Pay=TV= revenues in Central America to exceed US$ 1bn in= 2010

Pay-TV= revenues in Central America will exceed US$ 1bn in 2010, as the launch of services by the region's fixed-line incumbent operators provides continued momentum to the Central American telecoms market, according to a new report from Argentinian firm Signals Telecom Consulting=.

“The= subsidiaries where América Movil is the incumbent were the first to enter into this business model (Claro TV) through a multiplatform strategy (DTH and HFC), due to the exhaustion of the fixed and mobile lines businesses based on the number of lines," said Elías Vicente, Senior Analyst at Signals Telecom Consulting= and author of the report. "This situation caused a swift reaction by Tigo which, starting with the purchase of AMNET=, responded to the Claro TV offer. In both cases, pay-TV appears as a significant alternative when obtaining new revenues based on packaging products=."

During= the third quarter of this year, Cable & Wireless Panama (C&WP)= and Costa Rican telco ICE announced their plans to launch pay-TV services, via HFC and IPTV respectively. “For C&WP this offer will be active as from December, a situation that affected Cable Onda (the main pay-TV operator in that country), which is waiting for regulatory approval for its acquisition of 51% of Telecarrier, to become the principal opponent of C&WP," added Mr.= Vicente. "It is worth noting that Cable Onda offers double-play packaged services since 2006."

The situation= in Costa Rica is different however, as a result of the opening up of the country's telecommunications market. “The launching of pay-TV services by ICE, announced for the second quarter of 2010, will enable the operator to offer double, triple and quadruple services. Cable Tica, leader of the country’s pay-TV market, has to oil its strategy, including discounts in its bundles, not only to offset the entry of ICE, but also to face a more aggressive AMNET,” said Mr. Vicente=.