Americas TV: Economic stability lays foundations for Latin pay TV boom
Once highly susceptible to global economic turbulence, Latin American economies continue to exhibit signs of long-term strength. This improving economic stability has been gradually making the region's TV market increasingly attractive. The lack of maturity in many countries has long offered strong prospects for pay TV and digital growth and in 2010 this potential finally started to come to fruition - justifying the investment of those entrants that have invested (and continue to invest) in the region's media/telco businesses.
In the 2005-2009 period the region's pay TV subscriber total increased by an average 3.4 million annually - in 2010 this doubled to 6.8 million. The increase in the digital TV total was even more impressive. The 2005-2009 annual average of 2.9 million homes converting to digital jumped to 9.4 million in 2010, as operators upgraded analog services or saw strong growth for new digital platforms.
Against this optimistic background, Informa Telecoms & Media is forecasting that pay TV revenues in Latin America will be worth US$24.7 billion in 2016 - up by 66% on the 2010 total.
Pay TV subscriber numbers are anticipated to reach 73.2 million by end-2016, up 68% from 43.5 million in 2010.
Average revenue per subscriber (ARPU) has been increasing, fairly slowly, in Latin America, reflecting an increase in the number of services on offer - and the subsequent tiering of channels and introduction of PPV/VOD packages. But TV ARPU is believed to be near its peak, with the impact of dual- and triple-play bundles pushing down the price of the TV component of the package. The launch of low cost pay TV services also puts pressure on ARPU at a regional level.
Consistent growth in digital TV is anticipated throughout the forecast period, meaning the Latin region is forecast to more than triple in size from 25.6 million digital TV households at end-2010 to 90.6 million by 2016. Brazil and Mexico combined to account for 58% of digital subscribers at end-2010. This dominance will be reinforced over the forecast period, as their...
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