Thailand enjoys pay-TV boom

24 January 2011

BANGKOK: Thailand's TV market is enjoying the fastest growth in south-east Asia, according to a local advocacy group.

Addressing a seminar in Bangkok, Simon Twiston Davies, ceo of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa), also said that around half of Thailand's 20 million households now own a satellite dish.

Another delegate, Satellite Television Association of Thailand president Niphon Naksompop, predicted that this total would hit 95% in three years' time.

Setting up a satellite TV service currently costs a household around 3,000 baht ($98, €72).

The clarity of Thai TV advertising rules has improved over recent years.

A maximum of six minutes per hour of ad space is now allowed on pay-TV.

Adspend for the sector rose to 3.5bn baht in 2010, equivalent to just 5% of free-to-air TV adspend.

But this gap is likely to close over the years to come as pay-TV subscriptions become more popular.

Also addressing the seminar, Anupon Tajawanno of Cisco Systems Thailand pointed to the role improved infrastructure is having on the sector.

He predicted rising demand for IPTV, mobile TV and other online services as 3G networks are launched.

Sinthu Peatrarut, managing director of Nielsen TV Audience Measurement, added: "This industry will definitely continue to see rapid growth in the future like it has for the past 18 months."

Data sourced from Bangkok Post; additional content by Warc staff