Sky Brazil launches OTT streaming service
Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 15-02-2012
Satellite operator Sky Brazil is embracing the multiplatform zeitgeist with its own over-the-top (OTT) online TV service, appropriately called Sky Online.
The service is a competitive move to block competition from online VOD behemoth Netflix, which began rolling out to 43 countries in Latin America and the Carribean last September. It will also compete with local favorite NetMovies in the online video game.
All three are questing after a rich opportunity: Brazil has one of the fastest-growing pool of broadband-enabled households in the world, many of which are underserved when it comes to television options. As the largest satellite operator in Brazil, Sky has a customer base to protect from the upstarts.
DirecTV owns a 93% controlling interest in Sky Brazil, and if the OTT strategy goes well, it may extend the play to others of its companies in the region. DirecTV owns a 41% stake in Sky Mexico and provides satellite TV services through its Pan-American subsidiary in countries including Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and Colombia.
Sky Brazil also recently launched the region's first 4G wireless service, based on LTE, which will be available as part of a bundle with Sky TV or on its own. The idea is to offer fast, high-quality broadband service at an affordable price, to complement and enhance the video experience, according to the company. While initially available in the cities, like Brasilia, a first market, the company aims to blanket other areas of the country with LTE, which can act as a substitution for fixed-line broadband. With the addition of an OTT video service in the fold, the operator has positioned itself to create a wireless-based broadband TV package to appeal to a certain customer segment.