Claro and Oi would launch linear pay TV offers if the Brazilian Telecommunications Law were modified

Executives from Claro (America Movil) and Oi reported that they would consider launching linear pay TV offers via OTT in case the Seac Law, which regulates linear pay TV offers in Brazil, were modified to also include OTT platforms. According to the specialized website TAVI Latam, the initiatives were reported by Claro and Oi’s Marketing Directors, Marcio Carvalho and Roberto Guenzburger, during an event held by local websites Telaviva and Teletime in Brazil.

‘We are looking for solutions that meet the needs of customers. Today there is no regulation to provide a TV offer via OTT legally’, reported TAVI Latam in relation to expressions made by Guenzburger. Oi has an OTT called ‘Oi Play’, which offers differentiated content offers, depending on whether users who wants to enter is subscribed to its pay TV offer, or not. In turn, Oi offers its TV clients linear and on-demand content; while non-clients of its TV service only have on demand programming available.

Regarding Claro, according to TAVI Latam, Carvalho also criticized the fact that pay TV operators are subject to different regulations, obligations and taxes in comparison with those established for OTT platforms. The company recently requested regulatory changes between pay TV and OTTs in Brazil, and asked to discuss a new regulatory framing.

In Brazil, the regulation of pay TV offers and its link with OTT platforms is being analyzed in the National Congress, as well as in Anatel and Ancine. In December 2018, Claro Brazil filed a complaint in Anatel, where it alleged that Fox+ (from Fox) and Esporte Interativo Plus (from Turner) offered, through a monthly subscription, linear and live content via OTT, very similar to a conventional pay TV offer and, for this reason, they should be subject to the same legal and tax obligations. That time, the America Movil subsidiary asked Anatel to define whether the business model in which subscribers access to linear channels through the internet fits within the offers established by the SeAC Law or if, on the contrary, it requires a specific authorizing license.