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IPTV survey reveals limited initial revenue expectations

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MUMBAI: Accenture and the Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a global survey of 302 technology and media firm executives. All of them are involved in or close to the IPTV business—network operators, equipment vendors, consumer electronics firms, broadcasters/studios and content providers.

Key Findings:

There is long-term optimism in IPTV: 34 per cent of the executives we surveyed believe IPTV will generate "significant revenue" by 2009 and another 57 per cent are at least "somewhat confident" that this will be the case.

But, few companies expect a substantial IPTV impact on their bottom line. Rather, most see the larger impact being on top-line growth. Network operators also hope IPTV will drive the take-up of broadband access connections and help reduce customer churn.

Content is critical to network operators' business model. They are currently acquiring it however they can, and the largest proportion of respondents say distribution without rights of ownership will be the primary means of sourcing IPTV content over the next year, according to an official release.

Video-on-demand is expected to be the chief money-maker among different IPTV services, both today and over the longer term. There is little consensus on other likely revenue sources. Respondents did not see advertising as a potential money-earner.

The chief hurdles to IPTV consumer adoption: a dearth of compelling content and lingering quality-of-service problems. Not a single respondent from this group is very confident that IPTV will spur significant revenue growth within a year of launch and no more than half are fairly or very confident of generating substantial revenue by 2009.

Despite respondents' pessimism that IPTV will spur growth in the near-term, major players are in various stages of testing IPTV. These include Verizon, AT&T, Telecom Italia, France Telecom and China Netcom, the release adds.

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