The President of DirecTV Latin America (AT&T), Jeffery McElfresh, told Valor Economico newspaper that the company is interested in investing in the Brazilian market. For this reason, the executive has already met with authorities of the country to analyze the economic framework. Argentina is also a market of interest, but McElfresh considered that, in this country, a new regulation is needed in order to compete “without restrictions”.
DirecTV Latin America is controlled by AT&T and is the owner of Sky in Brazil. The Brazilian DTH is the only major pay TV provider of the country without mobile services, and only has some broadband operations. For these reasons, Sky is currently at a disadvantage compared to other integrated operators such as America Movil (the owner of Net, Claro and Embratel) and Telefonica (which already had integrated GVT operations). The executive mentioned TIM, Nextel and Oi as possible acquisitions in the Brazilian market.
McElfresh said that already had meetings with representatives of the Brazilian Government and the regulator Anatel to find information on the stabilization of the economy and the regulatory environment. Meanwhile, the Chairman of Nextel Brazil, Francisco Valim, told Valor Economico that no bid has been receive so far by the American company.
In Argentina, McElfresh met with President Mauricio Macri and expressed his intention to “participate in the transformation of Argentina”. “For us pay TV is not the most important product for the future as there is also broadband and mobile telephony”, McElfresh said in an interview with La Nación newspaper during the 360 Series Mobile Congress Latin America.
The government recently authorized DirecTV to offer experimental satellite Internet services. However, the manager said that the shareholders of AT&T “need a clear regulation that gives them some security. If there are clear rules, DirecTV will invest in Argentina”. According McElfresh, a new regulation should allow operators to “provide all services in unrestricted competition, as it happens in Mexico and Brazil”.