Latino paybox org sees growth slowing

But says viewing trends healthy

MIAMI — Latino pay TV programmers released their annual state-of-the-industry address Tuesday with news of healthy viewing trends, though subscriber growth seems to have slowed.

Audits & Survey’s fourth edition of its report “Los Medios y Mercados de Latinoamerica,” based on 6,839 interviews conducted last fall, showed pay-TV reaches 18% of Latino homes.

And in those homes, folks are now watching multichannel TV 56% of the time, against 48% of the time in the 1996 survey.

But the total number of pay homes climbed only 7% to 15.2 million, after a 30% climb from 10.9 million to 14.2 million the year before.

Cabler-specific stats leaked to Daily Variety show Turner’s Cartoon Network, Canal Fox and the Discovery Channel performing best.

Cartoon emerged as the best-known channel and the one most participants had watched over the last seven days, with Fox coming second in both categories.

As in past years, Discovery was most often cited as “one of my favorites.”

MTV Latino was most cited as the net respondents would miss if no longer available.

Commissioned by U.S. cable group the Television Assn. of Programmers (TAP), the report’s chief value is to validate trends that have been established in regional pay TV, TAP prez Mauricio Gerson said.

“It shows that multichannel TV is an efficient buy for advertisers,” Gerson said.

The persistent lethargy of the pan-regional cable ad market is the main concern of most U.S. programmers. By some estimates, the ad pie is $45 million, though in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil there is much more ad coin to be found at the local level.

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