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Analyst: LatAm pay-TV to plateau

March 4, 2021

Poorly-performing economies have hit Latin American pay-TV, according to the Latin America Pay TV Forecasts report from analyst firm Digital TV Research. The number of pay-TV subscribers fell by 4 million in both 2019 and 2020. Venezuela dropped 2.4 million subscribers in 2020 alone, mainly as a result of DirecTV’s withdrawal.

Across Latin America, the number of pay-TV subscribers peaked at 72.2 million in 2017. The total fell to 64.6 million by 2020. A small improvement is expected after 2023, with the 2026 total at 65.1 million subscribers.

“Brazil’s low point will be 2022, with only a small improvement expected from then,” advises Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research. “The country peaked in 2014 with 19.6 million subscribers. We forecast 5.3 million fewer subscribers by 2026.”

Mexico has more pay-TV subscribers than Brazil despite having half as many TV households. Mexico has lost subscribers since its peak year of 2016 [20.9 million]. Mexico will not cross the 20 million subscriber mark again until 2026.

Across the region, digital cable overtook pay satellite TV in 2020. Digital cable will add 2.5 million subscribers between 2020 and 2026 to reach 31 million. Pay satellite TV will lose 3 million subs between 2020 and 2026 to total 25 million.

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