Banks eye cable/satellite TV sector for loan growth
The providers of content for cable and satellite television are expected to be a growing source of business for the banking industry.Bangkok Bank is lending more than Bt14 billion to Cable Thai Holding, which will use part of the funds to pay for the rights to broadcast English Premier League soccer matches, said Wichai Thongtaeng, chairman of CTH. The company last year won the EPL broadcast rights for the 2014-2016 seasons.
The loan agreement will be signed next Tuesday.
He said the company was in talks with many banks apart from Bangkok Bank as CTH planned to expand its content business locally and in Asean.
According to Kasikorn Research Centre, the cable/satellite TV sector will be one of seven sunrise businesses this year because existing operators and new players plan to expand their audience base across the country as well as into bordering countries.
The upcoming move from analog to digital TV is also an opportunity for content providers. KResearch estimates the audience base of cable TV this year will expand by 7.8-9.2 per cent to between 6.1 million and 6.2 million households while that for satellite TV will grow by 28-33 per cent to between 17.4 million and 18.1 million households.
Chansak Fuangfu, senior executive vice president of Bangkok Bank, said recently that he expected the digital TV business to grow sharply thanks to the number of content providers, and this would fuel the demand for bank loans.
Several banks are in talks with many content operators after this business showed outstanding revenue, while new players have entered the industry and plan to expand their audience base into neighbouring countries, he said.
Vasin Vanichvoranun, executive vice president of Kasikornbank, said yesterday that satellite TV was an industry that supported lending growth and banks' cash-management services. However, the amount of lending to content providers is not significant because most of those companies have high liquidity.
He said KBank had been involved in the satellite TV business for a while by lending to satellite operator Thaicom. He added that the growth of satellite TV and content providers would support Thaicom's business as well.
Vasin said it was too early pursue business aggressively from content providers in terms of lending because the bank wanted to see substantial business models in this sector first.
"The actual costs operators will face is an important factor for the bank's consideration," he said.