Abraão Balbino e Silva, Competition Superintendent at the Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel), said that pay TV in that country ‘is sentenced to death’. The executive expressed that subscribers are choosing for more direct models to acquire content, which are not covered by the laws that regulate the sector in the country. Balbino’s opinion came up as a result of the legal dispute between Brazilian pay TV operators and Fox, who, through Fox +, offered VOD content and live broadcasts via OTT.
This way, Fox allowed all its contents to be watched on the internet, without the need for its clients to subscribe to a pay TV operator offer. Days later, Brazilian Justice cancelled the precautionary measure of the agency against Fox +. According to Balbino, the Brazilian law imposes the market’s competitive rules, although those that are available do not adopt the new content distribution models. At the same time that they try to guarantee the market balance, they become obstacles in front of the new solutions that the clients and companies look for.
Brazilian Audiovisual Content Law (Seac), effective in the country since 2011, banns vertical integration in pay TV, which means that a content generator can not participate in the distribution process. According to statements made by Balbino, services such as Amazon and Netflix gain an advantage over the situation and become strong competitors, up to the point of requiring a repositioning of companies in the sector.
The Anatel executive’s opinions are based on data published by the agency in May. The latest report on Brazilian pay TV operators published by that the entity showed that Sky was the channel that lost most subscribers, and recorded 70 thousand less customers. Claro lost 51 thousand, Vivo 19 thousand and Oi 1,49 thousand. The Agency sent a request to the Brazilian National Congress, asking for a laws revision. If this does not happen, the launch of new services in Brazil will be avoided, as well as the arrival of small players, and the giants will continue to dominate the content market, and the online one too.