BANGKOK (Heartland Newsfeed/Guest Contribution) — In Thailand, there are currently over 20 million households watch television today, roughly translating to 30 million individuals glued to their television screen. Recent studies have shown the highest concentration can be found among upcountry, urban households and that in the past three years, cable and satellite television has grown as much as 90%, but how will this trend change in the near future?

In addition to cable and satellite television, Internet service is becoming a popular part of the Thai daily routine, as the highest concentration of the nation’s population with television setups also have access to the nation’s Internet service.

23.7% of the Thai population were connected to the Internet in 2011. After six years of continued technological advances, in 2017, the population are utilizing Internet services via the use of smartphones, desktop computers and laptop computers. With the growth of Internet services in Thailand, more people are looking for online availability of entertainment compared to the traditional cable and satellite subscription, which may present the waves of change for the Thai cable and satellite television industry.

The rise of a new kind of entertainment

A new option has emerged on how Internet users in Thailand are watch their favorite sporting events, an option where they can watch your favorite games wherever and whenever they want. Compared to the reliance on traditional cable and satellite sporting channels for their games, sports networks that stream online are providing a service that households can rely on to follow their favorite sports, teams and athletes.

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Utilizing the power of the Internet, this concept has evolved and revolutionized the way entertainment can be enjoyed, with streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Crackle, Sling Television and iFlix have changed the way television programs can be watch. Compared to the streaming services that cater exclusively to television series and full-feature movies, these sports networks and their streaming service offers expanded access to a greater number of sports and sporting events that interest viewers.

How popular has online streaming of sports become in Thailand?

The convenience the service provides has brought forth a large number of ThaI subscribers. What would you expect from a nation who truly loves their sports, especially that of futbol (international soccer), basketball, boxing, mixed martial arts, muay thai, rugby and motorsports among others. Avid sports fans would need to acquire the most convenient option available to enjoy all these sports in one subscription with on-demand options to watch archived games for those who are on the go and who are at work while these games take place

An example of such a service is beIN Sports, where you can purchase an annual subscription for as little as 1,599 baht (or roughly $50) with access to a wide variety of sports. If you compared this to monthly services such as cable and satellite, the monthly cost can run between 299 and 2,200 baht per month for a subpar broadcast quality typical of cable and satellite services. Over 600 hours of live games are offered monthly with this streaming service, available in high-definition video quality and can be viewed through video gaming consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 3 and 4.

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Busy individuals may forget games due to a range of different tasks in one’s daily routine and these sports streaming providers can offer alerts that allow them to never miss a game. A rewind or on-demand feature will allow them to watch the game, as if the game was live, but easily pausable should other activities attempt to intervene.

How is this going to affect traditional cable and satellite providers over the years to come? There is a saying that’s relevant to every industry in the world – “adapt or die”. There’s a chance that these providers will attempt to “get some skin” in the marketplace, similar to Dish Network’s streaming subsidiary Sling Television. Providers who don’t attempt to adapt to the modern era of streaming television will eventually die out or be bought out by their competitors.

Larry Fells is an experienced web copywriter. He is also a sports fan who loves watching basketball, MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and boxing. He also loves watching movies on Netflix especially during his down time.


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