Hong Kong -- As Asia-based pay TV providers absorbed data
from two new viewership surveys, the president of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting
Association of Asia warned that the industry needs to expand viewer research if it is to
attract more advertisers.
S.K. Fung, who is also president of NBC Asia, noted that
the cable and satellite industry in Asia is now eight years old, yet advertisers had not
been offered a comprehensive, panregional viewership study until 1997's Pax survey.
Fung was speaking here at the unveiling of the data from
the first Media Index CabSat survey of 55,000 viewers across the region.
Just one day later, Turner Entertainment Asia-Pacific,
based here, released the results of the "GenerAsians" survey of 5,700 seven- to
18-year-olds in 18 cities in 12 Asian countries. Both studies were conducted by A.C.
Fung said Taiwan exemplified the shortfall in pay TV's
share of total TV ad spending. Cable-TV penetration on the island state is around 80
percent -- the highest in the region. Cable-TV channels accounted for 52 percent of
Taiwanese viewing, but the medium attracted just 30 percent of overall TV ad spending.
Taiwan is the only Asian market with people meters.
Fung estimated that 52 percent of the Taiwanese TV
ad-spending market is worth $330 million -- a figure equal to total pay TV ad spending in
the entire Asia-Pacific region, excluding Taiwan.
CabSat was endorsed by the CASBAA and sponsored by
Australia TV, CNBC Asia Business News, Discovery Channel Asia, MTV Asia, Star TV, ESPN
Star Sports and Turner Broadcasting. Each of these channels and platforms were among the
22 programmers about which Nielsen staff questioned respondents. Other networks included
in the survey were BBC World, Disney, HBO Asia, TVBS and MGM Gold -- the latter of which
folded in early April.
Sponsoring channels and platforms cautiously welcomed the
results, but they insisted that they could not provide detailed comments until they had
studied them further.
Among the findings released was the disparity in cable- and
satellite-TV penetration. At its highest, in the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and
Guangzhou, cable penetration topped 88 percent, while it fell to 16 percent in Thailand,
3.5 percent in peninsular Malaysia and 12 percent in the Philippines' capital city of
Yet within these varied findings, Nielsen said there was
"a substantial viewing of these channels on a daily basis, building to very high
proportions over a typical month."
Turner's survey for TNT & Cartoon Network focused
on children's consumer habits, rather than on their TV choices, but Celia Chong, the
network's senior vice president and general manager, commented, "Similar to
advertisers and marketers in the kids' area, we need to know more about
children's lives in order to be better at what we do."
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