Brazil’s Anatel approves new pay TV rules

Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) has approved new rules for the pay TV market. Among the changes, the regulator established that local free-to-air TV channels must negotiate their distribution deals directly with pay TV operators.
According to the agency, FTA channels will have to sign individual distribution agreements with each operator. The channels may demand their transmission free of charge and, in the event of a conflict, the regulator will deliberate on each specific case. In this way, Anatel establishes that must-carry is no longer mandatory for digital channels.
Previously, the agency had established that if a DTH operator distributed one of the 16 FTA TV channels defined as mandatory by Anatel, then it should include the other 15.
The agency also refused to force DTH operators to adopt hybrid set-top boxes to capture analogue TV channels. If this had been approved, Anatel had estimated an expense of R$ 465 million (USD 137.9 million) in the purchase of these equipment.