RP among worst hit in Asia by pay-TV piracy

BusinessWorld

Posted at Oct 27 2010 09:43 AM | Updated as of Oct 27 2010 05:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The country has a long way to go to catch up with pay-TV use in major Asia-Pacific markets but already incurs some of the biggest losses to piracy in this industry, a study the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia released last Oct. 7 showed.

While the Philippines has the second-to-the-lowest pay-TV penetration rate among the 15 markets covered by the study at 15% -- bigger in terms of percentage only than Indonesia’s 3% and below the 50% regional average -- it was cited with Thailand and Pakistan as being one of the "worst hit by piracy."

Those having greater pay-TV penetration rates than the Philippines and the regional average were: South Korea, 99%; Taiwan, 94%; Hong Kong, 84%; India, 75%; Singapore, 65%; Malaysia, 54%; and New Zealand, 51%. The other markets were: Pakistan with 50%; China, 48%; Thailand, 38%; Australia, 34%; Japan, 24%; and Vietnam, 17%.

The Philippines was counted among those worst hit by pay-TV piracy in terms of estimated foregone revenues for the government. Specifically, the Philippine government is expected to forego some $38 million this year, compared to $87 million for Thailand and $63 million for Pakistan.

Piracy losses of service operators are bigger, with this cost in the Philippines expected to rise 9% to some $90.282 million this year from $82.836 million in 2009. India-based operators will incur the biggest losses totaling about $1.356 billion this year, or 65% of the $2.088-billion total for the 15 markets covered by the study.