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Stellar DTT growth, piracy ignite insightful discussions at CASBAA 2013

by david.nunes

Stellar DTT growth, piracy ignite insightful discussions at CASBAA 2013

Hong Kong, 23 October 2013 – Asia Pacific’s exploding pay-TV market, piracy and the challenges of regulations took the spotlight on the first day of the CASBAA Convention 2013, entitled Change is ON THE AIR. Starring global and Asian industry leaders, regulators, media personalities and technologists, the conference discussed key opportunities and concerns that are shaping the media and broadcasting industry.

“This year’s Convention celebrates change in all its many forms in the Asia Pacific and global multichannel TV industry,” said Marcel Fenez, Chairman, CASBAA. “Our diverse range of expert speakers, representing the whole broadcasting value chain, will explore the motivating factors driving this change and discuss how the market can adapt and profit from this evolution.”

The annual convention began with an insightful look at Hong Kong’s own development. John Tsang Chun-wah, Financial Secretary, the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) remarked that the two new free-to-air television licenses awarded in October “will change the landscape of terrestrial TV broadcasting industry in Hong Kong and will bring more choices for consumers.”

Mr. Tsang said that the penetration of digital terrestrial TV (DTT) is growing at a satisfactory rate “with more than 80 per cent of our households already enjoying the greater programme variety and better picture quality of DTT.” Hong Kong’s high mobile penetration, at over 230 per cent, is also presenting new opportunities for mobile data services development, with the Government assisting by auctioning off new spectrums.

Thailand is following a slightly different route in building its DTT market. Natee Sukonrat, Vice Chairman, National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said the Thai government would auction off the rights to broadcast DTT channels to the highest bidders, and use the proceeds to subsidize digital receivers for consumers.  Dr. Natee also said that years of lax regulation has made the Commission’s job difficult, with the existence of many illegal operators. He admitted that NBTC “cannot do everything by ourselves” but will have to cooperate with the government and industry as they look to close cable operations that carry pirated or unlicensed content or violate intellectual property.

Meanwhile, Yves Bigot, CEO, TV5MONDE noted that broadcasters need to adopt new tools to reach today’s audience or risk losing them to smaller, nimbler niche players. He discussed how his company was able to successfully roll out OTT services to complement its linear channels business. Jean-Briac Perrette, Chief Digital Officer, Discovery Communications highlighted the value of a multi-channel approach to engaging the audience when it discussed its successful launch of their TestTube service.

Piracy took the spotlight at a panel discussion entitled The “P” Word. Paul Berriman, Group CTO, PCCW, Jonathan Spink, CEO, HBO Asia, Joe Welch, SVP Government Relations, Asia, 21st Century Fox, and Teymoor Nabili, Presenter/Executive Editor, Channel NewsAsia explored different piracy techniques, and noted that there is no single solution to eliminating it. Participants admitted that it is time to get one step ahead of pirates and called for an industry-wide effort to control piracy at all fronts.

Growth and challenges in key countries, especially Indonesia and India, drove further interest. Rudy Tanoesoedibjo, CEO & President Director, PT MNC Sky Vision explained that he is “not in the business of making money but [one] of entertaining, empowering and education for my nation.” He also called for broadcasters to differentiate themselves else “you are just selling a commodity.”

Monica Tata, MD, South Asia, HBO India joined Ravi Mansukhani, MD, IMCL, Amit Arora, EVP, IndiaCast, and Deepak Jacob, President & General Counsel, STAR India to remark that Indian consumers are willing to pay for more digital services if they are relevant to their needs. Mr. Mansukhani added that it is becoming vital to know your customers.

Supporting the CASBAA Convention this year are Leading Sponsor Create Hong Kong of the HKSAR Government, Presenting Gala Sponsor Turner International Asia Pacific and sponsors Accedo, active TV, Akamai, AMC/Sundance Channel Global, APT Satellite, Asia Broadcast Satellite, AsiaSat, Bloomberg Television, Brightcove Inc., CCTV News Content, Channel NewsAsia, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Elemental Technologies, Ericsson, euronews, Eutelsat, FIGHT SPORTS Network, France 24, GlobeCast, Intelsat, Invest Hong Kong, Irdeto, ITV Choice, Lightning International, MEASAT Global Berhad, MEZZO, Movideo, now TV, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Playboy Plus Entertainment Inc., PwC, Scripps Networks, SES, SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, Sony Pictures Television Networks, TBN Asia, Time Warner, TRACE, TrueVisions, TV5MONDE, Verimatrix, Viacom International Media Networks, Vivicast Media and WarnerTV.

For more information, please visit www.casbaaconvention.com.


Established in 1991, CASBAA is the Association for digital multichannel TV, content, platforms, advertising and video delivery across geographic markets throughout the Asia-Pacific. CASBAA and its members reach nearly 470 million connections within a regional footprint ranging from China to Australasia, Japan to Pakistan. The CASBAA mission is to promote the growth of multichannel TV and video content via industry information, networking exchanges and events while promoting global best practices. To view the full list of CASBAA members please visit here.

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