Technology changes offer hope for broadcasters at Casbaa

11 Nov,2011

By Nibha

The 2011 edition of the Casbaa Convention closed last week with high optimism at a time of rapidly altering business models and quick time technological change for TV services across the Asia Pacific.


“The new models provide huge opportunity,” said Mr Simon Twiston Davies, CEO, Casbaa, “while more than 420 million non-terrestrial TV connections are being logged across the region. Meanwhile, there are already more homes with multichannel TV inAsiathan the rest of the world combined.”


On hand to give expert opinions during a variety of insightful panel sessions staged during CASBAA 2011 were a roster of high-powered international executives including Jana Bennett, President, Worldwide Networks & Global iPlayer, BBC Worldwide; Andy Lack, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group; Olivier Barberot, Chairman & CEO, GlobeCast Worldwide; Shuichi Mori, President & CEO, Jupiter Telecommunications; Blair Westlake, Corporate VP, Media & Entertainment Group, Microsoft; Jeff Shell, President, NBCUniversal International; Shigeki Nishiyama, Representative Director, Chairman, SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation; and, Nobuya Wazaki, President, WOWOW.


Mr Tetsuo Yamakawa, Japan’s Vice Minister at the Ministry of Internal Affairs – and some of the most influential international players in Japan – detailed opportunities for deepening pay TV penetration in a market hungry for global content and collaboration with international partners and investors.


India, too, continues to be an important market in the region and the hugely complicated and expensive task of digitizing the Indian market was the subject of one of the Convention panels. Mr Ravi Mansukhani, MD of IMCL, said digitisation would lead to a huge amount of localization of content and value-added services being introduced into the market. It was clear that setting a deadline for the switching off of analogue services was just the beginning of the process.


Mr Liang Xiao Tao, President, CITVC described how TV audiences are evolving in China, shifting to online viewing and social media, and how more open policies on broadcasting are likely to see a shift away from the dominance of the big players.


According to a lively team of panelists discussing the future ofMalaysia’s multichannel market there’s plenty of room for new entrants to the market. “Nearly 50% of the population have never had pay TV and they’re the ones who aren’t having their needs met,” pointed out Ms Kathleen Syron, Chief Content Officer, YTL Communications.


With technology evolving so fast, this is an exciting time to be in the broadcasting business. The role of social media in the TV viewing experience came under the spotlight where the multiplier effect of channel and programme fans recommending TV content to their friends was immense.


As well, as consumers increasingly demand content everywhere and anytime, the industry is combining technologies to get the best solutions for all the devices people are now using to watch video. An example was given by Mr John Couling, VP Marketing, Products and Platforms, Dolby, who mentioned that the next frontier will be bringing top-quality sound to mobile and tablet devices, so that there’s greater continuity of content quality across platforms.


While opportunities abound, the challenge is in revising pay TV business models that would be just as valid in a world of multiple devices as it is to when the industry was literally just a box in the living room.


As the era of digital delivery continues to grow, however, the threat of online piracy looms large and there is an imperative need to effectively address this problem.

Held in conjunction with the Convention, Casbaa’s Annual General Meeting of its 130 Member companies drawn from 17 Asian markets saw the re-election of Mr Marcel Fenez of PwC as Chairman of the Association and the election of Mr Mark Patterson, CEO, Asia Pacific, GroupM to its Board of Directors. As part of a global media investment management group, Mr Patterson will bring a strategic commitment to advertising to the Association board.


Stepping down from the Board of Directors, Mr Tom Keaveny of Discovery Networks Asia Pacific was recognized with Casbaa’s prestigious Chairman’s Award for his contributions to the development of Pay-TV in the region and his tireless work explaining the overall value of Pay TV to advertisers.


Finally, in recognition of the importance of being able to give back to the communities that we operate in, Casbaa raised nearly US$50,000 during the annual Charity Ball presented by Turner for Plan International’s Early Childhood Care and Development Project to benefit underprivileged children in the Philippines.

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