Pay TV continues to struggle in Latin America

Barely visible growth is expected in the Latin American pay TV market in the coming years.

Economies in the region have been heavily hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, but this does not make up for poor performance in Latin America in both 2019 and 2020 – during which the number of pay TV subscribers fell by 4 million. 

According to Digital TV Research, pay TV subscribers in Latin America peaked at 72.2 million in 2017, falling to 64.6 million by 2020. The report says that this will largely remain static until 2023, with a total of 500,000 subscribers being added by 2026.

Mexico, the largest market in the region, best exemplifies this limited growth. The country has lost subscribers since its peak of 20.9 million in 2026, and ended 2020 with a total of 19.61 million. This will marginally increase to 19.62 million in 2021, only crossing the 20 million mark in 2026.

Digital cable overtook pay satellite TV in 2020, and will continue this growth adding 2.5 million subscribers between 2020-26. This however will not be enough to offset losses in satellite TV, which will lose 3 million subscribers during the same period.

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