Royal Group of Companies – CBS and Digital Sky – has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bayon Media High-tech Group and Hang Meas and Reaksmey Hang Meas Radio and TV Group, marking a major leap towards launching the country’s largest digital TV platform.
The signing ceremony held yesterday, presided over by Royal Group Chairman Neak Oknha Kith Meng, Bayon Media High-tech Group Adviser Oknha Charles Vann and Hang Meas and Reaksmey Hang Meas Radio and TV Group Chairman Oknha Ing Chhay Nguon.
The aim of the MoU is to establish the Cambodia TV Alliance Group Co Ltd.
The joint venture will oversee the launch and operation of a new digital TV platform that will provide a wide range of digital TV services with a variety of channels, including entertainment, documentaries and lifestyle.
Kith Meng said this forms part of Royal Group’s vision for a fully digitalised Cambodia and sits in line with the government’s agenda for Industry 4.0. He said that part of this initiative will see the digitalisation of the audio-visual and broadcasting industry.
“We are delighted to have launched this new joint venture that will help the Cambodian government carry out its mission to foster all private-owned and state-owned channels to switch their analogue broadcasts onto the digital platform,” he said.
Under the agreement, the joing venture (JV) is tasked with overseeing the platform’s picture and video content with programmes and information to be broadcast through a single entry point. It will also ensure a smooth transition to digital, with the switch-over slated to take place by 2023.
Chhay Nguon said the collaboration with the three companies in the private sector is aligned with the digital era and government policy.
“With the joint venture, costs will be reduced by not using many relay stations. The content or entertainment we produce can be added to an over-the-top streaming media service which will be offered directly to viewers via the internet or satellite.”
He added that with the digital content, some channels will incur charges because a licence must be bought but some channels will be free of charge.
Vann, said: “I believe that the digital sector is one step closer because the world now is moving to digitalisation, so we have to prepare for digital broadcasting in 2023.”
Director-general of Information and Broadcasting Phos Sovann, welcomed the move. He said the joint venture of the private companies aligns with the Ministry of Information’s plans to establish a national digital platform.
“Having the digital platform, it is not enough: We need more digital content. Therefore, if the private sector is involved with this task, it would be good news,” Sovann said
. “Transforming from analogue broadcasting to digital in 2023 will be aligned with the actual situation practices across the capital and provinces. We will take into consideration whether receivers’ TV sets at home are able to receive digital transmission or not. The transformation from analogue to digital broadcasting depends on the capabilities of both senders and receivers.”
Sovann added that television stations which cannot upgrade to digital will have to close their operations. However, TV stations are preparing to change from analogue to digital broadcasting.
“Our ambition, at least in 2023, is that we have enough infrastructure to implement digital broadcasting. However, the remaining issue is the number of people only owning analogue TV sets,” he stressed.
CBS consists of channels such as CTN, CTN International, CNC, MyTV, CBS Digital, TMS, Radio Phnom Penh 94 MHz, Legend Tiger. Digital Sky Co consists of three digital TV platforms: DVB-T Platform (Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial, 72 channels), DTH Platform (Digital Video Broadcasting-Satellite, 265 channels) and OTT Platform (Over-The-Top via internet and mobile phone, 86 channels). There are also 11 in-house channels such as OneTV Sabay, OneTV Drama, OneTV Kids, OneTV Music, OneTV Cinema, OneTV Discovery, OneNews, OneTV Movie HD, OneTV Sport9, OneTV Sport11 and OneTV Eschool.
Bayon Media Hightech Group consists of Bayon TV, BTV, ETV, Kampuchea Thmey newspaper and Bayon Radio.
Hang Meas and Reaksmey Hang Meas Radio and TV Group consists of Hang Meas TV, Reaksmey Hang Meas TV, Hang Meas Radio 104.5 MHz, Reaksmey Hang Meas Radio 95.7 MHz, WE Productions, Phleng Records, Hang Meas Event Management and News 24.