Movement on Cable Package Pricing in Taiwan

Monday, 08 July 2013

Taiwan, which has had a large, static, legally-mandated analogue cable TV package for years, is in for some change, with consumers paying less for basic TV, but having more choice for premium content. The National Communications Commission announced on July 3 that in early 2017 it would oblige cable operators to offer tiers of programming. A basic tier, to include 11 named "must-carry" FTA channels plus others to be selected by cable operators, would cost only US$6.60 per month. Three add-on expanded basic tiers (which can be selected by consumers) are to cost only $4.30 each. At the top end, however, operators are expected to have more pricing flexibility for premium and HD channels. An obvious prerequisite for this type of pricing is full digitization. One hopeful sign is that Commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng implied it was not the Commission's intention to continue past regulatory excesses. According to Yu, the commission would not limit the number of channels available in each group, nor would it interfere with the arrangement of the TV channels.

See an English-language press report here.

See a translation of the NCC's media release here.


Taiwan Media Monopoly Debate Rages

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Two recent articles from the English-language press illuminate the continuing, highly political, debate in Taiwan over "media monopoly" issues. They will be of interest to members following issues there.

1. An Op-Ed column in the Taipei Times provides good background on the origin and development of the complicated issues at stake: More

2. Meanwhile, the Want Want China Times (part of the conglomerate at the center of the "monopoly" storm) published that group's point of view, which is anything but neutral: More

(Declaration of Interest: None of the companies in the Want Want China Times Group are CASBAA members, though they have been invited. Other players in the Taiwan pay-TV industry are members.)


Amendment seeks to end cable TV monopoly

Monday, 17 January 2011

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission is proposing legislation to bring about more competition in the cable-TV industry.  NCC is asking the Legislative Yuan to revise the Cable Television Act to allow redefinition of the island’s 50+ service areas for cable TV, and elimination of the current monopoly enjoyed within service areas by individual cable providers.  This would allow cable MSOs to compete against each other, subject to a national cap of one-third of the total number of subscriptions.

Pending enactment of legislative changes, the NCC is seeking to impose some changes through conditions attached to approval of licenses and transfers of ownership of cable groups.  A recent article in the English-language Taipei Times outlined some of the issues.  Members can find the article here.


Taiwan NCC Proposes to End Must-Carry Rule

Thursday, 08 October 2009

Radio Taiwan International - Terrestrial TV stations may soon disappear from some households in Taiwan due to a new move by the National Communications Commission (NCC). The NCC has decided to stop forcing cable TV companies to carry terrestrial channels. In the future, the NCC says, cable providers must negotiate with the terrestrial channels such as Formosa TV and Taiwan Television Company for their programming.



CASBAA Joins Taiwan Think-Tank Briefing for NCC on Digital, Advertising Issues

Thursday, 06 August 2009

CASBAA participated in a briefing/dialogue for NCC members in Taipei on results of a policy study by The 21st Century Foundation. Hosted by the Cable Broadband Institute in Taiwan (CBIT), the briefing considered industry trends and the gradual digitalization of Taiwan’s cable system, and offered suggestion for facilitative policy approaches. One key issue is whether advertising will be allowed on digital premium channels. CASBAA members can find a brief English summary, and the full Chinese-language report by The 21st Century Foundation, here.