Thai IPTV service ‘MeTV’, a joint venture between Telecom of Thailand (TOT) and ITV Media (HK), has inked a distribution deal with Sony Pictures Television for the carriage of the channels Animax and Sony Entertainment Television (SET).
The channels, available from today, are placed in the newly-launched “Choice L” MeTV basic tier of MeTV, which is currently available to over 40% of broadband connections in Thailand, or more than 1mn subscribers.
Animax offers Japanese anime programming for a wide range of viewers, with some new series simulcast with Japan, while SET offers a “wickedly, juicy” brand of female skewing, English entertainment including drama, lifestyle-reality, and celebrity-driven variety shows.
“A progressive economy and a rapidly growing middle class offer great potential for pay-TV penetration to grow significantly in Thailand,” said Ricky Ow, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Networks, Asia, SPT.
“We are excited to bring our channels to an even wider audience in this vibrant market, and look forward to working with MeTV to make Animax and SET must-have content offerings for their customers.”
MeTV offers over 200 linear channels, including around 75 free-to-air channels and 125 third-party channels from domestic and international providers, as well as pay-per-view channels, video-on-demand, and time-shift TV.
The service has six different pricing plans, costing from THB 150 (US$ 5) per month upwards, and is available for all TOT broadband customers on speeds of 6 Mbps or higher, using a wide variety of connected devices including set-top boxes, computers, iPads and iPhones.
MeTV was launched last January into an increasingly crowded Thai IPTV market: there are already three more established IPTV providers in Thailand, according to research by Informa Telecoms & Media (publisher of IP&TV News), although none of them appear to have reached significant subscriber levels.
Dominant broadband operator True was the first to launch IPTV in the country, in May 2006, but has given no official update on subscribers since the 3,000 announced in September 2008.
Advanced Datanetwork Communications (ADC) launched the country’s second in 2007, with 7,500 subscribers signed up by the end of that year but no figures released since then.
Finally, Triple T Broadband soft-launched its IPTV service ‘Maxnet’ in the second half of 2007, targeting an “eventual” subscriber base of between 200,000 and 300,000, but has not released any official numbers since.