DTH drives digital TV in Latin America

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 20-06-2012

Albeit starting from a low base, most Latin American territories are experiencing a surge in digital TV take-up according to a new report from Digital TV Research.
The Digital TV Latin America report estimates that about a third of TV households in the region were able to receive digital signals by the end of 2011, up from only a quarter of homes a year earlier.

Yet the analyst believes that the digital TV engine is about to rev up and predicts that by 2017 more than three-quarters of the region’s TV households will have digital TV, representing 103 million homes in 2017, up from 40 million at end-2011, meaning more than 10 million digital households will be added each year. Of these 63 million new additions, just under a quarter (15 million) will be DTH and slightly less (14.5 million) will be digital cable subscribers with 4.3 million IPTV additions. Primary DTT will add 29 million homes between 2011 and 2017, with the number of analogue terrestrial households falling by 41 million and the number of analogue cable subscriptions falling by 8 million.
The report also suggests that DTH subscriptions have overtaken cable in both Brazil and Mexico and that in the former country, the largest market in the region, nearly 28 million digital TV households will be added across all platforms between 2011 and 2017 taking the total to 47 million. Mexico will provide a further 17 million to reach 26 million.
Digital TV Research is also confident of the industry’s ability to monetise this growth: it calculates DTH will remain the main source of pay-TV revenues and that regional pay-TV penetration will reach 50% by 2017, up from 35% at end- 2011, meaning 26 million more pay-TV homes. Half of this increase coming from Brazil and 6.5 million from Mexico. Argentina will record 74% pay-TV penetration by 2017, but Brazil will be at 41%, up from 23% at the end of 2011.
Overall pay-TV revenues are projected to be $22.9 billion in 2017, $8 billion higher than at the end of 2011. DTH revenues also will likely be $15.9 billion in 2017, followed by cable with $6.2 billion. Brazil ($10.1 billion) will be the top country in 2017, followed by Mexico ($4.6 billion) and Argentina ($3.0 billion).