Television groups in the Asia Pacific region saw revenues from pay-TV subscribers surge at a rate of 33% a year in real terms over the last decade, according to a new report from Zenith Optimedia.

Its Television in Asia Pacific survey, which covers the region’s fourteen biggest markets, found that the growth of subscription revenues was well ahead of the annual average 3.5% rise in TV ad revenues.

However, advertising remains the chief source of TV firms’ revenues. In 2000, television adspend totalled $30.1 billion (€33.5bn; £20.1bn) and subscription revenues stood at $12.5bn, compared with equivalent figures of $20.6bn and $0.7bn in 1990.

By 2010, Zenith forecasts that adspend will have recovered from its 0.2% dip in real terms last year to reach $42.3bn, while subscription income could jump as high as $41.1bn.

Multichannel television is a rapidly expanding sector in the region, driven by the spread of analogue cable – of the 143 million households opting for pay-TV between 1990 and 2000, 125m went for this delivery option.

Digital television has successfully launched only in Australia, Japan, Malaysia and New Zealand. Currently only 1% of homes in Asia Pacific access dTV, a figure Zenith expects to rise to 11.4% by 2010.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff