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Royal buys out One TV to focus on distribution

One TV vice CEO Vora Ouk in 2013.
One TV vice CEO Vora Ouk in 2013. Pha Lina

Royal buys out One TV to focus on distribution

Cambodian conglomerate Royal Group has acquired the remaining shareholding of One TV from Russian-owned General Satellite Group in a move to boost the distribution of Cambodia’s niche pay for digital terrestrial television (DTT) market.

While financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Mark Hanna, chief financial officer of the Royal Group, said yesterday that the deal was solidified last Thursday.

Established in 2012, One TV was General Satellite’s first foray into the international market that aimed to establish a footprint for TV digitalisation using in-house technologies in developing countries.

According to Hanna, the joint venture was envisioned since the start as a pilot project for General Satellite. Now, with Royal Group taking over its 49 per cent stake in the joint venture, the Russian firm will continue its plan to move into markets such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.

“[This move] is good for Royal Group because now we can pull all of the company’s initiatives together and offer more services to more people by leveraging our assets into distribution and marketing,” he said.

“We will continue with our pay TV project and will roll out new services in the coming months,” he said, adding that shareholding changes would not affect any of the company’s existing subscriptions.

Royal Group, chaired by tycoon Kith Meng, also has a heavy media presence with its television channel CTN.

Banpot Deekham, general manager of Cambodian DTV Network Ltd, a subsidiary of the Thai Shin satellite company, said he was unfazed by the news as his company caters to a different base for subscriptions.

“DTV uses a different system and we target rural areas with 42 channels across 24 provinces,” he said, adding that their current customer base reaches 300,000 households.

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