Analyst tips 141,000 Kiwi IPTV subscribers by 2014

Broadband networks to propel internet TV rollouts

New broadband networks are being tipped to propel the deployment of internet television, or IPTV, services in New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand is forecast to have 141,000 IPTV subscribers by 2014 as a result of its new broadband network, according to projections by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.

See also: Freeview NZ strikes a different path to IPTV
Australia's planned National Broadband Network (NBN) will boost IPTV service rollouts there with 235,000 subscribers by 2014.

In a report, Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Adeel Najam said Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Malaysia would join other Asia-Pacific nations with new IPTV service rollouts in the next 12 months. The Philippines is not expected to join the list until 2011.

"In Australia, the country's National Broadband Network (NBN) project is expected to boost IPTV service roll-out and uptake as delivery networks will be enhanced with the NBN," Najam says in the report.

"Given the high household broadband penetration rates in these two countries — Australia at about 60 percent and New Zealand at just under 60 percent in 2008 — and the comparatively lower pay TV household penetration — Australia at 30 percent and New Zealand at just under 55 per cent (2008) — IPTV has the potential to capture a portion of the pay TV market."

In July, Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy claimed the NBN could bring "hundreds" of TV channels to Australia. However, many have said there needs to be a significant re-working of the media sector's regulatory framework for this to take place.

Frost & Sullivan also predicted the Asia-Pacific region would be the second largest IPTV market after Western Europe — which has 38.3 percent of the world's subscriptions — by the end of the year with 37.6 percent of global subscribers.

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the region (including Japan) will be 24.6 per cent annually to 2014, the analyst forecast.

While only Hong Kong uses IPTV as its foremast pay TV platform in the region (with 54 percent market share in 2008) at present, Najam claimed this would change with broadband improvements and operators "push ahead to offer multi-play services to make good their costly fibre investments".

"After fibre deployments, service providers must offer services like IPTV to maximise revenue potential and return on investments," he said.

"With the right content strategy, PCCW not only managed to capture more than 30 percent of Hong Kong's highly competitive pay TV market within the first two years, but has now tripled its average per user revenue and kept subscriber churn to under one percent," Najam added.

"Exclusive content, wherever local regulations permit, will give operators a leg up in the game."