Seventy-five per cent of pay TV operators in Asia have, or expect to have, HDTV programming by the end of 2008.
But the lack of substantial HDTV content – both local and international – is seen as being the most important roadblock for developing the HDTV sector in the region.
These are among of the findings of a survey carried out for MEASAT Satellite Systems by Euroconsult into the development of high definition television in the Asia-Pacific region.
The study, which was conducted during May, polled the rationale, benefits, challenges and expectations of HDTV amongst the regions’ leading pay TV
A total of 25 operators in 15 markets, collectively serving more than 24 million subscribers, were interviewed.
It showed operators as generally bullish on the outlook for HDTV, with a majority expecting it to increase ARPU or profits on its own.
HDTV, which most saw as “here to stay” and destined to become a “must have” offering, had been identified as a key strategic priority for their business.
The study indicated that the rollout of HDTV is being spearheaded by newer pay TV platforms looking to differentiate their offerings from existing platforms.
More established platforms were taking a slower approach to implementing HDTV.
Interviews conducted suggested that HDTV was seen as not particularly easy or difficult to introduce.
The lack of substantial HDTV content – both local and international – was viewed consistently as the most important roadblock for developing the HDTV sector in the region.
Paul Brown-Kenyon, chief operating officer of MEASAT, said the results of the study were very interesting.
“The insights will help us determine how best we can support our customers and partners in the development of this important segment,” he said
Pacome Revillon, managing director of Euroconsult, said the study provided clear evidence of faster development of HD offerings in Asia than previously expected.
“Opportunity for growth and increasing competitive pressure are the primary factors driving pay-TV broadcasters to develop an HD offer,” he said.