The other side of the drop in legal pay TV subscriptions is the increase in the adoption of Free To Air television (FTA TV). In 2020, 59.2% of television households had FTA TV as their main TV reception option: 114.5 million, an increase of almost 18% since 2017. And faster has been the progress of digitization. In 2020, 77.2% of FTA TV households were digital (DTT), an increase of 54% compared to 2017. Thus, DTT became the largest TV distribution option in Latin America.
Of 42 countries analyzed in Latin America, only 6 had performed the analogue switch off (ASO). Although there are 12 other ASOs scheduled between 2020 and 2021, the postponement of deadlines has been a constant. ASO is a critical political decision as it can leave a percentage of the population without television due to lack of adequate reception equipment. The planned average duration of the 19 digitization processes underway is already 9.6 years. There are still 17 markets, all from the Caribbean, which have not defined a closing date, 10 of them had not even selected a standard.
The ISDB-T is the most widespread standard in Latin America, with 67% adoption in DTT during 2020. Second, there was the ATSC standard with a share of 17% and was followed by DVB-T with 11%. The DTMB standard, with a presence in Cuba, accounted for the remaining 4%.