Astro Malaysia plans to launch 50 channels via Measat 3

MUMBAI: Malaysia's Direct-To-Home (DTH) and pay TV operator Astro All Asia Networks plc is planning to introduce 50 new channels in the next 12-month period with the launch of Malaysia's new satellite MEASAT 3. The satellite is expected to be launched by end of this year.

Addressing the media in Kuala Limpur, Astro chief operating officer David Butorac said that Astro would invest about RM300 million to expand its services, in the next five years. The funds will be used to produce more new local programmes and channels. According to Butorac, these channels will comprise a mixture of entertainment channels and other niche channels.

"We are waiting for the launching of MEASAT 3. As soon as the new satellite is launched, we will be in a position to launch the additional services. We're still seeing strong growth in both our subscriber numbers and revenue and we expect that to continue," media reports have quoted Butorac as saying.

Presently, Astro services comprises 50 television channels and 16 radio channels. This year, Astro signed joint venture (JV) deals Indian news network NDTV and production house UTV to launch channels in the South East Asia region.

Last year, the company had formed a $ 25 million JV with Chennai-based Sun Network to originate, aggregate and distribute television programming and channels for a global audience.

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