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Colombia tops 80% pay-TV(?)

Colombia continues to achieve one of the strongest commitments to pay-TV, with 2015 ending with a reported 82.2 per cent penetration rate. However, there are some suggestions that the data might be over-stated.

The latest numbers come from the country’s Commission for Communications Regulation (CRC), in a survey just published, says that the number is made up of direct subscribers to one or other of the pay-TV providers plus those who ‘subscribe’ to community-based cable TV. 

The TV Habits and Uses study, prepared by consultancy Yanhaas, and released by the CRC, stated that 71.9 per cent of respondents subscribed to pay-TV while 10.3 per cent said they had some kind of regional community – and lower cost – TV providers.

The dispute comes about because alternate data from the National Television Authority (of Colombia) places its pay-TV subscription number at just 37.8 per cent, or 5.13 million homes.

There are also considerable suggestions that under-reporting continues to hamper the pay-TV sector, with a recent report from Colombia’s Comptroller General stating in February that there is widespread tax evasion by certain pay-TV suppliers, and responsible for losses of some $50.6 million.

Added into this confusion is ordinary subscriber piracy of TV signals.

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