Piracy has free rein in Bolivia

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 03 March 2015

Although Bolivia's pay-TV market is among the fastest growing in Latin America, not everything in the country is rosy, as one in four connections are illegal and companies are under-reporting, according to a Business Bureau report.

boliviainphoAccording to the analyst, 703,000 homes have pay-TV in Bolivia, just over 20% penetration.

"Digital subscribers represent 17% of the whole, and direct-to-home (DTH) platforms are still within the first phases of development," said Business Bureau's Verónica Bianchini. "But five large operators are already offering satellite services: Tigo, Cotel TV, Tuves HD, Entel and Comteco. For the moment, it's difficult to come with concrete figures about DTH, as it's an incipient market".

While the country is among the fastest growers in the region, it's also placed as one of the most irregular markets in Latin America. According to Bianchini, nearly 25% of the 700,000 subscriptions are illegal and the operators are not properly reporting 20% of them.

Business Bureau's report points to COTAS, with a 30% share, as the market leader, followed by Cotel TV (20%), Comteco (15%), Tigo (12%) and Digital TV (5%). It is worth noting that none of Latin America's largest operators, such as América Móvil, DirecTV or Telefónica, are among the top five