Top AsiaPac Pay-TV Operators Added 20+ Million Subs in 2013


HONG KONG/SINGAPORE: New data from Media Partners Asia indicates that the top 45 pay-TV operators across the Asia Pacific added 23.1 million net new subscribers last year, led in large part by India.

The 2013 Asia Pacific Pay-­TV Industry Review found that there were 15.6 million additions in the first half and 7.5 million in the second. India contributed 73 percent of the growth. Digitization has been a key driver in the market, but billing delays have plagued operators, MPA notes. This is expected to improve in the first half of this year.

In Southeast Asia, the top 14 operators added 1.6 million subs last year. Indonesia showed a 27.5 percent year-on-year gain, largely at dominant operator MNC Sky Vision. This year the industry will be boosted by a more competitive environment, MPA says. In Malaysia, Astro continues to fare well with its DTH and OTT platforms, but growth has been slower at its IPTV service. MPA also points to solid gains in the Philippines and Vietnam. The pay-TV market in Thailand remains challenged against the dominant free-TV players.

In the region's mature markets, including Korea and Hong Kong, 18 operators added 1.5 million subs. Problematic markets include Japan and Singapore, where operators reported declining subs and decreased ARPUs.

Commenting on the new research, MPA's executive director, Vivek Couto, noted: "Growth in emerging markets in strong, though softer economies and currency depreciation has limited upside on subscriber growth and exacerbated downside on operating and capital costs. The performance of mature markets was mixed in 2013 with some operators innovating and investing while others are under pressure from broadband media proliferation and market saturation."