Economic slowdown cited as cause

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s leading pay TV operator Globo Cabo said its subscriber base fell to 1.5 million homes in the third quarter, down 2.6% from the previous quarter.

Globo Cabo attributed the decline to the economic slowdown, which has affected the performance of other multisystem operators.

Compared to a year ago, the third quarter results edged up just 1.3%. Globo Cabo said its annualized churn rate jumped to nearly 25%, compared to 20.1% in the second quarter and 15.3% a year ago.

“The main reason for disconnections was once again the economic slowdown, as 40% of them were related to financial and personal reasons,” Globo Cabo stated in a report.

Globo Cabo’s Internet broadband service Virtua, launched in early 2000, held steady from quarter-to-quarter. Third-quarter subs for Virtua totaled 48,388, up 1.2% from the second quarter, but over three times as many subs as it had a year ago.

Globo Cabo said Virtua’s service quality was improving and that calls to its customer-service line fell 23% compared to the second quarter and 52% compared to the third quarter of last year.

But Virtua’s penetration is still very low at just 3.3% of Globo Cabo’s subscribers.

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