Monday, October 11, 2010

I.T. Matters: Sky Cable spending P200M to switch to digital TV broadcast

On the world of cable television, ABS-CBN's sister company, SkyCable, the leading cable operator in the country, will spend millions of pesos in digitizing the cable service in Metro Manila.
LOPEZ-LED cable television service provider Sky Cable Corp. said yesterday it would switch 80% of its Metro Manila subscribers to a digital broadcast system from analog by the end of the year. 
In a statement, Sky Cable said it had allotted 20% of its P1-billion capital expenditure for the shift to digital, with content suppliers expressing support for its new digital brand “SkyGlobal.”
A digital service will “deliver superior viewing experience while offering newfound television intelligence that makes it possible for subscribers to tailor their viewing preferences and at the same time combat cable piracy that has stunted industry growth and expansion,” said the cable service provider.
The firm said it has more than 500,000 customers nationwide.
Jacelyn Kek, senior vice-president for sales and marketing of movie channel HBO, said viewers would have the “flexibility and convenience” of selecting what they want to watch with digital technology.
“As an example, HBO-On-Demand — our subscription video on demand service running on the nowTV and StarHub platforms in Hong Kong and Singapore — is something which Sky Cable’s digital subscribers can look forward,” she said in the statement.
Jude H. Turcuato, Philippine territory director of FOX International Channels and the National Geographic Channel, said options for viewers increase when content is delivered within the “digital space.”
“They will be able to enjoy TV favorites like Glee, American Idol, and upcoming US reality hits such as MasterChef and Got to Dance in vastly superior audio-visual quality,” he said.
“As Asia’s largest [high-definition] channel provider, [Fox] is providing high-quality content across a range of popular genres, and Sky Cable’s digitization efforts means our viewers can appreciate this content in the way it was meant to be appreciated. It is enhancing the overall viewing experience of the audience through better quality viewing and greater choice and convenience,” Mr. Turcuato added.
Sky Cable already offers Select, a service that lets customers choose extra channels after subscribing to a basic cable package.
The cable provider expects to post double-digit profit growth this year due to the continued expansion of its subscriber base and the stronger peso, which decreases dollar-denominated expenses.
The number of subscribers is expected to increase by another 5% at the end of the year.
Last week, Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., owner of the Cignal digital TV broadcast service, said analog cable firms would be out of business soon as the world switches to digital platforms. -
Source: I.T. Matters

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