Kuala Lumpur: India looks all set to overtake Japan as Asia’s largest satellite direct-to-home market by next year, according to a research carried out by a top Malaysian research house.
The researchers, Aseam bankers also noted that India was targeted to be Asia’s leading cable market by 2010 and the most lucrative pay-TV market by 2015.
Aseam bankers in their report were also bullish on Malaysian Pay-TV operator Astro All Asia Networks plc’s prospects in India. It said based on the profile of joint venture partner Sun Direct, Astro should be looking at a target market of 250 mn viewers.
“However, prospects are promising given that the southern Indian states are relatively more prosperous based on the average per capita income, which is 10% higher than the national average,” Aseam bank claimed.
The research unit cautioned Astro about challenges in the Indian market in the form of competition, piracy and red tape.
It warned that similar to Indonesia, piracy was rampant in the Indian pay-TV market quoting a survey by the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia estimating priacy losses in India at around $685 mn (Rs 308.25 crore) in 2006, the highest in Asia Pacific region.
“The fragmented nature of cable TV and intense competition among players have dragged the industry’s average revenue per user to as low as Rs 150 a month,” the media reports said.