In Latin America 51% of cable TV subscribers are digital

Friday, September 12th, 2014 
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BB announces that in Latin America 51% of cable TV subscribers are digital

As part of its main survey of the status of pay TV in Latin America (including Brazil plus the United States), BB Media Business Bureau produces indices of the rate of conversion to digital broadcasting for each country and operator type in the region.

The total conversion to digital of pay TV is an important element in the fight against the illegal market practices that are causing major financial losses to the industry.

“At BB we support the efforts against piracy of the major players in Latin America. In order to achieve this we work in tandem with broadcasters and operators and carry out audits and specific assignments in order to detect the transmission of stolen signals, illegally connected homes and undeclared subscribers”, said Christian Peralta, Chief Anti-Piracy Officer at BB.

By these means, the company is able to say that piracy and under-reporting represent shares of 14% and 13% respectively across LATAM, implying levels of illegality of at least 27%.

Overall, the company’s analysts have determined that, despite the advance of digital in Latin America, little more than half of the subscribers to cable TV have a digital service.

“In order to produce these market figures we take into account the totality of networks large and small, not just certain central zones or parts of the large cities”, said Horacio Gennari, President of BB.

El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Uruguay, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile, Carribean, Panama, Puerto Rico

The laggards are mainly to be found in the countries of Central America such as El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala where the percentage of digital cable subscribers is only between 5% and 15%. In the more important markets of South America, the rate is higher at 24% in Colombia, 26% in Argentina and 27% in Venezuela.

In contrast, there are countries where the proportion of digital cable subscribers significantly exceeds that of analogue, for example in Brazil (81%), Chile (83%), the Carribean (84%) and Panama (95%). Puerto Rico is for now the only country where the cable TV operators offer a 100% digital service to their customer bases.