Latin America dances to a digital tune

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

New research from Informa Telecoms & Media shows that digital TV will make significant progress in Latin America over the next five years. Digital TV households will more than treble in that time – from 12.2 million at present to 37.1 million by 2014. The 13th edition of Informa’s Americas TV report discovered that while Brazil and Mexico now combine to account for half of the region’s digital subscribers, this will drop to 45% in 2014 – as other countries see their services start to take off.

Adam Thomas, author of the report, said: “While the global economic situation is bound to have some impact, Latin America’s economies nowappear more robust than they were in the 1990s. We therefore see a positive outlook for the region’s TV sector. Major players such as Telmex and Telefonica continue to invest, which contributes to the upbeat sentiment.”

The research found that deregulation in the telecoms sector has encouraged cable TV operators to invest in network improvements, or face the risk of getting left behind. This has created a meaner leaner cable sector that is much better positioned to compete in terms of content and functionality.

Consolidation in the satellite sector has also started to pay off for DirecTV and the renewed confidence in DTH is illustrated by new entrants looking for a piece of the market.

The battle for dominance of triple-play between Telefonica and Telmex is affecting all sectors of the broadcast market. According to Thomas: “The two giants are exploiting opportunities created by the lack of investment from pay TV’s incumbent players. They are investing heavily to increase their presence across severalplatforms, including satellite, cable and potentially IPTV.”

The fully-updated 350-page report Americas TV (13th Edition) is published by Informa Telecoms & Media. It analyses the region’s top 20 markets – including Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Puerto Rico as well as the US and Canada. Informa produces several media business publications, including Television Business International, New Media Markets and TV International.