China, India to drive digital TV growth in APAC

MUMBAI: The penetration of digital television in Asia Pacific will increase from 36 per cent to 83 per cent, up by 440 million homes in 2017 with China and India providing 350 million of the additional digital TV homes, according to a new research report from Digital TV Research.

The report forecasts China alone would provide 268 million of the additional digital TV homes, while India would add 82 million. By 2017, the two countries would provide 541 million digital TV homes combined – or three-quarters of Asia Pacific’s total.

Of the 440 million digital homes to be added between 2011 and 2017, 103 million will come from DTT. Digital cable will contribute a further 195 million, with pay DTH supplying a 34 million more and pay IPTV 86 million. By contrast, the region will lose 152 million analog cable homes and 196 million analog terrestrial ones.

Additionally, pay TV penetration will rise from 53 per cent in 2011 to 67 per cent in 2017, adding 165 million subs to take the total to 569 million. China will provide 315 million pay TV households, with India supplying a further 145 million.

However, pay TV penetration will be higher in South Korea (93 per cent) and Singapore (90 per cent). Legitimate pay TV penetration will be lowest in Indonesia (23 per cent), with the Philippines the next lowest at 27 per cent.

Pay TV revenues in Asia Pacific will be $11.7 billion higher in 2017 ($40.7 billion total) than in 2011. Japan with $10.6 billion will remain market leader in 2017, followed by China ($9.7 billion) and India ($7.1 billion). However, pay TV revenues will be flat in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea.

Report author Simon Murray said: “Despite the rapid conversion, digital TV will still have plenty of room for growth for some time to come. Only half of the countries covered in this report will have fully converted to digital by 2017. By then, Indonesia and the Philippines will still have analog penetration of 70% and 64% respectively. China will have 24 million analog homes and India 57 million.”

Cable TV will remain the highest earner, with revenues at $23.6 billion by 2017. Digital cable TV revenues will climb by 137 per cent between 2011 and 2017 to $21.2 billion, with analog cable TV falling from $11.4 billion to $2.3 billion. There will be 383 million cable homes by 2017, up only 44 million from 339 million at end-2011. Cable penetration will be 44.7 per cent by 2017, almost unchanged from 44.4 per cent at end-2011.

The good news for cable operators is that the number of digital subs will nearly triple over the same period to nearly 332 million, though the analog total will fall to a quarter of its 2011 total. Although the total is falling rapidly, there will still be 51 million analog cable subs (six per cent of TV households) by 2017.

The number of homes paying for IPTV will reach 110 million by 2017 – or 12.8 per cent of TV households. China will contribute 77 million IPTV subs (or 70% of the region’s total) by 2017. IPTV subs will overtake pay DTH ones in 2013. About 34 million pay DTH homes will be added between 2011 and 2017 taking the total to 76 million.

Primary DTT households (homes not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV but taking DTT) will rocket from 30 million (four per cent penetration) at end-2011 to 133 million (15.5 per cent) by 2017. China will provide 84 million of the 2017 total, followed by Japan with 10 million and India 9 million.

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