India emerged as the third highest penetrated Cable & Satellite market with a penetration of 54 per cent in the APAC region. Taiwan has the highest penetration with 83 per cent, followed by Korea with 73 per cent penetration, according to ASIA PACIFIC CABLE & SATELLITE MARKETS 2004 (ACSM 2004), published by Media Partners Asia (MPA).
A subscriber breakup in the Asia Pacific market indicates that China leads with a subscriber base of 100 million subscribers, followed by India with 47.7 million subscribers, and Korea comes third with 11.9 million subscribers. Japan, Taiwan, Australia and Malaysia follow.
On an overall basis, Asia Pacific multi-channel cable & satellite subscribers grew by 9 per cent year-on-year to reach 178.8 million subscribers by year end 2003; 32 per cent penetration of TV households.
As per the new research report after almost a decade and half, Asia’s cable and satellite industries have begun to mature with subscriber growth slowing and the deployment of digital set-top boxes and tiered services gradually increasing. These trends could accelerate over the next decade
“As a 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 services. 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,” says Vivek Couto, MPA director of content and research.
“However, regional markets and cable operators, in particular (as opposed to digital satellite and ADSL video platforms) remain restricted by the effects of regulation. This continues to impact the development of a viable digital pay TV franchise, increase in tiered service penetration, and the rollout of set-top boxes to combat piracy, build addressability and reduce profit leakage,” he adds.
In terms of year-on-year growth, Korea and India remain leading performers in terms of cable TV platforms with 45 per cent and 11 per cent growth respectively.
However, the overall regional trend in 2003 was that basic sub additions were trending downward while tiered service sub adds were gradually increasing and on the cusp of exponential future growth, driven by greater digital deployment.
Tiered service subscribers grew by 12 per cent in 2003 to reach 9.2 million (5 per cent of total C&S subs), while digital subs grew by 25 percent to reach 7.9 million, only 1 per cent of TVHH in the region and 4 per cent penetration of total C&S subs. Digital satellite deployment remains robust, with DTH subs growing by 20 per cent in 2003 to reach 7.1 million.
Total industry revenues grew by 17 per cent in 2003 to reach US $15.9 billion led by Japan with revenues to the tune of US $5 bilion followed by China and India with revenues of US $2.9 billion and US $ 2.5 billion respectively.
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.
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.
According to forecasts from MPA, as published in ACSM 2004, the development of tiers and new services along with growth (albeit, at a reduced rate) in basic tier subscribers could increase total cable and satellite 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.