Brazil’s pay TV sector continues to boom despite the country’s economic slowdown with subscriber numbers up 27% on 2011 to 16.2 million at the end of December, according to the National Telecommunications Agency.

By contrast, the country’s GDP is expected to expand just 1% in 2012.

The pay TV growth continues a trend of the previous two years. According to analysts, the main reason for this is the emerging middle class with money to spend on entertainment.

With more subs, pay TV operators were able to lower the price of packages, attracting even more customers.

The economic slowdown did not hamper the population’s spending as the unemployment rate is at an historical low.

Satellite is the dominant pay TV technology in Brazil. Led by Sky/DirecTV, satcasters account for 60.8% of Brazil’s total subs base, while cablers account for 38.3%.

The pay TV expansion is expected to continue, per analysts, because just 27.2% of the country’s TV homes have pay TV.