Asian cable growth reaches critical mass

New report claims cable growth is making significant inroads into the viewing patterns of terrestrial broadcasters.

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By  Marcus Webb Published  June 6, 2002

The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) has released a report claiming that viewer numbers for cable and satellite TV have reached "critical mass" and are having an impact on the numbers tuning into the terrestrial sector.

“After a decade of growth from an almost standing start to today’s 150 million Asian pay-TV subscribers, we have now reached a large enough viewing share to make pay TV a mandatory advertising buy,” says Robert Wilson, CASBAA media and research director, during the association’s third advertising seminar in Hong Kong.

According to Wilson, cable penetration of all households has reached 30% in Hong Kong and will hit 50% within three years. He goes on to claim that pay TV in Asia will reach 280 million households by 2010, a rise of 130 million subscribers from current numbers.

Research by ACNielsen in Hong Kong and Australia showed that cable and satellite TV subscribers are now spending half their viewing time tuned into non-terrestrial channels.

“Advertisers and their agencies cannot ignore the new realities that the pay-TV audience is more affluent, younger and better educated than those who generally view the terrestrial channels such as TVB and ATV. These are the new facts of life,” says Wilson. “This is a business on the upswing when other businesses are suffering.”

The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia is a non-profit trade organisation for the promotion of multi-channel television and data transmission, via cable and satellite networks.

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