New business model
Programmers will talk when operators settle arrears
quinta-feira, 11 de abril de 2002 , 17h40 | POR REDAÇÃO

Programmers have never been in a worse situation in Brazil. Most say operators have been in arrears since first-half 2001 and see the Brazilian pay-TV market as a lawless jungle in which payments are suspended almost arbitrarily on the slimmest of excuses. The large MSOs account for about 75% of revenue for most programmers, with small operators and new players accounting for the rest. ?Strangely enough, only the little guys are paying on time,? says a channel director. Another is equally jaundiced. ?You can?t call yourself a pay-TV provider if you don?t pay for programming, which is the main ingredient,? he says. ?We have to share the extra cost of operating in Brazil with the providers, of course. That includes devaluation and crises of all kinds. But we can?t survive on capital injections from shareholders.? Another programmer agrees. ?Pay TV is a unique business in which programmers and operators have to work together,? he argues. ?They way things are going now, operators are abandoning ship.? The problems programmers face reflect the fact that operators evidently see them as their largest direct expense and tend to blame them when the industry isn?t enjoying the best of times. Moreover, the global corporations that own channels have long been disappointed in their expectations of fast growth for the Brazilian market. In light of non-payment by operators and market stagnation, many programmers are under pressure to shut their doors in Latin America.


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