New platforms allow LatAm FTA broadcasters to keep viewers watching

Editor | 30-05-2013

Driven by regulator pressure to free up spectrum, Latin American broadcasters are going through a transformational process and are turning to new digital platforms to stay competitive, according to new research from Dataxis.

The analyst found that all of the leading free-to-air (FTA) television networks in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru are now broadcasting a digital terrestrial TV (DTT) version of their analogue networks to satisfy not only their government but also new generations of viewers that increasingly demand anywhere, anytime and anyhow access to audiovisual content.
Over 90% of the terrestrial TV networks surveyed by Dataxis in its report, “New strategies for FTA broadcasting in Latin America, during April and May 2013 were found to be simulcasting at least a portion of their programming schedule in native HD quality. Even though several of the networks were making significant progress towards simulcasting all of their weekly programming grid in native HD, Dataxis found that only one station, Brazil’s RedeTV!, had actually managed to achieve this. Moreover, RedeTV! was also Latin America’s only FTA broadcaster to be already offering a 3DTV version of its main channel – a world first in the FTA industry.
Looking at other advanced services in the region, Dataxis also noted that only two of the 24 Latin American networks that had already deployed a catch-up TV platform were charging for this type of service: Globo in Brazil and Caracol in Colombia. In addition as of May 2013, 14 (or 56%) of the broadcasters profiled across the six countries analysed were also actively simulcasting a mobile TV version of their DTT channels using the 1-Seg standard.
From a business perspective, Dataxis calculated that advertising revenue generated by FTA TV networks in the six countries analysed totalled $15.8 billion in 2012. Brazilian broadcasters accounted for the largest share of such revenue with just over three-fifths (61%) of total TV ad spend. Broadcasters from Latin America’s two other large TV markets, Mexico and Argentina, were responsible for 18.1% and 10.9% of regional FTA TV ad spend respectively.
“A select group of Latin American broadcasters has begun to strike deals with smart TV, tablet and smartphone manufacturers, and to commission the development of software and applications that are allowing their TV programming to be accessible on-demand over those devices,” said Juan Pablo Conti, senior analyst at Dataxis and author of the report. “Broadcasters leading this market include Globo and SBT in Brazil, TVN in Chile, Canal 13 in Argentina, América Televisión in Peru and Caracol TV in Colombia”