Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Murdoch acquired ANTV & TV7

Press barons have always been feared, even hated, for the power they can wield over us. But until recently they have been the creatures of the neighborhood. Rupert Murdoch is the first press baron to be a monster of the entire world. That's globalization for you.
And monster is how many people do see Murdoch. He is subjected to far more criticism, if not abuse, than any other contemporary media mogul (except perhaps Bill Gates, and in both cases, mythomania plays a part). Throughout his life he has been attacked for his right-wing politics and for allegedly lowering the standards of everything he touches.
That was the article in Time magazine in November 1999.

An the monster is preparing something big in Indonesia. As reported by Prospektif.com late last month, Murdoch through its Star TV has signed agreement to acquire 20% of ANTV from Bakrie Group (a company controlled by Aburizal Bakrie, Indonesia’s chief economic minister).

Murdoch also in the process to acquire 20% shares of TV-7 (owned by Kompas Group, the largest print media business in Indonesia with its flagship Kompas newspaper). On top of that, Star TV through ANTV will control another 30% shares of TV-7.
Previously cable TV giant Astro also acquired shares of Indonesian Kabelvision, a company controlled by Lippo Group.

Star TV is not a new name for Indonesia. The network has entered the market since 1990s under a cooperation with PT Matahari Lintas Cakrawala (Malicak) which operates Indovision. Malicak is owned by Peter F. Gontha, a former executive at Bimantara and close friend of Bambang Trihatmodjo (son of former president Soeharto).

What drives Murdoch to acquire ANTV & TV-7?
Well, the media magnate once said Indonesia with its thousands of islands and a population that could rivaling that of the US, is made for digital transmissions. Statistics shown us the TV penetration among Indonesian households is low even in Java island average TV ownership is 59.28% while in Sumatra island well below 52%.

TV commercials also a promising business. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, total advertising spending in Indonesia last year was US$2.2 billion of which almost 70% absorbed by TV.

But business is not the only motive for Murdoch. Politic is his concern. Rupert Murdoch has given his full backing to Iraq war, praising George Bush as acting "morally" and "correctly" and describing Tony Blair as "full of guts" for going out on a limb in his support for an attack on Iraq. That’s why his Fox News is called Bush TV.

James Fallows of the Atlantic Monthly points out that most of Murdoch's actions "are consistent with the use of political influence for corporate advantage." In other words, he uses his publications to advance a political agenda that will make him money.
The New York Times reports that in 2001, for example, The Sun, Britain's most widely read newspaper, followed Murdoch's lead in dropping its traditional conservative affiliation to endorse Tony Blair, the New Labor candidate. News Corp.'s other British papers, The Times of London, The Sunday Times and the tabloid News of the World, all concurred. The papers account for about 35% of the newspaper market in Britain. Blair backed "a communications bill in the British Parliament that would loosen restrictions on foreign media ownership and allow a major newspaper publisher to own a broadcast television station as well a provision its critics call the 'Murdoch clause' because it seems to apply mainly to News Corp." [Atlantic Monthly, 9/03; New York Times, 4/9/03]
What is Murdoch’s political agenda in Indonesia? War on Terror? Polishing US and The West image? Support moderate Islam? Let's just wait!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kraeng Yosef, tjo ta?
Very good blog....


September 14, 2005 12:54 PM  

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