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DTT gaining pace in Latin America

Digital terrestrial television is booming in Latin America and will be in 94.5% of homes by 2020, according to a new report.

Simon MurrayThis means 132 million DTT homes will be added in the region in the decade between 2010 and 2020, according to the Digital TV Latin America report, and that DTT will account for half of all digital TV homes added by 2020.

In comparison, just 18.1% of homes were DTT-enabled four years ago.

“Much of this growth is being driven by satellite TV, especially lower-cost and prepaid packages – although these subscribers are forcing down average ARPU figures,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, the report’s creator.

Nearly 14.4 million satellite pay TV households will be added between 2013 and 2020, with 3.1 million added this year alone. Pay satellite TV penetration will be 21.1% by end-2014 – up from 9.6% in 2010 – and up to 25.8% in 2020, which indicates much of the fastest growth has already taken place.

Free-to air DTT will overtake pay satellite in 2015, Digital TV Research predicts. This will see the number of primary DTT homes rocket from 4.3 million at end-2010 (3% penetration) to 27.1 million (18%) in 2014 and on to 71.1 million (42%) by 2010.

Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are predicted to dominate the region. Brazil alone will add 37 million digital TV households between 2013 and 2020, with Mexico contributing 15 million and Argentina nearly seven million more.

Digital TV households will also increase rapidly in the other 16 countries covered in this report – collectively adding 34 million digital homes between 2013 and 2020.

The report studied trends in 19 territories across the region, and each will see rapid increases in digital FTA uptake, with a collective 34 million homes added between 2013 and 2020. Pay TV penetration will also rise, but not as significantly – up 12% in 2010 from year-end-2013.

Pay TV revenues will be US$4.5 billion higher in 2020 than in 2013, taking an overall US$24.7 billion. Satellite will remain the largest contributor at US$17.6 billion, while cable will add US$6.1 billion.