Latin America pay-TV growth slows
Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
| 20 October 2014
Following the effect of the World Cup in the first half of the year, the growth of Latin America's pay-TV sector seems to be levelling out, especially in the more mature markets.

During Q3 2014, the effect of Brazil's World Cup and the eruption of new players and technologies has diminished, according to Business Bureau analysts Verónica Bianchini and Santiago Zapata, in the company's quarterly pay-TV report.

This trend is clear in mature markets such as Argentina (85% penetration) and Uruguay (62%), while the market is still growing in territories which have more space to evolve, like Ecuador (42% penetration) and Peru (34%).

The BB-Market Estimates report names Argentina as the country with highest penetration thanks to its 11.1 million subscribers, with Brazil also reporting good growth during the first nine months of the year, reaching 26.5 million subs (43% penetration).

Direct-to-home (DTH) services are still the obvious winners in a year of general subscriber increases. In the large Portuguese-speaking market, 70% of pay-TV subscriptions belong to DTH services, a trend which is also observed in Chile (52% of the 3.3 million subs are satellite) and Venezuela (46% of 5.5 million subs), where the cable operators are clearly at a standstill.

The Colombian and Mexican markets have also seen moderate growth, with the Caribbean country reaching 8.1 million subs and 61% penetration and Mexico 17.7 million subs and 58%.

Ecuador, a residual market a few years ago, has kept its explosive pace and reached 1.7 million subs powered by DTH expansion.