The five winners of licences awarded by the Ministry of Information to air their content in a landmark public-private broadcasting partnership, a roster that includes DVB Multimedia Group, will sign official agreements with state-owned Myanmar Radio and Television in early October, according to Myint Htwe, MRTV’s director-general.
Before signing off, the quintet will cooperate with the Ministry of Information in procuring the required broadcasting equipment to stand up their free-to-air channels, which will rely on MRTV’s transmission infrastructure to reach audiences. On 29 September, the ministry’s engineering team and the five companies that won the so-called “content provider” licences are due to further discuss the purchase of equipment.
In April of this year, the five companies, including formerly exile media groups DVB and Mizzima Media, were selected as winners of the content provider licences. The other three awardees were Fortune International Company, Kaung Myanmar Aung Company and Young Investment Group.
Their channels will be able to use 149 relay stations across Burma, reaching what is estimated to be at least 65 percent of the country’s population of about 51 million.
More than 40 hopefuls had applied for the content provider licences and a short-list of 10 companies was revealed in early February.
MRTV announced in August of last year that it would issue the five free-to-air licences.
The MRTV partnership with the five companies represents a significant liberalisation of the domestic media market, which to date has been dominated by state-owned broadcasters.