The independent study, conducted by CLSA, CASBAA and its member
organizations, highlighted the impact of unlicensed operators and
pirate cable subscribers on regional economies including those of
Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand, a
company release specified.
The gross revenue losses across all sectors of the Asia Pacific
pay-TV industry, from platform operators to independent suppliers
of programming, are estimated to a total of US$1.29 billion for
2003. The cost of piracy is currently increasing at a rate in excess
of 10 per cent.
"This is an alarming cost and it continues to escalate at a
rapid pace. However, there have been too few efforts to regulate
the issue," the company release quoted CASBAA CEO Simon Twiston
Davies as saying.
Twiston Davies explains that it has become essential for the industry,
regulators and general community to work together to address a problem
that is becoming more pervasive by the month.
The survey also shows that under-declaration of pay TV subscribers
in India dominates regional piracy numbers, contributing to 72 per
cent of revenue leakage. As for the other cities, Hong Kong stands
out in comparison with other developed regional cities such as Singapore,
Seoul and Kuala Lumpur, reporting a gross loss of US$28 million
from pirated cable and satellite subscribers.
The release of the regional piracy report coincides with the CASBAA
Convention 2003, which started today and will continue till 31 October
in Hong Kong.
A separate session on the piracy issue titled Stealing It: Chasing
the Dragons of Asian Piracy will be held tomorrow (29 October)
at 2:30 pm at the Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong. The
session will have a panel discussion on the technical, operational
and legal implications of widespread pay-TV piracy in Asia.