The rate of growth of C&S subscribers may shown signs of flagging
in 2003 (178.8 million subscribers by yearend 2003, signifying 32
per cent penetration of TV households), the leading markets by penetration
were Taiwan (83%), Korea (73%) and India (54%).
The total number of C&S subscribers is expected to grow to 234 million
by 2008 and 283 million by 2015, the soon-to-be released report
, Asia-Pacific Cable & Satellite Markets 2004 (ACSM), prepared by
the Hong Kong-based Media Partners Asia Ltd. (MPA) stated.
However, MPA feels that the slow down in the growth rate is a sign
of "maturity" of the industries after almost a decade and a half
in Asia with deployment of digital set-top boxes (STBs) and tiered
services gradually increasing. These trends could accelerate over
the next decade, the report has indicated.
Commenting on the report's findings, MPA director of content & research,
Vivek Couto, said, "As basic subscriber growth slows, operators
need to build up new revenue streams through an economic tiering
of expanded basic and premium programming services and the rollout
of video-on-demand, high definition TV and personal video recorder-type
According to Couto, most major pay TV markets and operators have
begun to overcome the burden of network, programming and technology
costs, boosted by consolidation, stronger regional currencies and
greater access to capital. "However, regional markets and cable
operators, in particular (as opposed to digital satellite and ADSL
video platforms), remain restricted by the effects of regulation,
which continues to impact the development of a viable digital pay
TV franchise, an increase in tiered service penetration, and the
rollout of set-top boxes to combat piracy, build addressability
and reduce profit leakage," he added.
Some of the highlights of the ACSM 2004 are as follows:
- Taiwan, Korea and India remain highest penetrated C&S markets.
- Digital C&S subscribers reach 7.9 million, signifying, 25 per
cent Y/Y growth, driven by DTH satellite.
- Digital cable subscribers reach 756,000 as regulatory roadblocks
impact volume-led deployment.
- Broadband penetration increases as cable modem subscribers top
9 million, signifying a 27 per cent Y/Y growth.
- Total industry revenues grow by 17 per cent to reach US$15.9 billion.
- C&S TV subscription revenues up 18 per cent to reach US$11.2 billion.
- Net (local) C&S TV advertising up 12 per cent to US$2.2 billion.
Couto added, "Critical to ACSM 2004's revenue and subscriber forecasts
is greater deregulation, which may occur in the long term. In the
medium term, MPA believes that the inevitability of market demand
will drive digital and tiered service subscriber penetration in
the region, particularly as equipment prices continue to decline
and consumer demand continues to increase."
The development of tiers and new services along with growth (albeit,
at a reduced rate) in basic tier subscribers could increase total
C&S industry revenues (video, voice and data subscription and advertising)
from US$15.9 billion in 2003 to US$26.8 billion by 2008 and US$37.2
billion by 2015, according to forecasts from MPA.
Doing a crystal ball gazing, MPA predicts that tiered service subscribers
and digital penetration are poised to grow exponentially as market
demand would increase, equipment prices fall, premium and pay TV
content availability becomes greater, and regulatory roadblocks
The MPA reports further states that digital C&S subscribers is estimated
to touch the 29.5 million mark by 2008 and over 54 million by 2015.
However, the overall regional trend in 2003 was that basic subscriber
additions were trending downward, while tiered service subscriber
additions were gradually increasing and on the cusp of exponential
future growth, driven by greater digital deployment.
Here are some other highlights of the MPA research report.
By subscribers, the leading markets were:
1. China (100 mil.)
2. India (47.7 mil.)
3. Korea (11.9 mil.)
4. Japan (8.1 mil.)
5. Taiwan (5.3 mil.)
6. Australia (1.5 mil.)
7. Malaysia (1.2 mil.)
In terms of year-on-year growth, leading performers included digital
DTH satellite platforms in:
1. Korea (109%)
2. Malaysia (26%)
3. New Zealand (16%)
Cable TV platforms in:
1. Korea (45%)
2. India (11%)
Digital satellite deployment remains robust, with DTH subscribers
growing by 20 per cent in 2003 to reach 7.1 million, driven by platforms
1. Japan (3.1 mil.)
2. Malaysia (1.2 mil.)
3. Korea (1.1 mil.)
4. Australia (807,000)
5. New Zealand (453,000)
6. Thailand (298,000)
Digital cable deployment remains slow, largely held up by regulatory
issues. Total digital cable subscribers grew by 123 per cent in
2003 to reach 756,000 subscribers, driven by Hong Kong (400,000)
and China (201,000).
Broadband cable penetration continues to gradually increase as consumer
prices and equipment costs decline. Cable modem subscribers still
heavily trail ADSL in the region and saw annualized growth almost
halved from 52 per cent in 2002 to 27 per cent in 2003 with total
subscribers reaching 9.1 million, driven by Korea (4.6 mil.) and
Japan (2.5 mil.)
Total industry revenues grew by 17 per cent in 2003 to reach US$15.9
billion, led by Japan (US$5 bn.), China (US$2.9 bn.) and India (US$2.5
In 2003, video or TV-based services (subscription and advertising)
contributed US$13.4 billion (17 per cent growth) in revenues; cable
modem subscription US$2.4 billion (21 per cent growth); and cable
telephony subscription US$171 million (24 per cent growth).
Cable & satellite TV subscription revenue grew by 18 per cent in
2003 to reach US$11.2 billion, while net (local) cable & satellite
TV advertising grew by 12 per cent in 2003 to reach US$2.2 billion.
C&S advertising remains driven by increasing viewership and high
penetration in major markets such as Taiwan, India and China.
In terms of revenue generation, the top 10 leading cable & satellite
related (distribution and content-focused) companies in FY 2003
(all estimates to fiscal year ended Dec. 2003) included J-COM Broadband/Japan
(US$1,210 mil.), Sky Perfect Communications/Japan (US$687 mil.),
Foxtel/Australia (US$466 mil.) and Star Group/Regional (US$ 292
mil), which was mainly derived from India, Taiwan and China. India's
home grown Zee Telefilms occupied the No. 8 slot with revenues of
US$ 267 million.
The voluminous ACSM 2004 is a 400-page report in its entirety with
profiles of six industry sectors, 12 segments, 13 markets and up
to 50 cable, DTH & ADSL operators, together with comprehensive data
and forecasts from 2000 - 2015, plus detailed listings of leading
Based in Hong Kong, MPA is a leading publishing and research company
dedicated to comprehensive and independent analysis of Asia's media
& communications industries through a variety of platforms. MPA
publishes a fortnightly newsletter (Media Route 26) and a quarterly
magazine (The Asia Media Journal).