Myanma Radio and Television (MRTV), the Ministry of Information and five groups (companies) permitted as content providers for digital free-to-air television channels in a multi-channel playout system in DVB-T2 system of MRTV, signed a cooperation agreement at a ceremony held in MRTV Studio A, Pyay Road, Yangon on 17 February. The five content providers will soon be providing viewers with a wider variety of information, views and entertainment programmes. The following is an interview with the content providers on their programmes and schedules.
U Myint Htway (Director General, MRTV)
MRTV is broadcasting under the Multi-Channel Playout System DVB-T2 system. The agreement signed is for the five content providers to broadcast five channels in the Multi-channel Playout System. The main points included in the agreements are the parts each party had to play. It also includes payment to the government. The equipment and machineries required will be bought together by the five. Earth stations of the five will be connected by fiber line to the 9 meter earth station in Myanmar Radio, Pyay Road and the content will be sent to us. This is their part. Once it is here, we’ll put it into our system, send it up to the satellite and then to the 145 re-transmission stations. Broadcasting to the people is our part. Broadcasting Law is being amended in the Hluttaw. Once it is done, there’ll be a Broadcasting Council. This Council will set up rules and regulations and broadcasting licenses need to be reapplied. Myawady, Skynet, Forever and the six FM lines broadcasting from Myanmar Radio will have to reapply for licenses. Those who want to broadcast can also apply then. The Council will give permission according to set rules and regulations. The duration of the agreements signed now is up to that point. At that point these five will have to apply for licenses and whether they get the license or not is dependent upon them and does not depend on us. The agreement duration is up to that point only.
U Tun Tun Soe (Executive Project Director, My Multi Media Group of Company)
We will mainly broadcast for the youth sector covering youth and business, youth and education, youth and health, and technology for youth. We will broadcast movies, arts, music and related subjects. Our programmes will be broadcast twice a day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Depending on the content of the others, we plan to extend our broadcasting. Our programmes are free-to-air. I think our programmes will start reaching our audience within the next three to four months. Other countries like Thailand and Indonesia have 30, 40, 50 television channels. We have MRTV, Myawady, MRTV-4, Channel 7, Skynet as well as us, so it would be good. The public will have more choices. Our channel will increase the information and knowledge to the audience as well as being exciting and enjoyable. Watch and support our channel.
U Khin Maung Soe (Executive Director, DVB Multi Media Group)
Ours is news and current affairs. As for news, we are updating it every hour now. We also have live broadcasts. We will try to have more live programmes. We are ready to start broadcasting now. It will be a 24-hour a day broadcast. It is good to have more television channels. People will have more choice. Competition is also good, as we will try to be better than the other. Support us. If the audience supports us, we can exist. We will try to be better so that the audience will support us. As we are working with the government, we expect to have more opportunity to acquire news. There’s no need to set up a satellite dish. An ordinary television antenna that receives the MRTV line is sufficient to receive the broadcasts.
U Soe Myint (Executive Director and Chief Editor, Mizzima Media Company Limited)
We will broadcast the Mizzima TV Channel. We are targeting youth and children. At least 60 per cent will be entertainment. 40 per cent is infotainment and news. We are emphasising entertainment content that is favoured by youths. Young People is an example. There’ll be voices of youth and true stories of youths. Music will include hip hop that youths like. Discussions and talk programmes for youths under the age of 30 are targeted. What we can do and provide is to raise and support the next generation. There is information that youth need. We will target this. Starting from tonight, you’ll see this on the Mizzima Facebook page. We will start broadcasting from online and are preparing to start on 27 February. It can be watched by any television that has a digital channel tuner. There will be 17 hours of broadcasting a day starting from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. News will be included in the 6:45 p.m. to 11 p.m. segment. Entertainment and movies are also included. The morning segment will also have many sectors. There’ll be our own programmes produced by Mizzima as well as programmes purchased from others. It is good for our country that more no-pay channels are becoming available. It is good dfor the people too. They will have more to choose. As competition is created, quality programmes and programmes that people like will become successful. The Myanmar television sector is opening up with these five content providers. In a year or two, there’ll be big changes in the Myanmar television sector. I believe it will lead to development. Market competition will be a challenge. It’ll be a challenge for the five channels. Especially advertisement. As we are free-to-air, we will have to rely on advertisement. Channels that people like will have more advertising. It will be a challenge for channels that people don’t like.
U Thado Kyaw (Executive Director, KMA TeleMedia Holdings Company Limited)
We are not necessarily prioritising news. There’ll be news, but we aim toward entertaining the people. The youth sector will include songs. There’ll be foreign content, local (TV) series and movies. It is aimed to be an entertainment channel. There’ll be youth programmes during the time when youths view and programmes for seniors and elders during the time when seniors and elders view television. We will be broadcasting 18 hours a day. Rebroadcasting will be three portions of six hours each or four portions of four hours and a half each. It will be from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight. We will start broadcasting within a year from signing the agreement. Modern TVs have digital tuners so nothing more is required.
U Htat Aung Kyaw (Excutive Channel Manager, Fortune Channel)
We are trying to be the earliest broadcaster. We will broadcast soon after signing the agreement. The programmes will be entertainment as well as information and knowledge. There’ll be TV series on various sectors. We’ll broadcast from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight. TV with digital tuners and Digital T2 receivers can view all the channels. We thank the officials from the Ministry of Information and all responsible persons for permitting us to participate in the media sector. We will strive toward provide information and entertainment to youth.
By Nandar Win,
Win Win Maw
Photo: Hla Moe