America Movil has surpassed DirecTV to become the leading pay-TV operator in Latin America. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Pay-TV research service, America Movil accounted for 11.3 million, or 22 per cent, of the region’s 51 million pay-TV subscribers in H1 2012, while DirecTV accounted for 9.1 million, or 18 per cent.
DirecTV had been the regional leader since 2007 through its DTH operations in most major markets, including Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, and Peru. However, America Movil’s recent consolidation of Telmex, Telmex Internacional, and Net Servicos of Brazil greatly expanded the telco’s pay-TV subscriber base, most of which is via cable TV networks. While DirecTV remains the top operator in Venezuela and Puerto Rico, the telco has claimed leadership in Brazil and Colombia — two of the region’s largest pay-TV markets.
Following America Movil and DirecTV are Mexican market leader Grupo Televisa (majority owner of Sky Mexico and the Cablevison and Cablemas cable TV networks), which accounts for 13 per cent of the region’s subscribers; Grupo Clarin (operator of Argentina’s leading cable TV network plus a smaller operation in Uruguay), which accounts for 7 per cent; and Telefonica, which accounts for 5 per cent. MegaCable, Dish Mexico, Liberty Global, Une, and Inter round out the top 10.
While, unsurprisingly, the majority of Latin America’s leading pay-TV operators are cable or satellite specialists, telcos have had an increasingly significant impact on the market. “America Movil and Telefonica not only dominate the region’s telecoms market, but they now also account for a combined 27 per cent of the pay-TV market,” said TeleGeography’s John Dinsdale. “Additionally, while IPTV is still underdeveloped in the region, Latin American telcos in aggregate have seen their IPTV subscriber base increase by 105 per cent over the last year. There is little doubt that they will continue to increase their market share in this high-growth region.”