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Turner eyes slice of Thai broadcast market
Publication Date : 01-08-2013
US-based Turner Asia Pacific Ventures says it is seeking possible business opportunity in Thailand's over 70-billion-baht (US$2.23 billion) TV broadcasting industry after the digital terrestrial TV is put in place, either through a partnership or joint venture.
Yesterday, it announced that it has formed "M Turner", a new 51: 49 joint venture with Major Kantana Broadcasting (MKB), which is a joint venture between filmmaker M Picture and Kantana Group. The new company will operate "Boomerang" channel. This free-to-air TV channel for children will be available both via cable and satellite TV network, and will go on the air from August 14.
"Boomerang channel is the first step by the company for deeper penetration and collaboration in Thailand and the Southeast Asian region. Importantly, Thailand is the first country where the company is embarking with the Turner 3.0 strategy for this region, followed by Indonesia and the Philippines," Stephen Marcopoto, president of Turner International Asia Pacific, said yesterday.
The Southeast Asian region has a large population base with high media consumption.
Marcopoto added that media business in Thailand was dynamic while the change in pay-TV and the upcoming digital terrestrial TV broadcast presented a huge opportunity for both global production houses/distributors and local content producers.
"It is undeniable that we are facing fierce competition among international and local players in the market as a result of the change in broadcasting regulations and the number of newcomers," the president explained.
M Turner and its Boomerang channel is considered Turner's first deep collaboration with a local partner after the company entered the Kingdom in the 1990s. Turner Asia Pacific Venture is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific Inc. The company offers 36 branded channels, including CNN International, Cartoon Network, Cartoonito, Boomerang, HBO and HBO Hits HD.
Sunny Saha, senior vice president and managing director for Southeast Asia and Pacific, said that apart from providing those channels to pay-TV operators and TV broadcasters across the globe, Turner's subsidiaries also operate digital terrestrial TV channels in many countries like Chile and Spain.
Underlining the point, Turner's top executives said their company was also seeking a possible way to cash in on the large opportunity presented by Thailand's move to the digital terrestrial TV era.
CIMB Securities has predicted that in the next three years, the TV broadcasting industry will reach more than 100 billion baht ($3.19 billion) revenue, driven by the digital terrestrial TV business.
Siamrus Lauhasukkasame, managing director of MKB, said that his company was interested in joining the spectrum auction for a commercial digital terrestrial TV channel licence for variety programmes.
Local partnership remains a key for Turner. Apart from MKB and Kantana Group, the company has True Visions, the country's leading pay-TV operator, as a cornerstone partner. Meanwhile, the company recently launched Cartoonito on TOT's MeTV and Toonami channel on CTH, another leading pay-TV operator.
Marcopoto said his company targeted to achieve double-digit year-on-year growth in revenue from Thailand and in the region. Currently, revenue from the Asia-Pacific region accounts for 20 per cent of total income.