Telefónica, Claro, DirecTV drive Chile's DTH past cable

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 14 January 2015

For the first time, satellite TV has more subscribers than cable in Chile, driven by the increasing importance of direct-to-home (DTH) operators in the country's pay-TV market.

Although still far behind the sector's leader VTR, Telefónica, Claro and DirecTV combined have surpassed the number of Chile's cable subs.

According to official figures published by Subtel, Chile's telecom authority, the country neared 50% pay-TV penetration by September 2014, after growing 6.6% and adding over 200,000 subs since the beginning of the year.

With 1.42 million subs throughout the country, satellite TV has been leading pay-TV industry since the beginning of the year, while cable accounts for 1.35 million subscribers.

DTH's 52% share is mostly due to the growth Telefónica has experienced since the beginning of the year, adding almost 150,000 subscribers to its satellite platform and strengthening its position as the market's second player with 572,000 subscriptions.

Claro and DirecTV, accounting for 470,000 subs each, are also driving DTH growth in a country dominated by VTR and its cable offer, which has over one million subs and a market share of 36%.

The figures back up several predictions of growth for satellite throughout Latin America, as it has becoming an essential technology for the extension of telecom services to remote areas and regions outside the largest cities.