Move over Netflix, HBO. Fox Networks Group Latin America is launching its Fox + app in Brazil in late April, following its successful debut in Mexico about two months ago. The Direct to Consumer Fox+ package in Brazil will include all basic and premium content from a portfolio of 11 Fox channels – including live sports events – for the first time in the Portuguese-speaking market. It will be accessible on any device that connects to the internet, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and PCs.
The entire eight episodes of Gael Garcia Bernal’s new political thriller “Aqui en la Tierra” (“Here on Earth”) will be available for binge viewing on Fox+ while weekly installments will air on Fox Premium, starting April 22. Competing at the Canneseries TV festival, the show conceived by Garcia Bernal and Kyzza Terrazas is among the latest original series co-produced by Fox Networks Group Latin America in its continued bid to provide premium quality content since 2007.
Touted as a “great lead into Fox’s UFC fight content,” recent Fox Networks Group Latin America acquisition “El Pantera,” a docu about rising UFC star Yair Rodriguez, will debut on Fox Premium on April 7 and will also be available on Fox+. Directed by the Mash-Up King (Landon Dyksterhouse), the feature-length docu won the Best Documentary prize at the New York Latino Film Festival and addresses other macro topics such as immigration, life as a professional MMA fighter, and the pursuit of the American Dream.
“Brazil’s viewing habits have been shifting dramatically with more people moving from pay TV to streaming content at a rapid pace,” said Carlos Martinez, president of Fox Networks Group, Latin America (FNGLA), who added that pay TV lost 1.2 million subscribers in the past 12 months in Brazil, according to research site, Teleco.com.br.
Furthermore, Brazil’s broadband penetration, essential for streaming content, stands at 29 million households compared to 15.2 million pay TV households. Brazil has 236.2 million mobile phone users, 70% of which are smartphones, per Teleco.
In countries such as Mexico and Brazil, and in the rest of Latin America for that matter, more than 40% of their populations are less than 25 years old.
“The millennials have a bigger appetite for online viewing,” said Martinez. Pay TV subscriptions are also more expensive for the younger generation and sometimes not possible in some remote locations, unlike the omnipresent mobile phone and internet services.
The upside is that more people are watching TV, said Martinez who observes that in Latin America, TV consumption is up 20% to 30%.
The monthly subscription fee for Fox+ is $10 in Mexico and $11 in Brazil. “This new offer and manner of consuming content will be done without cannibalizing our current business that’s why the FOX+ package will also be available to our pay TV subscribers who are subscribed to our Fox Premium service in an authenticated manner under the TV Everywhere modality,” said Martinez who noted that in its first paid month in Mexico (the first month was free), Fox+ passed 100,000 subscribers and saw at least 400,000 downloads of the app.
With Brazil among the top five countries with overwhelming piracy penetration, Fox has been airing its top show “The Walking Dead” day and date with the U.S. and seen its piracy rate drop dramatically.
“Most of our shows are delayed at later dates in such territories as Brazil where they must be dubbed into Portuguese so that leaves more time for them to be pirated,” Martinez noted.
Fox+ is expected to roll out to the rest of Latin America on a market-to-market basis by June, most likely starting with Colombia.