Astro & Premier League Story Takes a New Turn

Well, you could have blown me down with a feather.

Back in August, I uploaded a personal note on Astro Nusantara after they dropped the British Premier League without so much as a by your leave (see Astro sucks if you’re not short on time and have no particular place to go).

Last week, I received an SMS / Text Message from Astro saying, “So Long & Thanks for all the Fish”.

It didn’t say that literally but you get the idea — I half-thought it was a crank or junk text but, when I arrived home, my Astro satellite decoder (cheap piece of crap that it is) did nothing but blink the time at me.

Damn it: not even the right time.

(By the way, I might have taken the time to post a few notes on the topic the following week but, fortunately, I had my hands full…)

Anyhoo, on the day, I didn’t believe it so popped over to the Astro Nusantara website to be greeted by:

Sorry our website address has changed to
In a moment you will automatically be re-directed to

How funny is that?

So, I went to see the Direct Vision website where I was greeted by a thank you note and a picture of people on elephant back… no, I’m serious, look:


Oh look: the chap at the front has a football… he sure as hell didn’t get that from Astro.

A thank you note and an elephant… you just couldn’t make this stuff up, could you?

In case you’re interested, the note reads something like:

During more than 2 years, PT Direct Vision has broadcast Astro TV and become part of the rich family life of Indonesia.

Now it is time for us to say goodbye and not broadcast until further notice.

Sorry, not our inclination to break up with you, the family of Indonesia.

We remain concerned about our loyal customers.

Customers who have paid in advance will be called for the refund process.

We are proud to have served you.

Thank you on behalf of all the staff of PT DIRECT VISION

Aha, yeah. Alrighty then. Oh, and about that refund phonecall…

So there we are. No live football becomes no tv at all.

Now, back in August shortly after one dreary Saturday night when football and Astro had gone the way of Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston, I had found out there was a new playa on the scene: AORA TV.

Now, the AORA deal is a weird one I think and given that there’s already a thank you note and an elephant in the picture, you can be pretty sure I mean WEIRD.

Firstly, I’d never heard of Aora until August.

Next thing you know they’ve launched a new satellite outfit and they’ve got the contract for the British Premier League. Only 1.7 million rupiah for the WHOLE YEAR. What a deal. And a half.

And for that, you get the Olympics (on 4 channels) and the British Premier League (2 channels) and the History Channel and the Hallmark Channel and CNN and BBC and, and, and, and Boomerang (?!) and the Crime Investigation network and, and, and, and a few Indonesian free over the air channels… 12 in all at the time of writing but I believe there were only 8 back in those heady early days of August & September. Or it was the Olympics + 8 more channels.

For only 1.7 mill.

I’m sold. I’m not: I’m bought and sold — what the hell is going on? Where did this Jonny-come-lately find the moolah (my favourite word of today) to pick up the Olympics and the Premier League but still be wood post dumb enough to not offer anything else?

Which bright spark at ESPN/STAR allowed themselves into a deal with a company who’ll ensure their brightest product (BPL) never sees the light of day (or late evening)?

How the hell did that happen? Why, why, why?

Oh well. Whatever. Never mind.

The main thing is that it happened.

So, I call Indovision (no way I’m going to risk being cut off by another new satellite provider and, besides, apart from the football which is only on the weekend, I’d quickly go nuts watching Hallmark and The History Channel from Monday to Friday).

And that’s how the story went until this morning when Hep tells me on Saturday night he watched Man United kick about with the intrepid Hull City… on normal TV… for free.

Eh? What? And you didn’t call me?

It was too late.

You f**$%#er.

Then we had a little morning exercise (me chasing Hep around a tiki hut to fetch him a ding alongside the ear) and, after that, we hit the web (we’re just trying to make sense of it all) and, yes, it turns out that TV One (a member of the same group as AORA) is now airing select BPL games live on the weekend.

You could have blown me down… I said that already.

And, if you search the TV ONE website for “liga inggris” and can read Indonesian you’ll see that, apparently, since September 18th, Direct Vision (last seen apologising on elephant back with a football) are now being investigated by the Indonesian version of the Anti-Trust committee… or whichever branch of government deals with monopoly.

Well, something’s fishy… something just plain reeks but if it means easy access to live football, who am I to complain?

I do hope those chaps at Direct Vision will be ok, though… but perhaps I needn’t worry… that elephant certainly looks fast.


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