2007 South Asian and South East Asian Convergence Market

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the Digital Media and Convergence in South Asia and South East Asia. South Asian countries include:- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. South East Asian countries include:- Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. Subjects covered include:

  • Early convergence activity and regulatory issues;
  • Broadband TV (IPTV) where applicable;
  • Video-on-Demand (VoD);
  • Interactive TV (iTV);
  • Triple play networks;
  • Digital Media developments.

Executive Summary

This Asia market annual report covers the economies in the South Asia and South East Asia sub-regions. It takes an overall look at the Digital Media markets and the phenomenon of Convergence in these markets.

The South Asia countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

The South East Asian countries include: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

The highlights in the individual markets of South and South East Asia include:


As the political and social rebuilding of Afghanistan proceeds somewhat fitfully following years of war and civil unrest, the country has started putting a new national telecommunications infrastructure in place. An important step in the rebuilding was the creation of the Ministry of Communications by the Transitional Government in 2002. The big challenge has been to attract and manage foreign investment in the country. There have been some positive signs in this regard, but there remains much work to be done. We have managed to put together some information of the country’s broadcasting sector and what limited information we have has been included. For the country overview, see chapter 2, page 21.


Bangladesh’s television households are served by more than 100 terrestrial broadcasters, two satellite broadcasters and 2,000 cable operators. Cable TV was first introduced in 1993 and experienced double-digit growth throughout the 1990s. The industry began migrating towards the MSOs service with single head-ends. HFC cable had also started to be rolled out with value-added services such as Internet and telephony provided over the cable. The government has been actively considering introducing a Broadcasting Bill to regulate the industry. For the country overview, see chapter 3, page 24.


Cambodia continues to direct a substantial effort towards building up its telecommunications infrastructure. Ongoing political problems in the period since the end of the war made it hard to put the necessary administrative institutions in place. This has had a major impact on the telecom sector which remains in need of serious regulatory reform and a general strengthening of the regulatory role. There are a number of cable television stations in Phnom Penh, including two privately run TV operators, and one joint state and privately-run operator. There are six TV stations (five state-run TVs and one privately run TV) and 19 cable TV stations in the provinces and municipalities. For the country overview, see chapter 5, page 29.


The TV broadcasting industry has been flourishing in India. Since television was first introduced in India in 1959, the country has emerged as one of the largest TV markets in the world. Television is estimated to reach more than 50% of all individuals (urban and rural) in India. In the last decade the television programming landscape has also been totally transformed. Doordarshan, the Indian National Television Network and established in 1959, reaches more than 90% of the country’s population. The type of expansion witnessed in the broadcasting sector over the last decade was expected to continue. Convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications is in its early stages. BSNL launched its first triple-play voice, broadband and TV service in Pune in late 2006. For the country overview, see chapter 6, page 31.


Free to air television has had a substantial impact in Indonesia, with two out of every three households having access to television. The advertising market suffered a major setback as a result of the Asian economic crisis, but has been recovering strongly and sector revenues are on the increase. The pay TV market has not been so fortunate and has generally struggled to build its customers base. This has been partly due to the fact that pay TV is too expensive for the average Indonesian household at a subscription of around US$22 per month. The sector also suffers infrastructure problems. For the country overview, see chapter 7, page 50.


As Laos continues to work to strengthen its economy, its media, in particular – both electronic and print – remains closely controlled by the government. Not surprisingly, television offers some especially serious challenges for the country. The government espouses a strong commitment to the protection of Lao culture and to national security. It is these aims, however, that provide the rationale for tight control of the media, including television. At the same time, the government has been allowing the television industry to grow somewhat haphazardly. This report presents an overview of the Lao television market. There are early signs of convergence with a cable TV operated licensed to offer Internet, but the service has not been launched. For the country overview, see chapter 8, page 63.


With its history of tight censorship laws, Malaysia did not open up the television broadcasting market to private operators until 1995. Despite this, the proportion of Malaysian households that has a television set had risen to almost 90% of all households. There were six FTA TV channels and more than 100 pay TV channels offering a wide range of local and foreign programs in a broad selection of languages. Of particular note has been the recent strong growth of satellite TV operator, Astro. This report reviews the development of the television broadcasting sector, as the market starts to move forward to meet the challenges that new technology is bringing the sector. For the country overview, see chapter 9, page 64.


The Philippines has a vibrant media sector. Ownership has been predominantly private and freedom of the press is guaranteed by the constitution. The first television broadcast was in 1953. There were six FTA nationwide television networks. Cable TV was launched as long ago as 1969, but it has only just started to really grow, substantially boosted by the prospect of bundling broadcasting with Internet, telephony and other services. While DTH satellite TV has been available in the Philippines since 1999, its large scale adoption awaits the entry of a major player - possibly the incumbent PLDT - into the broadcasting market. For the country overview, see chapter 13, page 77.


For some years, Singapore’s TV broadcasting sector has been feeling the push towards convergence. The Ministry of Information and the Arts announced the liberalisation of the media industry in Singapore in 2000, immediately signalling that broadcasting operators could look at the telecommunications sector and telecommunications companies could look at the broadcasting sector. A new regulator for the sector, the Media Development Authority, was set up in 2003. There is no doubt that a slower Singapore economy put some downward pressure on growth in the media sector. This report looks at the changes in the digital media market and the impact on the major players and customers. For the country overview, see chapter 14, page 86.


The TV broadcasting industry in Thailand had to wait a long time for the proposed new broadcasting regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to be put in place. The government had become seriously bogged down in the process of setting up the regulator, a key element in the Broadcasting Frequencies Act of January 2000. While the country already has a competitive open market, there were numerous issues to be addressed as operators continue to struggle. Issues of convergence with the telecom sector also need attention, involving coordination between the NBC and the National Telecommunication Commission. In early 2007, the government was considering the merging of the country’s telecoms and broadcasting regulators. For the country overview, see chapter 16, page 102.


Vietnam is one of Asia’s most restrictive TV markets, with effectively no cable or satellite TV services available to the general public, and a choice of only three FTA national channels and a single regional channel in most areas. For the country overview, see chapter 18, page 112.

The report also provides some information on the broadcasting markets in Brunei, the Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste, while the countries of Bhutan and Nepal are not recorded in this market report.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

Table of Contents

1.1Market overview
1.2.2Broadband TV / IPTV
1.3South Korea
1.3.1Broadband convergence Network (BcN)
1.3.4Digital cable TV
1.4.2Convergence and regulatory issues
1.5Hong Kong
1.5.2Interactive TV (iTV)
1.5.3Convergent service operators
2.1Broadcasting market
2.1.2National broadcaster
2.1.3Badakhshan TV
2.1.4Herat TV
2.1.5Satellite TV
2.1.6Afghan TV
2.1.7Cable TV
2.1.8Radio Free Afghanistan (RFA)
2.1.9Voice of Afghanistan
3.1Broadcasting market
3.1.2Free-to-air broadcasting
3.1.3Cable TV and satellite TV
4.1Broadcasting market
4.1.1Broadcasting standards
4.1.2Broadcasting Act
4.1.3Radio Television Brunei (RTB)
4.1.4Kristal TV
4.1.5Satellite TV
5.1Broadcasting market
5.1.2Free-to-air broadcasting
5.1.3Cable TV
5.1.4Satellite TV
6.1.1Overview of media convergence
6.1.2Triple play
6.1.3Overview of the broadcasting market
6.1.4Digital TV
7.1Broadcasting market
7.1.2Regulatory environment
7.1.3Free-to-air TV
7.1.4Cable and pay TV
7.1.5Satellite TV
8.1Broadcasting market
9.1Broadcasting market
9.1.2Regulatory environment
9.1.3Free-to-air TV
9.1.4Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
9.1.5Cable TV
9.1.6Satellite TV
9.1.7Interactive TV
10.1Broadcasting market
11.1Broadcasting market
12.1Broadcasting market
12.1.2Regulatory issues
12.1.3Free-to-air broadcasting
12.1.4Pay TV
12.1.5Cable TV
13.1Broadcasting market
13.1.2Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcasting
13.1.3Cable and pay TV
13.1.4Cable telephony
13.1.5Direct-to-Home (DTH) services
14.1.1Overview of media convergence
14.1.2Regulatory environment
14.1.3Digital TV
15.1Broadcasting market
15.1.1Market overview
15.1.2Regulatory environment
15.1.3Free-to-air TV
15.1.4Cable and pay TV
16.1Broadcasting market
16.1.2Regulatory issues
16.1.3Free-to-air TV
16.1.4Digital TV
16.1.5Pay TV
16.1.6Cable TV
16.1.7Satellite TV
17.1Broadcasting market
18.1Broadcasting market
18.1.2Cable TV
18.1.3Satellite TV
18.1.4Mobile TV
18.1.5Film content censorship
Exhibit 1 – Broadcasting standard and major broadcasters in India
Exhibit 2 – FTA turned pay and new pay channels in India – 2006
Exhibit 3 – Overview of major channels available to consumers in India
Exhibit 4 – Major FTA television broadcasters, ownership, launch date and coverage in Indonesia
Exhibit 5 – Overview of major Malaysian broadcasters and their channels
Exhibit 6 – Overview of programming in Malaysia
Exhibit 7 – Terrestrial FTA TV licences in Malaysia
Exhibit 8 – Major broadcasting companies in the Philippines
Exhibit 9 – Licensed satellite broadcasters in Singapore
Exhibit 10 – FTA TV broadcasters in Thailand
Exhibit 11 – UBC’s programming guide
Exhibit 12 – UBC’s major subsidiaries

Table 1 – Key broadcasting statistics in Afghanistan – 2006
Table 2 – Key broadcasting statistics in Bangladesh – 2006
Table 3 – Cable TV subscribers in Bangladesh – 2002 - 2006
Table 4 – Key broadcasting statistics in Brunei Darussalam - 2006
Table 5 – Key broadcasting statistics in Cambodia – 2005
Table 6 - Broadcasting market overview in India - 2006
Table 7 – TV household growth in India – 1995 - 2006
Table 8 – Total TV industry revenue growth in India – 2000 - 2006
Table 9 – Pay TV subscriber growth in India – 2002 - 2006
Table 10 – Key broadcasting statistics in Indonesia - 2006
Table 11 – TV households and home satellites in Indonesia – 1997 - 2006
Table 12 – Cable and satellite pay TV subscribers in Indonesia – 2001 - 2006
Table 13 – Key broadcasting statistics in Laos – 2006
Table 14 – Key broadcasting statistics in Malaysia - 2006
Table 15 – Growth and revenue of the broadcasting sector in Malaysia – 1997 - 2006
Table 16 – Key broadcasting statistics in the Maldives - 2006
Table 17 – Key broadcasting statistics in Myanmar – 2005
Table 18 – Key broadcasting statistics in Pakistan - 2006
Table 19 – Cable TV licence categories in Pakistan
Table 20 – Key broadcasting statistics in the Philippines - 2006
Table 21 – Broadcasting statistics, households: TV, cable, MMDS satellite, and broadcasting revenue in the Philippines – 1996 - 2006
Table 22 – Key broadcasting statistics in Singapore - 2006
Table 23 – Broadcasting sector growth and revenue in Singapore – 1996 - 2006
Table 24 – Cable TV subscribers (analogue and digital) in Singapore – 2002 - 2006
Table 25 – SCV/StarHub Cable TV subscribers – 1996 - 2007
Table 26 – Key broadcasting statistics in Sri Lanka – 2005
Table 27 – Key broadcasting statistics in Thailand – 2006
Table 28 – Pay TV subscribers in Thailand – 1996 - 2002
Table 29 – Pay TV subscribers by platform in Thailand – 2002 - 2005
Table 30 – UBC subscribers – 1998 - 2006
Table 31 – Key broadcasting statistics in Vietnam - 2006

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Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)

Number of pages 137

Status Archived

Last updated 17 Oct 2007
Update History

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

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