Pay TV operators must adapt themselves to the OTT model to stay in business

During the first  day of Nextv Series Argentina 2019, the conference developed last May 14th and 15th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buenos Aires, executives from Montecable (Uruguay), Digital TV Cable (Bolivia), Wiltel Communications (Argentina) Nagra and Videocable Continental (Paraguay), took part in the panel ‘Future of Pay TV in South America’, where they analyzed the how pay TV is working at the moment in the continent, and also  changes in consumption habits and the subscribers role in the current market.

Fabiana Orlotti, General Manager of Montecable, said that currently in the US, considered by her as a benchmark market in the pay TV sector, ‘is operating by pure OTT’, and qualified the linear TV model as ‘old’. ‘Operators will be the least benefited and we will have to analyze how to compete’, she reflected.

‘Either we adapt ourselves to the clients, or we are out of business’, said Rodrigo Aliaga, Digital TV Cable’s Director. In the same line, Victor Cantero, President of the Paraguayan Cable Operators Chamber, highlighted the cultural change in current consumption habits, in multiple devices, from any place and at any time, and expressed that pay TV operators must adapt themselves to that demand to meet customer’s needs. Carlos Wilson, Witel’s Director, said that, at present, “we are experiencing a revolution in the audiovisual content consumption, where we do not depend on agendas or places, and we watch content on multiple platforms and devices. The change is already working on the operators, and we have to adapt themselves to it, or we are out of business. We have to invest in new technologies and become adapted to those demands’. In addition, the executives agreed on the difficulty of controlling piracy in the content development in digital platforms context, and the complexity of applying the corresponding laws.

Rodrigo Aliaga said that the analog TV model tends to migrate to TV OTT and reflected that, as long as an adequate digital development is not prepared, ‘pay TV will continue to decrease”. Regarding pay TV consumers behaviour, Cantero said that ‘consumers do not stop accessing to contents, but look for other options. They do not want to depend on linear content anymore’.