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IPTV Poised to Play a Major Role in Broadcast of 2008 Olympic Games
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April 03, 2008

IPTV Poised to Play a Major Role in Broadcast of 2008 Olympic Games

By Arun Satapathy, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The 2008 Olympic Games present Chinese service providers the opportunity to introduce new offerings like IPTV, mobile TV and Internet. These services will be used alongside traditional media like newspaper, TV and radio to broadcast Olympic news.

The growing popularity of new media such as IPTV has created a large base of subscribers, a senior executive at Taiwan-based Chunghwa Telecom (News - Alert) said in a recent SinoCast China IT Watch report. Evidence of this comes in the form of very robust set-top box sales, expected to increase significantly during the Olympic Games.
Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan’s largest integrated telecom carrier, provides fixed-line network, mobile network, and data communications services, SinoCast said in its report. Its offerings also include voice, private leased circuit (PLC), and broadband Internet.
ELTA Technology Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Chunghwa Telecom, gained exclusive broadcast right of the Olympic Games in Taiwan through new media, SinoCast noted in the report., part of China Central Television, owns broadcast right for the Games on mainland China. In Hong-Kong, i-Cable Communications Ltd. will be broadcasting the Games.
The Olympic Games will be broadcast using the new media resources of Chunghwa Telecom, SinoCast said. These new media resources include IPTV (News - Alert) (Multimedia on Demand), the Internet (HiNet hiChannel), and mobile phones (emome). The company will broadcast events for 28 sports, with a time length of 125 hours in the Olympic Games through its five IPTV channels.
Chunghwa Telecom has more than 400,000 IPTV subscribers, and aims to boost that to more than 1.2 million by the time the Olympic Games are over in August, SinoCast reported. The company has teamed up with six TV makers including BENQ Corporation, CHIMEI, Tatung Company, and TECO, providing CNY 1.5 billion (about $213 million) in subsidies to encourage subscriber purchases of high-definition TVs.
Top managers at the company says they expect to generate revenue of TWD 400 million or (about $12.4 million) from the broadcast of the Olympic Games.
IDC (News - Alert), a global IT advisory institution, predicted in a recent report that China is likely to become the most important IPTV market in Asia-Pacific region, SinoCast said. This is based on an assumption that Chinese regulators relax restrictions on the industry, and that  IPTV technology improved.
In Shanghai alone, there were more than 220,000 IPTV subscribers at the end of 2007, and the total number of subscribers in the whole country is expected to exceed 10 million by 2010, and hit 14.5 million in 2011.
IPTV subscribers during 2007 grew to 12.34 million from 5.71 million at the end of 2006, a surge of 117 percent worldwide, SinoCast reported. In Europe, IPTV subscribers exceeded 6.9 million last year — contributing 57 percent of the global growth.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is Voice Peering: Reduce Time to Market and Risk, brought to you by Stealth Communications (News - Alert).

Arun Satapathy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Arun’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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