Facts On NTV7’s Founder And History As It Closes Down For DidikTV

Many of us who were born in the 90s probably grew up with NTV7. It was definitely the channel of choice for those like me whose families haven’t had Disney or Nickelodeon for their kids on Astro.

While many of us have probably migrated to Netflix now that we’re older, it’s always a bittersweet feeling to say goodbye to the channel as it ends for the time being.

Therefore, to pay tribute to this channel that has delighted Malaysian viewers across the country, here are 7 quick facts about the history of NTV7 since its inception.

1. NTV7 was created by a politician

The channel was launched on April 7, 1998 by politician Tan Sri Mohd Effendi Norwawi from Sarawak.

The pioneer of our children’s channel / Image credit: MIFG

Prior to NTV7, he was Executive Chairman of the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) for 15 years. At that time, he was also a member of the state assembly in Sarawak from 1991 to 1999, and then became a member of the federal parliament from 1999 to 2004.

Today Tan Sri Mohd Effendi is the chairman of Bloomberg TV Malaysia and has already disengaged from NTV7.

2. They had 7 different logos since they started

Since their debut in 1998, they have changed logos 7 times, the most durable being the famous purple sphere with the number 7 in white on it.

We all remember it the most for the purple sphere / Image Credit: NTV7

Their first 3 logos had the word “NTV” included in front of the 7, but this was removed when they switched to their 4th logo in 2006.

However, they decided to bring back the “NTV” in their logo when they upgraded to their last one in 2018 which has lasted so far and looks like the logo of the American cable channel MTV.

3. Media Prima played a major role in their deleveraging in 2005

According to The Star, Media Prima acquired NTV7 for RM90 million after helping the company pay off debts.

Half of their RM 145 million net debt was discharged at the end of the year by Media Prima and the remainder was discharged over a 3 year period from 2006.

Previously, NTV7’s revenue and profit declined for a few years, and it recorded a net loss of RM21.1 million between the beginning of 2005 and the end of July of this year.

However, Media Prima’s acquisition of the company was also expected to gain a significant share of its viewers and advertising revenue, as they faced challenges of price reduction in TV commercials.

Therefore, the acquisition was aimed at saving them RM15 million per year and reinvesting their savings in improving the local content of the show.

4. Their attempt to cut Chinese content has sparked controversy

When they changed their name in 2018, Media Prima planned to move all of their Chinese content to its sister channel, 8TV. The company’s initial plan was to reposition 8TV as the only all-Chinese channel.

The channel’s Chinese content had already been reduced to a few Chinese dramas from Hong Kong and China, as well as a few Mandarin-language news broadcasts, before the rebranding.

The cut sparked friction between Media Prima and MCA, and Lim Guan Eng called on the channel to reinstate the midnight Chinese news in the statement.

When the 2018 general election was held, the channel’s bulletin became the second-most-watched after TV3’s Buletin Utama, prompting Media Prima not to cut Chinese news entirely, due to the positive response from the Chinese community.

5. Their iconic theme song wasn’t exactly recorded for them

James Brown is the late American singer of their theme song, I feel good. Although the song was not recorded for NTV7, it was chosen as the channel’s theme due to its correspondence with the channel’s brand “Feel Good”.

He was present on NTV7 for almost 10 years from 1998 to 2006. In 2005, James came to KL and performed at the KL Hilton through his James Brown Live Concert.

The late legend behind our anthem Feel Good / Image Credit: The Star

James was 72 at the time and was greeted by Malaysian fans upon his arrival at KLIA.

6. Their teleshopping platform Pulled in 2 Millions of customers in 48 months

Since launching their home shopping block, CJ WOW Shop (now WOW Shop after Media Prima took full ownership of Korean conglomerate CJ Group) has attracted 1 million customers in 30 months, and another million in 18 following months.

That number of customers represented 27% of the country’s 7.2 million homes, which they managed to penetrate, according to NST.

Home Shopping Via TV / Image Credit: NST

The performance of the home shopping platform contributed 32% of the overall turnover of the Media Prima group in the first half of its fiscal year 2020, that is to say a turnover of 152.8 million RM and a profit net of RM 6.3 million, according to Focus Malaysia.

52% of their sales were made via web and mobile, while the rest was via television.

7. They won a trophy at an award ceremony in China

Besides having their own awards show, the Golden Awards, they also managed to win one of 9 trophies that NTV7 and 8TV gathered at the 4th Asia Rainbow TV Awards in China.

According to NST, it was held in January 2019, at the Yalong Bay Conference Center in Sanya, China.

The award they won was thanks to their reality show, Mandarin Battle Stars Season 7, which won the award for best game and quiz.

– // –

While it’s been a while since many of us watched the childhood shows we grew up with on NTV7, it’s safe to say that the dubbed shows from Doraemon and Shin Chan would be the ones we will miss on the more by reminding us.

The Edge clarified with Media Prima that NTV7 will not go away, but that the new DidikTV is not seen as a short-term initiative either.

We can’t predict when or if the NTV7 we know will make a comeback, but by then fans should be getting their favorite shows from other sources.

  • You can read more lists than we have written here.

Featured Image Credit: MFIG / NTV7

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Jothi Venkat

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