DirecTV claims big subs in Argentina

Figures questioned in depressed economy

BUENOS AIRES — A year after Hughes, Cisneros and Argentina’s Clarin group launched their Direct TV in Argentina, business is blossoming, according to its general manager, Carlos A. Pratola.

“We have 60,000 subs, and we’re adding more every month,” he said.

Other market sources question that figure since the $400 installation and $50 average monthly premium is more than most Argentineans can afford in this depressed economy; growth is expected to be very slow.

Direct TV is expanding onto the Internet and will provide vid conferencing.

In order to stay competitive, Galaxy Latin America has signed a five-year exclusivity agreement with LAPTV for Latin channels HBO Ole and Cinemax.

Competitor Sky Latin America is building a satellite uplink facility in Buenos Aires, but it has postponed its launch to the end of this year.