Kantana eyes Myanmar

Corporate August 19, 2014 01:00

By Watchiranont Thongtep
The Nat

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Thai group, local broadcasters in talks on TV-show production

Kantana Group is eyeing business opportunities in Myanmar ranging from producing TV programmes with local broadcasters to managing a TV station.
Sasikorn Chansate, chief executive of the TV business, told The Nation yesterday that her company was discussing with several broadcasters in Myanmar the possibility of making TV shows for local broadcasters, particularly contents for TV formats Kantana already holds the copyrights on.
Myanmar was the most seductive market in this region because it is attracting overseas investors and brands that will help boost the broadcasting industry there.
The company also wants to get a chance to operate local TV stations there like in does in Vietnam and Cambodia.
“Although the overseas business related to TV broadcasting contributes less than 10 per cent of the group’s total revenue, there is more room to grow,” she said.
Kantana operates the VTC9 culture channel in Vietnam and the state-owned Channel 5 TV station in Cambodia.
The Vietnamese market was quite stable politically and economically, so there was no risk from these areas. 
Local viewers want to see more international TV formats, so the company has focused more on this type of content production for this market.
In Vietnam’s media industry, TV is playing the most important role, as advertising spending via TV represents more than 80 per cent of the total, so there is more room to grow for the company.
Besides a TV station in Vietnam, Kantana also has a joint venture called Kantana Postproduction (Vietnam) to serve the growing movie and advertising businesses there. Vietnam has a population of about 80 million and produces about 10 films per year.
Although Cambodia’s broadcasting market appears to be small and quiet compared to other countries in the region, Kantana recently received good news when the Cambodian government in May allowed Channel 5 to resume scheduling Thai dramas.
This took more than decade after the political conflict between Thailand and Cambodia broke out in January 2003.
The situation turned violent after a Thai actress was rumoured to have said Angkor Wat should belong to Thailand and some angry Cambodians rallied and burned down the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh. 
After that, the Cambodian government banned Thai dramas and programmes on every state-owned TV station.
Now Kantana believes it would have a better chance to make more money from new TV format fees on top of the management fee for Channel 5, Sasikorn added.