New forecast puts Latin America pay-TV revenue at $24.7B by 2016; IPTV 'still in development stage'

The transition from analog to digital TV is continuing on pace, with more than 16 million homes in the Americas upgrading in 2010, according to a new report. Informa Telecoms & Media said more than 7 million new homes in the region also subscribed to pay-TV, with DTH performing particularly well.

The research firm found key growth in Latin America as economies continue to exhibit signs of long-term strength. Brazil and Mexico are forecast to see strong revenue growth, and emerging markets Chile and Venezuela also are expected to perform well.

"The lack of maturity in many countries has long offered strong prospects for pay TV and digital growth. and in 2010 this potential finally started to come to fruition--justifying the investment of those entrants that have invested (and continue to invest) in the region's media/telco businesses," wrote Informa's Adam Thomas. He said pay-TV revenues in Latin America could be worth $24.7 billion in 2016, a 66 percent increase from 2010, with pay-TV subscriber numbers anticipated to reach 73.2 million by the end of 2016, up 68 percent from 43.5 million in 2010.

The U.S., meanwhile, now has 101 million digital households, accounting for 73 percent of the total in the region.

Informa also said that IPTV is establishing its presence in some countries, but added that it currently "is still predominantly in the development stage--although several companies have big plans for the technology." Most, Informa reported, whether due to network deficiencies or, more commonly, regulatory restrictions, are not yet in a position to implement them.

"IPTV therefore needs regulatory clarity, network upgrades and compelling content before it can become a widespread service," Informa said. "But the prospect of the technology becoming a major force in the future is already acting as a spur for the rest of the industry.

For more:
- see this Informa report

Related articles:
APAC to drive IPTV growth through 2016, to 155M global subscribers
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Research projects $147B pay-TV, broadband market in APAC by 2016
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