Many of us who were born in the 90s probably grew up with NTV7. It was definitely the go-to channel for those like me whose families didn’t get Disney or Nickelodeon for their kids on Astro.
While many of us likely migrated to Netflix now that we’re older, it’s still a bittersweet feeling saying goodbye to the channel as it wraps up for now.
Hence, to pay tribute to this channel that has brought joy to Malaysian viewers nationwide, here are 7 bite-sized facts of NTV7’s history since its inception.
1. NTV7 Was Created By A Politician
The channel was started on April 7, 1998 by politician Tan Sri Mohd Effendi Norwawi who hails from Sarawak.
Prior to NTV7, he was the Executive Chairman of the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) for 15 years. Around that time, he also served as a state assemblyman in Sarawak from 1991 to 1999, and later 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 divested from NTV7.
2. They Had 7 Different Logos Since They Started
Since they started in 1998, they’ve changed logos 7 times, the longest-lasting ones being the famous purple sphere with the number 7 in white on it.
Their first 3 logos had the word “NTV” included in front of the 7, but that was taken off when they changed to their 4th logo in 2006.
However, they decided to bring back the “NTV” in their logo when they changed to their final one in 2018 which has lasted until now and looks similar to that of the American cable channel MTV’s logo.
3. Media Prima Played A Huge Role In Getting Them Out Of Debt In 2005
According to The Star, Media Prima acquired NTV7 for RM90 million after helping the company deal with its debts.
Half of their net debt of RM145 million was cleared by the end of the year by Media Prima and the rest of them were cleared over the course of 3 years starting from 2006.
Before this, NTV7’s revenue and profits were going downhill for a few years, and it had a net loss of RM21.1 million from the start of 2005 until end-July that year.
However, Media Prima’s acquisition of the company was also to gain a big share of their viewers and advertising revenue, as they were facing price discounting challenges in TV advertisements.
Hence, the acquisition was targeted to save them RM15 million per year and reinvest their savings into improving the local content of the show.
4. There Was Controversy Over Their Chinese Content Reduction Attempt
When they rebranded in 2018, Media Prima had planned to shift all their Chinese content to its sister channel, 8TV. The company’s initial plan was to reposition 8TV as the sole all-Chinese channel.
The Chinese content on the channel had already been reduced to a few Chinese dramas from Hong Kong and China, as well as some Mandarin news bulletins, prior to the rebranding.
This reduction sparked some friction between Media Prima and MCA, and Lim Guan Eng called for the channel to restore the Chinese midnight news in this statement.
When the 2018 General Elections happened, the channel’s bulletin became the second most-watched one after TV3’s Buletin Utama, which prompted Media Prima not to take away Chinese news completely, due to the positive response they were receiving 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. While the song wasn’t recorded for NTV7, it was chosen as the channel’s theme due to how it matched the “Feel Good” channel’s branding.
It was present on NTV7 for almost 10 years from 1998 to 2006. In 2005, James came to KL and performed at KL Hilton through his James Brown Live Concert.
James was 72 years old then, and was greeted by Malaysian fans when he arrived in KLIA.
6. Their Teleshopping Platform Pulled In 2 Million Customers In 48 Months
Since the launch of their teleshopping block, CJ WOW Shop (now WOW Shop after Media Prima took full ownership from the Korean conglomerate CJ Group) raked in 1 million customers in 30 months, and another million in the next 18 months.
That number of customers amounted to 27% of the 7.2 million households in the nation, which they managed to penetrate, according to NST.
The teleshopping platform’s performance contributed to 32% of Media Prima’s overall group revenue in the first half of its 2020 financial year, which was a RM152.8mil revenue and a net profit of RM6.3mil, according to Focus Malaysia.
52% of their sales were done through the web and mobile, whereas the rest was done through TV.
7. They Won A Trophy At An Awards Show In China
Besides having their own awards show, the Golden Awards, they also managed to win one out of 9 trophies that both NTV7 and 8TV got together at the 4th Asia Rainbow TV Awards in China.
According to NST, it was held in January 2019, at Yalong Bay Conference Center in Sanya, China.
The award they won was thanks to their reality programme, Mandarin Battle Stars Season 7 which won the Best Game and Quiz Show Award.
Though 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 Doraemon and Shin Chan shows would be some that we’ll miss the most while reminiscing.
The Edge clarified with Media Prima that NTV7 will not be defunct, but that the new DidikTV is also not envisioned to be a short-term initiative.
We can’t predict when or if the NTV7 we know will ever make a comeback, but until then, fans would have to get their favourite programmes from other sources.
- You can read more listicles we’ve written here.
Featured Image Credit: MFIG / NTV7