MUMBAI: India is powering revenue and profit growth for regional pay-TV broadcasters in Asia Pacific, according to new research.

An analysis by Media Partners Asia (MPA) found that revenue for pay-TV channel groups owned by global media companies expanded by 4% in 2017 to reach around US$5bn across the region, with India accounting for almost two thirds (65%) of this total.

That includes large local channel businesses owned and operated by the likes of 21st Century Fox, Sony and Viacom which are prominent in India in a way that is not always the case in other parts of Asia.

MPA figures show Southeast Asia making up 15% of the total, Japan 7% and Australia 5%; at just 1%, the study added, Korea remains heavily underweight.

“Success in a large-scale market such as India shows that regional broadcasters that invest in IP and local businesses can create a lot of long-term value,” observed Vivek Couto, executive director, Media Partners Asia.

And the signs are that key players are slowly responding with investment in premium Asian content as well as local deals in Korea, Japan and parts of Southeast Asia.

Excluding large local pay channel businesses in India, pay-TV channel revenue for regional broadcasters declined by 1% across the region in 2017, the research said, dipping to US$2.2bn.

And outside India, declines have been evenly spread across most genres: factual, lifestyle, kids, news, music, movie and Asian entertainment channels experienced an aggregate contraction of close to US$150m in affiliate and advertising sales ex-India in 2017.

Sport was a notable exception, said MPA, noting how the growth of BeIN Media had helped boost the category.

It also observed that some global broadcasters were seeing sustained growth in the region on the back of licensing deals, the growth of consumer products and the beginnings of online video advertising as they develop their own branded online video services.

“These bets are starting to percolate across Southeast Asia, Korea and Japan,” said Couto. “At the same time, businesses are starting to tap more growth from streaming platforms, including partnerships with online video and telco services.”

Sourced from Media Business Asia; additional content by WARC staff