Manila-based Sky Cable Corporation, the pay-TV unit of ABS-CBN Corp which has operated in the Philippines since the early-1990s, has announced plans to invest between PHP1.5 billion and PHP2 billion (USD34.07 million and USD45.43 million) this year to help drive the take-up of broadband internet services. In an interview reported by The Philippine Star, the unit’s COO Rodrigo Montinola said that its 2015 CAPEX would primarily be targeted on expanding its business nationwide, as it aims to break the one million TV subscribers barrier over the next two years – up from the current level of 800,000. ‘I think for what is covered by cable, the mid- to upper-end of the market [is satisfactory in terms of the way] we cover the market. Our objective is to basically cover the entire country as well so we can also provide the content in cable to other customers,’ Montinola said.
More than half the planned capital expenditure is earmarked for the firm’s Sky Broadband service, with the aim of increasing coverage to a number of major cities nationwide. ‘Broadband is obviously growing much faster in terms of [take-up] rate. Right now we have about 100,000 subscribers and we are growing roughly at 20% to 25% year-on-year and we expect that trajectory to continue,’ he said. According to the COO, only 15% of the TV population in the Philippines are pay-TV subscribers and that is expected to increase with the continued improvement in the country’s GDP growth rate.