India and China

By | July 30, 2003 | Feature

In terms of markets, BT is going to attack in the region – India and China represent the two biggest opportunities for the company. Smith believes recent deals in India are showing the growth potential in that market. “India will be one of the leaders in terms of broadcast revenues from Asia in the next two years. They are growing very quickly. We are not doing small deals there. They are surprisingly big deals. They are surprisingly well-funded deals and they are actually very sensible commercial models, which are really working. What is interesting is that the clamour for content and entertainment will mean markets like India will start to deregulate very quickly.”

The market in China is another that is likely to grow rapidly over the next two years. Smith outlines the company’s plans here. “In China, we want to have the capability to both contribute and distribute to corporates and to end users of cable and DTH [direct-to-home] systems. We want to extend that to communities, the Cantonese and Chinese communities around the globe.”

While generating revenues from markets such as China and India has proved difficult in the past, the sheer size of the market presents operators with a number of opportunities. “The only differential is the number of eyeballs you have got out there which are ready to watch that content. It is higher in pure numbers. If you look at China and its GDP growing faster than anyone else, very shortly it will become the largest economy. It is clear with 1.8 billion people the actual marketplace for media and content is just massive. India will lead [the way] for 15 months and then you are going to see China become significant as well. We will see these two big [countries] really start to develop revenues.”

Smith also expects satellite operators to take far more of an interest in the region going forward. BT Broadcast Services is hoping its push now will give it an early mover advantage. “Certainly, some of the satellite operators are beginning to try and build a solution capability in Asia. So, we are not the only ones trying to do it. I hope we have got a little bit of a lead on them and we are being sufficiently entrepreneurial to give customers something different.”

–Mark Holmes

(Contact: Dan Winter, e-mail: dan.winter@bbpr.com)

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