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December 20, 2006

China and IPTV: Going Slow, But Going

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Associate Editor

The next four years for China’s IPTV market will demonstrate a slow growth, so says reporting firm In-Stat (News - Alert).
However, the market will not experience a rapid growth as it has in other regions due to tight control from SARFT, an executive branch under the State Council of the People's Republic of China. Despite licenses issued in China, State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) is using government policies to level the competition between IPTV (News - Alert) and digital cable TV.
IPTV subscriber base in China is expected to reach 6.3 million by 2010, which is up from 240,000 in 2005 with an annual subscription revenue of $888 million by 2010.
"China's IPTV ecosystem is still shaping itself," says Rebecca Tan, In-Stat analyst. "The ecosystem participants, centralized around telcos, are trying to find an effective model for cooperation. Telcos currently have to rely on content providers for programming while trying to gain content licenses of their own, while content providers, represented by Shanghai Media Group, are managing to control end-users through IPTV."
Earlier this month, the capital of northeastern Chinese province of Jilin, Changchun, received the first round of approvals from SARFT, making Changchun the first city to commercially operate IPTV from CCTV. CCTV International, a sub-ministry of the People's Republic of China's central government within SARFT, negotiated with China Netcom (News - Alert) to boost IPTV networks in several northern cities. According to a recent article, IPTV is now still in the beginning stages of deployment for the region.
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