CASBAA: Internationals back on Vietnam pay-TV

VietnamCASBAA has commented on the favourable evolution of Vietnam’s pay-TV market in recent weeks. Following a period of confusion after new pay-TV regulations came into force on May 15th, most international TV channels (including major global news channels) have been restored to all pay-TV platforms in Vietnam (subject to appropriate commercial contracts and operational arrangements).

John Medeiros, CASBAA’s Chief Policy Officer, commented “the situation with respect to availability of international TV channels in Vietnam has vastly improved.” Medeiros observed that “after the initial period of confusion, the Vietnamese government made clear that it did not want to see foreign TV channels (and specifically not the international news channels) dropped from the country’s pay-TV systems. This positive and welcome intervention from the top levels of the government has made a real difference. The translation requirement for live news channels has been removed; we further understand that the remaining difficulties affecting the news channels are now being ironed out in negotiations between them and their distribution partners, and also that a substantial number of additional international channel licences for entertainment channels have been issued since May 15th, with more on the way.”

Medeiros noted that a number of provisions of the pay-TV regulations remain to be implemented, and said “going forward, it will be important to make sure that the government’s positive policy is consistently carried out by all ministries and agencies (and is not reversed in the future), especially since a number of core international channels are still awaiting licences.”

But the overall message remains very healthy, Medeiros said. “Vietnam has made it clear that it continues to be open to trade and investment, and that it intends to be an active and constructive player in the Southeast Asian economic area, and this is a very good thing.” He concluded that “CASBAA is pleased and grateful that the government has taken into serious consideration our expressions of concern and recommendations for solving these implementation problems related to the new pay-TV regulations.”

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