Telefonica Eyes AT&T Operators in Latin America: Parks Associates Analysts Respond

by Brett Sappington | Jan. 20, 2016

According to a Reuters report published this week, Spain-based media giant Telefonica SA is considering the possible purchase of AT&T's Latin American assets. The assets include cable and satellite TV operations in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, as well as several other counties that were part of AT&T's $49 billion acquisition of DIRECTV.

According to Parks Associates research, over 1.6 billion households worldwide will subscribe to a pay-TV service by 2020. The North American market is experiencing a decline in penetration, but growth in Western Europe and developed Asian markets continues steadily.

Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates, provided the following comments about the announcement:

  • The decision to sell off the DIRECTV Latin America assets and networks is a huge one for AT&T, one that will spell out the company’s focus for the future. Does AT&T plan to be a U.S.-focused company or a multinational operator?
  • AT&T has already begun to acquire wireless operators in Latin America, including Iusacell and Nextel Mexico. A selloff of the company’s newly acquired DIRECTV assets in Latin America could be a signal that the company is re-thinking its approach to the region.


Brett Sappington leads Parks Associates services research team, including access and entertainment services, digital media, OTT, cloud media, video gaming, and technical support services. To request an interview or research data points about gloal pay-TV markets, contact Holly Sprague.

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