MOM Peru has investigated the owners, their other media outlets and their affiliated interests of the 10 most important television media outlets in Peru. They were selected according to the available audience shares. The order of the media below reflects its position in the audience share.
Television is the country´s most consumed media; it is watched in 87% of homes, a figure which rises to 99% in metropolitan Lima (INEI, 2015). A study prepared by CONCORTV found that more Peruvian homes have a television than have an oven (99.1% versus 99.5%).
Average daily television consumption is calculated as 3 hours and 4 minutes (CONCORTV, 2017). According to Ipsos Peru, the average television viewer in Lima is 35 years old and is 90% likely to be viewing free-to-air. Some 30% use a different electronic device (such as a smartphone or a tablet) to watch a program (Ipsos, 2016).
The television viewing habits are highly concentrated. According to 2015 Kantar Ibope Media average figures, three channels capture almost half the free-to-air signal. América Televisión (22.98%), Latina (16.38%) and ATV (10.84%). According to INEI, 41.4% of Peruvian homes access cable television (61.6% de los hogares de Lima Metropolitana).
“Vladivideos" and Corruption on TV
At the end of 2000, the broadcasting of the “Vladivideos”, secret recordings of meetings held by the presidential adviser Vladimiro Montesinos Torres with politicians and business people in a room at the National Intelligence Service, confirmed what had been an open secret: media proprietors had visited the “Doctor” to support the second reelection of Alberto Fujimori, receive their instructions about journalism coverage and programming, in exchange for legal favors and bundles with millions of dollars. Corruption had reached television, which found itself more discredited than ever.
Following this, some media business identities (such as Ernesto Schütz Landázuri, of Panamericana Televisión; Julio Vera Abad, of ATV; Eduardo Calmell del Solar, of Cable Canal de Noticias) fled the country and others (such as José Francisco and Enrique Crousillat, of América Televisión or Samuel and Mendel Winter, of Latina) were captured and jailed.
The television channels, discredited and without advertisers, entered a financial crisis. With some owners imprisoned and others on the run, the administration of these media fell to other business people (for example, Latina returned to its previous owner, Baruch Ivcher, prior to the arrival of of Enfoca Inversiones), other consortia were formed (for example Plural TV, made up of El Comercio and La República, owners of America Television) and creditor councils were constituted (for example Panamericana, ATV and Red TV, which still continues) to settle outstanding debts. Over the following decade and with the country´s economic boom, the television companies were able to climb out of their financial hole.
Characteristics of the Peruvian Television
There are currently 1,686 television stations at national level, of which 442 are UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and 1244 VHF (Very High Frequency). Lima, Puno, Cusco, Cajamarca and Ancash are the regions with the greatest number of TV stations. Of the total, some 59% are commercial, while the remainder are educational. There are no community stations in Peru.
Peruvian television is centralized: its contents are mainly produced in Lima and broadcast in the provinces by repeaters located throughout the country. For analogue free-to-air there are six private channels operating on the VHF band: Latina, América Televisión, Panamericana Televisión, ATV, NexTV, and the state channel: TV Perú.
The way in which audience is measured for the sector is a major problem (see Findings – Measuring audience). Since 1996, Ibope Time Perú (today Kantar Ibope Media) has been the only company in the country which specializes in surveying television audiences. However, it only measures its own clients. The highest rating channel will garner the most advertising. If a channel´s audience share is not measured, it will not receive revenue from advertising. The smallest channels, at regional and local level, with their smaller reach and limited audience, are invisible to Ibope and the advertisers.
The goal: Digital Terrestrial Television
In 2010, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) began to implement digital terrestrial television (TDT), leading to the transition from analogue to digital technology. This change allowed the multiplying of signals, with improved image and sound quality. The format chosen by the MTC was the Japanese-Brazillian ISDB-T system (Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestial). By June 2018 there were 53 TDT signals in Lima, Callao and other regions of Peru.
Whilst initially the intention with digital technology was to promote the entry of new broadcasters and so increase competition, during the Alan García government (2006-2007), there was an amendment to the rules which permitted holders of analogue licenses to bid. Those with the more money, more stations and more resources to implement and operate stations in remote areas, obtained the licenses. The government of President Humala (2011-2016) postponed the “analogue blackout” until 2019 in Lima and indicated that by 2025 no broadcaster would be transmitting on the analogue band.