Hong Kong, 7 October 2010 – In response to the latest proposals by the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore, the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), reiterated that the new regulations remain contrary to the interests of Singapore’s pay-TV subscribers and the industry at large.
According to CASBAA, incentives for content innovation will be suppressed, with particular damage to the business of producing or acquiring “marquee pay-TV programming, which by its nature is expensive to produce or acquire.”
The regional industry body said the new rules for the mandatory supply of content to all Singaporean pay-TV operators will “necessitate sustained regulatory micro-management of the pay-TV market exacerbated by interference with intellectual property rights.”
Constant regulatory fine tuning can be expected with significantly enlarged state interventions, said CASBAA, which urged the Government of Singapore to revoke changes in the Media Conduct Code that impose the “Cross-carriage system”.
CASBAA, which represents the pay-TV industry across 16 Asian markets, said the proposed regulations are damaging to Singapore’s hard-won role as a regional content hub. “If implemented as they stand, the new rules would undercut the attractiveness of Singapore as a destination for media investment and impair employment and economic growth.”
Drawing on advice from global trade and intellectual property rights specialists Greenberg Traurig, which represents the International Intellectual Property Association in Washington, CASBAA concluded that the new rules remain inconsistent with Singapore’s international treaty obligations.
“Content owners, who have used Singapore as a regional base for more than 15 years, consider the new rules very harmful to the country’s reputation for protecting intellectual property rights holders,” said Simon Twiston Davies, CASBAA CEO.
Speaking from its regional perspective, CASBAA noted that many Asian markets are seeing substantial increases in domestic content production for pay-TV.
While damaging to the interests of Singapore, if the new rules were replicated in these other markets in Asia, they would do infinitely more damage to their young industries. “The useful stimulus to domestic production coming from growing pay-TV could be irreparably undermined,” said Twiston Davies.
“These are regulations that will not work for Singapore and would be even more destructive in other jurisdictions,” said Simon Twiston Davies, the CASBAA CEO.
About CASBAA – www.casbaa.com
CASBAA is an association dedicated to promoting multi-channel television via cable, satellite, broadband and wireless video networks across the Asia Pacific. CASBAA represents some 130 member organisations in the pay-TV business, which in turn serve more than three billion people. Patron members include AETN International, Al Jazeera, Arianespace, Asia Broadcast Satellite, AsiaSat, ASTRO, Australia Network, BBC Worldwide Channels Asia, Bloomberg Television, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, Disney Media Distribution, Fox International Channels, HBO Asia, Intelsat, Irdeto, ITV Global Entertainment, Macquarie Group, MTV Networks Asia, NDS, NOW TV, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SES World Skies, Sony Pictures Television, Tiger Gate Entertainment, TrueVisions, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Universal Networks International and Verimatrix. To view the full list of CASBAA members, please visit here.