Monday, April 17, 2006

UBC Cable targets "Up country" punters with new low cable package

Bangkok. On April 2, UBC Cable TV unveiled its lowest price offer of 340Baht a month (less than US$10) with the hope to grow its subscriber base by 35 per cent by end of 2006 mainly from "up country" consumers.

In the "up country" provinces piracy has been a problem. CASBAA estimates that more than 1.1 million subscribers in the country watch unlicensed cable television, compared with only 480,000 legitimate users, all UBC subscribers, whose fees are used, in part, to pay content producers and distributors such as HBO, CNN and others.

Last year, UBC tried to combat cable piracy by offering low-cost, bulk transmissions to provincial cable operators in an effort to allow them to offer cheap, but legal, programing to their consumers.

After only a few months, UBC canceled the endeavor, citing lower-than- expected cooperation from provincial cable operators.

The company had originally estimated that it would be able to convert hundreds of thousands of new users from the dark side, but, at the end of the program, less than 10,000 had crossed over.

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