Admin : There are rumours saying that LBN is financially wrecked. We know that a seven month shutdown can have a very bad negative impact on a company financially. How would you explain the present situation at LBN?
Shirantha : Whilst LBN has had to contend with a massive loss due to this issue we are in no way wrecked. Financially we are in a position to continue operations and expand the network as well as continue to improve on the services we provide.
Admin : When is the expected commercial relaunch of LBN?
Shirantha : We hope to commence commercial operations shortly.
Admin : Has the transmission network of LBN being damaged badly due to the shutdown. If not why has there been an extended period of testing?
Shirantha : There was extensive damage to the network. We have rectified most of the damage and have reconnected a majority of the customers who had changed to local antennas.
Admin : Should we expect an increase in the monthly rental of LBN packages and also the initial installation cost?
Shirantha : There will be no increase in the monthly charges for existing customers for at least the next six months. We are in the process of reevaluating the pricing in view of the new content we are introducing. If there is a revision this will apply to new customers only.
Admin : Will LBN be broadcasting the ICC World Cup tournament live? Dialog TV is said to have obtained exclusive rights for this on the pay television platform.
Shirantha : Dialog has got exclusive satellite rights and we are in discussions with the broadcaster. If Dialog has paid a premium to stop other platforms and deny non dialog customers from watching the world cup we will not be able to broadcast the world cup on LBN. This is yet to be finalized.
Admin : What else can we expect from LBN in the future?
Shirantha : We have already launched two sports channels. Namely Neo Sports and Neo Sports PLUS. We are in the final stages of discussions with HBO to launch HBO Family and HBO Hits. In addition we will also be adding Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery Travel and Living. Very shortly. However the most exciting thing in the future is the introduction of High Speed internet. The license for this has already been given by the TRC and we hope to launch this in the 2nd half of 2007. Whilst the digital signal is available at present we will formally launch the digital services shortly. There appears to be a common misconception that digital is only available on satellite.
So it looks like LBN subscribers are in for a treat with the upcoming launch of HBO Hits, HBO Family and Discovery Communication Channels. Not to mention high speed internet which seems to be the best thing that can happen to LBN subscribers. Even if LBN does not show the ICC World Cup the planned channel lineup as well as the internet plans will make up for it.
We like to thank Mr. Shirantha for taking time to answer the above questions.