Astro (company)

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Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd
IndustryBroadcasting, Mass Media, Streaming, Internet Broadband, Entertainment, Movie Production
Founded1 June 1996; 27 years ago (1996-06-01)
FounderAnanda Krishnan
HeadquartersAll Asia Broadcast Centre (AABC), Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Area served
Key people
ProductsOTT Streaming
Direct broadcast satellite
Internet Service Provider
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

All-Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator, d/b/a Astro, is a Malaysian satellite television, streaming television and IPTV provider. It operates in Malaysia and Brunei and operates from the All Asia Broadcast Centre (AABC) 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.

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 brand. The Indonesian operations were operated by PT Direct Vision.[6]

List of Astro TV and digital brands[edit]

  • Astro Awani - flagship news channel[7]
  • Astro Arena - 24/7 Malay language sports channel[8]
  • Astro QJ HD - 24/7 Chinese entertainment[9][10][11]
  • Showcase - English movies and shows[citation needed]
  • Gempak - Malay language entertainment website[12]
    • Rojak Daily - Gempak's subpage; originally a standalone website[13]
  • Go Shop - home shopping service; under a joint venture with GS Group[14]
  • Naura HD - Islamic contemporary lifestyle channel.[15]
  • Sooka - streaming service, focuses on sports and local entertainment [16]
  • Stadium Astro - sports news website[17]
  • SYOK - app hosting the company's radio stations and podcasts[18]
  • Ulagam - Indian language news and entertainment website[19]
  • Xuan - Chinese language news and entertainment website[20]
    • Hotspot - Xuan's subpage; originally a standalone website[21]

Services and products[edit]

Astro Go[edit]

The streaming service of Astro was launched in 2012 called Astro On-The-Go (AOTG).[22] The launch of the app enabled customers to access to Astro TV Channels, Live Events, Video-On-Demand (VOD) and Catch Up TV on mobile devices. The app was also made for international users in March 2013.[23]

The app was renamed to Astro Go on 31 March 2017[24] and saw a significant revamp that introduced several new features, such as a more user-friendly interface, improved video playback quality, and better content discovery tools. Astro Go offers personalized content recommendations based on viewing history and preferences and allows customers to download shows for offline viewing.

Connected boxes (Ultra box & Ulti box)[edit]

In November 2019, Astro launched the Ultra Box,[25] its first self-installable set-top box which can be used with satellite or broadband/Wi-Fi. The main features are its better viewing experience with 4K UHD and access to cloud-based video recording as well as video-on-demand content.

Expanding its set-top box offerings, Astro introduced the Ulti Box[26] in 2021 which showcases similar features to the Ultra Box. The key difference is that the Ulti Box only provides HD resolutions rather than a 4K UHD experience.

Astro Fibre[edit]

Astro embarked on its broadband journey in 2011 by collaborating with TIME Dotcom to serve content over broadband through its Astro B.yond IPTV service. To further its place in the ISP space, Astro entered a partnership with Maxis in 2019, resulting in the introduction of Astro & Broadband. In 2022, Astro became an Internet Service Provider and began offering standalone broadband through Astro Fibre, which is also offered to businesses through its BIZfibre services.

Criticism and controversies[edit]

Monopoly over paid television market[edit]

Astro has been criticised 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 its launch.[27][28] 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.[29]

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.[30] 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.[31]

Sports content dispute[edit]

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[32] and 2018. Competitors were restricted from airing those events,[33][34] or were required by regulators to pay excessive royalties to Astro.[32] The high royalty fees were criticised 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.[32] 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.[34] 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 being restricted to Astro.[35]

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.[36]


Astro has been criticised 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.[37] Malaysiakini reporter Cheah Kah Seng encouraged customers to protest against the price hikes and provided instructions on how to do so.[38] 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.[39]

Astro often shows commercials on premium channels for which consumers paid for an ad-free experience.[40] Customers who use the Astro personal video recorder (PVR), Astro MAX, have reported performance problems[37] and difficulty in recording certain channels.[41]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "BursaMKTPLC : IQ215354258". Archived from the original on 24 July 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  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. ^ "Astro Awani's official website".
  8. ^ "Berita Sukan Terkini".
  9. ^ "Astro全佳HD→AstroQJ频道!持续推出最新中国、台湾综艺戏剧内容" (in Chinese). Xuan. 25 August 2023. Retrieved 25 August 2023.
  10. ^ "传双星小太阳停播Astro回应了" (in Chinese). China Press. 25 August 2023. Retrieved 25 August 2023.
  11. ^ "全佳HD 28日起易名Astro QJ频道- 娱乐" (in Chinese). Sin Chew Daily. 26 August 2023. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  12. ^ "Gempak Official website".
  13. ^ "Rojak Daily Subpage in Gempak".
  14. ^ "Go Shop Official website".
  15. ^ "Astro perkenal 'Naura' Saluran gaya hidup muslim kontemporari". 27 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Sooka Official website".
  17. ^ "Stadium Astro Official website".
  18. ^ "SYOK Official Website".
  19. ^ "Astro Ulagam Official website".
  20. ^ "Xuan Official website".
  21. ^ "Hotspot Subpage in Xuan".
  22. ^ "Astro On-The-Go: My New Way to Enjoy Korean Drama!".
  23. ^ "Astro Launches On The Go Service for International Users -".
  24. ^ "Astro GO Goes Official: Is The Satellite TV Company Trying To Realign Its Digital Strategy?".
  25. ^ "The New Astro Ultra Plug & Play Box".
  26. ^ "Astro launches Ulti Box, adding to its connected boxes series".
  27. ^ Sharil (18 August 2017). "New Satellite TV Service Emerges, Ending Astro's Monopoly". Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  28. ^ Wong, Alexander (19 November 2018). "There are 5 satellite Pay TV providers in Malaysia but nothing has changed". SoyaCincau. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  29. ^ Siew Li, Kang (18 August 2017). "Tech: HyppTV more than just complementary to TM". The Edge. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  30. ^ Syed Jafaar, Syahirah (8 February 2019). "Proposed clampdown on Android TV box would boost Astro". The Edge. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  31. ^ "No more monopoly for Astro overpaid TV broadcasting, Parliament told". Malay Mail. Kuala Lumpur. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ a b "Media Prima drops Fifa ball". The Sun. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  35. ^ Khoo, Daniel (31 May 2018). "Astro shares continue on downtrend". The Star. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  36. ^ "Ada Monopoli Astro di Siaran Liga Inggris". Kompas (in Indonesian). 10 July 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  37. ^ a b Kah Seng, Cheah (11 September 2007). "Malaysiakini: How I save RM30 on Astro a month". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  38. ^ Kah Seng, Cheah (27 July 2007). "Here's how to protest against Astro". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ Xavier, Joachim (14 June 2007). "Astro suffering from monopoly syndrome". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  41. ^ Adrian (5 November 2006). "Astro MAX". Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2020.

External links[edit]