India looks all set to overtake Japan as Asia's largest satellite direct-to-home market by next year, says a top Malaysian research house
The researchers- Aseambankers also noted that India was also targeted to be Asia's leading cable market by 2010 and the most lucrative pay-TV market by 2015.
Aseambankers in its report was also optimistic about Malaysian Pay-TV operator Astro All Asia Networks plc's prospects in India. It said based on the profile of joint venture partner Sun Direct, Astro should be looking at a target market of 250 million viewers.
"However, prospects are promising given that the southern Indian states are relatively more prosperous based on the average per capita income, which is 10 per cent higher than the national average," Aseambank claimed in its recent report quoted by the local media in Kuala Lumpur.
The research unit cautioned Astro about challenges in the Indian market in the form of competition, piracy and red tape.
It warned that like Indonesia, piracy was rampant in the Indian pay-TV market quoting a survey by the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia estimating priacy losses in India at around USD 685 million in 2006, the highest in Asia Pacific region.
"The fragmented nature of cable TV and intense competition among players has
dragged the industry's average revenue per user to as low as 150 rupees a month," the media reports said.