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Telecom firm unveils new digital TV content

TAIPEI -- Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan's largest telecom operator, announced new content to be carried by its digital television service yesterday in a bid to continue boosting the number of subscribers.

The multimedia-on-demand (MOD) service had 1.24 million subscribers as of the end of 2013, a figure that is expected to hit 1.4 million by the end of this year, said Chunghwa Telecom Chairman Lee Yen-sung.

Lee also forecast that MOD's daily operating rate will reach 68 percent this year, a steady increase from 47 percent in 2012 and 58 percent in 2013, thanks to a wider offering of digital TV programs.

“We have had a focus on sports, but now we are shifting the focus onto serving more consumers in different market segments,” he told reporters at a press conference announcing a partnership with Dapili International Marketing Co., the producer of well-known Taiwanese traditional puppet theater, the Pili budaixi series.

In addition to local cultural and creative industry offerings, Chunghwa Telecom will provide more content on foreign language-learning and drama, Lee added.

Boasting high-definition sports broadcasting and films, the MOD service has a total of 160 TV channels, including 88 featuring high-definition TV programs, according to Chunghwa Telecom.

Wu Ming-te, vice president of Chunghwa Telecom's northern Taiwan business group, said the monthly average revenue per user for the MOD service is expected to grow to NT$170 (US$5.68) this year from NT$140 last year, which remains below a profitable level of NT$200.

The MOD service created an output value of over NT$4 billion for the local digital TV industry in 2013, and the number is projected to grow to NT$5 billion this year, he said.

Moreover, some 36,000 televisions were sold last year through cooperation between the MOD service and various TV brands, Wu said, noting that the company aims to double the TV sales to 72,000 units in 2014.

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