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Latin American pay TV operators optimistic about OTT and sports streaming

Latin America pay TV executive are more optimistic about the impact of the shift to OTT TV on their businesses than the global average, with a large majority expecting moderate to strong growth in new sports streaming services, according to technology outfit Nagra and research outfit MTM’s latest Pay TV Innovation Forum report.

According to the report, 83% of Latin American executives surveyed believe that the shift to OTT will have a positive impact on their businesses over the next five years compared to 70% globally.

Some 93% of executives predict moderate to strong growth in new sports streaming services in their markets over the next five years.

Although linear TV is expected to remain an important component of pay TV offerings due to the lower levels of broadband connectivity in the region, Latin American executives see many new opportunities for ‘super-aggregation’ models to offer a range of content and services via a single subscription: 74% of pa -TV executives agree that ‘super-aggregator’ pay TV platforms will emerge over the next five years, attracting a significant proportion of customers that pay for video content, according to the report..

Latin American execs were the most positive of all pay TV executives about the rise of new sports streaming services, with 93% predicting moderate to strong growth over the next five years compared to 85% globally.

While optimistic about OTT, a majority of 90% of executives believe that innovating on pricing and packaging will be necessary to retain and attract new customers in this rapidly evolving landscape

Some 81% of execs believe that a significant proportion of pay TV subscribers will be accessing their services on Android TV-powered devices. Android devices are expected to play a significant role in the region as operators seek to reduce their reliance on expensive proprietary platforms.

Just over two thirds of Latin American pay TV executives – 67% – consider piracy to be ‘a major challenge’ or ‘a challenge’ to their businesses compared to 60% of executives globally. Some 62% feel that the situation has not improved and is getting worse, threatening the value of their pay TV service.

“It is exciting to see the optimism expressed by Latin American pay-TV service providers as OTT continues to grow and make its mark on the region. While challenges remain, they are eager to leverage all that OTT has to offer and with the right technology and support, they can be fast on their way to driving innovative, personalized and secure services for consumers,” said Simon Trudelle, senior director, product marketing at Nagra.

“Pay TV in Latin America experienced a challenging period during the 2010s, with intense competition, at a regional and national level, piracy concerns, and economic challenges in many parts of the region; however, operators in the region seem to be looking forward to the 2020s with a renewed sense of optimism. Broadband and connectivity are key to this story, with improved bundling, marketing and packaging helping to drive growth. OTT is also starting to take off in the region so the next decade promises to be an exciting one,” said Jon Watts, managing partner at MTM.