Saturday, March 31, 2007

Asian broadcasters urged to share more content

Asian broadcasters need to share more content, and use this to attract viewers to their new digital channels, a conference in Kuala Lumpur has heard. Keith Pierce of Aljazeera English told the ABU Digital TV symposium that by sharing programmes, broadcasters could acquire content cheaply and boost the value of their digital channels. Speaking at an industry debate on the final day of the symposium, he said that when he had worked for an Indonesian channel, programmes from Hong Kong and Mexico had proved popular among the channel’s viewers. “We should be sharing a lot more content than we are between Malaysia and Indonesia, and across the region,” he said.
Other speakers agreed that good content was key to the success of digital channels in the Asia-Pacific region, and that it must differ from the content available on existing analogue channels. Chris Jaeger of Broadcast Australia said the lack of innovative content was a reason for the relatively low take-up of new Australian digital channels. He also said strong collaboration - a “collective vision” - was needed between government regulators and broadcasters. If they got the vision right, other aspects of digital TV broadcasting would fall into place.
Bill Curtis of Kordia, a company that provides broadcast services to New Zealand TV and radio networks, said some broadcasters who wanted to introduce digital services were being held back because their regulators and governments had not begun to develop a transition plan.
Ana Eliza Faria e Silva of Brazil’s TV Globo said digital TV services would succeed in the developing world only if governments subsidised broadcasters.
Rohan Perera of Sri Lanka’s national broadcaster, SLRC, said the organisation needed financial support from the government for the transition to digital broadcasting but as yet was not receiving any.
(Source: Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union/R Betherlands Media Network Weblog)