The new Commercial Vice President of the satellite company SES for Latin America North (Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean), Clemente Cabello, spoke exclusively with NexTV News Latam about the strategies the company plans to develop in the region, besides new trends in the video market.
– What is your view of the current satellite video market situation in Latin America?
The satellite video market in Latin America is one that has grown significantly in recent years mainly driven by two trends. One is the growth of DTH as a mean for Pay-TV distribution throughout the region. In Mexico, Sky and Dish have grown a lot as well as in several South American countries. The other influencing factor is the growth that has taken the penetration of high definition, which gradually has been gaining relevance in Latin America. Increasingly, Pay-TV operators offer more HD options and TV companies demand more bandwidth to transmit channels in standard definition and high definition. Looking ahead, we believe that these trends will continue. Latin America, despite the growth, is still a region that has a lot of growing left to reach penetration levels of Pay-TV that countries like the US have. In turn, we also see the gradual growth of Ultra High Definition (UHD), the famous 4K, and this growth will be given as the economies of those countries keep growing.
– What are the biggest challenges in markets such as Latin American countries?
At a macro level, I would say the challenge is the overall development of the countries to the extent that, while they can grow and increase the purchasing power of households, there will be more available incomes to afford Pay-TV services. At the same time, that causes people have more money to buy HD or UHD TV sets and thus makes it interesting for Pay-TV operators to offer these channels to their subscribers. From the satellite point of view, I think the most important thing is to have adequate supply of satellite capacity for the needs of both video programmers and DTH operators. In that sense, competitors with larger fleets and that are competing with multiple satellites are in the position to offer better solutions to customers.
– What is the market strategy of SES in this region?
SES is an operator that has extensive experience in the world of video. In our fleet we have over 7,000 channels and more than 2,200 HD channels. Our strategy is two-way. One is to improve our DTH offer in the region, especially in what we call Latin America North (which is Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean) and Latin America South. Our strategy is to position ourselves with new high-power capacity and our new supply to market will be the SES 10 satellite, which we hope will be launched later this year, with high-power capacity ideal for video distribution.
– What are the features that distinguish SES’s services from your competitors?
There are three levels on which we think that SES has a leading position in the region. One, the orbital positions we have. Today we have more than 11 orbital positions and satellites that allow us to offer a range of services and options to different customers in different regions. Two, high-performance satellites that allow a customer, when transmitting the same content, need to use less bandwidth and help them reduce their costs. And third, the company reorganized into four vertical segments, one of which is dedicated to video solutions. We are approaching customers to provide integrated solutions beyond satellite capabilities that can include anything from teleport services, signal origination services, occasional services, all this tailored to specific needs.
– What do you think are the next steps in the development of satellite video services in the future?
I think they go in three ways. First is the penetration of UHD accompanied with the continued growth of high definition. Following is the technological development of new standards for signal compression that will allow operators to provide these signals at an affordable cost and attractive to them. And third is the development of integrated solutions, where a programmer can access a single provider to address all their technology needs for production and distribution of their content.