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Lee-Chin backs ReadyTV

Friday, April 27, 2018

Michael Lee-Chin's AIC Jamaica Limited yesterday became the single-largest shareholder in Jamaica's first digital subscription cable service, Ready TV.

Chief executive director of the company, Christopher Dehring, declined to disclose Lee-Chin's investment in the company and specifically what the investment will be used for.

Recent efforts by the company suggest that the investment could go towards facilitating phase two of ReadyTVs' network expansion that focuses on Manchester, St Elizabeth, Trelawny, St James and Westmoreland.

Launched in May 2017, ReadyTV has already created a buzz in the underserved communities with its digital TV services. The broadcast signal is available using an antenna and a set top box and currently covers Kingston, St Catherine and parts of Clarendon, St Ann and St Mary.

“We are excited by both the commercial opportunity and the positive socio-economic impact this service will have on all Jamaicans. We see ReadyTV and its unique business model and technology as a vehicle to bridge the digital divide and bring more people into the digital world,” Lee-Chin said in a release from the company.

The business guru said he was confident about joining forces with the main principals behind the project, knowing “exactly what we get with Chris given his track record of innovation, energy and leadership”.

“And we are equally proud to have gotten to know David Cassanova, who has designed and implemented ReadyTV's state-of-the-art digital network — truly a leader and innovator in his field. They make a great team.”

Cassanova, the technical brain behind the venture, expressed gratitude to see the dream for ReadyTV brought to reality by the AIC investment. He added that the investment helps to crystalise years of research and development and ushers a new age in the broadcast industry.

Last year the start-up telecommunications firm led by Cassanova and Dehring, teamed with leading distributors Facey Telecom to create a distribution and sales platform. Dehring said he was looking to not only revolutionise cable television, but also the way in which the public is able to access it.

Dehring sees the new project as not only providing Jamaicans with the best quality television service available worldwide, but thinks that it is a very timely intervention into the process of Jamaica achieving the national target of five per cent growth in three years.

Ready TV's directors are Peter Reid, chairman; Christopher Dehring; David Cassanova; Orville Burrell (aka Shaggy); and Gerard Borely, former chief financial officer at Cable and Wireless Caribbean.

“We see ourselves as facilitating the digital switch-over in Jamaica”, said Dehring. “To achieve this you need the right technology and the right business model, and I believe we have achieved both.”