With markets, providers and consumers racing to deliver multichannel video anywhere, anytime and on any device – regulatory frameworks are not keeping up. Findings from a new CASBAA study show governments imposing heavy burdens on traditional multichannel TV content delivery systems (cable TV, DTH, “walled garden” IPTV, etc.) which must compete with largely unregulated Internet-based TV services including “catch-up” TV, live streaming, “TV Everywhere” offerings, video-on-demand streaming and user-generated uploads.
Arguably, however, the most dangerous challenge comes from providers of illegal, unauthorized offshore OTT services. “The pirate video transmission business is the most international, least law-abiding, and lowest taxpaying of any segment of the global media business,” said John Medeiros, Chief Policy Officer, CASBAA
“The pirate model is now dominating the commercial conversation. Steps must be taken to block growth of the illegitimate OTT sector – to prevent offshore pirate video operators from continuing to grow business models based on misuse and theft of the legitimate industries’ content.”
The report draws attention to the difficult task facing traditional pay-TV operators in the face of competitive challengers – legal as well as pirate – that don’t face the same burdens from government regulation. Across the 14 markets covered by the CASBAA study, most Asian jurisdictions’ OTT services remain subject only to relatively loose regulations applied to internet services.
Governments which allow this “tilted playing field and unhealthy competitive environment to persist will see their own creative industries damaged, local broadcasters weakened, and investment in networks and content impaired,“ added Marcel Fenez, Chairman of CASBAA.