CASBAA comments on ‘Decision 20’ pay-TV regulations

CASBAA has commented on Vietnam’s ‘Decision 20’ pay-TV regulations which came into effect today. As a result of confusion over the regulations, one satellite provider has taken down 21 international channels.

John Medeiros, Chief Policy Officer at CASBAA, said in response to media queries that the situation regarding Vietnamese regulation of the pay-TV industry is notably unclear.  “Even Vietnamese operators of pay-TV systems cannot be sure how the regulations will be implemented, much less international channels.”

He went on to say that “the government at the highest levels has expressed its intention not to exclude international channels from Vietnam. And indeed, some changes to translation requirements for news channels were introduced, in order to remove operating burdens on them. However, there seem to be roadblocks in implementing this policy. Overall, the licensing regulations on the books remain restrictive in their effects. No licenses have been issued to international channels of any genre in the last six months. Contracting requirements for editing of news channels remain problematic.”

CASBAA, and the international Pay-TV industry, intend to remain in dialogue with the Vietnamese authorities. John Medeiros said “we regret that the effect of the regulatory process as of today seems to restrict access of numerous international channels to the Vietnam market.  Consumers everywhere else in Southeast Asia enjoy the opportunity to view a wide mix of domestic and international television, and we hope that the government will see its way clear to allow Vietnamese citizens to join their ASEAN neighbours.”

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