Brazil opens cable TV market to competition
BRASILIA Nov 25 (Reuters) - Brazil's telecommunications regulator eased restrictions in the country's fast-growing cable TV market on Thursday to allow increased competition and help bring down subscription fees.
Anatel, the industry watchdog, lifted restrictions on the number of cable TV providers allowed to operate in each municipality. It also allowed existing operators to expand to other municipalities within broad geographic regions.
As a result there will no longer be public auctions for operating licenses, Anatel said in a statement.
The move aims to make pay-TV more accessible and ensure future communications capacity through investments in converging networks, it said.
In the first ten months of the year the number of pay-TV subscribers rose by 26 percent over the previous year to a total of 9.4 million subscribers.
Net Servicos (NETC4.SA), owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, is Brazil's biggest pay-TV operator.
Slim wants to create a giant telecom company that could offer fixed-line, wireless, Internet and TV services in Brazil under a single umbrella.
In the third quarter Net profits tumbled 76 percent on rising operational costs and expenses [ID:nN07163451].
(Reporting by Raymond Colitt; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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