Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 24-09-2011
The strong growth that DirecTV is enjoying throughout its Latin American operations is giving the DTH company a number of advantages that its North American competitors can only dream of.
Driven by growing national economies and the ensuing expansion of their middle classes, most Latin American nations are currently seeing sustained growth across their pay-TV sectors. For DirecTV Latin America, the regional subsidiary of the satellite operator founded in the US in 1985, this has brought the timely opportunity to grow at a much faster pace than it is able to do in its native America.
The numbers speak for themselves: while at the end of 2006 the DTH service provider had around 16 million subscribers in the US and four million in Latin America and the Caribbean, today these figures stand at 19 million north of Tijuana versus nearly 10 million south of it.
Far from showing any signs of abating, this trend is actually accelerating. During the first half of 2011, new subs signed up by DirecTV in the US amounted to 26,000. In the same timeframe, DirecTV Latin America managed to add 472,000 customers, a figure around 18 times larger.
All this is happening at a time when Comcast, Time Warner and the other big American cable companies are struggling to contain their own subscribers from cutting the cord and going all OTT about it.
In Brazil, where DirecTV's participation in the local pay-TV market had traditionally taken place through the company's 74% share of Sky Brasil, DirecTV recently increased its ownership to 93% of what is Brazil's biggest satellite operator.
Throughout the rest of the region, with the sole exception of Mexico (where DirecTV owns a minority 41% of Sky México), the DTH provider dominates the satellite TV market in each of the nine territories where it operates: Argentina, the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Uruguay.