Singapore -- Asian cable and satellite programmers can take
heart from the growth of their businesses, according to the results of the third annual
Pan-Asia Cross Media Survey (PAX '99).
But this year's growth did not replicate the dramatic
rises seen in the PAX '98 survey.
Peter Snell, managing director of Asia Market Intelligence
-- which conducted the surveys -- attributed this to stabilization among viewers, who now
have a clearer picture of what they want to watch, with access to cable and satellite
television standing at about 54 percent.
The less dramatic expansion can also be attributed to more
refined research methodology, said Lesley Anne Campbell, director of marketing in Asia for
Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.
"PAX fulfilled a need within the industry for some
syndicated research, with PAX '99 against PAX '98 proving a truer reflection of
viewer habits," she said. PAX '97 was "very much a learning curve" for
all concerned, she added.
Major cable and satellite networks in the region, and some
print media, subscribe to PAX.
The networks appeared pleased enough with the survey's
sample, which targeted upscale audiences for the benefit of regional advertisers.
Respondents, who were between 25 and 64 years old, were divided into two groups:
"affluent adults" and "business decision-makers."
The survey -- conducted between April and August --
measured TV, print and consumer-product consumption in Bangkok, Thailand; Hong Kong;
Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; Singapore; and Taipei,
Taiwan. Coverage of three major Indian cities -- Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore -- will be
available for the first time in November.
"It is regional, not just Southeast Asian, and
that's important to us as a truly regional channel," CNBC Asia vice president of
international sales Mark Froude said. "PAX has a very real role to play in terms of
giving us a thorough understanding of our audience composition and their habits, but each
piece of research should be judged on its own merits."
PAX is conducted through telephone interviews, relying
heavily on brand recall. Campbell finds this particularly relevant to the fates and
fortunes of all of the networks.
"It seems apparent that those channels doing well
are the ones with strong brand identity and consistent marketing strategies,"
she said, noting the strong performances of CNN International, Discovery Channel and HBO
"Brand identity is of particular importance in recall
research such as PAX, but at the end of the day, ratings are of the utmost
importance," Campbell added.