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Executive
Summary

Since it emerged in the early 1990s, the service of                   spread in the Americas, posing a threat to the
subscription satellite television (TV), also called                   sector and putting its future development at risk,
pay satellite TV, has experienced rapid growth                        since the use of illegal receiver equipment has be-
in the Americas, reaching more than 86 million                        come a significant portion of total subscription TV
homes in the fourth quarter of 2016.1 The number                      fraud in Latin America.
of pay satellite TV subscribers in Latin America
has grown from 18 million in 2011 to more than                        The aim of this document, “Best regulatory prac-
50 million in 2016, representing a compound an-                       tices to combat fraud of subscription-based tele-
nual growth rate (CAGR) of 23%.2 If this growth                       vision signals”, is to highlight the problems in the
rate continues, it is estimated that, by the end of                   Americas around the marketing and sale of re-
2020, Latin America will reach more than 70 mil-                      ceiver equipment that illegally access satellite pay
lion pay satellite TV subscribers.                                    TV. In this sense, the document describes the dif-
                                                                      ferent modalities through which pay satellite TV is
Likewise, pay satellite TV has become an alterna-                     accessed illegally, review the regulatory progress
tive to reach remote regions (which are difficult                     made to combat this phenomenon in the Ameri-
to access by terrestrial broadcast television due to                  cas as well as international best practices, and to
the geographical diversity of Latin America) with                     present recommendations that can be followed by
audiovisual content and plans with innovative                         the Governments in the region, in a harmonized
payment options, fulfilling the social objective of                   way, to fight this type of fraud.
informing and entertaining rural populations.
                                                                      The technical recommendations for the Govern-
The population of Latin America has benefited                         ments of the Americas to combat fraud of sub-
not only in terms of the coverage of audiovisual                      scription-based television signals are:
content through satellite TV, but also from higher
levels of competition in the subscription TV mar-                        »»To develop a legal framework to fight against
ket, with more choices of content and offers.                              the manufacture, importation, distribution,
                                                                           rental, marketing, promotion, installation, cir-
However, in recent years the sale of satellite re-                         culation, and/or use of illegal devices.
ceivers that illegally access satellite pay TV has
                                                                         »»To develop a legal framework to punish the
1 Data estimated by the Telecommunications Management Group,               circumvention, evasion, disabling, and/or su-
Inc., based on information published by the Business Bureau (Pay           ppression of the technological security me-
TV Market Estimates, December 2016), Leichtman Research Group              asures set up by the holders of subscription
(Research Notes, 3Q 2016), and the Federal Institute of Telecom-           satellite TV signals and/or the holders of the
munications of Mexico [Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones de          contents of such signals.
México] (Statistical Report, 3Q 2016).
2 The following countries are included: Argentina, Brazil, Chile,        »»To focus more efforts on the control of those
Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Vene-           stages prior to the use of illegal devices by end
zuela, as well as the countries/territories of the Caribbean, Aruba,       users.
Barbados, Curacao, and Trinidad y Tobago.
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