Astro (television)

All-Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator, doing business as Astro, is a Malaysian satellite television and IPTV provider. It operates in Malaysia and Brunei and operates from the All Asia Broadcast Centre in Kuala Lumpur and MEASAT in Cyberjaya. In 2016, the company was recorded as achieving 71% household penetration in Malaysia.[2] It was granted an exclusive license as the sole pay-television provider by the Malaysian federal government until 2017.[3] Astro is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad and is operated by MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems Sdn. Bhd.

Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd
IndustryBroadcasting, Mass Media
Founded1 June 1996; 25 years ago (1996-06-01)
FounderAnanda Krishnan
HeadquartersAABC, Lebuhraya Puchong-Sg. Besi, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Area served
Brunei (through Kristal-Astro)
Indonesia (through Astro Nusantara, 2006-2008)
Key people
Zaki Azmi, Chairman
Henry Tan Poh Hock, CEO
ProductsDirect broadcast satellite
Mobile TV
Internet TV
RevenueIncrease RM5.613 million (Q1 2017).[citation needed]
Decrease RM777.71 million (2014)[1]
Increase RM447.95 million (2014)[1]
Parent Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad

Astro launched the high-definition platform Astro B.yond in 2009[4] and the IPTV platform Astro IPTV in 2011, with the latter targeted at consumers who were unable to receive the company's satellite services.[5]

Astro formerly operated in Indonesia from 2006 to 2008, under the Astro Nusantara [id] brand and was operated by PT Direct Vision.[6]

Criticism and controversiesEdit

Monopoly over paid television marketEdit

Astro has been criticized for its monopolistic practices in which it has become the dominant paid television service in Malaysia while its competitors ABNXcess, Mega TV, and MiTV were not able to compete against Astro and became defunct after Astro's launch.[7][8] Astro was the sole paid television operator in Malaysia until 2017 when another competitor, Telekom Malaysia's Unifi TV, emerged as a strong cord-cutting alternative.[9]

The Malaysian government's plan to regulate Android-based set-top boxes in 2019 raised concerns that Astro's dominance over the country's television content market would be enhanced.[10] While Astro's exclusive rights to Malaysian broadcast content expired in 2017, the company continues to have non-exclusive broadcast privileges under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. Starting in 2022, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission will provide Content Applications Service Provider (CASP) licenses to 35 broadcasting companies, four of which are approved to deliver content via satellite television.[11]

Sports content disputeEdit

Astro has also enjoyed control of the broadcasting rights for sports events, including all Liga Super and Piala Malaysia events, and the FIFA World Cup 2014[12] and 2018. Competitors were restricted from airing those events,[13][14] or were required by regulators to pay excessive royalties to Astro.[12] The high royalty fees were criticized by Jeremy Kung, executive vice president of TM New Media, who argued that sports content on free-to-air television channels should be made available to public for free.[12] Former Information, Communications, Arts and Culture minister Rais Yatim urged the media groups who had exclusive rights to major sports events to share their content to free-to-air television channels.[14] Pakatan Harapan youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad argued that the rights to broadcast English Premier League should be co-licensed with Radio Television Malaysia instead of restricted to Astro.[15]

Astro's short-lived Indonesian operations were also subject of investigation by Indonesian regulators, and accusations by rival providers, over allegations of the company also monopolizing Premier League rights in the country.[16]


Astro has been criticized for raising its service prices and imposing penalty fees on customers. In 2007, Astro raised its service fee about 15% and converted previously free channels like Bloomberg, Al Jazeera English, and CGTN into paid channels. Anyone who attempted to drop such service packages was charged a fee.[17] Malaysiakini reporter Cheah Kah Seng encouraged customers to protest against the price hikes and provided instructions on how to do so.[18] Due to broadcasting rights it has received from the Malaysian government, Astro raised its fees several more times in the following years, while consumers had fewer competitive alternatives.[19]

Astro often shows commercials on premium channels for which consumers paid for an ad-free experience.[20] Customers who use the Astro personal video recorder (PVR), Astro MAX, have reported performance problems[17] and difficulty in recording certain channels.[21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 July 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Astro aims to increase household penetration to 75% next year - Business News | The Star Online". Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  3. ^ Goh Thean Eu, (22 September 2014) Astro scores in all major indicators,
  4. ^ Astro to launch HDTV services on Friday Archived 13 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 23 December 2009
  5. ^ [1] Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Astro partners with TIME dotcom to roll-out Astro B.yond IPTV services,, Retrieved 24 September 2014
  6. ^ "Astro Akhirnya Berhenti Siaran". Kompas (in Indonesian). 20 October 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  7. ^ Sharil (18 August 2017). "New Satellite TV Service Emerges, Ending Astro's Monopoly". Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  8. ^ Wong, Alexander (19 November 2018). "There are 5 satellite Pay TV providers in Malaysia but nothing has changed". SoyaCincau. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  9. ^ Siew Li, Kang (18 August 2017). "Tech: HyppTV more than just complementary to TM". The Edge. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  10. ^ Syed Jafaar, Syahirah (8 February 2019). "Proposed clampdown on Android TV box would boost Astro". The Edge. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  11. ^ "No more monopoly for Astro overpaid TV broadcasting, Parliament told". Malay Mail. Kuala Lumpur. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  12. ^ a b c Chapree, Chef (29 May 2014). "World Cup 2014 RTM Black Out: Contents On Free To Air Channels Should Remain Free Says HyppTV's Chief". Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  13. ^ Wong, Alexander (11 June 2018). "You won't be able to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Unifi TV". SoyaCincau. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Media Prima drops Fifa ball". The Sun. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  15. ^ Khoo, Daniel (31 May 2018). "Astro shares continue on downtrend". The Star. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Ada Monopoli Astro di Siaran Liga Inggris". Kompas (in Indonesian). 10 July 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  17. ^ a b Kah Seng, Cheah (11 September 2007). "Malaysiakini: How I save RM30 on Astro a month". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  18. ^ Kah Seng, Cheah (27 July 2007). "Here's how to protest against Astro". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  19. ^ bin Md. Dawam, Zairul Anuar; Sareya, Rosli; Bromeo Bianus, Adley; Hisham, M. Fazmi; Ali, Shahizan (November 2015). "MONOPOLY IN MALAYSIA TELEVISION MARKET: EFFECT ON MALAYSIAN FILM PRODUCERS". ResearchGate. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  20. ^ Xavier, Joachim (14 June 2007). "Astro suffering from monopoly syndrome". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  21. ^ Adrian (5 November 2006). "Astro MAX". Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2020.

External linksEdit