KUALA LUMPUR — Former BSkyB exec Robert Odendal will pilot Astro All Asia Networks as the Asian regional pay-TV group enjoys the successful launch of a new satellite.
Odendal becomes Astro’s CEO effective from Feb 1, 2007, replacing Ralf Marshall who shifts to exec deputy chairman.
Group’s Malaysian sister company Measat Tuesday launched the Measat 3 satellite from Kazakhstan. Satellite will expand group’s footprint across South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent and parts of Africa.
Launch will allow Astro to add 25 new channels to its line-up. Marshall said that new nets will be mainly foreign-language and aimed at markets in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and India. Astro’s investment is in the RM200 million RM250 million ($57 million-$71 million range.)
Astro last week unveiled third quarter revenues up 9% at $156 million in the third quarter (to Oct 31). It added 56,500 subscribers in the period, taking its total in Malaysia to 1.97 million.
Company’s Hong Kong offshoot Celestial Pictures had revenues of $4.4 million, a 37% increase largely ascribed to launch of its WaTV net and higher subscription numbers at Celestial Movie Channel.
Odendaal was at BSkyB from 1996 to 2003 and was recently prexy and CEO of Bell Mobility and Bell Distribution.