25 October 2000

Hong Kong start-up Speedcast has launched an internet TV service which bypasses internet traffic jams by beaming high-quality live video direct to ISPs via satellite.

The resulting picture quality is significantly better than run-of-the-mill internet transmissions, especially for broadband viewers, according to ceo Tom Choi.

The service, whose channels include Fashion TV, Bloomberg TV and Yahoo! Broadcast, is currently free to ISPs and users within the AsiaSat 3S satellite’s range.

Speedcast’s revenue will therefore depend on advertising until subscription fees are introduced. Banner ads and video commercials, for example, will be broadcast when viewers select a channel.

The company is targeting niche markets poorly served on normal TV, and will, claims Choi, be able to gather information on viewers’ profiles.

“We'll be delivering a higher-quality user, so our advertising rates will be higher than the typical dot-com”, he added.

Signed up so far are Singapore’s Starhub Internet, RadNet in Indonesia, Pakistan-based SuperNet, Mantra Online in India and Kuwait’s GulfWeb.

Shareholders include Asiasat, which is providing free satellite transponders for three years, Yahoo!, Tech Systems and Tech Venture Group.

News source: Wall Street Journal