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Bright future for Cable TV

The industry is all set to rake in big bucks with an expected turnover of $5.4 bn by 2010, reports M Rajendran.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 15:43 IST

India's multichannel video industry is all set to rake in big bucks with an expected turnover of $5.4 billion by 2010 and $ 8.03 billion by 2015.

Cable TV is expected to contribute more than 82 per cent of the total subscription by 2015 while direct-to-home (DTH) will be responsible for 15 per cent revenue and Internet Protocol TV three per cent to the total revenue.

India remains the most significant and accessible cable & satellite (C&S) opportunity in the Asia Pacific region. However, the regulatory framework, especially with respect to retail and wholesale cable TV rates, foreign investment, broadband competition, and program distribution has become increasingly uneven.

Media Partners Asia Ltd (MPA), a leading provider of in dependent analysis and information on Asia's media and communications industries, says, "Nonetheless, we believe that the market, not regulation, will triumph in the long term. We expect IPTV services, bundled with broadband, to be offered at a premium to the competition. We see monthly IPTV average revenue per user (ARPU) growing from $5 in 2006 to $7 by 2010 and $ 9 by 2015."

According to MPA forecasts, the market for multichannel video (cable, DTH, IPTV) could grow from about 65 million in 2005 to 104 million by 2010 and 125 million by 2015. This implies that multichannel video penetration could grow from 57 per cent in 2005 to 67 per cent by 2010 and 71 per cent by 2015.

Driven by DTH pay-TV competition and potential deregulation, the study has projected cable to gradually consolidate lastmile ownership, ramp up deployment of bundled digital video and broadband Internet, and corporatise industry practices. "We expect DTH growth to accelerate after 2006, driven principally by Dish TV and Tata Sky, followed by Reliance and Sun TV.

We expect competition to intensify between 2006 and 2010, led by aggressive retail pricing, promotions, packaging, set top box (STB) subsidies and increased investment in programming," says the MPA survey.

"We are conservative on IPTV deployment in the short-term but expect MTNL, BSNL, Bharti and Reliance to expand deployment over the long term as part of a triple play service bundle," it adds.

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), broadband subscribers crossed one million in January 2006 but this remains significantly below the "Broadband Policy" target of three million. Digital DTH satellite pay-TV services have yet to compete directly with cable due to various content and distribution issues. This will change from 2006 onwards. While cable's low monthly price is a competitive deterrent to DTH, aggressive companies such as Tata Sky would likely match cable's low monthly fees and subsidise upfront charges, states the report.

By 2010, India's multichannel video industry pegged at $5.4 billion Expected contribution by different sectors 82% 15% 3% IPTV Cable TV DTH BIG PLAYERS MTNL, BSNL, Bharti, Reliance, Tata Sky, Sun TV.

First Published: Mar 04, 2006 15:43 IST