Operators’ Topics and Issues

Relatively few governments in the Asia-Pacific region require that consumers be given the right to terminate pay-TV contracts in the event of changes in channel line-ups. A CASBAA survey of member operators produced some interesting insights into which regulators impose requirements in this regard, and which have less restrictive approaches.

CASBAA is joining with media and telecom companies in Hong Kong to recommend a series of changes in the HK SAR's Broadcasting Ordinance and Telecom Ordinance. In keeping with the global trend toward lightening restrictions on licensed TV (as competition with unregulated internet-based OTT and pirate offerings becomes ever more intense), the Hong Kong group is recommending that the government relax some of the current outdated restrictions on advertising, content regulation, and cross-media ownership (among other things). The full recommendations will be released soon; in the meantime here for information is a background survey on cross-media ownership prepared by CASBAA. CASBAA's view of the overall issues with unbalanced regulation of licensed television and unlicensed OTT is contained in our publication "A Tilted Playing Field," which can be accessed here.

This paper provides background information on the practice adopted by some governments of requiring "essential content" to be shared among TV operators. It includes a table showing the content sharing lists of governments in Europe and Asia, and takes account of latest developments in Malaysia and Singapore.

Solon(www.solonstrategy.com) publishes the largest strategy and benchmarking study on European cable operators. It shows that cable operators remain optimistic about revenue growth and see broadband, mobile and B2B as their largest opportunities. The survey is based on the feedback of C-Level executives at 14 leading European cable operators servicing 25 million customers.

One frequently-discussed issue in pay-TV regulation is government control of retail rates. CASBAA produced an up-to-date "Fact Sheet" describing rate regulation practices in Asia and Australasia. Much more info on pay-TV regulatory policies will be published in CASBAA's "Regulating for Growth 2011" study, to be released in late September.