DTH overtakes cable in Mexico, too

Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 13-10-2011

Less than two weeks after revealing that satellite TV had started to command more viewers than cable TV in Brazil, Rapid TV News is able to confidently predict that the same phenomenon has just taken place in Mexico.

In its latest quarterly report, Mexico's Federal Telecommunications Commission (Cofetel) informed that the total number of satellite (DTH) pay-TV subscribers had reached five million at the end of June 2011.
By then, the combined subscriber base of all of the country's cable operators was still marginally larger, standing at 5.5 million customers. However, it is highly likely that this narrow lead has completely evaporated during the three months and 12 days that have since elapsed.
This is because of the marked difference that the two pay-TV platforms have shown in terms of expanding their respective customer bases over the past 12 months. During that period, even when cable has continued to grow, it has done so at a rate of 4.8%. Satellite, on the other hand, has experienced a growth rate an order of magnitude more vigorous: 48%.
"Should both of these trends continue going forward, it is expected that satellite TV users will pass the number of cable TV subscribers during the third quarter of 2011," Cofetel forecasted in a press statement.
The third quarter of 2011 actually ended on the 30th of September – and there is no reason to suspect that those growth trends might have altered significantly during it. So Rapid TV News estimates that Sky México and Dish México (the market's two DTH operators) have now at least 30,000 viewers more between them than Megacable, Cablemás, Cablecom, Cablevisión, Telecable and the rest of the country's MSOs combined.
Meanwhile, subscribers to microwave TV (MMDS) systems continue to abandon the platform. Just like in Brazil, this is a phenomenon has been taking place for a few years now, so it wouldn't be a total shock to see MMDS disappearing altogether from the Mexican pay-TV arena during the next couple of years.