Asia-Pacific pay-TV subscription revenue to touch $22 billion by 2008: Report

MUMBAI: The US-based communications & networking research and consulting firm Yankee Group has predicted that pay-TV subscriptions in the Asia Pacific region will increase to $22.1 billion by 2008.

In its report, the research firm has also observed that cable operators in the region will face increasing competitive pressure from telecom, broadband and satellite service providers.

According to the report, with a market size of $11.7 billion, majority of revenue still comes from the basic cable TV service segment.

Cable's dominance in part is attributed to increasingly positive government support and, in some cases, intervention in individual Asia-Pacific economies. The legalisation of private cable operation in Taiwan has led to phenomenal growth in the country's cable TV sector.

Telcos and broadband Internet providers gear up their infrastructures for pay TV in Asia-Pacific. Cable TV service will account for 70.5 per cent of the total subscription revenue while satellite direct-to-home (DTH) 27.3 per cent with other emerging services accounting for 2.2 per cent, said an official release quoting the report.

"Telecom carriers and broadband Internet providers are poised to extend their presence in the Asia-Pacific pay-TV arena," says Yankee Group telecommunication strategies Asia-Pacific senior analyst Agatha Poon. "By spending millions of dollars on infrastructure and technology, telcos and broadband Internet providers have the potential to upset the present balance of cable-satellite pay-TV market. Content will be the key to drive demand for premium pay-TV subscription beyond the basic package that constitutes the bulk of the subscriber base today."

The report states that although much activity now revolves around the delivery of digital cable TV services, traditional cable operators will face increasing competitive pressure from DTH and broadband providers in several Asia-Pacific economies including Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Australia. As innovative technologies and service flexibility separate winners from losers at the operational level, Asian governments should strengthen their role in pushing market uptake through further deregulation and liberalisation, says the report.

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