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The Political Economy of Indonesia Broadcasting Industry

I stumbled on a random Facebook post complaining the significant difference in quality and reliability of analog (top picture) vs digital (bottom picture) TV broadcast. So I conversed with Syauqi to get him to explain the industry to me.

Analog TV is very sensitive to fluctuations in signal strength, hence its unreliability and low quality. However, digital TV merely needs the existence of signal (whether the signal is strong or weak) to be able to produce HD quality display.

So why Indonesia stuck at using analog TV? Politics and oligarchy.

RUU Penyiaran has been rejected for ten years. A spectrum/frequency that can serve one analog TV channel can serve 20 digital TV channel. Moreover, the capital expenditure for digital TV is merely 10% of their analog counterpart. If the law is enacted, there would be a massive mushrooming of new players in the TV industry. Low barrier to entry will lead to higher competition which will push the margin down. The TV advertising market is worth tens of trillions of rupiahs. They don’t want the pie to be shared among a large number of players.

It is said that these oligarchs can afford to pay for parliament member so they can protect their interest. Other countries have already converted to digital TV, including Singapore. Indonesia lagged behind.

Because of these shitty oligarchs we have to endure low quality broadcast and also low quality content? They deserve to bleed to their financial death. I will find out how to do it.

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