DIG­I­TAL ME­DIA EX­PANDS IN PNG

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Technology -

In late 2014, dom­i­nant telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany Dig­i­cel PNG launched its new 29-chan­nel dig­i­tal TV ser­vice, Dig­i­cel Play, while the new en­trant to the PNG mar­ket, Click TV, launched its own set-top box, which will of­fer 25 chan­nels through its lo­cal net­work, PNG TV. The devel­op­ment re­flects a rad­i­cal change in the me­dia land­scape, which has also seen state-owned telco Te­likom PNG pur­chase free-to-air com­mer­cial broad­caster, EMTV. While Dig­i­cel is pri­mar­ily us­ing its net­work of mo­bile phone tow­ers to reach its au­di­ences, PNG TV has signed a five-year deal with In­tel­sat to beam its pro­grams via satel­lite not just across PNG but the Pa­cific. ‘Right now,’ says Click TV Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Richard Broad­bridge, ‘if you go into any part of the High­lands you need very large dishes to get lo­cal con­tent.' ‘To get in­ter­na­tional con­tent you need a sep­a­rate dish for the in­ter­na­tional chan­nels. But our com­mer­cial model is based on the abil­ity to com­press about 30 chan­nels into a one-me­tre re­ceiver dish.’ Broad­bridge also in­tends to sub­lease mo­bile phone tow­ers from state-owned whole­saler PNG Dat­aco, which is tak­ing over the trans­mis­sion as­sets of Te­likom PNG. Broad­bridge is also talk­ing to lo­cal in­vestors and ex­pects Click TV to be ma­jor­ity Png-owned dur­ing 2015. ‘Cur­rently the com­pany is owned by two Fi­jian cit­i­zens and we are talk­ing to in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors right now. That will also see cap­i­tal in­jec­tion of around K21 mil­lion into Click TV.’

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