Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 09-09-2013
Uruguay has the highest pay-TV prices in Latin America, mostly due to low competition in the industry, according to the latest analysis by Signals Telecom.
With an average rate of $37.34 for a regular TV package, Uruguay tops the ranking over Argentina, Chile and Paraguay.
The Uruguayan pay-TV market is shared by four big operators – Cablevisión, Nuevo Siglo, TCC and DirecTV – which broadcast to 50% of the audience. The other 50% is covered by many local and regional operators, which don't compete between each other and keep prices for their services high.
The four big operators have price plans between $37-$40 for their basic services and $48-$51 for their extended offers. DirecTV has a premium version with more signals and exclusive content, which can raise its prices to over $90.
Signals Telecom sees the market's low concentration rate as being behind the high prices. Despite the wide variety of operators' in Uruguay, they rarely compete between themselves, particularly not in the market for lower-budget audiences.
The new media law will also impede mobile and Internet operators' ability to launch cable or satellite (DTH) platforms due to the Government's intention to protect local businesses from big multinationals such as DirecTV or Movistar, which recently tried to launch a DTH service.