March 17, 2008

SNL Kagan's newest study, "Global Multichannel Special Report: Trends in LatAm Telecom Insurgence," explores pay-TV competition in Latin America and how international telecoms Telefónica and Telmex are capitalizing on market opportunities created by digital cable's slow emergence in the region.

"Heavy investments over the last two years have positioned Telefónica and Telmex in many of the region's most active markets, including Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Peru," says Josh Hizon, SNL Kagan Analyst. "With accelerated spending in 2007, Telefónica's and Telmex's moves have invigorated LatAm's digital TV outlook, and even more capital commitments are pledged in 2008."

Despite a cloudy regulatory environment, both players have been actively entering new markets. According to SNL Kagan, Telefónica's LatAm pay-TV investments include cable and MMDS buyouts, as well as launches of independent DTH platforms. Telmex has grown LatAm-TV subs via DTH or cable buyouts. Throughout Latin America, both of these players and local telecoms are aggressively pursuing triple-play strategies to take on incumbent MSOs and each other.

The SNL Kagan study finds Telmex and Telefónica claimed 4.8 million pay-TV subscribers in Latin America at the end of 2007. Along with others, these two telco heavyweights are expected to develop an increasingly significant base of pay-TV subscribers, supported by regulatory changes and continued CapEx funded by their lucrative fixed-voice, broadband and cellular phone businesses. According to Ben Reneker, Senior Analyst for SNL Kagan, "The Latin American pay-TV market needed a spark to ignite the DTV fires, and it's clear Telmex and Telefónica are providing the heat."

For more information at http://www.snl.com

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