One in four pay-TV viewers watch illegally in Latin America
Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
| 04 December 2014
Far from showing signs of reduction, pay-TV piracy has grown in Latin America during 2014, with 23% of pay-TV users receiving channels illegally, affecting cable, satellite and over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix.

According to DirecTV figures published by Mexican newspaper El Financiero, the figures are on the up despite stronger policies and tools developed by pay-TV operators in recent years. Due to more sophisticated techniques to avoid the platforms' safety barriers, the region has seen how piracy rates grow from 20% in 2013 to 23% this year.

"There are many types of piracy: one affects broadcasting, when an operator takes a pay-TV signal and redistributes it without paying; another is not to report all the subscribers and equipment an operator has; and the most developed is set-top boxes (STB) without encrypted signals which allow users to receive premium content," explained Michael Hartman, VP at DirecTV.

By the end of this year, the US operator calculates 7.8 million homes across Latin America's seven main markets will have illegal access, a number which could rise to 8.5 million by 2018. Most of the pirate subs (around 60%) have an STB which even allows them to get pay-TV channels from different cable and satellite operators.