In late February, Astro—the Malaysian satellite television giant with a RM 3.1 billion (US$691.3 million) market capitalisation—held a promotional event at Kuala Lumpur’s Suria KLCC shopping mall. There were lights, cameras, celebrities, and performers garbed in cartoon ensembles. The whole affair was for the company to showcase its products and services. But, beneath the superficial glamour lay a deeper story of a giant company fighting to keep its head above water in an ever-evolving industry.
Despite its decades-long near-monopoly in Malaysia’s satellite TV, Astro is struggling to retain subscribers and lure new ones to its offerings.
In the quarter ended October 2022, Astro’s revenue dropped ~9.3% compared to the same period in the previous year, and operating profit took an ~18% dive.