Satcaster competing with Galaxy in market

MIAMI — Sky Latin America has announced plans to bow in Chile, its fourth territory, in early October. Currently up in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia — with a subscriber count of more than 400,000 — Sky is battling with Hughes-backed Galaxy, and both parties are investing around $1 billion in this space race.

Sky said it is committing $60 million to local subsidiary Sky Chile, but made no reference to any local distribution partners.

Calls to Sky seeking further details were not returned.

True to the sports-led pay-TV philosophy of Rupert Murdoch, who is principal backer along with Televisa and Globo, Sky expects soccer rights to make the difference.

Sky revealed that its April purchase of five-year worldwide rights to Chilean soccer, shared with cabler Fox Sports Americas, cost $56 million.

Move seems a major gamble, given the negligible appeal of Chilean soccer outside Chile and the fact that Galaxy — which entered Chile in March 1997 — has only managed to sign up some 8,000 local subs.

Chile’s cable sector, meanwhile, has around 800,000 homes.

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