Across Latin America, the number of pay TV subscribers peaked at 72.2 million in 2017 and the total stood at 64.6 million at the end of 2020. A small improvement is expected after 2023, with the 2026 total at 65.1 million subscribers, according to Digital TV Research.
Despite having half as many TV households than Brazil, Mexico is the region’s leading pay TV territory and has more subscribers even though it has lost some since its peak year of 2016, which saw 20.9 million. At the end of 2020, Mexico had 19.611 million pay TV providers and is projected to not cross the 20 million subscriber mark again until 2026.
Brazil is set for a downward trajectory, falling from 2020’s 14.476 million to 13.931 million at the end of this year, and then rising again to 14.294 million by 2026. The country peaked in 2014 with 19.6 million subscribers.
Argentina’s pay TV industry is set to remain more or less stable over the next five years. It ended last year with 8.302 million subscribers and is set for a small drop to 8.73 million by the end of 2021 before climbing to 8.549 million at the end of 2026. The same pattern is predicted for Colombia, which ended 2020 with 6.083 million subs and is forecast to have 6.255 million by 2026, after seeing 6.075 million in 2021. Venezuela dropped 2.4 million subscribers in 2020 alone, mainly due to Directv’s withdrawal.
Looking at platforms, the “Latin America Pay TV Forecasts” report also found that across the region, digital cable overtook pay satellite TV in 2020. Digital cable is forecast to add 2.5 million subscribers between 2020 and 2026 to reach 31 million. Meanwhile, pay satellite TV is set to lose 3 million subs during that period to total 25 million.