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Sat Switch Saves $400,000 Per Year

By | March 13, 2002

      Burma’s Myawady Television began using Indonesia’s Palapa C2 satellite March 1, a change which will save the company about $400,000 a year, according to the broadcaster. The channel has been using the Asiasat 2 satellite to reach viewers in remote parts of the country and throughout Asia, northern Australia and the Middle East, at a reported cost of $1 million a year.

      Maung Maung Oo, an official at the Directorate of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare at the Burma’s Ministry of Defence, said the fee for using the Indonesian satellite would be $600,000 a year. Myawady television had signed a contract with Indonesia’s Satelindo company to use the Palapa C2 satellite for three years, he said. The satellite had a smaller footprint than Asiasat 2 and would reach overseas viewers throughout the Asean region.

      Myawady TV needed to cut operating costs because it relied on its own income, generated mainly by advertising revenue.

      Maung Maung Oo said Myawady television had a policy of accepting 20 minutes of advertising an hour. “This is one of the reasons why the general public complains that Myawady entertainment programmes are boring,” he said. The station tried to ensure that only 12 minutes of advertising was broadcast during the early evening, he told the Myanmar Times.

      Nearly 80 per cent of Myanmar’s total population regularly watches Myawady television, which broadcasts for an average of eight hours a day. Myawady was officially launched in early 1995 and operates from a broadcast centre about 22 miles north of central Rangoon.

      –Chris Forrester

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