America Movil overtakes DirecTV for pay-TV dominance in Latin America

Michelle Clancy | 14-11-2012

Carlos Slim’s telecom powerhouse, America Movil, has soared passed DirecTV to become the No 1 pay-TV operator in Latin America for the second half of 2012, totalling 11.3 million subscribers, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms pay-TV research service.

America Movil claimed 22% of Latin America’s 51 million pay-TV subscribers for the half, compared to DirecTV’s 9.1 million or 18%, according to the research.
DirecTV has been on top since 2007, with particular dominance in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile and Peru. America Movil’s consolidation spree in Brazil recently combined Telmex, Telmex Internacional and Net Servicos into one cable-TV juggernaut in the region’s largest market.
America Movil has also surpassed the satellite provider in Colombia, TeleGeography said, but DirecTV maintains its dominance in Venezuela and Puerto Rico.
The firm also said that while cable and satellite specialists maintain the majority of market share, telcos rolling out IPTV have had an increasingly significant impact on the market.
“America Movil and Telefonica not only dominate the region’s telecoms market, but they now also account for a combined 27% of the pay-TV market,” said TeleGeography’s John Dinsdale. “Additionally, while IPTV is still underdeveloped in the region, Latin American telcos in aggregate have seen their IPTV subscriber base increase by 105% over the last year. There is little doubt that they will continue to increase their market share in this high-growth region.”
The No 3 operator in the region is the Mexican market leader Grupo Televisa (which has majority stakes in the Sky Mexico and the Cablevison and Cablemas cable TV networks). It accounts for 13% of the region’s subscribers, TeleGeography said. No 4, with 7% market share, is Grupo Clarin (operator of Argentina’s leading cable TV network plus a smaller operation in Uruguay), and No 5 is Telefonica, which accounts for 5%.
MegaCable, Dish Mexico, Liberty Global, Une and Inter round out the top ten, the researcher said.