My Conspiracy Theory
was not so far fetched
I told you that the decision to deny DBS subscribers the opportunity to watch the World Cup would be hot news. I also said that my conspiracy theory
concerning the Suharto clan's control of the media was sketchy as I don't have full knowledge of who owns what.
However, it seems that I wasn't far wrong and my thoughts have been widely read in the Indonesian language blogosphere thanks to Pak Priyadi
and Spawn's Sanctuary
points out that it's better that a terrestrial TV station such as SCTV carries the World Cup.I just can't imagine if the holder of the right is not a traditional network like SCTV, but a cable TV operator. With less than 1 million cable subscribers, their homes could be targetted by angry football fans around the country.
Quite, but then we DBS subscribers have paid
for a service which the monopolist media moguls have now denied to us. Like many in my predicament, I watched the England match ~ yawn, yawn ~ on a TV with an internal antenna, my wife's. The reception wasn't that good, but enough to wonder why I'd bothered. 'Er Indoors, meanwhile, was watching a channel broadcast by Indovision. It was SCTV. Seriously! SCTV had a show called Sirkus, Sirkus
and some other crap. Now if they could do that, why couldn't they have broadcast the World Cup by DBS?
But there is an answer to that ~ viewers in neighbouring countries could tune in. So bloody what?
is my riposte. Just think how much more the advertisers could have been charged.
However, as Endy Bayuni, the chief editor of the Jakarta Post, points out today
, 70 million to 80 million Indonesians live in areas where they cannot tune in to SCTV. Although it is a free-to-air channel, SCTV can only be viewed in cities where it has set up relay stations. This forces many people, depending on their satellite dish, to invest a further Rp 1 million (US$100) on a decoder.
So we have a situation where the wealthy in Indonesia won't have to pay a thing to watch the matches, but many of the poor will have to invest a lot if they want to enjoy the privilege.
But let's return to my conspiracy theory which, do note, was posted before the England game was on.
One reason that I don't enjoy watching football on Indonesia's terrestrial TV stations is because the talking heads employed don't seem to be that interested in the game or even know much about the game. (Mind you, neither do American commentators who refer to goal tenders and the offence. But I digress.)
On Saturday, having hurried home from a wedding, I was just too late to see England's winning goal but in time for the next 85 minutes. At half time, we were greeted with a slow speaking, dull-looking ibu
(term used for older women - lit.'mother'. Indcoup
has a screen grab.). Oh no, I thought, and checked my emails. So I didn't know that the ibu
was Soeharto's daughter Titiek. As the SCTV spokesman Uki Pratama said, "Titiek has to improve her skill as a presenter.
She is the commissioner of and owns some shares in PT Abhitama Mediatama, a company that controls majority shares in SCTV.
explains how she got airtime. As for the why she'd bother, as the Jakarta Post says
, the public could be forgiven for thinking the appearance of Titiek was part of a public relations campaign launched by the Soeharto family to mend its tarnished image.
Of course, that would be impossible.
Ade Armando of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) also said the move was politically charged.
So, can we expect an investigation?
"As a private television station, SCTV makes use of a frequency that belongs to the public. It therefore should not allow it to be used as a vehicle by which politicians can promote their own interests.
Furthermore, he added, "Titiek has done it in a very inelegant way
" and "Technically speaking, she is not someone who knows a lot about soccer. Politically, she is not known as clean figure and physically she is not very attractive to lure viewers
Quite.STOP PRESS 6.05pm
Yosef Ardi reports that due to massive public protests Titiek Soeharto has been dropped as a presenter!