The Conglomeration of Taiwan’s Cable Television Industry – A Case Study of the Koos Group and the Rebar Group


Ping-Hung Chen


Taiwan’s cable industry has dramatically changed in terms of its structure after it was legalized in 1993. Since cable television is a capi tal-intensive industry, its market has been dominated by economic power and its operation has been dominated by domestic conglomerates. In addition, the tendency towards conglomeration has been repeated in the cable television industry, where the number of system operators decreased from 625 in 1993 to approximately 100 in early 1999. Meanwhile, various business conglomerates have acquired interests in the industry through mergers and acquisitions. Although one study concludes that media industry should be free of the control under business conglomerates and political parties, another research indicates that conglomeration is an inevitable tendency of Taiwan’s cable industry.

Under the circumstances, my study examined the control of two domestic business conglomerates, the United Communications Group (UCG) and the Eastern Multimedia Group (EMG), over Taiwan’s cable industry. Overall, my study reviewed their business structures, the total number of cable systems and cable channels under their operation, strategies of mergers and acquisitions, and their influences on Taiwan’s cable industry. In conclusion, my study revealed that Taiwan’s cable industry is definitely under the control of UCG and EMG, but its further development and their influences need to be carefully investigated.