HONG KONG – The Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios and local Malaysian TV giant Astro have struck a five year services and utilization agreement.

Astro Productions, part of the Astro Malaysia pay-TV, radio, film and publishing conglomerate, will become the exclusive provider of equipment and services at PIMS’s two HDTV studios. In return it guarantees to use the studios for a minimum of 18,000 hours over the five year period.

“This collaboration will ensure full production services including multi cameras, HD cameras, sophisticated lighting and audio system and state-of-the-art outdoor broadcast trucks, we are well-placed to provide high quality production for regional and international producers,” said Rezal Rahman, PIMS’s newly appointed CEO.

“Astro has been championing the creation of original vernacular content to meet the demand of local and regional viewers,” said Rohana Rozhan, CEO of Astro.

Astro produces over 9,000 hours in-house and subtitles or dubs over 20,000 hours of content annually. It also commissions about 2,000 hours of content from local production houses.

Production in Malaysia on behalf of international studios includes: the Australian version of children’s programme, “Hi5;” “Still Standing” for NBC and MBC Middle East; “Ben 10” game show for Turner International; “Ultimate Fighting Championship” for WSG Singapore; and “Asia’s Next Top Model” for Active TV and Fox International.