Sounding Off – Luiz G. Duarte – Do you know what’s happened with TV in Latin America in the last 10 years?

10bca9fccf67eae8410e0356d6414c38Luiz G. Duarte, Ph.D.  – “Even the savviest executives would be excused for not having a complete grasp on the various media trends of the region”


The recent decade has seen an explosive change in media trends around the world and Latin America has been a particular cradle for the growth of television. Fueled by a once in a lifetime economic boom that lifted millions out of poverty in the region, multichannel television has proliferated more than ever. But beyond the basic economics, what were the main drivers for the television boom era?

A media executive recently told me he lived these media changes, he didn’t need any studies on the matter. But, for the majority of us, the lack of reliable reports on the region is a challenge. Back in the 1990s, during the first pay TV boom for Latin America, I used to rely on the famous Kagan Reports to learn trends and forecasts, but the industry lull a decade later brought to an end most syndicated reports. Luckily, Kagan’s main analyst is still around and very much conscious of the need for taking the time to review the plethora of data out there. I had the privilege of working back then with Jimena Urquijo, now Kantar IBOPE’s TGI Latina VP Consumer Insights and Business Development, and the TGI Latina database is one of the best and continuous data sources available out there today.

Fueled by a once in a lifetime economic boom that lifted millions out of poverty in the region, multichannel television has proliferated more than ever.

As a TGI subscriber, I had long discussed with her how I could never find the time to do a really deeper analysis of the data to uncover some hidden trends. So we joined forces with Karina Besprovan, a OMD researcher at the time, to launch a series of reports on Latin American media trends. For the first volume, we worked with Dr. Joseph Straubhaar to lead a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University to blend research from both academic and business worlds and provide a clear guide to what kind of programming is most expected to entice Latin American audiences, what factors predict their genre preferences, who is adopting the new Internet and OTT television and which countries are most amenable to foreign television, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The result was the book “The Evolution of Television: An Analysis of 10 Years of TGI Latin America (2004-2014)” now available on Amazon*. We are hoping the book sales will help pave the way for new volumes and an assortment of more profound insights on various media industry trends in the region.

The book offers a deep analysis, with answers to questions such as:

  • What are the penetration trends for various forms of television technology?
  • What determines content preferences — varied by demographics, knowledge of foreign languages and the emergence of cosmopolitan or globalized middle and upper classes?
  • How have audiences for content or genres changed over time?
  • What is the percentage of time consumed by TV vs. other media in each country, has it grown?
  • Is Internet viewing amplifying or reducing TV viewing?
  • What are the key demographic differences in this connection between internet viewing and growth or reduction in different forms of TV viewing?
  • Is there overlapping consumption of TV+ Internet or TV+ Social media?


Luiz G. Duarte, Ph.D. is a journalist with a Master degree in Telecommunications and a PhD focused on International Marketing from Michigan State University. In a long career that included name brands as Univision/Telefutura, WGBH/PBS,Sony Television and Tivo.He led multiple investigations into new communication technologies.