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New contender emerges to reshape Malaysia’s satellite TV landscape

By Joe Tan

The Malaysian satellite TV market has welcomed a new contender with the debut of OK Vision, a collaborative effort between Ansat Broadcast and Indonesia media powerhouse MNC Group. OK Vision is poised to revolutionise the viewing experience with its diverse array of premium content, boasting a lineup of 35 channels delivered directly to homes through cutting-edge direct-to-home (DTH) technology. 

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Vincent Tan, a major shareholder of U Telemedia, the co-owner of Ansat Broadcast, expressed confidence in OK Vision’s potential, stating, “By delivering a rich array of diverse and superior content choices, OK Vision is well positioned to capture a share in the local digital media and entertainment market.” 

Echoing this sentiment, Hary Tanoesoedibjo, Chairman of MNC Group, underscored their commitment to “reshape the entertainment landscape” and cater to the diverse tastes of audiences in Malaysia and Indonesia. 

The launch of OK Vision has garnered praise from Malaysia’s Communications & Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil, who recognised the pivotal role digital media platforms play in Malaysia’s economy. Highlighting the potential for increased investments and economic growth driven by the industry’s expansion, he said, “For Malaysia, digital media platforms are integral to our economy, contributing to revenue generation, employment, innovation, and global competitiveness.

“As the digital ecosystem continues to evolve, the economic impact of digital media is likely to grow, further shaping Malaysia’s position in the global digital economy.”

Fahmi also noted the rising popularity of digital streaming services and anticipated a significant presence of both local and international platforms in the Malaysian market. He emphasised that the growth of the digital media industry could spur investments in technology and infrastructure, benefitting both local and international stakeholders. 

OK Vision’s entry into the Malaysian market, which is currently dominated by Astro’s NJOI service, marks a bold strategic move. Unlike its competitors, OK Vision aims to appeal to value-conscious viewers with a prepaid model. This strategic positioning aligns with broader industry trends outlined in Media Partners Asia’s report “Asia-Pacific Video & Broadband Industry 2024”

According to the report, the region is witnessing a notable shift from traditional TV to online video consumption, driven by factors such as increased Internet connectivity, widespread adoption of connected TV (CTV), and the flourishing local creator economy. This transition has led to a decline in TV ad revenue and stagnant subscription revenue for pay-TV players across markets like India and South Korea.

Despite being the leading pay-TV market in South-east Asia, Malaysia, where OK Vision is launched, is experiencing a similar contraction in its traditional pay-TV segment, offset by the growth of bundled broadband and IPTV services. 

In light of these industry dynamics, OK Vision faces several key challenges on its path to success. Firstly, it must offer competitive pricing compared to both Astro’s NJOI and the increasingly affordable subscription packages offered by streaming services. Secondly, content will be paramount. And finally, the service must deliver a seamless user experience, potentially through partnerships with telco providers to enhance reach and bundling opportunities. 

The Media Partners Asia report underscored the importance of adaptation and innovation for traditional pay-TV models. While acknowledging slower growth for traditional TV, the report highlighted the enduring relevance of local content and the potential for premium advertising-based video-on-demand (AVoD) offerings. 

Tony Gunnarsson, analyst at Omdia, speaking at last December’s Asia TV Forum, emphasised the challenges facing the future of the direct-to-consumer subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) model. Despite high subscriber numbers, concerns about low average revenue per user (ARPU) raise questions about its long-term sustainability. Gunnarsson suggested that SVoD might function best as a complement to linear TV rather than a complete replacement. 

Furthermore, he stressed the potential of advertising in the direct-to-consumer sector. While intrusive ads may deter viewers, targeted and creative approaches could provide a sustainable revenue stream for services like OK Vision. 

In conclusion, OK Vision’s entry into the Malaysian satellite TV market signifies a development in the evolving landscape of digital media and entertainment. With its innovative approach and strategic positioning, OK Vision is poised to capture the attention of viewers and reshape the industry in Malaysia and beyond.

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