CASBAA, CBIT Taiwan meet for pay-TV regulation

MUMBAI: Taiwan’s communications industry has joined hands with the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), an Asia-Pacific industry-based advocacy group, to raise awareness of the obstacles impeding the dynamic growth of Taiwan’s video services market.

During a high-powered industry seminar, organized by CASBAA and Cable Broadband Institute in Taiwan (CBIT), representatives of Taiwan’s leading cable operators, broadband providers, content suppliers, regulators and elected political leaders exchanged views on the current market structure and the provision of a road map for liberalizing Taiwan’s regulatory environment to meet consumer demand for digital pay-TV services.

Participating companies included ChungHwa Telecom, Taiwan Broadband Communications, China Network Systems, Kbro, TFN Media, Star Group and HBO Asia.

Meanwhile, CASBAA released its report on ‘Taiwan’s Digital Gap – Regulation and Development of the Pay-TV Industry’, analyzing the current Taiwan market structure which, CASBAA says, is a restrictive regulatory regime limiting Taiwan’s business opportunities.

CBIT also introduced a white paper, ‘Broadband Digital Convergence – The Role of Cable in Taiwan’, featuring a series of recommendations for positive changes in Taiwan’s pay-TV regulatory environment.

"We are delighted to co-operate with CBIT on our first event of this kind in Taiwan," said CASBAA chairman Marcel Fenez. "Both CASBAA and CBIT are committed to creating a free and fair environment to support the growth of the pay-TV sector. A consistent legal framework that is both technology and content neutral is essential for further industry investment that will bring new value to consumers."

Pay-TV growth in Taiwan, as in the rest of Asia, is dependent on digitization, a transformational but capital-intensive process that will unlock a substantial upside for the economy as a whole.

"It is remarkable that while Taiwan is the largest producer of LCD TV panels in the world with one of the highest cable TV penetration markets anywhere, it has yet to undergo a digital transformation. The status quo restricts content choice and services that are already available to other consumers in the rest of Asia. This position needs urgent attention," said Fenez.

According to CASBAA and CBIT, the pay-TV industry firmly believes that with positive regulatory change, greater investments will be made to ensure that Taiwan could achieve the goal of island-wide digitization over the next five years.

"Significant investments in cable television network infrastructure and content could alter the scope and scale of Taiwan’s media and communications sectors with huge benefits for consumers, the industry and the economy," said CBIT chairman Bobby Chen.