LatAm broadcasters adopt new platforms

Research carried out by Dataxis has confirmed that 100 per cent of the top 25 free-to-air (FTA) television networks in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru are now broadcasting a digital terrestrial TV (DTT) version of their analogue networks.

Pushed by telecoms regulators that are looking to free up radio-frequency space for new wireless broadband services and by new generations of viewers that increasingly demand anywhere, anytime and anyhow access to audiovisual content, the distribution strategies adopted by Latin American broadcasters are going through a transformational process.

Over 90 per cent of the terrestrial TV networks surveyed by Dataxis during April and May 2013 were simulcasting at least a portion of their programming schedule in native HD quality. While several of the networks were making significant progress towards simulcasting 100 per cent of their weekly programming grid in native HD, only one station (Brazil’s RedeTV!) had actually managed to achieve this. RedeTV! was also Latin America’s only FTA broadcaster to be already offering a 3DTV version of its main channel – a world first in the FTA industry.

Only two of the 24 Latin American networks that had already deployed a catch-up TV platform were charging for this type of service: Globo in Brazil and Caracol in Colombia.

“A select group of Latin American broadcasters has begun to strike deals with smart TV, tablet and smartphone manufacturers, and to commission the development of software and applications that are allowing their TV programming to be accessible on-demand over those devices,” said Juan Pablo Conti, senior analyst at Dataxis and author of the report. “Broadcasters leading this market include Globo and SBT in Brazil, TVN in Chile, Canal 13 in Argentina, América Televisión in Peru and Caracol TV in Colombia”.

As of May 2013, 14 (or 56 per cent) of the broadcasters profiled across the six countries analyzed were also actively simulcasting a mobile TV version of their DTT channels using the 1-Seg standard.

Meanwhile, advertising revenue generated by FTA TV networks in the six countries analyzed totaled $15.8 billion in 2012. Brazilian broadcasters had obtained the largest share of such revenue: over 61 per cent of total TV ad spend. Broadcasters from Latin America’s two other large TV markets, Mexico and Argentina, had respectively obtained 18.1 per cent and 10.9 per cent of regional FTA TV ad spend.

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