Telefónica honing TV strategy on IPTV, OTT content

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Telefónica is focusing most of its pay TV efforts in Latin America on IPTV and as an over-the-top (OTT) aggregator, rather than DTH satellite.

Speaking during a conference call with investors, the company's chief operations officer Ángel Vilá said that the situation would differ in different markets.

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In Peru for example, Telefónica is the leading pay TV provider with almost 1mn subscribers in June this year, 4 times as much as América Móvil (213,586) and DirecTV (233,719), according to watchdog Osiptel.

Telefónica Brasil's COO Christian Gebara said in a conference call on Wednesday that the company would terminate satellite DTH focus on IPTV, via fiber to the home connections (FTTH).

The same will go for Argentina where legislation will allow telcos to offer pay TV services for the first time starting January, 2018.

"Our strategy is more focused on IPTV and, second, in those markets where we are less well positioned in IPTV , we are focusing on an OTT aggregator strategy," Vilá said

The company currently offers an OTT offering called Movistar Play in Latin America, which is active in Peru and due to be rolled out across the region.

Telefónica has slated 100mn-200mn euros (US$116mn-233mn) for developing original content, many of which will be directed specifically at a Latin American audience.


Telefónica Group reported this week a revenue dip of 2.5% to 12.7bn euros (US$15mn), hit by slashes to roaming revenue in Europe.

The company's Latin American operations performed better despite foreign exchange volatility.

Telefónica's Hispanoamérica unit consisting of all of Latin America, except Brazil, grew revenues 16.1% y-o-y in the quarter to 2.98bn euros.

Chile and Peru remained challenging markets despite showing some improvements, Vilá said.

Telefónica Chile's operating profit before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) fell 5.3% to 497mn euros, while Telefónica Peru saw a 26.9% decline in OIBDA. Telefónica's Peruvian unit also reported a y-o-y organic revenue fall of 8.0%.

The Peruvian unit said in August it is set to invest 350mn soles (US$108mn) this year to deploy its 4G network, using its spectrum in the 700MHz band. Telefónica is deploying 1,000 new towers with 4G technology in 24 regions across the country. Competitor Claro has allocated US$200mn for its 4G network this year.

"In Chile, we are seeing some increasing commercial intensity on the mobile side with the launch of some unlimited tariffs. And in spite of this, we have seen a progression or a lesser decline in mobile in total revenues, but still a slight decline," Vilá said.

In Colombia, Telefónica saw a 1.2% dip in sales to 338mn euros due to uncertainty regarding different schedules of tariff updates.

Telefónica Mexico saw revenues rise 4.5% to 332mn euros despite offering phone and data services for free for a limited period following the earthquake in September.

Telefónica Argentina consolidated a recent turnaround in the third quarter, reporting revenues of 810mn, up 30.6% y-o-y on an organic basis.

In Brazil, the company reported a net profit of 1.2bn reais (US$370mn) in Q3, up 28.3% y-o-y.