Some readers ask me various questions about Astro.I will answer all questions in this posting.
Pirated movies and Internet may affect Astro in a short term but in long term,Astro will still dominate the pay tv industry.The monthly fees for pay tv is cheap compared to the number of channels offered.Just compare your family phone bills with Astro’s bills. Currently,Astro is benefiting from economies of scales.When Astro makes it so cheap to view pay tv with additional channels in the future, buying pirated or download movies from Internet will be less feasible.
IPTV won’t be able to steal Astro’s customers because of:
1. IPTV needs a least a broadband speed of 10Mbps .Please read
A good example is to look at US and European countries.Despite having fast internet connections and IPTV,pay tv still maintain their market share.
2. You can subscribe to Astro at RM70/month and able to view so many channels.The decoder is free.Meanwhile,IPTV has to invest in fibre optics wiring,decoders and buying contents.That’s why Vincent Tan is unable to gather the capital to fight with Astro.Large start up capital hampers IPTV.
3. Almost all the licenses for famous contents have been acquired by Astro.What type of contents IPTV able to offer to three major etnics in M’sia?
4. Malaysia is changing its analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting.RTM has successfully converted its broadcasting to digital form.All free channels are given until 2015 to do so.Astro is the first pay tv in the world to invest in digital broadcasting. Consumers with analog receivers must buy a new tv,an analog decoder or subscribe to pay tv slowly.
5. HDTV platform will come to Malaysia by 2009.Please visit
6. Another satellite will be launched in 2009.New features such as dobly surround sound system and more channels will be introduced in Astro.
7. The continuous improvements in Astro is due to its management team. Essentially,you are investing in its people.
8. Astro’s new ventures into Indonesia,India,China and UK makes sense because Malaysia’s media industry is highly political.It is wise to diversify its businesses.
9.There are rumuors that Astro may buy TVB in Hong Kong. If it happens, Astro will own almost all the Chinese contents in the world.To do this,Astro needs a strategic investors.
10.Technology advancement enables consumers to buy plasma / LCD TV at lower prices.It is reasonable to subscribe to Astro when you have a plasma TV.
11.Watching Astro has becomes a culture in Malaysia.Just look around when you go to restaurants,mamak,cafe,pubs and hotels.Astro has successfully build a ‘need’ in its customers.A home without Astro is “incomplete”.Astro has become a ‘status’ and ‘lifestyle’.That explains the strong increase in revenue.
As a value investor,Astro’s valuation is undemanding looking at its strengths in business models, financial standing and exciting prospects.