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Malaysia to get new digital cable TV network next year

Wednesday 16 Nov 2011
A new digital cable TV network, known as the Asian Broadcasting Network (ABN), is set to launch in Malaysia by the second quarter of 2012, The Star reports.

Sreedhar Subramaniam

It promises to offer over 500 channels. At the point of launch, ABN expects to offer over 100 channels comprising a variety of content including free-to-air channels and video-on-demand.

“We are targeting 500,000 users in the first year of operations and three million in five years’ time,” said Asian Broadcasting Network Chairman Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor.

Its Chief Executive Officer/Director Sreedhar Subramaniam added that ABN was eyeing the huge underserved market. There are over 6.6 million TV households in the country and about three million are currently served by Astro.

The ABN promoters will invest more than RM2 billion ($633 millon) to bring the change. Along with programming, they will also partner internationally renowned film, TV production and digital content creation educational institutions to set up the ABN Academy to create an adequate pool of local talents.

At an event yesterday, numerous content providers were present and the newcomer is in talks with several content providers including Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia for content since its technology can cater to up to 1,000 channels.

Mr Sreedhar said ABN aims to become Asean’s most advanced digital cable TV provider and offer prices that are lower than the competitors’.

The services would be rolled out from its initial broadcast centre at Puchong Gateway and the planned digital broadcast facility, to be called The ABN Mediapolis.