Asian subscription TV retains strength

A consistent theme of this year's CASBAA convention was affirmation of the strong consumer base from which the Asian industry is working in late 2008. "We now have a customer-base of 300 million pay-TV connections across Asia Pacific creating a minimum annual turnover of more than $20 billion year," said Simon Twiston Davies, CEO of CASBAA. "While the Asian TV ad spend may stumble in the coming months, we see few signs of a slow down in subscription revenues."

A panel of pay-TV platform operators from Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Indonesia were estimated to represent $780 million per year in annual collections from subscribers. "These are the vital revenues ultimately passed up the value chain to content creators, the channels, satellite operators and the providers of hardware and services," said Twiston Davies.

Nevertheless, said Terry Clontz, the CEO of StarHub in Singapore: "The rising cost of content meant that, at least for StarHub, profit has not risen commensurately with revenue. We’re doing it more, but enjoying it less."

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