Telefonica has unveiled plans to launch pay-TV services in seven new Latin American markets in 2016, namely: Ecuador, Uruguay, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. According to a company press release, the launch will be staggered throughout the year, and the service mode available in each country will be announced at the appropriate time. Luis Delamer, director of the telco’s Latin American Video Unit, commented: ‘At Telefonica we are reaffirming our commitment to Latin America and we have the goal of becoming the first pay-TV company in the world in Spanish and Portuguese … Furthermore, in 2016, we are going to market our video services in more than twice the number of countries that we do today’. Telefonica currently offers pay-TV services in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela through a combination of IPTV, DTH, CATV, VoD and OTT, and presides over a user base of 4.5 million pay-TV customers in the region.
In other news, AT&T Inc, which inherited satellite TV businesses in around a dozen markets across Latin America and the Caribbean via its USD48.5 billion takeover of US-based pay-TV giant DirecTV, has confirmed that it would consider selling or combining some assets in the region under the right conditions. Last week, Bloomberg quoted CEO Randall Stephenson as commenting: ‘Would we consider selling them? Yes, but we are in no rush … They are healthy businesses … If someone wanted to talk about a strategic combination of those assets with a different product, we’d have to look at it’. The comments were made at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York.