Wed. May 22nd, 2024

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam has had three million cable TV subscribers so
far, which means that less than 15 percent of households have used the services.


Vietnam, network operators, infrastructure, telcos

Service fee on the rise, users suffer

The latest report by the Ministry of Information and Communication showed that
there are 40 pay-TV service providers. The pay-TV market has been controlled by
the big guys, headed by VTV which possesses three brands VCTV, SCTV, K+,
followed by BTS-Hanoi, HTVC-HCM City and VTC.

The Vietnam Cable TV (VCTV) now has some 1.2 million cable TV subscribers, SCTV,
a joint venture between VTV and Saigontourist 1.5 million, while K+, a joint
venture between VTV and French Canal Plus 40,000 satellite TV subscribers.

As such, 3 million out of the 4.5 million subscribers in Vietnam are the clients
of the national television (VTV) alone. This means that VTV now holds 70 percent
of the pay-TV market in Vietnam.

The big market share ratio has brought VTV some big power. It has been
continuously raising the subscription fee over the last three years. In 2009,
the subscription fee was VND44,000 a month, but then increased to VND65,000. The
fee of VND88,000 had been applied since May 1, 2011, until one year later. On
September 1, 2012, VTV decided to raise the fee to VND110,000.

As such, just within 1.5 years, VCTV increased the fee sharply by 70 percent
from VND65,000 to VND110,000, while the fee has increased by three times over
the last three years.

The noteworthy thing is that while cable TV service providers raise service fees
continuously, their “brothers” – telecom service providers – have been
decreasing their service fees continuously.

While electricity, petrol and water suppliers are required to inform clients
about the price adjustments in advance and clarify the reasons, VCTV simply
informs about the price increase with no explanation.

Under the Competition Law, the enterprises with dominant market positions are
prohibited to conduct the behaviors such as imposing the prices of goods and
services unreasonably.

Despite numerous service providers, Vietnamese remain inaccessible to pay-TV

According to Tran Minh Tuan, Deputy Head of the Information and Communication
Strategy Institute, despite the high number of pay-TV service providers, many
problems still exist.

Most of the service providers are small enterprises, including the ones which
can only provide services within several districts and cover several thousands
of subscribers.

Pham Khac Lam, former General Director of VTV, said the pay-TV market in Vietnam
is crowded and in disorder.

The Vietnam’s pay-TV market has existed for the last nine years. However, the
services remain unsatisfactory in both the number of subscribers and the
coverage.

A lot of clients complained that while the sums of money they have to pay for TV
services increase steadily, the quality has not been upgraded accordingly.

Director of the Dong Nai provincial Television–Mai Song Be, complained that
local TVs have been required to pay money if they want to broadcast on cable TV
channels.

“Cable TVs are ready to pay multi-million dollars to obtain the licenses for
using 75 foreign TV channels and help popularize foreign culture, but would put
difficulties for local TV to popularize Vietnamese culture to Vietnamese
people,” he commented.

Minister of Information and Communication–Nguyen Bac Son, at a recent
conference, admitted the problems in the pay-TV market, saying that some
businesses have been exploiting their dominant positions to raise the service
fees.

Buu Dien

By vivian