DirecTV to manufacture 1M STBs in Argentina

Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 22-10-2011

Satellite TV broadcaster DirecTV will produce one million set-top boxes in the Patagonian island of Tierra del Fuego next year.
The DTH operator had confirmed in February that it would start manufacturing their own set-top boxes in the Argentinean province, one of only three special economic zones in Latin America where producers of electronics goods enjoy a number of tax incentives.
Back then, DirecTV stated that it was planning to manufacture around 100,000 set-top boxes a year, which would be shipped to mainland Argentina to supply new subscribers to its services there.
Following that announcement, the vendors that were supplying the DTH operator with their boxes formed a partnership with Newsan and BGH (two Argentinean consumer electronic manufacturers with plants in Tierra del Fuego) to outsource production.
With DirecTV now disclosing plans to raise annual production by 1000%, it would appear that the company has decided to use Tierra del Fuego as its manufacturing base for not only Argentina but also other regional markets where it operates.
Following a meeting earlier this week with Débora Giorgi, Argentina's minister of industry, DirecTV executives said that their 2012 set-top box production plans would demand investments of US$10 million and generate 100 new jobs in Tierra del Fuego.
DirecTV will be producing all of the STB models that it currently installs in their pay-TV customers' premises. That includes the more sophisticated units, which come equipped with a hard-disk drive to offer digital video recording (DVR) functionality.

Manuel Abelleyra, DirecTV's general manager for Argentina and Uruguay, said the Argentinean market was among those currently "driving the growth of the region's entertainment industry".
Minister Giorgi said: "We have a domestic market with growing demand; the objective is to supply that market with domestic production, which generates jobs and helps substitute imports."