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Broadcasters band together in Cambodia TV Alliance

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From left to right: Neak Okhna Kith Meng - chairman of Cambodian Broadcasting Service Co Ltd (CBS), Hun Mana - chairwoman of Bayon Media High System Group and Ing Chhay Nguon - chairman of Hang Meas Group. Heng Chivoan

Broadcasters band together in Cambodia TV Alliance

Three of the Kingdom’s leading locally-owned broadcasters entered into a joint venture agreement to establish Cambodia TV Alliance Co Ltd, a public-private partnership (PPP) company, to manage the Cambodia National Digital TV Platform, which is expected to launch in 2023.

The agreement was signed on August 26 by Hun Mana, Ing Chhay Nguon and Kith Meng, the respective chairpersons of Bayon Media High System Group, Hang Meas Group and Cambodian Broadcasting Service Co Ltd (CBS) – as well as parent company Royal Group of Companies Ltd and sister firm Digital Sky Multimedia Co Ltd.

It is designed to supplement a memorandum of understanding signed by the three broadcasters on February 18, according to a joint statement.

Placing the Cambodia TV Alliance at the helm of the digital television platform will ensure its rollout by the 2023 deadline set by the authorities, and better equip the Kingdom to keep pace with ASEAN’s push towards full digital television and radio broadcasting, consistent with the government’s strategic plans, the statement said.

The Ministry of Information has agreed to release the 700MHz spectrum band to the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications to establish the centralised digital television platform, develop 5G systems and the digital economy.

The statement went on to say that broadcasters will switch their analogue signals off by the end of 2025, after an interim period of simulcast service, or “dual illumination”, during which they will broadcast their current analogue signals as well as the new digital signals.

The platform will adopt “Digital Video Broadcasting — Second Generation Terrestrial” (DVB-T2) modulation as the standard and offer “a variety of channels to promote knowledge, entertainment and scenic lifestyle that bring harmonisation to Cambodia’s families”, it said.

Bayon TV’s (BTV) Mana said in the statement that she was delighted to join the partnership behind the platform, which she stressed “supports the promotion of the policies of the Royal Government of Cambodia”, adding that the Kingdom “is currently thriving in all sectors under peace and political stability”.

CBS’s Meng underscored that the alliance would not only undergird the government’s game plan to roll out the platform by 2023, but also evince the progress of digital technological development in the Kingdom.

He echoed a similar sentiment for the partnership, saying he was proud to be part of a movement that he highlighted will advance the audio-visual and broadcasting field into full digitalisation, pursuant to government policies, and create a robust digital socio-economic environment for the Kingdom to transition into Industry 4.0.

Hang Meas’ Chhay Nguon said the platform would be capable of broadcasting TV channels in Ultra High Definition (UHD) or 4K formats.

“This platform brings all types of content and a variety of shows including entertainment, art, news, film, music to the nationwide audience as a ‘One-Stop-media services’ platform.

“This is a huge leap in the audio-visual and broadcasting sector, in accordance with the policies of Royal Government of Cambodia, in achieving Digital Industry 4.0 for a fully digitalised Cambodia.

“This media service will update viewers’ [experiences in] entertainment in Cambodia and adopt the latest technology, along with the international community, because audiences will be able to watch all high quality and crystal-clear content from their home, their smartphone, anywhere, anytime, on one platform.

“This development shall encourage content creators [and] production houses to produce more high-quality content as they have the platform to show their masterpiece[s] to the world,” he said.

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