Asia Pay-TV Heads for Consolidation as Growth Falters (Report)

Variety | 4/3/2019 | Patrick Frater
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Corporate consolidation is increasingly likely, as the pay-TV sector in Asia loses momentum, and consumers turn to video content from OTT suppliers and to piracy, according to a report from research and consultancy firm Media Partners Asia.

“Consumer demand for traditional pay-TV has been forever impacted by high-speed broadband. These trends have intensified downward pressure across Asia’s pay-TV ecosystem, especially in Southeast Asia, led by Singapore and Malaysia, alongside secular shifts in Australia and New Zealand. This will accelerate consolidation as well as major shifts in how channels and content are marketed and sold,” said the firm’s executive director Vivek Couto, introducing the firm’s Pay-TV Networks Channel Database report.

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Couto identifies the first wave of consolidation as Disney buying Fox, and AT&T buying Warner’s branded networks Turner and HBO. He says its effects will “play out with momentum across Asia-Pacific over the next year.” He forecasts that “future consolidation and rationalization will be defined by global moves and M&A possibilities involving large assets in India,” which is the most profitable segment of the pay-TV business in the Asia-Pacific region.

The course towards consolidation in Asia is unlikely to be straightforward. Unconfirmed Indian media reports suggest that this week Sony, already the second largest pay-TV group in India, may have halted its bid to buy a major stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprises that had been put up for sale by Subhash Chandra. Other bidders are believed to include Comcast in partnership with an investment company Altairos, and Apple.

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The Media Partners Asia report suggests that Discovery,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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