Broadband TV takes off in Asia

Reuters reports that Asian telco now offer pay TV services:

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Asian phone companies are rolling out new pay TV services using their broadband Internet networks, injecting fresh competition into an industry dominated by cable and satellite operators.

The trend has taken off in Asia first because the technology is already in place: three-quarters of the region’s broadband connections use digital subscriber line (DSL) technology to transform ordinary telephone lines into high-speed data pipes, industry analysts say.

Modifying existing DSL systems to handle pay TV is a relatively minor expense for most Internet companies as they look for new ways to make money, said Marcel Fenez, an Asia media consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

There are a couple of issues here, penetration and bandwidth. Japan and Hong Kong offer higher-speed DSL than we’re used to in America, and more people are hooked up. There must be some subsidies at work, but I don’t have the details on them.

Link via Broadbandits author Om Malik.