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Legal move towards fair competition in pay TV market

A new decree on the use and management of broadcasting services aims to create an impartial playground between domestic and foreign pay TV service providers.

Decree No.71/2022/ND-CP amending and supplementing Decree No.06/2016/ND-CP on the use and management of broadcasting services aims to create an impartial playground between domestic and foreign pay TV service providers.

The latest report released by the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information has showcased saturation signs of traditional television broadcasting services as both subscribers and revenue figures stalled. Meanwhile, internet-based television transmission services (OTT TV) have immense space for growth.

The revenue from pay television is estimated at around $404.3 million in 2022, slightly inching up compared to $400 million in 2021 while the sum from OTT TV services in the domestic market is expected to touch $32.1 million, showing a sharp jump compared to around $8.7 million last year.

Legal move towards fair competition in pay TV market
Vietnam's pay television revenue is estimated at around $404.3 million in 2022

Newly-released governmental Decree No.71/2022/ND-CP, slated to come into force in January 2023, mandates equal treatment between domestic and foreign firms, meaning that transboundary platforms providing OTT TV services shall be licensed and operating as local ones.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam noted that the move aims to create an impartial playground between domestic and foreign players and eliminate the bias that the management agencies are protecting foreign OTT TV service providers due to lacking a compatible legal framework for their management.

Vietnam is currently home to 38 firms licensed to provide pay television services, one more firm compared to 2021.

Vo Thanh Hai, director of Viettel Media, said that local OTT TV service providers would face mounting pressure from foreign counterparts, yet it also brings opportunities as the copyright demand for Vietnamese content is huge and foreign counterparts willingly pay for quality content.

“In the next few years, foreign OTT TV platforms would inject into producing Vietnamese firms right in the country, like what they have been doing in other countries like South Korea and China. Viettel Media might consider selling content to foreign OTT TV providers which are interested in such deals. This creates opportunities for our producers,” he added.

Luong Quoc Huy, deputy general director of cable television firm SCTV, proposed the government pen out a radical pay television market development plan which consists of regulations to avoid service monopoly in order to control the market, preventing product sale at dump price.

Vietnam is currently home to 38 firms licensed to provide pay television services, one more firm compared to 2021.

Besides these firms, the local pay TV market has the participation of foreign OTT TV service providers such as Netflix, AppleTV, and WeTV, among others.

Currently, OTT TV accounts for 20 per cent of the market share with approximately 3.6 million subscribers, generating revenue of around $8.3 million that is eying a sharp growth potential.

A report from Akamai, a leading US-based content delivery network, shows that 36 million OTT TV users are based in Vietnam out of the 180 million in Southeast Asia and that the region's market would reach $54 billion by 2026.

Source: VIR

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