewers interesting programmes. We will do our best and the audience will show their appreciation depending on how successful we are,” he said.

Shwe Than Lwin Media also runs Shwe FM and Skynet, a subscriber-based satellite television service.