Telefónica focuses on IPTV, OTT in Latin America

Telefónica is focusing its pay TV strategy on IPTV and OTT, through Movistar Play, in Latin America, rather than progressing on DTH, said Ángel Vilá, COO of the company, in a conference with analysts.

“Our strategy is more focused on IPTV, and second, in those markets where we have a lesser position in IPTV, we are focusing on an over-the-top aggregator strategy, with Movistar Play, that is already in some of our markets. This will be our priority rather than progressing on DTH”, the executive said when asked about the possibilities of making acquisitions in that area (considering a possible sale of DirecTV).

We know that, at some point, there could be some potential available assets on DTH. We tend to look at opportunities for in-market consolidation always, but it would have to make sense in terms of valuation conditions. We are, at this moment, focused on our organic development”, he added.

Vilá said that the video strategy in Latin America presents different situations in different markets. “In Peru, we are, by far, the leader in pay TV through our historical position in cable. In Brazil, we are focusing on IPTV; we are growing our fibre base covering more and more cities and following that with IPTV. And in markets like Argentina, we will be able to offer pay TV starting next year in some regions and progressively nationwide”.

Brazil was the first market where the company started to deploy its IPTV-focused strategy. In this country, IPTV went from representing 13% of the total pay TV base in Q316 to 22% in Q317

In Argentina, the company has not yet confirmed what technology it will use. Current legislation prohibits telecom companies from using DTH. However, this situation could change before the end of the year. In September this year, the head of the National Communications Agency (Enacom), Miguel de Godoy, said that it is “very likely” that the government will authorize telcos to provide satellite TV through a new decree.