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Hary Tanoesoedibjo, chief executive of Indonesia's MNC Group, talks during his visit to the Indonesia Stock Exchange in Jakarta on Feb. 3, 2017.   © Reuters

Global Mediacom's TV arm faces Indonesian soap opera war

Rival networks challenge cash cow of Trump's business partner

WATARU SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writer | Indonesia

JAKARTA -- Every night, millions of Indonesians turn on their TVs to watch local soap operas or music talent shows. At the pinnacle of this lucrative industry is Hary Tanoesoedibjo, the media mogul who has built ties with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Media Nusantara Citra, the TV broadcaster controlled by Tanoesoedibjo's media arm Global Mediacom, runs three national free-to-air networks -- RCTI, MNCTV and GlobalTV -- that in January commanded an audience share of more than 40% during prime time, between 6 and 10 p.m., according to research company Nielsen.

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