Pay-TV soars in Asia

05 November 2009

HONG KONG: Pay-TV subscription rates in Asia now outstrip those of the entire rest of the world, with China and India leading the way.

According to figures released by the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia or CASBAA, which is holding its annual convention this week, the region now has some 326 million pay-TV households; an increase of 26m on last year.

When it comes to digital subscriptions - accounting for 115m or some 35% of the market - China dominates to the tune of 69 million, while India lags benind at 19m.

Anil Wanvari, ceo and editor of chief of, told the convention that pay-TV in India was "large, sexy and alluring," but felt that it was not reaching its full potential.

Another speaker, Jagit Singh Kohli, managing director and ceo of Digicable Network India, believes that there are simply too many service providers competing for the same audience.

"How low can you go on price?" he asked.

Despite the industry's encouraging development in Asia, piracy - which is said to cost content providers around $1.94 billion (€1.31 bn; £1.17 bn) in lost revenue - continues to be a major headache.

Data sourced from Brand Republic; additional content by WARC staff