CASBAA Connections Q2 2012

Date: Jan 2012

CASBAA protests retroactive tax threat to India satellite services

Doorknocking time

It is never too early to mark your calendars for the CASBAA Convention 2012

This year’s CASBAA Convention slogan is “18 Reasons Why!” reflecting the number of markets within the Association’s growing footprint in Asia Pacific. We now represent our embers in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, hailand and Vietnam. Apart from these 18 markets, there are many other reasons why ASBAA and the Convention are essential to the Asian multichannel-TV industry.

Certainly, our members value the Association as a unique and unified voice promoting multichannel TV in all its forms. As technology evolves at an ever-faster rate, it has become even more important to embrace convergence and collaboration to foster continued growth. With consistent access to governments, CASBAA strives for productive industry representation to lobby for fair and even-handed regulation for a healthy business environment.

A case in point is the potential for a highly damaging outcome for the communications and media industries from the recent Indian national budget was emphasised by CASBAA in its early April submission to the Indian Ministry of Finance and other government bodies. The threat to retroactively tax Indian satellite services dating back to the early 1970s could seriously undermine overall investor confidence in the Indian economy, both local and international. Thus, during a series of follow-up meetings in late March, a CASBAA Council of Governors delegation met senior officials at India‘s Planning Commission, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India and the Ministry of Information and roadcasting. Among the companies participating in the meetings were HBO Asia, Star India, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and APT Satellite.

The CASBAA Doorknock came on the heels of the India Forum 2012: Beyond Digital which attracted more than 200 speakers, delegates and media from across the country and Asia Pacific. With the long-heralded deadline for the digitization of cable-TV systems in the four largest metropolitan areas – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai – only months away, a roster of local and international experts discussed how the process was unfolding and how it would impact the multichannel-TV landscape.

Moving across the continent to Japan – another of Asia’s most important markets – CASBAA met with the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications along with platforms such as SKYPerfect JSAT, J:COM and the Japan Cable-TV Association. We also dropped into key advertising agencies Denstu and Hakuhodo as well as terrestrial networks Fuji TV and TBS.

Chief among the items for discussion during the three busy days in Japan were the ongstanding deficiencies in Japan’s pay-TV audience measurement system and shared concerns over the unfettered deployment of over-the-top services. Among those participating in that delegation were TrueVisions of Thailand, AETN, HBO Asia, Fox International Channels, Turner and PwC.

Down south, Thailand’s new independent regulatory body, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is beginning to tackle the large menu of tasks facing it. CASBAA CEO Simon Twiston Davies and Deputy CEO and Regulatory Affairs Director John Medeiros visited Thailand to meet the NBTC’s new leadership for briefings on the new DTT licensing process and progress on the legitimisation of Thailand’s hundreds of cable systems.

On the ever-present issue of intellectual property rights, CASBAA’s 2012 submission to the US

Trade Representative emphasised hopes for Indian progress toward cable digitisation as “a major advance towards cleaning up” the massive underdeclaration pervading India’s cable-TV market.

As we move into the second half of the year, CASBAA will continue to address topical issues

through policy reviews and submissions, additional government engagement and forthcoming high-profile industry events. Now that I think about it, as far as attending the CASBAA onvention 2012 is concerned, there are far more than “18 Reasons Why!

Marcel Fenez

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