Latam pay TV escapes economic recession

Although some Latin American countries were in recession and others slowed its growth during 2016, this context did not affect the growth of the region’s pay-TV subscriber base, according to an analysis made by Dataxis.

The results were announced on the webinar called “Is recession impacting pay TV in Latin America?” presented by Dataxis’ market analyst Camille Dupont.

In 2016, Latin America registered a GDP of -1%, although the recession was concentrated only in some countries like Brazil and Argentina, besides Venezuela and Ecuador. In turn, local currencies depreciated against the dollar, in some cases dramatically.

However, the total pay TV subscriber base in Latin America continued to grow in 2016 (+ 5%), although at much lower rates than in the last 10 years. Conversely, revenues fell due to the appreciation of the dollar against local currencies, which adversely affected dollar revenues.

Considering the five main markets in the region, Brazil was the only one that lost pay TV subscribers in 2016 (-1.6%). However, ARPU grew in local currency (real) and in dollars, in all technologies. In Argentina, the subscriber base increased 1.30% but at lower rates compared to previous years, while the 30% increase in satellite and cable ARPUs was not enough to compensate for the devaluation. Mexico (+ 12.7%), Colombia (+ 6.9%) and Chile (+ 3.7%) did not have recession in 2016 but presented lower economic growth compared to other years.  Pay TV market in those countries was not affected in terms of number of subscribers.

Meanwhile, broadband and OTT market, two sectors related to pay TV, keep growing in the region (even in Brazil). The number of broadband subscribers continues to increase dynamically (it reached 67.7 million subscribers in Latam in 2016) and is expected to surpass pay TV subscriber base. The OTT segment, dominated by Brazil and Mexico, also grows rapidly at the regional level.