Limited size of Hong Kong subscriber market may leave only two survivors Looming competition in Hong Kong's pay-television market is expected to see only two of the four mainstream players survive, according to analysts. Last week, City Telecom (CTI) unveiled a pay-TV package of 10 to 12 channels to be launched next month charging subscribers less than $100 a month. Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting - a joint venture between Television Broadcasts and Intelsat of the United States - will launch its pay-TV service in November, while PCCW is set to re-enter the market next quarter after the failure last year of its video-on-demand service. All three will be attempting to take market share away from incumbent i-Cable Communications. 'I think two out of four can survive,' said Jimmy Lam at Kim Eng Securities. He said i-Cable would lead the market but faced falling subscriber numbers and average revenue per user. He declined to name the second survivor but said: 'The market of 1.9 million households [in Hong Kong] is not big enough for so many operators.' Peter Schloss, managing director at Mediavast, said he would place his bet on Galaxy. 'Local content is king. It is the content which drives pay-TV penetration,' he said. 'Galaxy is offering much more compelling and relevant content. It will be able to offer fully digital services such as interactive home shopping, banking and gambling.' Galaxy has said it planned to introduce interactive gambling over a TV platform when subscriber numbers reached 'a certain level'. 'Pay-TV service is content-oriented,' Mr Lam said. 'Whether [CTI] can succeed in finding a place in the marketplace depends on what it can offer to its customers.' CTI said it would provide a 24-hour news channel plus niche content such as religious and language-learning programmes. The company's network covers 1.2 million households in Hong Kong, mainly new towns with high population density. 'But CTI has not got its positioning right,' said Florence Cheung at Sun Hung Kai Research. 'People living in [the new towns] are always price-sensitive. They may not be willing to pay for niche content, even if the packages are cheap.' Meanwhile, Mr Lam said PCCW should not be underestimated. 'It has a wider business reach in the global market,' he said. Mr Lam said PCCW might also benefit from the presence of Winnie Yu, a broadcasting veteran who built Commercial Radio into a trend-setting youth channel. Ms Yu quit the radio station in April to focus on her role as chief executive of PCC Skyhorse, the content provider of now.com.hk. Separately, niche pay-TV player Yes TV yesterday announced it would add five channels to its Internet platform for Hutchison Global Communications customers, bringing the total to nine. Chairman and chief executive Thomas Kressner said its Manchester United channel had been well received and advertisers had expressed interested in the platform. The Britain-based company also plans to launch an education channel by the end of the year.