Brazil: DTH dethrones cable

Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 29-09-2011

Following several consecutive months of coming increasingly close to it, satellite TV has finally managed to replace cable as the main distribution platform for the delivery of pay-TV content in Brazil.
While in December 2010 MSOs still enjoyed 51% of the market share to DTH's nearly 46%, the latest data to emerge from the country's National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) reveals that those numbers have practically reversed.
As of August 2011, it is DTH which commands the market leadership with 52% of pay-TV homes, pushing cable operators to second place with slightly less than 46% of viewers.
Within the eight months that separate these two statistics, the overall Brazilian pay-TV market grew by an impressive 19%. Indeed, the sector has been steaming ahead with two-digit growth for the past four years. In 2010, it registered a record 30% growth, a figure that could well be matched by the end of this year.
In August alone, there were 334,600 net additions, pushing the total number of multichannel homes in the country up to 11.6 million. During that month, the DTH sector expanded by 5%, while the cable industry grew by a modest 1% and the wireless cable (MMDS) market shrank by 2%.
Two factors explain the solid growth that the Brazilian pay-TV industry has been enjoying as of late. The first one is the consolidation of Brazil as one of a select group of emerging economic giants nearing a decade of macroeconomic bonanza. The second one is the very low starting base from which current growth is being measured in the Brazilian pay-TV market.
While other countries in the region have historically seen pay-TV penetration rates of 40% and higher (as high as 70%+ in some markets such as Argentina's), in Brazil this figure was still standing at close to 10% as early as ten years ago. Today it has reached 19.4% of the population, according to Anatel.