February 18, 2017 01:00 By ASINA PORNWASIN THE NATION
NEXT STEP Television and Fox Networks yesterday jointly announced a satellite pay-TV service called Good TV, aiming to lure customers with an affordable package of Bt300 a month.
It is Next Step’s latest move of to tap into the satellite-platform pay-TV market, which has an estimated 2 million subscribers among the country’s 23 million households.
Amornphat Chomrat, managing director of Next Step, said the company saw a huge opportunity in Thailand’s satellite pay-TV market. Satellite networks have wide coverage at relatively low cost, while there is no pay-TV service provider for the middle-mass market with good content at an affordable price, where Good TV is positioning itself.
“The main target market is Bangkok and large cities nationwide,” Amornphat said.
The company’s key business strategy is to get households that already have a Ku-band satellite dish, which number around 6 million, to subscribe to Good TV. The programmes are broadcast via the Intelsat network to its encrypted set-top box. Existing Ku-band satellite dishes can be easily converted to work with the Good TV set-top box by adding some equipment, which is provided by the company.
By the end of 2017, the company aims to have between 50,000 a|nd 100,000 subscribers, before jumping to between 200,000 and 300,000 subscribers in 2018, and 400,000-500,000 in 2019.
Amornphat said the company would spend Bt30 million on marketing this year. At first it will mainly target households that already have a compatible dish, and will later aim to recruit new audiences that have never had a satellite-TV dish.
Good TV is a rebranding of FreeView HD, which began offering a satellite TV service two years ago. Around 100,000 users could be migrated to Good TV through an incentive package.
Good TV offers two packages, called Silver and Gold. The Silver package has no monthly fee; subscribers just pay a one-time service fee for the satellite dish and set-top box. Meanwhile the Gold package costs Bt300 per month on top of the first-time fee.
The first-time service fee is Bt2,990 for users who already have a satellite dish, and Bt3,990 for the whole set of satellite dish and set-top box.
During the promotion period, all prices will be discounted by Bt400. In addition, the Bt300 Gold package fee will be waived for three months.
Amornphat believes that customers will subscribe to pay TV if it offers good content. He said Good TV was designed with three good things: good content, good signal, and good price.
At its launch, 24 of Good TV’s 57 channels are in full high-definition format. Customers will get content from Fox Networks included Fox Thai HD, Fox Family Movie HD, Fox Crime HD, FX HD, Star World HD, Star Chinese Movies HD, Nat Geo Wild HD, and Baby TV HD, as well as documentary channels from Next Step such as MySci HD, NHK World, and Franc 24.
“The official full content from Fox Networks will start on March 1. We will add more high-definition channels by June to bring the total number of HD channels to 50, up from 24 HD channels at the first launch,” Amornphat said.
MR Rujayarak Abhakorn, vice president and territory head of |Fox Networks Group (Thailand), said Fox also saw a good opportunity in satellite pay TV in Thailand, especially when partnering with Next Step to provide content for Good TV subscribers.