Digitisation to propel pay TV revenue growth in Asia Pacific: Study

MUMBAI: The cable TV digitisation in India and other Asian countries will drive pay TV revenues in Asia Pacific which are expected to reach $43.9 billion in 2018 from $33.86 billion in 2013, according to Digital TV Asia Pacific report.

Digital cable television will comprise the largest chunk of the overall pay TV revenue pie. It is expected to grow from $12.42 billion in 2013 to $23.16 billion. Direct-to-Home (DTH) will be the second pay TV revenue contributor by 2018 with an estimated $11.6 billion in revenues, up from $8.5 billion in 2013.

Both digital cable TV and DTH will grow even as analogue cable TV revenue will shrink from $8.9 billion currently to to $1.83 billion as cable TV digitisation gains momentum. IPTV revenues during the same period are expected to reach $7.17 billion in 2018 from $4.01 billion.

The report also said that pay TV penetration will rise from 56 per cent in 2012 to 67 per cent in 2018, adding 154 million subscribers to take the total to 587 million.

China will provide 313 million pay TV households by 2018, with India supplying a further 158 million. However, pay TV penetration will be higher in South Korea (95 per cent) and Hong Kong (96 per cent).

Digital TV research‘s Simon Murray said, "Pay TV revenues will more than double in five countries Indonesia (tripling), Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam] between 2012 and 2018, but will fall in Hong Kong and South Korea.”

The Asia Pacific region is undergoing a rapid digital TV conversion that will see penetration increase from 16 per cent in 2008 to 44 per cent in 2012 and on to 90 per cent in 2018 – or up by 440 million homes between 2012 and 2018. By end-2013, digital penetration will reach 53 per cent, or 420 million homes (up by 78 million on the end-2012 figure), says the report.

Murray continued: “Despite the rapid conversion, digital TV will still have plenty of room for growth for some time to come. Only six of the 15 countries forecast in this report will have fully converted to digital by 2018. By then, Indonesia and the Philippines will have digital penetration of only 42 per cent and 34 per cent respectively. Indonesia will still have 29 million analog homes and India will have 31 million analog homes.”

Of the 440 million digital homes to be added between 2012 and 2018, 128 million will come from DTT. However, the number of analog terrestrial homes will fall by 204 million. Digital cable will contribute a further 187 million additional homes, with analog cable losing 141 million. Pay DTH will supply an extra 35 million and pay IPTV 71 million more.

The report also forecasted that pay IPTV subscribers will overtake that of pay DTH in 2016.

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