Apple TV will offer its first local content television channel in Latin America, Esporte Interativo Plus, bringing it into competition with pay TV in the region's tough sports market.
The offering of the Esporte Interativo Plus, whose programmes include soccer's Uefa Champions League, is aimed at helping Apple TV penetrate one of the world's fastest growing internet and pay TV markets.
"It is the first local channel of Apple TV in Brazil and the first live sports channel," said Leonardo Lenz Cesar, vice-president and one of the founders of Esporte Interativo.
The launch of the channel comes as Apple targets television, once seen as a "hobby" of its executives, as a source of new growth.
The television division became a billion dollar business, Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said in February, as more US homes watched films on streaming devices such as the US company's set-top box.
Apple TV has been available in Brazil for more than two years but has offered services such as YouTube or Netflix rather than live streaming channels with local content of the type offered by pay TV networks, such as those offered by Mexico's America Movil.
Aside from the European soccer leagues, Esporte Interativo is a 24-hour channel offering matches from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Milan as well as Olympic events and others.
Sports programmes have typically been the toughest area of business for digital-only TV boxes such as the Apple service to get rights for, analysts say.
"Why is Apple doing this with us?" said Sergio Lopes, another vice-president of Esporte Interativo. "Because since this app was launched on the iPhone it was the most profitable sports app that Apple has launched in Brazil."
Brazil is regarded as one of the most promising internet and entertainment markets in the world.
In a report in June, PwC included Brazil in a group of nine emerging markets led also by China, Russia, India and Mexico that is forecast to together account for 21.7 per cent of global entertainment and media revenue in 2018, up from 12.4 per cent in 2009.
Brazil has the world's second-largest number of Facebook users even though broadband penetration is still only 9.5 per cent, up from 5.9 per cent in 2009, according to research firm, Teleco.
Pay TV penetration is 8.1 per cent, up from 3.8 per cent in 2009, leaving vast room for growth analysts say.
Additional reporting by Tim Bradshaw
© The Financial Times Limited 2014. All rights reserved.
FT and Financial Times are trademarks of the Financial Times Ltd.
Not to be redistributed, copied or modified in any way.
Euro2day.gr is solely responsible for providing this translation and the Financial Times Limited does not accept any liability for the accuracy or quality of the translation