[SatNews] For the first time in the company’s history, the DirecTV Group will end this year with more payTV subscribers in Latin America than in its native U.S. market, according to new research from Dataxis.
As of Q3 2014, 51.7 percent of the 39.1 million global customers that the DTH operator had were U.S. residents, while the remaining 48.3 percent were distributed across Latin America and the Caribbean (including in Mexico and Central America, where DirecTV owns 41 percent of pay-TV company Sky Mexico).
The U.S. division has historically been losing market share within the group since DirecTV began to expand its operations in Latin America in the mid-1990s. With still plenty of room for growth in the region—unlike the saturated U.S. payTV market—Dataxis predicts that 2015 will signal the year when Latin American subscribers will finally outnumber U.S. customers. This trend will continue in following years. By 2018 Dataxis expects Latam to account for nearly 56 percent of the group’s subscriber base. These figures do not take into account the number of US IPTV subscribers of AT&T, the telecoms group that is currently waiting for regulatory approval to acquire DirecTV’s global operations.
Depending on whether Sky Mexico’s subscribers are counted or not as part of the group (the majority stakeholder in that company is Grupo Televisa), DirecTV is currently either the largest or the second-largest payTV operator in Latin America behind America Movil. Including Sky Mexico’s subscribers, DirecTV has grown its market share from 17.4 percent of total payTV subscribers in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2007 to 28.5 percent in Q3 2014.
“After an initial period characterized by the positioning of the DirecTV brand as an exclusive product targeted at the higher-earning portions of the payTV market, the company was then very successful in attracting new customers through the launch of prepaid DTH services and low-cost video packages,” said Juan Pablo Conti, Senior Analyst at Dataxis and author of the new “DirecTV Latin America” report, part of the Pay-TV Operators Series 2015.
Across Latin America, DirecTV had more than 40 percent of its entire customer base subscribing to prepaid services as of Q3 2014, according to Dataxis.
The Dataxis infosite offers additional insights at http://www.dataxis.com/