Los Angeles -- As international pay TV subscriber levels
rise, revenue growth will be tied to the rollout of new services, panelists said at the
Western Show here last week.
"[About] 50 percent of what we'll sell on a cable
system in five years hasn't been invented yet," said Dan Forey, CEO of Forey Capital
International Ltd., an investment firm that owns pieces of cable-TV operators outside of
the United States.
At the same time, "we've hit a wall in terms of
subscriber growth," added Maryann Halford, who heads News Corp.'s Canal Fox and Fox
Kids Latin America channels.
She said the company is looking at ways to take advantage
of the Internet, which is exhibiting a faster growth rate than cable and satellite TV.
Halford added that she was examining "who we can partner with, who we can associate
with. Internet time is very fast, and we have to move aggressively."
News Corp.'s News Digital Media unit, she added, is an
investor in Yupi Internet's Latino-geared Web site, yupi.com.
Their comments came at last Tuesday's panel session,
"Follow the Money," moderated by Multichannel News International associate
publisher William Mahoney.
According to industry estimates, Europe's pay TV market is
expected to grow to 108 million subscribers in 2003 from about 80 million today. In Latin
America, the pay TV universe should double to about 29 million subscribers over the same
Forey called European MSO United Pan-Europe Communications
N.V. (UPC) an "example of what the future might see and proof of what can be
accomplished," noting the company's aggressive move to provide video, voice and data
services and to develop an advanced network through new builds and upgrades.
Forey's firm had bid on Swiss MSO Cablecom, which agreed
last week to be bought by NTL Inc. Illustrating the need for new services, Forey said the
system would be an attractive platform to provide telephony services while legislation
mandates that subscriber rates for TV may rise no faster than the country's consumer price
He also said Spain and Greece represent attractive