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Fox boss: local content crucial for pay-TV industry to grow in Asia

Local content is key to the long-term success of pay-TV in Asia, the regional boss of broadcasting giant Fox said at the Sports Matters conference in Singapore today.

Zubin Gandevia, president APACMEA, Fox International Channels

Fox boss Zubin Gandevia talks to Jasper Donat at Sports Matters today

Talking in an interview with the head of events company Branded, Jasper Donat, Gandevia, who is president, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Fox International Channels, said that for pay-TV operators to do well in this region, the industry as a whole needed to thrive.

“We need subscription and advertising revenue [to survive]. And we need pay-TV to do well as an industry,” he said, adding that penetration of pay-TV in Asia is still very low.

“There still huge room for the industry to grow, with only between 10-20 per cent penetration in Asia. And we look forward to exploiting that opportunity,” he said.

“But how will we get to a much higher number? We will only be able to do so if we have local content. We need local stars to do well.”

Gandevia pointed to examples of where Fox had been investing in local sports content in Asia, through AFC in soccer and in basketball with HBL in Taiwan.

“We’ve put a fair amount of investment into the acquisition of local content. The next step is to drive the product. We need to establish long term partnerships to help us develop the product, as we’ve done well in Europe,” he said.

Is Fox now looking to forge deals with local content partners, Donat then asked Gandevia.

“We don’t have an open chequebook [for local content]. But we do recognise that international content will get us only so far. It provides us with air cover for the next few years. But if we’re looking to develop a strong sustainable business, it has to be homegrown.”

Gandevia said that Fox’s efforts around German football league the Bundesliga show what the company is capable of around sport broadcasting.

“We have global brand and global scale. We have expertise all around the world. The best example is what we’ve done for Bundesliga. We made a long-term bet. The product is very strong. It’s well financed league. It just needed a little injection of marketing savvy.”

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