According to Asia-Pacific pay-TV industry research conducted by Casbaa, pay-TV services now connect with almost 363 million homes in Asia, surpassing North America where pay-TV reaches 121 million.
Pay-TV penetration varies dramatically across the region. South Korea, with a penetration rate of 99 per cent, has the highest penetration while Indonesia with penetration of 3 per cent of TV homes has the lowest. Growth in the pay-TV industry is primarily driven by India (75 per cent penetration of all TV homes) and China (48 per cent) but Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam are contributing significantly to this growth.
In terms of revenues, however, pay-TV in Asia continues to lag behind North America and Western Europe in both penetration and revenues. According to data firm SNL Kagan, in North America, pay-TV reaches 87.7 per cent of households and generated US$102.50 billion in revenues in 2010, while Western Europe enjoys penetration of 61.9 per cent and revenues of US$41.04 billion.
In 2010 pay-TV in Asia will generate a little over US$30 billion from its 50 per cent penetration rate.
Another insight offered by Casbaa during its annual convention in Hong Kong is that – according to an annual piracy survey by Casbaa and Standard Chartered Bank - over US$2 billion will have been lost to piracy this year. Casbaa noted that this loss, while high, does not include revenues lost to internet piracy.
According to CASBAA, governments worst hit by piracy include Thailand, Pakistan and the Philippines, which in 2010 will have lost US$87 million, US$63 million and US$38 million respectively.