VOD site Sundaytv makes strong bow

Latin American platform nabs 100,000 subscribers

MADRID — Three weeks after its bow, Sundaytv, the new film/TV VOD platform of Latin American Internet portal Terra, is tracking close to 100,000 paying subscribers.

Registered users are more than 500,000. Take-up momentum puts Sundaytv on course to “near double” Sundaytv’s original year-end 2012 target of 250,000 paying subscribers in Latin America, Terra Latin America CEO Fernando Madeira told Variety Wednesday.

Subs underscore VOD’s exponential growth potential in Latin America, which combines fast-growing middle classes, high online video consumption and low pay TV penetration.

Sundaytv launched March 11 in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, offering 30,000 movies, TV series and shows. Sundaytv has a 50% online video rental market share in Brazil, 65% in Latin America, Madeira said.

Monthly subscription VOD costs around $9; transactional VOD is $3-$5 a movie.

Sundaytv also offers free-of-charge “teaser” content, such as earlier series seasons.

It has non-exclusive deals with Sony, Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. and taps festival titles — such as those on Unifrance’s online service My French Film Festival in January — while negotiating runs for local productions — Mexico’s “Revolucion Mexicana,” Uruguay’s “The Pope’s Toilet,” pics from Brazil’s Synapse Prods. — on a film-by-film basis.

Brazilian “15-25 year olds watch more TV series online than offline,” Madeira said.

82% of Latin America’s 220 million Internet users watch videos on a regular basis. Traditional pay TV penetration runs under 25% vs. 90% in the U.S.

To grow Sundaytv, Terra is working to increase its broadband penetration, sell prepaid cards, and promote itself on social networks, outside Sao Paulo and Rio, and at cinema theaters, which often just screen blockbusters, Madeira said.

Terra is also in talks to launch Sundaytv in the U.S. Hispanic market, he added.

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