Brazil's Senate Approves New Pay TV Law

Brazil's pay-TV marketis likely to see significant changes following the new pay-TV regulation the country's president signed into law in August. According to the new law,

  • There will no longer be limits on foreign ownership in the cable TV sector.
  • Local and foreign telephone companies will be able to offer pay-TV services in addition to existing phone and Internet services.
  • Telephone companies will be limited to TV distribution (not including enabling content creation).
  • Operators must broadcast three and a half hours of Brazilian content every week, including significant amounts of content developed by independent producers.

Brazil pay TV penetration is less than 19%with two major pay-TV platforms: satellite and cable TV. At present, pay TV business is largely concentrated in the big cities of the country.

It is likely that more new operators will enter Brazil’s pay-TV market after the approval of new broadcasting law. Especially, more triple play and IPTV service are expected to be launched since the new law allows telephone companies to offer pay TV.

Recently, GVT owned by French Vivendi has launched satellite and IPTV hybrid offer in Brazil. Telefonica is now targeting a nationwide rollout of its satellite and IPTV services. Moreover, Oi, which is offering satellite and cable TV at present, is planning to launch IPTV service in 2012.

These new operators are challenging existing players in terms of pricing, availability, and quality of content. The new pay TV regulation is most likely to benefit Brazilian consumers with lower prices and better program selection.​