Indonesia sees Celestial expansion

Booming market eager for Chinese movie channel

Beijing — Chinese shingle Celestial Pictures is upping its presence in the Indonesian market with the launch of two tie-ups with AORA, a newly launched national satellite television provider, and satellite pay-TV operator Skynindo.

The expansion brings to four the number of platforms carrying Celestial Movies in Indonesia, alongside Indovision and Telkomvision.

CM will offer Indonesian TV viewers the premieres of event films such as “Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen” and “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame,” as well as the second and third highest-grossing movies in China of all time, “Aftershock” and “Let the Bullets Fly.” In addition to the latest hit movies, CM also plays recent pics as well as behind-the-scenes programming, interviews with movie stars and helmers, and entertainment news shows.

“The Indonesian market is extremely important to Celestial as well as other pay-TV channel operators because of the potential size of the market and the projected growth rates,” said Ross Pollack, Celestial Pictures’ chief exec.

There are approximately 49 million TV households in Indonesia and to date, significant upside for pay TV since the current penetration level is only around 3.5%, or approximately 1.3 million. Media Partners Asia estimates that the compounded growth rate in pay-TV subscribers over the next five years will be between 3 and 8%.

Even if you reduce the TV households to potential subscribers based on income, you still have over 16 million potential pay-TV households, said Pollak.

Celestial owns the Shaw Brothers Film Library, the world’s largest Chinese film collection, which consists of 760 films that have been remastered and preserved in digital format, and covers classic movies from the 1950s to the late 1990s.

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