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Canal+ to Launch Pay TV Service in Myanmar

Canal+ group, a French premium cable television channel, has signed a deal with local media group, Forever, to launch a pay TV service in Myanmar. Canal+ plans to launch the service this year, pending local regulatory approval, with a service accessible to a large part of the Myanmar market including local and international content dubbed into Burmese.

Forever currently provides a bouquet of pay TV services distributed over the country’s digital-terrestrial network as well as via satellite in partnership with state broadcaster MRTV. The service offers a range of local and international services with a further range of international services available via satellite. In addition to MRTV and Forever’s platform, Shwe Than Lwin Media-owned Skynet provides a rival bouquet of services delivered via the Apstar satellite platform, with a hold on leading international sports rights.

Canal+ said that it and Forever aimed to jointly create a major player in the Myanmar audiovisual market in the coming years, addressing a growing market with about 12 million homes identified as a possible target market. “This project forms part of a development strategy of Canal+ Group in Asia, where we are already present in partnership with Vietnamese public television. We are delighted to team up and combine our expertise with that of the Forever group, with which we share strong ambitions for Myanmar,” said Jacques du Puy, president of Canal+ Overseas.

“To team up with Vivendi Group is a real opportunity to offer in Myanmar a new pay TV offering based on high-quality Myanma audiovisual productions and international programming that is accessible and comprehensible to the population. I am therefore delighted with this agreement and very confident of its success in Myanmar,” said Win Maw, CEO of Forever. Canal+ has banked on international expansion to compensate an ongoing decline in its domestic French subscriber base. International subscribers outnumbered French ones for the first time by the end of the first half of last year, with most of the growth coming from Africa. The group also has about 800,000 subscribers in Vietnam.