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Org predicts pay TV bump in Latam

Report estimates revenues will double by 2011

Pay TV revenues in Latin America will double to $13.3 billion a year by 2011, according to U.K.-based research org Informa Telecoms & Media.

Now on its 10th edition, Informa’s Americas Television report estimates there will be 19.3 million subscribers in Latin America by the same year, up more than 8 million on 2005.

Looking at the Americas as a whole, the U.S. is the dominant force. In 2005 it had 58.1 million digital subscribers — 84.1% of the pan-continental total. By 2011 this proportion is expected to fall to 80.5%, but its pay TV revs will rise to $69.3 billion a year.

“Latin American economies have been among the best-performing in the world in 2005 and 2006 and there is no doubt that this once again makes the region an attractive investment opportunity,” said report author Adam Thomas. “There are many positives for the broadcast sector. Telecoms deregulation has prompted cable operators to upgrade their networks to compete, meaning they now have much more attractive services in terms of content and functionality,” he added.

Thomas said recent consolidation should put the satellite TV biz in a stronger position to chip away at cable’s lead.

Report comes at a time when a growing number of feevees in Latin America have ventured into original production and bumped ratings as a result.

For instance, Turner Network’s CNN en Espanol saw Mexican ratings leap 74% after the launch of  half-hour news talker “Aristegui.”

The number of digital TV subscribers in the region is forecast to triple from 5.4 million at the end of 2005 to 16.9 million by 2011.

Brazil and Mexico combined accounted for 69% of digital subscribers in 2005. This share will fall to 59% in 2011, as the other countries start to flourish.

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