CASBAA Connections Q3 2011

Date: Jan 2011

Our strategic goals and principles remain very much the same as in 1991

Taking stock

Looking ahead, while minding the here and now

Marking our 20th presents an opportunity to take a measure of our strengths and consider how best to deploy them to ensure that the next 20 years are even more successful than the first. Certainly one of CASBAA’s strengths is identifying trends, whether anticipating the importance of mobile and web distribution, or anticipating how new legislation might put industry growth at risk. The job requires on-the-ground understanding of changing industry dynamics and using this knowledge to move strategically and proactively.

Today CASBAA represents a solid communications and entertainment sector, providing genuinely valuable services to its subscribing members, its clients, shareholders and partners. But, like the multi-channel-TV industry all over the world, CASBAA is in constant need of reinvention just as our markets are repositioning themselves in the face of new often still undefined competition.

During a recent meeting of leading stakeholders on the CASBAA Council of Governors, there was much debate on strategic objectives and the tactics we use to deliver them.

The strategic goals and principles remain very much the same as in 1991: Even-handed, marketfriendly regulation; protection of Intellectual Property rights, and of proper revenues along the length of the multichannel TV value chain. To do this we continue to promote regulatory transparency, consistency and neutrality, and truly competitive markets. And thanks to our conferences, roundtables, networking and other events, and our extensive publications for members, the message is getting through. Government, our members and the media view CASBAA’s strategic objectives with the seriousness they merit.

If the CASBAA Convention illustrates our tactical approach, the closed-door discussions we hold during CASBAA’s parallel Regulators Roundtable exercise – which draws officials from a dozen or more countries – illustrate how we stay tightly focused on strategic objectives.

Throughout the meetings the regulators and other officials interact privately with an equal number of senior industry figures. This year we intend to deconstruct vital regulatory issues underpinning new business models such as OTT, the realities of on-line piracy, content quotas, foreign investment caps and licensing for all kinds for domestic and overseas market participants.

Even so, a part of the dialogue will comprise reference to the up-coming release of one of our key tactical tools, the “Regulating for Growth” exercise that benchmarks our regulatory friends in terms of their effective (or not) contributions to industry development.

It’s a long agenda that will be thrashed out at a time of dramatic change for the entire media business.

Meanwhile, the first half of the year has been an unusually busy season, as CASBAA has weighed in on a variety of issues affecting Asia Pacific markets. We’ve taken delegations to and engaged in private discussions with officials in Thailand, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Through September we will exchange information and views in Taiwan and the Philippines. And Japan will be the focus of a senior government and industry mission coming to the Convention in October.

On the more public front membership continues growing. Our outreach to the online world netted Google and its YouTube platform, along with Hungama Digital Media of India, as corporate members. Other newcomers joining our Corporate ranks include telco and information services company Telstra of Australia, Indonesian media platforms First Media and Skynindo, Australian satellite services provider NewSat and technology company ALi Corp of Taiwan. Meanwhile, Encompass Digital Media (the rebranded Ascent Media), has upgraded its membership to Patron status.

Welcome to our journey to the future!

Marcel Fenez

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