Pay TV goes back to 2013 in subscribers

A segment that is getting smaller and smaller. The pay TV market in Ecuador continues to lose subscribers, and the trend has been accentuated this year, according to figures from the Telecommunications Regulation Agency (Arcotel).

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Until the third quarter of 2020, the number of pay TV subscribers in the country reached 946,962, the lowest figure recorded since 2013, according to Arcotel statistics.

The economic crisis, deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the growing expansion of streaming platforms continue to subtract customers from the business, according to analysts consulted by EXPRESO.

Next week, on November 17, it is planned that Disney +, the platform of The Walt Disney Company, start operating in Latin America and, therefore, in the country.

Until next November 16, Disney + (www.disneyplus.com) made the pre-sale for the annual subscription available to the public, with a special price for 10 countries. The offer extends to Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.

Last august, Disney made the launch date of its streaming platform official, which comes with a wide and diverse catalog after the acquisition and merger with other international production companies. The platform includes films, series, shorts and documentaries from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.

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Disney + will begin to compete nationally with other services such as Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Netflix, HBO, Claro Video, Movistar Play, ZineEc, Choloflix, entre otros.

Two companies dominate the local market: DirecTV and the National Telecommunications Corporation (CNT). Both companies take more than 65% of the cake of users nationwide.

In the case of provinces, Guayas has the highest number of subscribers in the country: 24,88 %. It is followed by Pichincha with 21.85% and then Manabí with 9.36%.

For Hugo Carrión Gordón, a telecommunications specialist, the drop in the number of users is due to two factors: the economic crisis and a natural reduction due to the greater presence of streaming platforms.

Since 2016, Carrión said, the number of users was expected to decrease on pay TV due to the change in business model. The user, the specialist noted, no longer prefers to pay $ 30 a month for a 30-channel service. It is even preferable to pay for two streaming services than for a cable subscription.

Given this scenario, according to Carrión, firms seek to partner to open their platforms and migrate. In the local market, companies are even starting to produce their own content because the business is now based on adding clients with attractive series or movies.

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