Jakarta. Publicly listed media holding company Visi Media Asia, better known as Viva, said it has no plans to sell its majority stake in subsidiary Intermedia Capital, denying recent rumors that it may give up its cash cow free-to-air television station to a local rival to repay debt.
"There will always be rumors. We are aware of this rumor and we believe it may be based on the fact that our group has had tremendous performance," Viva president director Anindya Novyan Bakrie said in Jakarta on Tuesday (26/06).
Viva has an 89 percent interest in Intermedia, the operator of free-to-air TV station ANTV, which, along with rival Surya Citra Televisi (SCTV), each controls 16 percent of the Indonesian market, according to AGB Nielsen Media Research.
ANTV reported total revenue of Rp 1.9 trillion ($136 million) last year, which rose 13 percent compared with a year earlier. Viva derives nearly 80 percent of its revenue from ANTV.
Anindya expressed optimism that Viva and ANTV will be able to maintain their performance over the next few years. While free-to-air TV's share of total net advertising spending will likely decline to 56 percent this year from 59 percent in 2017, operators can expect to still attract at least half of all advertising spending over the next four years, according to research agency Media Partners Asia.
"Our advertising revenue target is always based on the country's gross domestic product growth. If GDP growth is defined as 'X,' then our advertising revenue target will increase by double that figure," Anindya said.
"This way, we can ensure that we maintain our dominant share of the [advertising] market," he added.
Rumors started circulating early this year that Viva planned to sell its majority stake in Intermedia to Elang Mahkota Teknologi, the parent company of ANTV's closest competitor, SCTV.
Besides ANTV, Viva also controls TV One, another free-to-air TV station that leads the news category with a 2.7 percent share of the market. TV One's competitors include Metro TV, which controls 1.2 percent of the market, Kompas TV (1.1 percent) and iNews TV (1 percent).
Viva's segmentation strategy sees TV One classified as a news channel mainly targeted at male viewers, while ANTV is positioned as an entertainment channel targeting female viewers.
"The importance of this strategy is to always ensure that our TV channels don't conflict with each other; TV One is for males, while ANTV is for females," Anindya said.