Thu, Feb 02, 2012 - Page 2 News List

New goal for digital cable TV service

MARKET PENETRATION:The NCC wants more data from Dafu Media about how it plans to meet its promises, especially after the goal line was moved

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

The National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday the penetration rate for digital cable television service is expected to be 100 percent by 2014, a year earlier than previously forecast.

The commission spokesperson, Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉), made the announcement after the commission reviewed the commitments made by Dafu Media in 2010, when the company applied for change of management after it purchased 12 cable TV services from multiple service operator Kbro Co.

“The multimedia-on-demand [MOD] system of Chunghwa Telecom already has 1 million subscribers, and the digital terrestrial service is scheduled to be available by July 1. The cable television service, which has more than 5 million subscribers, has yet to be digitized,” Chen said.

“The Executive Yuan hoped that the three services can all be digitized so that they can move forward at the same pace,” Chen said.

When asked how the commission plans to accomplish such a challenging task, Chen said it was “an impossible mission” because it involves the legislature passing several legislative amendments.

Nevertheless, the commission would strive to meet the target with the limited tools it has, he said.

Chen said Dafu made 15 commitments to secure the approval for its application for change of management, adding that the company also agreed to brief the commission members about how it had fulfilled its commitments after it has secured the approval for six months.

Dafu Media chairman Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠), who also serves as chairman of Fubon Bank, was present at the meeting, along with the representatives of KBro Co.

While the commission recognized Dafu’s efforts to cap its monthly service fee below the national average and gradually increase the penetration rate of digital cable service, Chen said the commission wanted more details about how the company decided on which channels to include in its line-up.

The commission would examine if the company allows the channels that it owns or distributes on behalf of foreign TV networks to be aired on MOD or other media platform without any impediment, he said, adding that all the relevant information must be submitted to the commission within a month and a half.

Chen said that the commission told Tsai that the nation has decided to move the goal of providing full digital cable television forward to 2014.

However, the company has only promised to reach 50 percent of the penetration rate for digital cable service by 2015 when it secured the approval from the commission.

“We can only urge the company to quicken its pace” in offering digital service, Chen said.

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