Star TV, a unit of News Corp., has confirmed its complete
break with Indonesian pay TV platform Indovision amid rancor between the two sides.
Hong Kong-based Star TV said in a prepared statement last
week that it would "immediately cease providing management and technical services to
PT Matahari Lintas Cakrawala," a subsidiary of PT Datakom Asia, the operator of
Star TV also said it will stop providing 11 channels of
programming to Indovision -- about one-half of the platform's total number of
The announcement had been widely expected after relations
between the two sides soured over the summer and into the fall. The lowest point until now
came in late October, when Star TV employees were locked out of their offices at
Indovision's headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia,.
The three-year-old alliance was falling apart even while
both sides publicly said negotiations were continuing.
Star TV deputy CEO Bruce Churchill insisted that his side
had "made every effort to make the alliance with Datakom," adding,
"Enormous investment has been made by Star TV in terms of funds, time and
professional and technical expertise."
PT Matahari president director Dicky Iskandar Di Nata did
not reply to requests for comment about the split.
Indovision has been hit hard by the country's economic
and social upheaval over the past 12 months, which toppled President Suharto and sent the
rupiah, Indonesia's currency, plunging in value. Subscriber numbers have remained
static for months at 35,000.
One of the most serious issues between the two sides was
Indovision's demand that the platform move from the Palapa C2 satellite to the
Datakom-owned Cakrawarta 1 bird.
Cakrawarta was damaged in a March space storm that halved
its operating life to seven years and damaged two of its five transponders, making it
prone to interruptions in service of up to 70 minutes when the satellite is eclipsed by