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PNG flagship broadcaster now nationally owned

Papua New Guinea’s longest running free-to-air television company has become 100 per cent PNG-owned.

ABU member Media Niugini Limited, the parent company of National EM TV News and local infotainment, was officially signed over in Suva by Fiji Television Limited to Telikom PNG, a subsidiary of the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC), meaning Telikom PNG, through IPBC, now owns 100 per cent of shares in MNL.

While the deal is still subject to regulatory approval in Fiji and PNG and subject to an Extraordinary General Meeting of Fiji Television Limited, to be held in March, Fijian Holdings Limited Group CEO Nouzab Fareed said Telikom PNG and Fiji Television, had agreed on the sale.

He said that after being owned by Fiji TV for eight years, the people of PNG could be really proud they now owned as a flagship a great company.

EM TV, under MNL, is Papua New Guinea’s first and longest-running television network and had been a profitable subsidiary of Fiji TV, eaerning an annual K25 million revenue for the first time. 

Telikom PNG CEO Michael Donnelly said the acquisition was good news for Papua New Guinea, as EM TV continued to set a standard in locally-produced programs.

“We are a PNG-owned company, so building capability within these companies is very much part of our vision and mission as opposed to just running commercial businesses,” he said.

“There is a convergence in the marketplace, not just between fixed line, business and mobile, but what consumers want to do on those devices. 

“Clearly, Media Niugini Limited, being a strong content owner and builder, is very attractive to our telephony customers,” Mr Donnelly said. 

Despite competition in the provision of digital television signals, Telikom PNG plans to implement digital services through EM TV within the next 12 months, making it the sole free-to-air broadcaster using both digital and analogue services.

In Port Moresby, the PNG Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments, Ben Micah, said MNL’s acquisition was in line with the government’s plans to provide a bigger, more cohesive and converged output of information, covering all forms of media.

“Telikom, as a provider of network services, is going into content by acquiring Datec as the ISP provider and acquiring EM TV as a media company, and through its existing ownership of FM100, it is now fully integrated in the telecommunication industry,” Mr Micah said.