Latin America drives Telefonica pay-TV growth

Spain may be suffering badly from the Eurozone crisis, but its incumbent Telco Telefonica goes from strength to strength, increasing its pay TV subscriber base by 18.7 percent last year to end 2011 on 3.3 million subscribers.

Total global revenue across all operations was up 3.5 percent at €62.8 billion, with net income of €5.4 billion. The company’s strong presence among the Spanish speaking countries of Latin America, as well as Brazil, was the major factor in the success. This region accounts for 47 percent of the group’s consolidated revenues, but probably 75 percent of the 2011 increase, on the back of a rapidly expanding pay TV and telecommunications sector across the main markets there. Telefonica increased its pay TV customer base by 25 percent in Latin America to 2.3 million, yet while this exceeded the growth rate of nearly all cable operators, it was less than the 35 percent achieved by satellite operator DirecTV, which had overall figures also greatly boosted as a result.

Telefonica can also point to more modest gains in some of its European markets, including even its home region, Spain, where it added 29,000 pay TV subscribers to end 2011 6 percent up over the year on 833,000. In Germany, its pay TV base grew by 8 percent to 83,300, and in the Czech Republic by 5 percent to 136,000.