Latin American pay TV market hit by economic stagnation, recession

Rio De Janeiro

Economic stagnation and recession across Latin America has heavily impacted the region’s pay TV markets, according to new research.

According to figures from Digital TV Research, the number of pay TV subscribers in the region fell by 4 million in 2019. Furthermore, this trend will continue downwards to reach a low of 67 million by 2025 – down from 72 million in 2017.

Brazil was the worst hit country, losing 3 million subscribers between 2015-19, with its peak being 2014. Mexico similarly lost subscribers since its peak year of 2016.

While the overall market is set to drop, digital cable TV will overtake pay satellite TV in 2021. Cable TV will add 4 million subscribers between 2019 and 2025, with analog cable TV trending in the opposite direction.

There are two leading operators in the region. America Movil had 12.30 million subscribers (mostly under its Claro brand) and DirecTV/Sky had 20.68 million subscribers by the end of 2019.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Satellite TV is the biggest pay TV loser. Digital TV Research forecasts 28 million satellite TV subscribers by 2025; down from the peak of 36 million in 2017.”

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