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2007 South Asian and South East Asian Convergence Market

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the Digital Media and Convergence in South Asia and South East Asia. South Asian countries include:- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. South East Asian countries include:- Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

Subjects covered include:

  • Early convergence activity and regulatory issues;
  • Broadband TV (IPTV) where applicable;
  • Video-on-Demand (VoD);
  • Interactive TV (iTV);
  • Triple play networks;
  • Digital Media developments.

This Asia market annual report covers the economies in the South Asia and South East Asia sub-regions. It takes an overall look at the Digital Media markets and the phenomenon of Convergence in these markets.

The South Asia countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

The South East Asian countries include: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

The highlights in the individual markets of South and South East Asia include:

As the political and social rebuilding of Afghanistan proceeds somewhat fitfully following years of war and civil unrest, the country has started putting a new national telecommunications infrastructure in place. An important step in the rebuilding was the creation of the Ministry of Communications by the Transitional Government in 2002. The big challenge has been to attract and manage foreign investment in the country. There have been some positive signs in this regard, but there remains much work to be done. We have managed to put together some information of the country’s broadcasting sector and what limited information we have has been included.

Bangladesh’s television households are served by more than 100 terrestrial broadcasters, two satellite broadcasters and 2,000 cable operators. Cable TV was first introduced in 1993 and experienced double-digit growth throughout the 1990s. The industry began migrating towards the MSOs service with single head-ends. HFC cable had also started to be rolled out with value-added services such as Internet and telephony provided over the cable. The government has been actively considering introducing a Broadcasting Bill to regulate the industry.

Cambodia continues to direct a substantial effort towards building up its telecommunications infrastructure. Ongoing political problems in the period since the end of the war made it hard to put the necessary administrative institutions in place. This has had a major impact on the telecom sector which remains in need of serious regulatory reform and a general strengthening of the regulatory role. There are a number of cable television stations in Phnom Penh, including two privately run TV operators, and one joint state and privately-run operator. There are six TV stations (five state-run TVs and one privately run TV) and 19 cable TV stations in the provinces and municipalities.

The TV broadcasting industry has been flourishing in India. Since television was first introduced in India in 1959, the country has emerged as one of the largest TV markets in the world. Television is estimated to reach more than 50% of all individuals (urban and rural) in India. In the last decade the television programming landscape has also been totally transformed. Doordarshan, the Indian National Television Network and established in 1959, reaches more than 90% of the country’s population. The type of expansion witnessed in the broadcasting sector over the last decade was expected to continue. Convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications is in its early stages. BSNL launched its first triple-play voice, broadband and TV service in Pune in late 2006.

Free to air television has had a substantial impact in Indonesia, with two out of every three households having access to television. The advertising market suffered a major setback as a result of the Asian economic crisis, but has been recovering strongly and sector revenues are on the increase. The pay TV market has not been so fortunate and has generally struggled to build its customers base. This has been partly due to the fact that pay TV is too expensive for the average Indonesian household at a subscription of around US$22 per month. The sector also suffers infrastructure problems.

As Laos continues to work to strengthen its economy, its media, in particular - both electronic and print - remains closely controlled by the government. Not surprisingly, television offers some especially serious challenges for the country. The government espouses a strong commitment to the protection of Lao culture and to national security. It is these aims, however, that provide the rationale for tight control of the media, including television. At the same time, the government has been allowing the television industry to grow somewhat haphazardly. This report presents an overview of the Lao television market. There are early signs of convergence with a cable TV operated licensed to offer Internet, but the service has not been launched.

With its history of tight censorship laws, Malaysia did not open up the television broadcasting market to private operators until 1995. Despite this, the proportion of Malaysian households that has a television set had risen to almost 90% of all households. There were six FTA TV channels and more than 100 pay TV channels offering a wide range of local and foreign programs in a broad selection of languages. Of particular note has been the recent strong growth of satellite TV operator, Astro. This report reviews the development of the television broadcasting sector, as the market starts to move forward to meet the challenges that new technology is bringing the sector.

The Philippines has a vibrant media sector. Ownership has been predominantly private and freedom of the press is guaranteed by the constitution. The first television broadcast was in 1953. There were six FTA nationwide television networks. Cable TV was launched as long ago as 1969, but it has only just started to really grow, substantially boosted by the prospect of bundling broadcasting with Internet, telephony and other services. While DTH satellite TV has been available in the Philippines since 1999, its large scale adoption awaits the entry of a major player - possibly the incumbent PLDT - into the broadcasting market.

For some years, Singapore’s TV broadcasting sector has been feeling the push towards convergence. The Ministry of Information and the Arts announced the liberalisation of the media industry in Singapore in 2000, immediately signalling that broadcasting operators could look at the telecommunications sector and telecommunications companies could look at the broadcasting sector. A new regulator for the sector, the Media Development Authority, was set up in 2003. There is no doubt that a slower Singapore economy put some downward pressure on growth in the media sector. This report looks at the changes in the digital media market and the impact on the major players and customers.

The TV broadcasting industry in Thailand had to wait a long time for the proposed new broadcasting regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to be put in place. The government had become seriously bogged down in the process of setting up the regulator, a key element in the Broadcasting Frequencies Act of January 2000. While the country already has a competitive open market, there were numerous issues to be addressed as operators continue to struggle. Issues of convergence with the telecom sector also need attention, involving coordination between the NBC and the National Telecommunication Commission. In early 2007, the government was considering the merging of the country’s telecoms and broadcasting regulators.

Vietnam is one of Asia’s most restrictive TV markets, with effectively no cable or satellite TV services available to the general public, and a choice of only three FTA national channels and a single regional channel in most areas.

The report also provides some information on the broadcasting markets in Brunei, the Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste, while the countries of Bhutan and Nepal are not recorded in this market report.

1.1 Market overview
1.2 Japan
1.2.1 Overview
1.2.2 Broadband TV / IPTV
1.2.3 VoD
1.3 South Korea
1.3.1 Broadband convergence Network (BcN)
1.3.2 IPTV
1.3.3 VoD
1.3.4 Digital cable TV
1.4 China
1.4.1 Overview
1.4.2 Convergence and regulatory issues
1.4.3 IPTV
1.4.4 VoD
1.5 Hong Kong
1.5.1 Overview
1.5.2 Interactive TV (iTV)
1.5.3 Convergent service operators
1.6 Singapore
1.6.1 Convergence
1.6.2 IPTV
1.6.3 VoD
1.7 Taiwan
1.7.1 Convergence
1.7.2 GigaMedia
1.7.3 IPTV
1.7.4 iTV
1.8 Malaysia
1.8.1 iTV
1.8.2 IPTV
2.1 Broadcasting market
2.1.1 Overview
2.1.2 National broadcaster
2.1.3 Badakhshan TV
2.1.4 Herat TV
2.1.5 Satellite TV
2.1.6 Afghan TV
2.1.7 Cable TV
2.1.8 Radio Free Afghanistan (RFA)
2.1.9 Voice of Afghanistan
3.1 Broadcasting market
3.1.1 Overview
3.1.2 Free-to-air broadcasting
3.1.3 Cable TV and satellite TV
4.1 Broadcasting market
4.1.1 Broadcasting standards
4.1.2 Broadcasting Act
4.1.3 Radio Television Brunei (RTB)
4.1.4 Kristal TV
4.1.5 Satellite TV
5.1 Broadcasting market
5.1.1 Overview
5.1.2 Free-to-air broadcasting
5.1.3 Cable TV
5.1.4 Satellite TV
6.1 Convergence
6.1.1 Overview of media convergence
6.1.2 Triple play
6.1.3 Overview of the broadcasting market
6.1.4 Digital TV
7.1 Broadcasting market
7.1.1 Overview
7.1.2 Regulatory environment
7.1.3 Free-to-air TV
7.1.4 Cable and pay TV
7.1.5 Satellite TV
8.1 Broadcasting market
8.1.1 Overview
9.1 Broadcasting market
9.1.1 Overview
9.1.2 Regulatory environment
9.1.3 Free-to-air TV
9.1.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
9.1.5 Cable TV
9.1.6 Satellite TV
9.1.7 Interactive TV
10.1 Broadcasting market
10.1.1 Overview
11.1 Broadcasting market
11.1.1 Overview
12.1 Broadcasting market
12.1.1 Overview
12.1.2 Regulatory issues
12.1.3 Free-to-air broadcasting
12.1.4 Pay TV
12.1.5 Cable TV
12.1.6 IPTV
13.1 Broadcasting market
13.1.1 Overview
13.1.2 Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcasting
13.1.3 Cable and pay TV
13.1.4 Cable telephony
13.1.5 Direct-to-Home (DTH) services
13.1.6 iTV
13.1.7 IPTV
14.1 Convergence
14.1.1 Overview of media convergence
14.1.2 Regulatory environment
14.1.3 Digital TV
15.1 Broadcasting market
15.1.1 Market overview
15.1.2 Regulatory environment
15.1.3 Free-to-air TV
15.1.4 Cable and pay TV
16.1 Broadcasting market
16.1.1 Overview
16.1.2 Regulatory issues
16.1.3 Free-to-air TV
16.1.4 Digital TV
16.1.5 Pay TV
16.1.6 Cable TV
16.1.7 Satellite TV
16.1.8 iTV
16.1.9 IPTV
17.1 Broadcasting market
17.1.1 Overview
18.1 Broadcasting market
18.1.1 Overview
18.1.2 Cable TV
18.1.3 Satellite TV
18.1.4 Mobile TV
18.1.5 Film content censorship

List of Exhibits

Exhibit 1 - Broadcasting standard and major broadcasters in India
Exhibit 2 - FTA turned pay and new pay channels in India - 2006
Exhibit 3 - Overview of major channels available to consumers in India
Exhibit 4 - Major FTA television broadcasters, ownership, launch date and coverage in Indonesia
Exhibit 5 - Overview of major Malaysian broadcasters and their channels
Exhibit 6 - Overview of programming in Malaysia
Exhibit 7 - Terrestrial FTA TV licences in Malaysia
Exhibit 8 - Major broadcasting companies in the Philippines
Exhibit 9 - Licensed satellite broadcasters in Singapore
Exhibit 10 - FTA TV broadcasters in Thailand
Exhibit 11 - UBC’s programming guide
Exhibit 12 - UBC’s major subsidiaries

List of Tables

Table 1 - Key broadcasting statistics in Afghanistan - 2006
Table 2 - Key broadcasting statistics in Bangladesh - 2006
Table 3 - Cable TV subscribers in Bangladesh - 2002 - 2006
Table 4 - Key broadcasting statistics in Brunei Darussalam - 2006
Table 5 - Key broadcasting statistics in Cambodia - 2005
Table 6 - Broadcasting market overview in India - 2006
Table 7 - TV household growth in India - 1995 - 2006
Table 8 - Total TV industry revenue growth in India - 2000 - 2006
Table 9 - Pay TV subscriber growth in India - 2002 - 2006
Table 10 - Key broadcasting statistics in Indonesia - 2006
Table 11 - TV households and home satellites in Indonesia - 1997 - 2006
Table 12 - Cable and satellite pay TV subscribers in Indonesia - 2001 - 2006
Table 13 - Key broadcasting statistics in Laos - 2006
Table 14 - Key broadcasting statistics in Malaysia - 2006
Table 15 - Growth and revenue of the broadcasting sector in Malaysia - 1997 - 2006
Table 16 - Key broadcasting statistics in the Maldives - 2006
Table 17 - Key broadcasting statistics in Myanmar - 2005
Table 18 - Key broadcasting statistics in Pakistan - 2006
Table 19 - Cable TV licence categories in Pakistan
Table 20 - Key broadcasting statistics in the Philippines - 2006
Table 21 - Broadcasting statistics, households: TV, cable, MMDS satellite, and broadcasting revenue in the Philippines - 1996 - 2006
Table 22 - Key broadcasting statistics in Singapore - 2006
Table 23 - Broadcasting sector growth and revenue in Singapore - 1996 - 2006
Table 24 - Cable TV subscribers (analogue and digital) in Singapore - 2002 - 2006
Table 25 - SCV/StarHub Cable TV subscribers - 1996 - 2007
Table 26 - Key broadcasting statistics in Sri Lanka - 2005
Table 27 - Key broadcasting statistics in Thailand - 2006
Table 28 - Pay TV subscribers in Thailand - 1996 - 2002
Table 29 - Pay TV subscribers by platform in Thailand - 2002 - 2005
Table 30 - UBC subscribers - 1998 - 2006
Table 31 - Key broadcasting statistics in Vietnam - 2006

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