NEW DELHI, MARCH 2: STAR TV India and Zee Telefilms figure among the top 10 pay TV broadcasters in Asia Pacific region, according to a report by Hong Kong-based media think tank Media Partners Asia (MPA) on the fast growing pay TV and broadband market in the region.

While STAR TV India emerged as the number three player among the lot after Jupiter TV of Japan and STAR Group, which operates in all the regions across globe, Zee Telefilms was at number four.

According to the report, STAR India will close the year at $378 million behind Jupiter TV of Japan ($811mn) and STAR Group ($548 mn). Zee Telefilms will hold the number four rank with an annual turnover of $ 292 million, the report added.

Elaborating on the major trends emerging in the region, MPA report said India is expected to join Japan as Asia's leading revenue generating pay-TV market by 2015 and will overtake Japan in the most populous continent's leading revenue-generating market for cable & satellite broadcasters by 2010. MPA also expects India to emerge as Asia's largest market for DTH over the next decade, overtaking Japan as early as 2008.

While regulation in India has become increasingly uneven, investment in programming and digital distribution (primarily via DTH satellite) has increased and competition in the distribution of pay-TV and broadband is set to grow, MPA said in its report.

The report said the regulatory environment might improve with potential cable TV rate deregulation after 2008 (as competition to cable TV intensifies) and higher foreign direct investment (FDI) caps in cable (74% vs a current 49%).

"This may help promote parity with telecoms and boost last mile consolidation, digitization and broadband development. At the same time, MPA expects a gradual increase in DSL-driven broadband penetration to support long-term IPTV deployment. The combination of these factors will mean significant operating leverage for domestic and global media distributors exposed to India's pay-TV and broadband industries," the report said