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Astro blasts off into Indonesia

World Brief

JAKARTA — Malaysia’s first pay TV operator Astro All Asia Networks and Indonesia’s Lippo Group have signed a $200 million deal to bow pay TV platform Astro Nusantra in Indonesia.

The joint venture will have an initial fund of $65 million that is expected to reach $1 billion over five years, with Astro holding 51%, and 49% going to PT Broadband Multimedia, a unit of the Lippo Group. PT Broadband offers pay TV under the Kabelvision brand.

Astro group CEO Ralph Marshall says: “We have been focused on expanding in Indonesia, as it is a natural market extension for us.”

Pay TV reaches less than 1% of the 30 million TV households in Indonesia.

“The cable network is expected to reach some 10 million homes, about 25% of the total market, in the next five years,” says Astro’s business development director Azran Osman-Rani. “We expect to achieve a 30% to 40% share of this target, or some 3.5 million homes.”

The Indonesian venture will begin operations in the next four months, initially offering 48 channels.

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