Oi to invest US$2.85bn this year to enter cable TV segment

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Brazilian telecoms operator Oi expects total investment for entering the cable TV market to reach some 4.5bn reais (US$2.85bn) this year, news service Agência Estado reported company regulatory affairs director Paulo Matos as saying.

Matos said Oi will be technically ready to launch cable TV operations by year-end, or the beginning of 2012, according to the report.

The entry of telecoms operators will increase competition in the cable TV market, he said, adding that the market is currently dominated by Embratel/Net, which is affecting competition.

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Brazilian telecommunications regulator Anatel approved new rules last week aimed at stimulating competition in the domestic pay-TV market.

Under the new regulations, the watchdog will no longer limit the number of cable TV operators in a region and will begin selling an unlimited number of operating licenses.

As a result, new permits will no longer be offered through bidding contests. Anatel will charge 9,000 reais (US$5,715) per license.

In addition, Anatel lifted restrictions on phone carriers from offering pay-TV services.

At the end of April, Brazil had around 10.7mn homes with pay-TV services, according to the latest data. In the first four months of 2011, net additions totaled 888,200.