Colombia to lead IPTV penetration in Latin America

Latin American telcos will add 4.3mn IPTV subscribers over the next five years to reach a combined total of 4.8mn, equivalent to 4% of total TV households, predicts a new report from UK firm Digital TV Research.

IPTV penetration is expected to be highest in Colombia (7%) and Chile (6%) by 2017, when IPTV revenues will reach US$ 741mn, up from only US$ 83mn in 2011.

More than three-quarters of the region’s TV households are expected to have digital TV by 2017, equating to 103mn homes – up from 40mn at the end of 2017, and meaning that over 10mn digital households will be added each year.

Of the 63mn digital homes to be added over the period, 15mn will be DTH, and 14.5mn will be digital cable. There will still be 33mn analogue TV homes (24% of the total) according to the report, and Puerto Rico is expected to be the first country to reach complete conversion to digital, in 2015.

The report’s author Simon Murray commented: “DTH subscriptions have overtaken cable in both Brazil and Mexico. Brazil, the largest market in the region, will add nearly 28 million digital TV households across all platforms between 2011 and 2017 to take its total to 47 million. Mexico will provide a further 17 million to reach 26 million.”

Pay-TV penetration is forecast to reach 50% by 2017, up from 35% at end- 2011. This means 26mn more pay-TV homes, with half of this increase coming from Brazil and 6.5mn from Mexico. Argentina will record 74% pay-TV penetration by 2017, but Brazil will be at the other end of the scale at 41% (although this is up from only 23% at end-2011).

Pay-TV revenues in Latin America are expected to be US$ 8bn higher in 2017 (US$ 22.9bn) than in 2011. DTH will continue to be the largest pay TV platform, with revenues reaching US$ 15.9bn in 2017, followed by cable with US$ 6.2bn. Brazil (US$ 10.1bn) will be the top country in 2017, followed by Mexico (US$ 4.6bn) and Argentina (US$ 3.0bn).

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