Telefonica Brazil (including Telesp) is looking to strengthen its position in the domestic pay-TV market with the rollout of Imagenio-branded TV services across the entire country, El Economista reports without citing its sources. To date, Telefonica’s Brazilian unit has supplied pay-TV services to around 682,000 subscribers in Sao Paulo state through Telesp, but is now looking to take on the country’s dominant operators in this segment – Net Servicos, TVA and Sky.
As reported in TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, on 14 September 2011 a law lifting restrictions on telecoms network operators providing pay-TV including cable TV services was signed by Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff. The previous month the Senate approved the legislation allowing locally-owned telecoms operators and foreign-owned companies to offer subscription services including cable TV. The new law raises the current 49% cap of foreign ownership of cablecos, whilst freeing traditional telcos from restrictions on offering TV services over their own networks. The move is seen as levelling the playing field in a market where pay-TV operators have long been free to offer bundled telephony and internet access under one integrated company. Another expected effect of the law is that Mexico’s America Movil will exercise an option to take control of the voting shares of Brazil’s leading cableco by subscribers, Net Servicos.