The number of pay-TV subscribers in Central America and the Dominican Republic will grow from 3.58 million in 2014 to 5.57 million in 2018, according to findings in a new report published by Dataxis.
As of 2014, pay-TV subscribers accounted for 29.4 per cent of total TV households in Central America and the Dominican Republic, whereas 22.4 per cent of TV households were accessing some form of illegal pay-TV system. The remaining 48.2 per cent of TV households were still relying on free-to-air broadcasting as their exclusive source of television content.
While still recording very high levels, piracy has drastically decreased as a proportion of the total TV viewing universe. Back in 2008, for every legal pay-TV subscriber in the region there were 2.4 illegal pay-TV HHs. This ratio decreased to less than one illegal pay-TV HH per legal subscription for the first time in 2013. Dataxis projects that, by 2018, there will be less than 0.4 illegal connections per each legal subscription.
One of the driving forces behind such drastic reduction has been the rapid rate of digitalisation of pay-TV services that has taken place in the region. While in 2008 only 14 per cent of pay-TV households were subscribed to a digital package, that figure had grown to 58.5 per cent in only six years, and was expected to reach 81.1 per cent by 2018, according to Dataxis. Additionally, there were 533,000 customers subscribing to an HD package in the seven countries surveyed in 2014, an 86.1 per cent growth compared with 2013.