Costa Rica loses cable and DTH subscribers and strengthens its IPTV base in 2020

As reported by the Costa Rican Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel), entity in charge of regulating the telecommunications market in the country, on its latest report, the pay TV market suffered a retraction in 2020, and ended the year with a total of 877 thousand subscribers. In addition, although coaxial cable is still the leading technology in the country’s pay TV market, there was significant growth in terms of IPTV last year. 

According to the Sutel report, subscriptions to pay TV offers in Costa Rica have been declining since 2019. The highest number of subscribers since the last four years took place in 2018, when 883.8 thousand subscribers were reported. In 2019, Sutel reported almost 10 thousand fewer subscribers, and the sector ended the year with just over 874 thousand customers. Then, as already reported, the figure continued its decline in 2020. In addition, according to Sutel, in 2020 there were 96.5% of households in Costa Rica with access to TV, of which 71.4% hired pay TV offers; and 25.2% had FTA TV.

The Costa Rican entity has also reported that, in 2020, 63% of pay TV subscriptions belonged to coaxial cable, which still leads the market, followed by DTH (26%) and IPTV (11%). Likewise, the IPTV market share in 2020 was 5% higher than in 2019, since it went from 6% to the 11% already reported. In relation to total subscriptions, of the 877 thousand pay TV subscribers in 2020, just over 548 thousand were cable TV; almost 225 thousand of DTH; and more than 94 thousand of IPTV. Although pay TV via coaxial cable continues to be the leading technology in Costa Rica, all of them showed a decrease in subscribers compared to 2019, with the exception of IPTV, which went from reporting almost 55 thousand subscribers to the 94 thousand just mentioned.

Likewise, last May, the Costa Rican pay TV operator Cabletica (Liberty Latin America) announced the launch of its new IPTV offer, which it called ‘NextGENTv Plus’, and allows its clients to record content, make catch up, access more than 2 thousand titles available, and other features. In addition, the company launched its new app, Cabletica GO, through which its customers can enjoy the same features  from mobile devices.

‘At Cabletica we are aware that consumption patterns have evolved, that subscribers are demanding more and more control over what they watch and how they watch it. Precisely, they achieve this through NextGENTv Plus, in which, through a smartbox with IPTV technology, it gives them the opportunity to control the content in which they are interested in, allowing them to catch up, move forward in the programming, record content, and even decide when they want to enjoy it, without having to be depending on start times’, reported Jose Gutiérrez, Manager of Regulation, Communication and Public Relations at Cabletica.