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Asia poised for big pay-TV growth

Pay-TV industry group CASBAA has announced pay-TV penetration across Asia hit 50% of all homes, thrusting it into top market globally for pay-TV penetration.

New research shows pay-TV services now connect to 363 million homes in Asia, surpassing North America where pay-TV reaches 121 million homes.

South Korea, with a penetration rate of 99% leads the region, while Indonesia, with a penetration of just 3% is the lowest. Growth across the industry is being driven primarily by India and China, with 75% and 48% penetration respectively. Thailand, Pakistan and Vietnam are also contributing significantly.

These developments open to the doors to “substantial growth” in revenues, which is expected to top just over US$30 billion by the year’s end.

“This is a very substantial change in just a few years,” CASBAA deputy CEO John Medeiros, said.

However, on the value side he said Asia is not as fruitful a market as its European and US counterparts, with incomes across the region still relatively low.

“This is good news as it means there is room for growth in the Asia Pacific TV market,” Medeiros added.

However piracy continues to plague the industry with new data showing piracy is now a US$2 billion industry, a figure that does not include internet piracy.

Medeiros added that markets like China, which he described as a “piracy incubator” was developing advanced technologies like The Dreambox, allowing users to tap into legitimate satellite services free of charge.

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