MANILA, Philippines—Cable television penetration in the Philippines remains one of the lowest in Asia-Pacific as most Filipino households, finding cable TV rates too high, cling to free-to-air broadcasts.
SkyCable Corp. the country’s leading cable TV service provider, said only 15 percent of households with televisions in the Philippines had cable subscriptions. The rest of the country, the company said, settled with free TV channels.
“The penetration rate or ratio of cable subscriptions to the country’s population is very low by international standards,” SkyCable chief operating officer Ray Montinola said in a statement.
“The 15 percent is too low when compared to South Korea’s and Taiwan’s 80 percent and 90 percent, respectively,” he said.
Montinola said the key to growing the market would be the introduction of more innovative pricing plans, similar to that in the country’s competitive but lucrative telecommunications industry.
“We have been a pioneer of providing cable services in the country in many aspects. We intend to continue to elevate Filipino families’ viewing experience with additional digital cable channels and flexible price plans,” Montinola said.
Earlier this month, SkyCable parent firm ABS-CBN Corp. announced an increase in capital expenditure for the year by 19 percent to about P5 billion.
SkyCable, which is growing its broadband Internet and traditional television business, will get about P2 billion for the next 12 months. This is higher than the P1.3 billion spent in 2011 for the expansion of the company’s operations.
The cable firm has more than half a million subscribers, most of them in the Metro Manila area.
Its lowest-priced postpaid plan-SkyCable 280-remains the country’s most affordable Pay-TV package, relative to its number of digital channels, Montinola said. For only P280 per month, SkyCable 280 airs 38 digital pay-TV channels and 18 free-TV channels, for a total of 56 channels versus its closest competitor’s 13 channels.
“Our vision is to make cable and digital viewing the norm, more than the exception,” Montinola said. “This is our contribution to accelerating the Filipinos’ shift to a way of life that is at par with the rest of the progressive world.”