Having finally paid for my All Movies + All Sports + Assorted Crap package last week, you can imagine how dischuffed I was five days later to discover that ESPN, Star Sports, Star Movies and National Geographic were not going to be broadcast by Indovision as of May 1st.
Many of us assumed the worst of Indovision. Had they not paid the licensing fee? Were they going bankrupt, as Kabelvision is constantly rumoured to be? (Incidentally, Kabelvision doesn’t reach Jakartass Towers. We live on the wrong side of the tracks. Literally.)
Then on the front page of the Jakarta Post we read the following:
The government is threatening to prevent international media company Star Group (owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch) from broadcasting in Indonesia, even though the company has complied with the demands of the information and communications minister.
“We are considering imposing an injunction if Star Group continues to maintain unfair business practices,” ministry spokesmen Gatot S. Dewa Broto told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
He said the proposed injunction related to Star Group’s decision to cancel a contract with Indonesian pay TV distributor PT Indovision, a measure considered to be unfair business treatment and which dismayed many of the company’s subscribers.
“They gave us only two days’ notice before we lost all the stations,” said Indovision subscriber “Jakartass”, who was particularly annoyed by the loss of sports programming.
Communications minister Sofyan Djalil accused the group of creating an unfair business competition by giving the distribution contracts of six popular channels — Star Movie, Star World, Star Sport, ESPN, National Geographic, and (V) Channel exclusively to PT Direct Vision, another pay TV operator.
None of my colleagues have heard of Direct Vision so we wondered who its backers are and how big the brown envelope was. There has to be major collusion to deprive Indovision’s 120,000 residential and 17,000 hotel rooms subscriber base of the FA Cup Final, the World Cup and this month’s season of James Bond movies.
Getting the channels back, pending discussions, injunctions and payments – presumably both legit and not, for a couple of months means that I don’t really have to blog about it all.
But then I wouldn’t be able to give you the following unattributable info from within Star.
Truth to be told, I don’t have a clue on the state on Indonesian play for our cable affiliates. It was explained to me once and I was amazed and dazed by the myriad of details involving who has rights to EPL, FA Cup, UCL etc etc … and the number of cable providers and terrestrial stations. I think my mind switched off when I couldn’t quite map out how the programmes are distributed.
My slightest acquaintance with any cable set-up has been with Kabelvision who sponsors that Saturday supplement that comes with your Jakarta Post each Saturday. With that, I got the impression that Kabelvision are the big boys in satellite play in Indonesia, and looks like I’m wrong.
A bit of sleuthing and – don’t quote me on this ….. I have found out that Indovision and ESS …. It has resulted in ESS going more or less exclusively with Kabelvision and Astro (because we’re also with Astro in Malaysia).
As for the poor timing of May 1, bugger if I know! I reckon it’s poor form myself. I believe there is a fair bit of politics in this, but cannot comment further because I really don’t know the facts and do not wish to find out. Which answers your question also on attribution … errr, no thanks.
Astro? Has anyone heard of them here? Are they Direct Vision who have also helped another TV distributor, Telkom Vision receive the broadcast rights to the six channels?
As always with power plays, it’s the consumer who gets screwed. I haven’t done any research into who owns what because I can’t stay online long enough to find out. And we know who owns the telecommunications networks, don’t we. Yep, the same folk who control what we watch.
At least blogging is notionally free.