Still the fastest growing pay-TV market in Latin America, Ecuador's subscription TV sector continues to grow, nearing 30% penetration – three times more than four years ago – after reporting almost 5% growth in Q3.
According to figures published by Supertel, the country's public telecom regulator, there are currently 1.16 million subs in Ecuador, meaning 27.5% of the population subscribe to a pay-TV service.
Following a general improvement in the country's financial conditions, Supertel also points to a more diverse and cheaper offer as the reason behind the sustained growth in pay-TV.
Supertel's figures reveal that DirecTV clearly tops the market with over 35% of share due to its direct-to-home (DTH) service.
The market is divided between DTH and cable networks, with satellite coming just a few points ahead. In addition, around 250,000 subscriptions are for pre-paid services.
Pay-TV penetration has gradually increased from ten years ago when only 5.8% of Ecuadorians had a cable subscription. Penetration has rocketed, growing from 7% in 2009 to 10% in 2010, 11% in 2011, 16% in 2012 and 23% by the end of 2013.
The estimated number of users is over 3.5 million, mostly concentrated in the richest areas of the country, with the penetration rate dropping down to 6% in the poorest areas.