India will lead Asia in digital pay-TV, broadband seen slow: report

MUMBAI: Digital pay-TV adoption will grow exponentially in India, but broadband consumption will remain modest. As a result, India will lead the Asia-Pacific region in pay-TV industry revenue generation by 2015 but lag most of its neighbors in broadband value creation.

These are the findings of a research report released today by Hong Kong based Media Partners Asia (MPA) entitled “Asia Pacific Pay-TV and Broadband Markets 2007”.


Some of the highlights of the report are that India will lead Asia in pay-TV industry revenue generation by 2015 but lag most of its neighbours in broadband value creation. The total revenue opportunity is estimated at $16 billion by 2015

MPA sees pay-TV penetration growing from 61 per cent of TV homes in 2006 to reach almost 90 per cent by 2015. Of this, more than 37 per cent of pay-TV users will be connected to a digital network by then, the larger numbers coming from DTH. The report estimates that there will be 23 million digital pay-TV cable subs by 2015 as against 38 million for DTH.

What the report clearly indicates is that pay-TV cable will always be playing catch-up to DTH, a situation that is already being witnessed today. Comparing the sub base of the major DTH players with that of the big cable MSOs, these are the numbers thrown up: Zee’s DTH service provider Dish TV has crossed the 2 million mark as far as its subscriber numbers go. Also gathering speed is Tata Sky with 800,000 subs. Zee’s cable arm WWIL on the other hand, currently stands at 250,000, still some way behind Rajan Raheja’s Hathway Cable & Datacom, which is at 310,000.


Meanwhile, as regards advertising, the report estimates C&S TV revenues to grow at a CAGR of 12.4 per cent to reach $ 3.5 billion by 2015.

As for broadband HH penetration, it is expected to scale up to 11 per cent by 2015, implying 26 million users.

Commenting on the report’s key India-related findings, MPA executive director Vivek Couto said: “Digitization, consolidation and the gradual relaxation of regulations will help develop the market for pay-TV. With greater investment, last mile consolidation and digital upgrade, the cable industry in general and MSOs in particular should become increasingly corporatized and profitable. DTH will enter a phase of mass adoption between 2008 – 2012 with six operators likely to compete in the market. We expect consolidation in the long-term. The market for cable & satellite broadcasters will undergo commoditization in the near-term and profitable consolidation in the long-term. Increased pay-TV penetration, digitization and long-term economic growth will drive the market.”


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