With broadcasters suffering as advertisers slash budgets, the convergence of technologies in the future should mean the industry in Hong Kong and in the region can look forward to substantial growth, investment bank Salomon Smith Barney says. Media analyst Kaushik Shridharani predicted the local television market's revenues would grow from an estimated $3.4 billion in 1995 to $11.1 billion in 2005. This represented real average revenue growth of about 7 per cent a year, he said. For the Asia-Pacific, he forecast growth of 13 per cent a year until 2005. Mr Shridharani said technological advances meant divisions between telecommunications and television providers were becoming blurred, and this offered new growth opportunities. 'We've seen the technology come out in the US and prove itself. Convergence means we're going to see growth for TV and telephone companies but we'll also see them eyeing each other's revenue streams with an eye to taking a slice.' One of the clearest examples of convergence of the industries is Hongkong Telecom's video-on-demand service. In Britain, cable-TV operators have found one of their most popular services is offering telephone calls. On balance, Mr Shridharani said TV companies had better prospects. He also sees local telephone rates falling as TV firms move into the telecom market. He said Hong Kong had certainly lost ground to Singapore in becoming a regional television hub, partly because the Government had delayed broadcasting policy and partly because it was very expensive to produce television here. 'Hong Kong will have an uphill battle to catch up,' he said.