Brazil feevee on upswing

Operators see revs up 15% over same period in 2002

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian annual pay TV confab ABTA will kick off Tuesday in Sao Paulo with the sector in a gradual recovery from last year’s deep crisis.

Although Brazil’s subscriber base has remained flat this year at about 3.5 million, pay TV players have some things to celebrate.

Local operators generated gross revenues of 1.6 billion reals ($530 million) in the first half of 2003, up 15% from same period in 2002. Leading cabler Net Servicos and No. 2 satcaster Sky Brasil reported their first profitable quarters. And the total number of cable modem service users rose 5.5% to 156,405 in the second quarter of this year.

Foreign pay TV programmers were mostly absent from the Brazilian Pay TV Assn. (ABTA) 2002 confab but are expected to be a strong presence at this year’s event, which will run through Thursday.

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