ACCESS

Australian Financial Review
3 July 2006

WIN Corporation will use its latest acquisition, SelecTV, to move into the internet television business and introduce new pay TV channels using content from its other media assets.
The regional media group, owned by Bermuda-based Australian Bruce Gordon, bought 52 per cent of the pay TV operator SelecTV late last week for $23.5 million.
WIN chief executive George Papadopolous said the company had already developed plans for pay TV channels and to use SelecTV and WIN's Digital Distribution Australia subsidiary to create an internet TV business.

The cash offer by WIN trumped a scrip-based bid for SelecTV that wireless broadband company Access Providers lodged in mid-June. Access bid for SelecTV the day after the three-year-old company, which has just 3500 subscribers, called off a float due to lack of investor interest.
Other shareholders in SelecTV include the Myer family, with 11 per cent, SelecTV chief executive Jim Blomfield (3 per cent), former Seek chairman Irvin Rockman (2 per cent), Wilson Asset Management (2 per cent) and Challenger Financial Services (3 per cent).
Challenger is 20 per cent-owned by James Packer's private company, Consolidated Press Holdings.
Mr Papadopolous said SelecTV was a "fantastic opportunity to get a pay TV business in regional and metropolitan markets".

"It's a no-frills operation and very tightly run, which is how we do things at WIN," he said.
SelecTV had revenue of $525,401 in the eight months to February 28 this year and lost $3.7 million. It is burning about $1.1 million a month.

The company runs 36 channels, including BBC World, Bloomberg Television, Cartoon Network, MTV and some foreign-language channels.
It charges $29.95 a month for 20 English-language channels, which was the lowest pay TV subscription rate until Foxtel and Austar recently dropped their prices.

WIN owns Australia's largest regional TV business, plus 10.1 per cent of Ten Network, 42 per cent of Perth TV station STW, the TV infrastructure business Digital Distribution Australia, TV program production company Crawford, 50 per cent of Village cinemas in Tasmania, 50 per cent of the St George Illawarra rugby league club and 1.5 per cent of PBL.
SelecTV needs 80,000 subscribers to break even. Mr Papadopolous said it would reach that number, in part, by targeting the people who were "left stranded" when the ethnic pay TV company TARBS collapsed in 2004.

WIN also hopes to attract subscribers by marketing SelecTV through its regional TV stations.
WIN also plans to create a channel called Aussie Gold for SelecTV, using old Crawford TV series, and create a news channel from WIN's regional TV news services.

 

 

 

 
 
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