Sat operators blast new pay TV rules

John C. Tanner
CommunciAsia Show Daily

Satellite operators yesterday blasted the government’s new pay TV scheme, which requires channels to be carried by both Singapore cable operators.

They say the scheme from the Media Development Authority (MDA) would eliminate profits in the sector and ultimately harm consumers as well.

Measat COO Paul-Brown Kenyon told a panel at a satellite summit panel session that mandating non-exclusivity “is dangerous, because if you don’t have differentiated content in a pay-TV market, you see a massive focus on price.

“That may be good for consumers in the short term but it’s bad for the industry in the long term because they lose money and they can’t invest in future networks. It destroys their future.”

Brown described the MDA’s decision as a “political issue” because it was primarily about sports rights and the ability of people to watch very popular content, such as the World Cup.

AsiaSat CEO Peter Jackson also criticized the exclusivity ban – as well as similar policies in markets like India and Indonesia – saying that making every platform a commodity means “zero profit for everyone”.

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