In recent news, US cable TV operators continue to see declines in subscribers, causing a net deficit in total subscribers monthly compared to 2010. In fact, reports from Business Insider shows that for the first time the number of cable television subscribers has dipped to below 40 million. Thatâ€™s a big deal for a country like the United States, which has 300 million people.
Now, how about closer back home? Just like what has happened to the United States, it might happen to Malaysia as well. Though the Star Newspaper reports that Astro has a penetration rate of 53% of total household, that is also because services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and various on-demand internet streaming has not been well known in Malaysia yet. Neither have they landed officially.
But think about it. Is Astro overpriced for the majority of us? Though Astro offers online bundle deals from as low as RM 51.95 per month for the family pack, most of us would probably go for the Sports Bundle at RM 82.95 monthly or upgrade to a Superpack. The problem is that Superpacks start from about RM 133.00 onwards. And thatâ€™s when itâ€™s discounted. The usual price for Astro on Demand TVB serials, Hong Kong dramas, Astro SuperSport and the Movies package can go as high as RM 240 monthly!
Now, based on the latest nominal GDP per capita for Malaysia at USD $ 10500, which translates to about RM 2.5k, Astro can be as much as 10% of the average income of a Malaysian. And for a fresh graduate, keeping an Astro package can be burdensome, if we include the already expensive car loans, house loans, broadband costs, petrol, toll, insurance and others.
Add in a slowing global economy and a national budget deficit since 1999 (Forbes, 15th October 2013) and a growing household debt to GDP at 83% and we are living in a debt environment. And the rule of thumb is, when reducing debt, entertainment usually goes first.
What should you consider when you want to take austerity measures but still would like to have your movies? For one, we recommend getting Netflix and/or Hulu Plus. It would only cost you 10â€“20% of your monthly Astro bill, assuming you are considering a Superpack.
For myself? Iâ€™m only with HyppTV for the Hypp Sports Pack. I found that ever since we subscribed to Netflix, we seldom channel surf as the number of movies on Netflix is enough for us as a family.
What do you think? Do share with us your opinion =)