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23 May 2012
Boston Convention Center - Boston


OTT in the Boston limelight

During the mid-May US Cable Show 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts some 13,000 content providers, equipment sellers and government officials came together to debate the newest trends in the world’s leading cable-TV market. US cable TV currently serves 58 million homes, accounting for some 60 percent of US pay-TV connections.

During the conference organized by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), CASBAA hosted a special Asia Breakfast after which Deputy CEO, John Medeiros noted that the US cable industry is currently focusing on co-opting “OTT” internet television and turning it to the benefit of the pay-TV industry as it promotes a new slogan ‘Cable: Not Just TV. It’s How We Connect’.



The Asia Breakfast audience heard that “TV Everywhere” rollouts are also coming to Asia with major content providers already preparing initiatives with platform partners in a number of markets.

“But market structures in Asia are very different from the US and Asian cable operators in general don’t have the commanding broadband market lead of their US counterparts,” said Medeiros. “And they will also be marketed by cable, DTH and IPTV operators in Asia.”

“In the US, when people watch OTT products, more often than not they buy the broadband from their cable provider,” he said. “Thus the US cable industry is intent on rolling out solutions that keep people watching their cable-provided TV. TV Everywhere was literally everywhere at the Show,” said Medeiros. “The key is that the consumer must be a pay-TV subscriber.”

The industry message emphasizes that TV Everywhere content is “free” -- as long as the cable or DTH subscription is current and free is the most attractive price for any consumers. “Yet the TV Everywhere model is only viable only through close, ongoing partnerships between content providers and platform operators,” said Medeiros.

And then there are the illegal internet TV sources of pirate programming that will remain a huge challenge in Asia.

“The competition is going to intensify as broadband rollouts in Asia accelerate,” said Medeiros. “But it is clear that established players can, and will, fight hard to keep their customers – and that content/platform partnerships will play a big role in that fight.”

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