Struggling TV3 Asia Channel Looks to Restructure

New television channel TV3 Asia is undergoing a major push to revamp its image and change its content after struggling since its launch six months ago to compete with major local channels, station executives said Monday.

Launched in July with high hopes of capturing an audience interested in Japanese programs, TV3 Asia’s workforce has been reduced from about 70 to 55 staff members following resignations and layoffs in recent months, said Kenta Akamine, vice managing director of TV3 Asia.

Mr. Akamine said the station was restructuring its operations, cutting news content from 80 percent of programming to just 30 percent as it looks to attract viewers with more entertainment, such as game shows and dramas.

“We are kind of testing what people like, what people are interested in, so I guess we are still in this process,” he said.

Masaru Torii, the channel’s managing director, declined to give an estimate of the company’s profits or losses, but said the difficulties lie in the competitiveness of the media business, with channels like CTN and Hang Meas HDTV drawing more viewers with their programming, including high-profile boxing matches and popular shows such as The Voice.

“We thought news is making more profit…. But it is difficult because as you know Hang Meas news is very strong…. They make more profit than us,” Mr. Torii said.

“Now, there are 14 TV stations in Cambodia so we have many competitors,” he added.

The station, which is 80 percent owned by Japanese-owned TriAsia Group and 20 percent by TV3 operator KCS Cambodia, also plans to redesign its logo—which is currently similar to that of TV3—over the next few months.

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