RLCS, Revista Latina de Comunicacion Social



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DOI, Digital Objetc Identifier 10.4185/RLCS-2019-1364en | ISSN 1138 - 5820 | RLCS, 74-2019 | Audio-visual explanation of the author |

Index h of the journal, according to Google Scholar Metrics, g


How to cite this article in bibliograhies / References

M J Formoso Barro, M García-Torre, J J Videla Rodríguez (2019): “Morphology and interactivity of the contents in the applications of Latin American television”. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 74, pp. 916 to 936.
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-2019-1364en

Morphology and interactivity of the contents in the applications of Latin American television

Mª Josefa Formoso Barro [CV] [oORCID] [gGS] Department of Sociology and Communication Sciences, Universidade da Coruña, Spain – m.formoso@udc.es
Manuel García-Torre [CV] [oORCID] [oGS] Department of Sociology and Communication Sciences, Universidade da Coruña, Spain – manuel.garcia.torre@udc.es
José Juan Videla Rodríguez [CV] [gORCID] [gGS] Department of Sociology and Communication Sciences, Universidade da Coruña, Spain – videla@udc.es

[ES] Introducción. Conocer la operativa del sistema audiovisual en la comunicación móvil, es el objetivo principal de esta investigación. Para ello se analizan los contenidos audiovisuales y la eficacia de las aplicaciones para smartphone iOS y Android de las principales cadenas de televisión públicas y privadas de los cincos primeros países latinoamericanos según datos del PIB Nominal: Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia y México. Metodología. Se desarrolla un estudio cuantitativo, basado en técnicas de análisis de contenido. Resultados y conclusiones. En general, las apps analizadas se pueden descargar desde España, pero el acceso a sus contenidos audiovisuales es muy limitado, ya que es habitual que no se puedan visualizar desde fuera del país de origen. La mayoría de las televisiones estudiadas vuelcan sus programas en la aplicación tal y como fueron emitidos en el canal tradicional. Su principal finalidad es ofrecer contenidos y en pocos casos interactividad.
[EN] Introduction. The main objective of this research is to learn about the operation of the audiovisual system in mobile communication. In order to do so, there is an analysis of the audiovisual contents and effectiveness of the smartphone apps iOS and Android's of the main public and private television networks of the five first Latin American countries based on the Nominal GDP: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Methods. To develop a quantitative study, based on content analysis techniques. Results and conclusions. In general, analysed apps can be downloaded from Spain but access to their audiovisual content is very limited, since in most cases it cannot be accessed from outside the country of origin. Most of television networks studied, dump their programmes into the application as they were broadcasted in the traditional channel. Its main purpose is to offer contents and, in a few cases, interactivity.

[ES] Televisión; smartphone; movilidad, contenidos, interactividad.
[EN] Television; smartphone; mobility; content; interactivity.

[ES] 1. Introducción. 2. Marco teórico. 3. Hipótesis. 4. Objetivos. 5. Metodología 6. Resultados 6.1. Argentina 6.1.1. TP Argentina 6.1.2. Telefe TV 6.1.3. El Trece 6.2. Brasil 6.2.1. TV Brasil 6.2.2. Globo 6.2.3. SBT 6.3. Chile 6.3.1. Televisión Nacional de Chile 6.3.2. Canal 13 6.3.3. Mega 6.4. Colombia 6.4.1. Caracol Play 6.4.2. RCN 6.4.3. Canal Tr3ce 6.5. México 6.5.1. Televisa 6.5.2. TV Azteca 6.5.3. Canal Once 7. Conclusiones. 8. Referencias
[EN] 1. Introduction. 2. Theoretical framework. 3. Hypothesis. 4. Objectives. 5. Methodology 6. Results 6.1. Argentina 6.1.1. TP Argentina 6.1.2. Telefe TV 6.1.3. El Trece 6.2. Brazil 6.2.1. TV Brasil 6.2.2. Globe 6.2.3. SBT 6.3. Chile 6.3.1. Televisión Nacional de Chile 6.3.2. Canal 13 6.3.3. Mega 6.4. Colombia 6.4.1. Caracol Play 6.4.2. RCN 6.4.3. Canal Tr3ce 6.5. Mexico 6.5.1. Televisa 6.5.2. TV Azteca 6.5.3. Canal Once 7. Conclusions. 8. List of references

Translation of article by Yuhanny Henares
(academic translator, Universitat de Barcelona)

 [ Research ]
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1. Introduction

Watching what we want, whenever and wherever we want. Mobile communication has turned into one of the paradigms of the way to access audiovisual contents of information and entertainment. Mobile phones, tablets and Internet are instruments and means characteristic of the digital era and determine changes that impact the social, economic and cultural development of our societies (Igarza, 2009).

We have reached a point where our activity is no longer conceived without using the mobile phone, and it is probably the most relevant technological device of the human being in this time (Márquez, 2015). The penetration of these kind of devices is deep and sustained, a phenomenon that in Latin America also offers very relevant numbers: it was one of the regions with a greater and faster growth of smartphones connections between 2010 and 2013, because the installed base of smartphones grew 77% annually (GSMA, 2014); in 2020, there will be about 260 million smartphone connections more than the end of 2015 (GSMA, 2016a). One of the countries which televisions are object of analysis, Colombia, had more than 3.8 million 4G connections in 2015, estimating to reach the 20 million in 2020 (GSMA, 2016b). In short, we are standing before one of the sectors of greater growth of the world economy and with greater capacity of transforming the social life (Logan & Scolari, 2014).

The mobile is one of the icons of mediatic convergence because it gathers in a simple manner the capacity to receive and produce all kinds of contents, as indicated by Jenkins (2008). It is an instrument of integral communication that has been technologically perfected up to achieving availability of multimedia terminals for the user, small-sized computers with an average size of five inches and Internet access (Márquez, 2015). Its transformation has affected its own denomination: we no longer talk about mobile phones but smartphones instead, which have changed the role of the user, who now can also become a producer,  creating contents and putting them at the disposal of others through an application (Cebrián & Flores Vivar, 2011); namely, mobile devices, as Scolari, Aguado and Feijoo describe, “besides being a channel for the ubiquitous consumption of audiovisual contents, they are one of the most potent interactive platforms of the current media ecosystem” (2013, 87).

One of the logical consequences of the end of television as the only medium for home audiovisual entertainment was the search and experimentation of an exploitation model of the broadcasting media contents, first on the web and subsequently, in the different receptor devices. Said process has impacted free-to-air and paid contents, that following different paths due to its different model, try to make the new forms of consumption and the new patterns of use more profitable. However, this process has not progressed at the same speed regarding experimentation of new specific formats for mobility, because televisions essentially go to programmes and formats of conventional broadcasting to feed their offer in mobility, as indicated by Pérez Rufí and Gómez Pérez (2013).

Finally, smartphones facilitate the development of the so-called social television, especially through the second screen applications, that potentiate the interactivity at the same time broadcasting is produced, as well as the use of social networks as instrument to build forums of followers that share contents and comments.

All that communicational and technological panorama should be exploited to potentiate the Spanish and Portuguese speaking television-related /cultural sector both sides of the Atlantic. The presence in Spain and in other places of Europe, of communities from natives of different American countries, potential spectators of televisions from those countries, makes the access from the European territory, more than a business opportunity, a demand of service instead. 

2. Theoretical framework 

“The mobile, always available, is what best adapts to the interstices of daily life, those limited temporal spaces of leisure where delight requires brevity”; this definition of Roberto Igarza (2009, 127) explains the constant penetration of the mobile phone as channel to access Internet as well as audiovisual products. It is an evidence confirmed by the successive reports on the sector, like the report of 2017 about digital contents elaborated by the National Observatory on Telecommunications and Society of Information; there, it is confirmed that the mobile phone is the main device for Internet access in 80% of homes (Informe Anual del sector de los Contenidos Digitales en España, 2017) [Annual Report on Digital Content in Spain, 2017].

This kind of devices have consolidated as a basic instrument of communication and consumption (Televidente 2.0. 2016-2017. X Oleada) [TV viewer 2.0 2016-2017. X Wave], especially for the so-called native digitals, who perceive it as a personal screen (Navarro Güere; García Jiménez; Roel, 2013), identify the individual and grant him a socioeconomic meaning among his peers (García Canclini, 2008).

Mobile digital communication can be defined as the production and massive consumption of contents on multifunctional wi-fi devices (Logan & Scolari, 2014); it is integrated within the framework of the digital ecosystem, that eventually included smartphones and tablets in the so-called fourth screen (Cebrián & Flores Vivar, 2011; Aguado & Martínez, 2008).

This kind of communication accelerated a process that has given the user a capacity for choosing and an offer that was not available in the linear diffusion (Izquierdo; 2014); changes the relationship between offer and demand, senders and recipients and, therefore, the way contents are made profitable (Richeri; 2015).

The consumption data reflect that the connected television (Smart TV) and the laptop are the most used devices to watch movies, series and documentaries; however, the use of the mobile phone to view this type of contents shifted from 3.6% in 2011 to 15% in the period ranging 2011-2016 (Informe anual del sector de los contenidos digitales en España, 2017) [Annual Report on Digital Contents in Spain, 2017]. Therefore, a multiplatform strategy has been implemented based on the interconnection of three windows: television, Internet and mobile devices (Guerrero; 2011). The smartphones can potentiate an emergent business model based on the capacity for ubiquity, data processing and the creation of online communities.  

Television operators have developed different applications depending on functions and objectives to cover the demand of mobile communication and distribute informational and entertainment products, although there predominates leisure in its different genres (Videla-Rodríguez, García-Torre & Formoso-Barro; 2016). But, it has not been reached in this area the volume of economic ROI that approaches the traditional business model of free-to-air broadcast, massive advertising and sponsorship.

The morphology of the apparatus must not be omitted either as one of the study variables in the consumption of mobile communication. The size of the screen determines the experience of consumption and view, and even can make more or less suitable specific kinds of contents as well as their duration. The same contents spread on different formats that adapt to the recipients from their creation (Formoso F.; Martínez-Costa, S. & Sanjuán, A., 2015). Some platforms are inclined to offer short duration pieces, convinced that the attention of the spectator is limited in these devices. It was even confirmed empirically that the smartphone can be perceived as not suitable for television contents (Méndiz, A.; De Aguilera, M. & Borges, E., 2011). In short, the mobile imposes some conditioning factors for the format of audiovisual contents that are distributed through these terminals (García-Torre; 2016); there must be an adaptation to the specific scope and sort of reception, in such a way that the brevity in consumption times should be weighted, as well as the size of the device or the environmental conditions in which reception is produced.

Regarding origin, contents distributed through smartphones can be an adaptation of those already broadcasted on conventional platforms, especially created for that kind of communication or those assuming the technical capacities of mobile communication to complement the product, as mentioned by Feijóo-González & Gómez-Barroso (2009). The contents generated around programmes are narrative contributions that aim to draw the attention of the spectator (Formoso-Barro, 2015). Logan and Scolari (2014) refer to specific, adapted and imported contents.

Canavilhas and Santana point at the personalisation of information as one of the outstanding potentialities of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets, together with the offer of multimedia contents adaptable to the consumption in motion (2011). On the other hand, the aspect of personalisation of consumption and the unique relationship established between the equipment and its owner makes the device to serve as an information filter based on parameters established by the consumer (Canavilhas, 2012).

The interaction is one of the functions characteristic from smartphones that influences in the exploitation of audiovisual contents. The apps are a product differentiated from media that include interactive, multimedia and hypertextual resources with thematic multiplicity and interface personalisation (Silva Rodríguez, López García & Westlund and Ulloa Erazo, 2016). They allow to share contents either partly or entirely, write comments or recommend. It is really the only interaction offered, with a functional integration of content management apps with the social networks (Aguado, Martínez & Cañete; 2015).

Communication companies must comprehend, know and think as their clients, making the most of the capacities of interactivity and social networks; they develop what they call “consumer empowerment” and relate it to the use of mobile devices as instruments that multiply options and spaces for the consumption of contents (Pérez-Latre and Sánchez-Tabernero; 2015). The prospective analysis performed by Pardo Kuklinski (2007) is noteworthy when he pointed out that the distribution axis through mobile devices would not be focused on contents of great relevance or recycled contents but rather on fostering connectivity, with an end user who is active in edition roles.

However, Videla-Rodríguez, García-Torre and Formoso-Barro (2014) confirm there is a limited use of possibilities of interaction and participation of users, with a wide archive offer and scarce hypertextuality in the contents offered by the application of television operators. In this same line, there are the conclusions of García-Torre (2015) which verify a reduced interactivity in the applications for mobile phones by the three main regional television networks of Spain.

Therefore, there is enough field to develop a true model of interactive mobile communication. Adelantado (2009) indicates that the audiovisual contents elaborated by the users create a new culture of audiovisual entertainment; there is a phenomenon of creation, editing and distribution of audiovisual pieces shared through social networks, dissociated from physical platforms and that circulate through different platforms instead.

Ten years ago, Aguado and Martínez (2006) already attributed to mobile phones, the initiative of a second digital revolution characterised by the translocality, continuous connectivity and integration of applications, functions and services, in such a way that this device is constituted as a medium of cultural consumption, a hybrid cultural object that gathers the characteristics of a medium with capacity for editing and distributing contents and their adaptation to the identity of the user, being a conversational instrument as well as a conventional medium due to its condition of being the platform of cultural contents.

The distribution of audiovisual contents demands from companies, strategical decisions that have often revealed erroneous or have not generated expected results. The online business models in cultural industries are varied and known, with an increasing volume of income that announces its prominent role within the balance sheets of communication groups, which fight a battle against the “all for free”.

The micropayments, pay-per-view, subscription, freemium and premium offers, inserted advertising or free access are formulas that have been applied in the last years in the audiovisual sector. The studies about those funding sources indicate that there are three main sources: micropayment, a formula used by large Spanish television companies like Mediaset or Atresmedia, flat rate like Netflix, and advertising (Izquierdo, 2012).

The large television groups combine micropayment formulas with free access funded by advertising; Netflix would be a typical example of flat rate access. In the evolution of the market, it is noteworthy the need to implement an offer that adapts to a multiplatform scenario for different containers and screens (Francés i Domènec, 2015), that is able to retain audiences in the online or offline environments; in that objective, the most appealing combination gathers the pay-per-view with subscription fees, potentiating the consumption in motion (Izquierdo, 2016).

The production chain in the television medium is transformed by an increase of the displays that demands a re-design of the process: there are more business opportunities, but variables increase, publics shift their position and characteristics and, lastly, the production splits from programming so to distribute across different channels (Godoy, 2007).

3. Hypothesis

The research project we develop presents the following hypotheses:

H1.- The television networks use mobile audiovisual communication through smartphones to disseminate all kinds of contents.

H2.- The morphology of contents adapts to the platform.

H3.- Televisions make the most of the interactive capacities of smartphones.

H4.- Broadcasters develop a business model targeted to the generation of income and creating communities of followers.

4. Objectives

In order to respond to these hypotheses, there is implemented a process with a general objective: to understand how television networks perform on mobile communication, by analysing the audiovisual contents and operational capacity of mobile applications for smartphone iOS and Android, of the main public and private television networks from five different Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. The offer of entertainment contents is subjected to thorough examination, as well as its morphology, interactive possibilities and business model.  Together with the general objective, there are established three specific objectives related to the fundamental issues focused by the academy:

1.- To analyse the content available for recipients in regard to structure, morphology and variety of the offer.

2.- To determine the business model developed for smartphone by these television operators.

3.- To analyse the interactivity linked to contents and the capacities granted to the recipient.

Regarding secondary objectives, a comparison is conducted in order to stablish whether there is any difference between iOS and Android devices in each one of the television channels of aforesaid operators, and it is verified whether it is possible to have access to the contents of these applications from Spain.

5. Methodology

The pathway for reaching objectives stablished is focused in the development of a quantitative study, based on content analysis techniques of mobile applications, object of study. There is an analysis of general contents and interactive apps of public television networks and of two private ones of general-interest and of greater audience (according to Kantar Ibope Media data), of state scope, in the five first countries of Latin America according to the Nominal GDP data offered by International Monetary Fund in 2018. These are: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. The specific object of this study are the apps of these television networks available on smartphone using iOS and Android operating systems. Below, there is presented a table with the mobile applications analysed:

Table 1: Mobile applications analysed. Source: authors’ own elaboration.







TV Pública Argentina


TV Pública

Android & iOS

Telefe TV




El Trece



Android & iOS


TV Brasil







Android & iOS



Globosat play

Android & iOS


TV Nacional de Chile



Android & iOS





Canal 13


Canal 13 y
Canal 13 Interactivo

Android & iOS




Caracol Play

Android & iOS

Radio Cadena Nacional



Android & iOS

Canal Tr3ce


Canal Tr3ce

Android & iOS


Canal Once


Canal Once

Android & iOS




Android & iOS

TV Azteca


TV Azteca

Android & iOS

An analysis datasheet with different main parameters such as contents, morphology, business model and interactivity was used on this sample. Among contents there is delving into aspects such as, for instance, its structure, sections, whether it offers live broadcasting, characteristics of the organization of on-demand service, genres, etc. Also, the number of contents in the on-demand video service is reviewed, defining whether there is a wide (more than 50 programmes), middle (about 25 programmes) or low offer (about 5 programmes). Likewise, it is identified whether the content is recent (from the day of the analysis up to one year earlier) or historical (prior to the last year). Regarding the morphology, it is reviewed whether television networks transfer to mobile applications, the contents just the way they were broadcasted in the conventional platform or whether they adapt them to the characteristics of the mobile devices with shorter clips, fragmenting them or even creating extra contents, thus enriching the user’s experience. Regarding the business model, there is delving into aspects such as presence of advertising, whether the app is free or paid and whether the access to on-demand contents is free or requires user subscription.

Regarding interactivity, the aim is to detail what interactive tools are made available for the user: sharing content, participation due to comments, sending pictures or videos, etc. Based on this, it is stablished whether the offer is low, medium or high. The television networks with low interactivity offer, for instance, tools such as sharing contents through social networks or email. Regarding medium interactivity, the user can participate by assessing a section or content, write comments or register in the virtual community. To offer a high interactivity, television must offer live interaction by formulating questions, launching surveys, etc., and also promoting sending of contents such as videos, pictures or questions by the user.

There are also analysed other aspects such as the type of app found (either corporate or of a specific channel), or its purpose, contents and/ or interactivity. This datasheet has been used for the analysis of the applications object of study between 8 October and 8 November 2018. This period has been selected because it is one of the most stable regarding television channel programming.

We present the complete analysis datasheet below:

Table 2: Analysis datasheet. Source: authors’ own elaboration








Sections of the general offer of the application

Live broadcasting


Structure (sections)

Outstanding categories

Most watched

Alphabetical order


Nº of programmes available

Recent content (past days to last year)

Historical content (past years)

Recent and historical content




Entertaining programmes






Do contents adapt to the new platform? Duration, fragments…


Complementary information

Making of




In-house production

External production




Banner. Expansible, integrated, floating formats

Floating window

Paid app

Free access with registry to content on demand

Free access without registry to content on demand

Paid access to content on demand


App available in Spain

Contents on demand can be seen

Live broadcasting can be seen


Low interactivity:

Share contents (social networks, email, WhatsApp…)

Contact form

Medium interactivity:




Communities of followers

High interactivity:

The user can send questions to some programme

The user can send content (pictures, videos…)

Live interaction (i.e. questions about a content broadcasted on TV are formulated through the app)

6. Results
6.1. Argentina

Table 3: Results of Argentinean Television Networks. Source: authors’ own elaboration






Android and IOS.
Structure in outstanding sections and categories.
Wide offer of audiovisual content with extra contents and live broadcasting.

Android and IOS.
Four sections available.
Entertainment does not have a separate section.
Video library with a limited offer.
Extra contents and live broadcasting available.



Complete programmes in the media library and fragmented in news programmes

Complete and fragmented contents



Free access to contents.
App without advertising.
Contents available from Spain.

Access to free contents.
Contents available from Spain. Live broadcasting.



Share contents by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Limited. Only the contents in the News section from the homepage is shared.


6.1.1. TP Argentina

The on demand offer is composed of 53 programmes in the media library, although in some of them it is confirmed there are no contents available for users; the time frame of this offer is wide, since there are programmes, belonging to the entertainment and information genres from today until back to the year 2015. There is free access. In the interface, the live broadcasting is available for the user, as well as a selection of news and programmes; a drop-down menu allows to create subscriptions to programmes and broadcasting notifications.

Regarding morphology, there are complete programmes in the media library and fragments in the strictly informational contents, with a scarce complementary information, focused on programme data.

Interactivity allows to defer contents on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, although it is worth mentioning there is a specific section for sharing comments on Facebook and Twitter, and voting are offered through Twitter.

From Spain, there is access to the live broadcasting, contents can be seen in the YouTube channel and there is free access without registration. No differences are appreciated between Android and iOS.

6.1.2. Telefé TV

For the moment of the analysis, the Telefé TV application was not accessible from Spain.

6.1.3. El Trece

El Trece has an application for contents channel. The initial interface offers a horizontal scroll with a selection of programmes, and a vertical scroll introducing the sections “Latest chapters” and “Best moments” of other programmes. At the bottom of the screen, there is a menu that allows to browse through programmes, get the programme grid and obtain complementary information in the section called “News”.

The entertainment includes complete programmes, fragments of programmes, complementary information and extras. There is an offer of forty-two recent programmes of the fiction, entertainment and information genres. Like the previous cases, there is live broadcasting.

Regarding morphology, it is noteworthy that contents are adapted when fragmenting them in order to facilitate their view. Interactivity allows sharing contents on social networks, but only what is offered in the section “News” of the homepage screen. Both, on demand and live contents can be viewed from Spain.

6.2. Brazil

Table 4: Results of Brazilian Television Networks. Sources: authors’ own elaboration.






Does not have an app.

Android and IOS.
Offers live broadcasting and on demand contents of different channels. To view contents, subscription to the channel or channels is needed.

Android and IOS.
Corporate app with access to 23 programmes.
Live broadcasting but not available from Spain, as well as the rest of contents.



Not adapted.

Fragmented news in the section “Jornalismo”.



In Globosat Play there is access with subscription.
Presence of advertising.

Banner advertising, customised for the country from which there is access using the app, as well as video advertising (pre-roll).



Contact and assessment form.

Section “Vocé no SBT” allows the user to send contents to programmes: questions, videos, etc.
Possibility for sharing videos.
Virtual community.

6.2.1. TV Brasil

This public television network owned by Empresa Brasil de Comunicaçao, does not have mobile application for smartphone in any of the operating systems analysed.

6.2.2. Globo

The application Globosat Play is analysed. It is a corporate app and its purpose is offering contents. It gathers different channels. Its offer is distributed in sections including Canais and Canais Premium. The user can only access to contracted channels. The on demand section offers the following classification: Canais: SporTV, News, GNT, Multishow, Viva, Mais, Gloob, Gloobinho, Off, Bis, Megapix, Brasil, Universal, Syfy, Studio. Canais Premium: TeleCine, Premiere, PhilosTV and Combate. They are not structured by outstanding categories, nor recommended. Most watched category is used in the SporTV channel. Among the offer there are in-house and external production contents and do not adapt their morphology to the features of the device. Regarding advertising, it is present in the form of banner in browsing screens.

The app Globosat Play is available in Spain. Contents cannot be seen, neither on demand nor live, since they are accessible only for clients of operators available.

Regarding interactivity, it is not possible to analyse it in depth because there is not access to all contents. It can simply be mentioned that there is a contact form in the section “Ajune-nos a melhorar” and in some programmes the user has the option of assessing content through an icon with a heart.

6.2.3. SBT

The channel SBT has a corporate app available which main purpose is offering contents. Among the sections included in the general offer there are: “Login”, “Home”, “Programação”, “Jornalismo”, “Programas”, “Ao Vivo”, “Fique por dentro”, “Vocé no SBT” and “Sobre”. It cannot be said that there is a specific entertainment section.

In the homepage, there is access to the contents of 23 programmes where there are chapters of the last month available. It offers live broadcasting of the channel SBT but like on demand contents, they are not available from Spain. Whenever access is attempted, the following message appears: “The user uploading this video, has blocked it in your country”. The news of the section “Jornalismo” can be viewed because they are uploaded on YouTube. In this same section there are fragmented news from the news programmes of the network. It is the only adapted content. The others maintain the duration and formats of the traditional TV.

Advertising has presence in the application, in the form of banners on the different screens of the app. It is a rotating and customising advertising for the country from which there is access. In addition, there is presence in the form of video (pre-roll) before the reproduction of a selected audiovisual content.

Regarding interactivity, the section “Vocé no SBT” stands out. In the moment of the analysis the user could send videos to the programme Primeiro Impacto and questions to Guia do Dinheiro. Another possibility available is sharing contents of the section "Jornalismo". Once uploaded to YouTube they allow sharing through the tools of this platform: Facebook, Twitter and Google +, for example. It also offers the registry in its virtual community through which the user can send content in the section “Vocé no SBT”.

6.3. Chile

Table 5: Results of Chilean Television Networks. Source: authors’ own elaboration.






Android and IOS.
Content focused on news programmes, soap operas and entertainment programmes.

Android and IOS.
The most relevant contents are the news programmes.
Live broadcasting is offered but it is not accessible from Spain.

App for Android but not available in Spain.


Complete programmes and complementary information

Complete programmes



Does not have advertising
The live broadcasting is not available from Spain. TVN Play is needed to watch programming outside Chile (5.99 USD per month).

To watch contents, it is necessary to register in the app. It includes advertising.



Allows sharing contents and write comments.

-Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


6.3.1. Televisión Nacional de Chile

The entertainment application of the public channel Televisión Nacional de Chile (TVN) can be accessed through the application 24 horas which gathers all informative services of the channel. The general structure of its offer includes: “Live broadcasting” or live or to  “Programmes”, “Complete chapters”, “24 hours”, “Sports”, “Entertainment”, “Regional”.  Among outstanding programmes there are soap operas and information as well as sports.

The 10 informative connections with the different regions of Chile and specific contents for each one of them is noteworthy. When there is access to programmes, 30 on demand contents can be seen as well as complementary information like a chapter overview and outstanding contents, which are contents targeted to fans.

The access from Spain is possible except for live broadcasting. To access contents outside Chile it is necessary to download the app TVN play for a price of 5.99 USD per month. 

The interactivity is low, and it is possible to share contents on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus after registration.

6.3.2. Canal 13

Canal 13 is a private television channel and the second one in audience in Chile. There are two applications available Canal 13 en Vivo (live) and Canal 13 interactivo (interactive). Through the app, there is information broadcasted about the contents that get to the smartphone in the form of notifications. In Spain, it is possible to download the application in iOS and Android as well as to receive notifications but there is no access to contents.

Canal 13 offers live broadcasting and the interactive, does not. Sections of Canal 13 include: “Programmes”, “Chapters”, “Programming”, “Live” while the interactive channel is organised in: “Exclusive programmes”, “Contests”, “Newsletter”, “Exclusive Contents”, “Better Quality”, “Previous Seasons”. The outstanding genres are programmes and series and 45 programmes are available on demand.

Interactivity in Canal 13 is low, and it is possible to share content after registering previously on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, while in Canal 13 Interactivo, interactivity is high because it allows to participate live with programmes.

Canal 13 is of free access and the registry is not needed to watch on demand programmes, while Canal 13 interactivo offers free access after registration and subscription.

6.3.3. Mega

It is the general-interest private channel of more audience in Chile for the past years. It does not offer an application for iOS and, despite announcing it for smartphones with the brand Samsung, in Spain, where this study is comprised, it has not been possible to download it in iOS nor in Android.

6.4. Colombia

Table 6: Results of the Colombian Television Networks. Source: authors own elaboration.






Android and iOS.

Android and iOS.
It is not available in Spain

Android and iOS.
The live broadcasting is available from Spain.
It offers youth contents.
Sections: Musicals, Interviews, Variety, Technology...


Complete programmes

Fragmented contents.

Complete programmes and complementary information.


Access to contents previous pre-payment or subscription
(32.99 USD Annually). The price varies depending on the region and availability of contents.

Advertising in the form of video when accessing to audiovisual content.

Does not have advertising.


Presence in social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Instagram

Possibility to share contents on Twitter,
Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Vine.

6.4.1. Caracol Play

The mobile app of Caracol Play allows to enjoy the entertainment catalogue of this television channel. It can be downloaded from the App Storeor from Google Store and contents are identical. However, it is not free since there is access to contents prior payment and subscription (32.99 dollars per year). The price varies depending on the region and the availability of contents.

The contents are offered with a structure that responds to different aspects such as genres and themes dealt with. It offers sections: “categories”: “series”, “soap operas”, “web series”, “documentaries”, “journalistic”; “genres”: “action”, “comedy”, “romance”, “drama”, “culture”, “variety”; “about us” and, lastly “contact us”. It offers 30 programmes of which it is possible to watch all previous chapters and seasons. It also offers recommended and suggestions for watching.

There is a low interactivity since it allows to follow programmes on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube after completing a registry form.

6.4.2. RCN

Radio Cadena Nacional S. A. is a private television channel from Colombia. Despite the app can be downloaded both in iOS and Android, it is not available in Spain. The business model is focused in the advertising present in the form of banners and videos previous access to contents. It offers the general sections: “Homepage”, “Programmes”, “Superlike”, “News”, “Sports”, and “Live broadcasting”. Likewise, each one of them maintains a wide structure of contents where there are about 30 programmes in which there can be obtained complementary information and even the section of what is viewed the most in each programme. The news, sports and entertainment programmes are priority contents of this app as well as the complementary information generated around them.

The interactivity is medium since it allows sharing contents on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

6.4.3. Canal Tr3ce

Canal Tr3ce is a public television channel with content targeted to a youth public. This channel maintains an application that can be downloaded in iOS and Android, being the same in both systems.

The contents are the purpose of the app and there is access to them from the sections: “Homepage”, “Live”, “Programmes” and “News”, “Schedules”, “PQRS” (N.T: Spanish acronym standing for requests, suggestions, complaints and suggestions), “Law of transparency”. Besides the live broadcasting, the most relevant programmes of the channel can be viewed structured by themes: “Musical”, “Regional”, “Variety shows”, “Interviews and Opinion”, “Children and Animated”, “Sports”, and “Technology”. In the section “Top 13” the list of the 13 most voted videos can be seen and there is direct access to YouTube to watch them.

Among contents, there outstands information and entertainment versus fiction or sports and it offers more than 30 contents to view on demand. It also offers the possibility to access the archive, related programmes and complementary information of each one of the contents. It outstands due to the unusual offer of contents depending on the target and even allows doing a search using this criterion: youth, young adult, adult.

The application allows direct access to the social networks of the channel and share contents on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, YouTube and Vine prior registry. There is no advertising observed in the period of analysis.

6.5. México

Table 7: Results of Mexican Television Networks. Source: authors’ own elaboration.




Canal Once


Android and IOS.
Corporate app from which there can be seen contents from different channels of the group.
There are not available from Spain.

Application not available from Spain.

Android and IOS
It offers great variety of content distributed in different sections.


Complete and fragmented programmes

 Complete programmes

 Complete programmes


Advertising (video)


There is no advertising and the access to contents is free.


It allows to share contents through social networks or applications like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or email.



6.5.1. Televisa

Televisa offers different applications for different operating systems. Sports (Fútbol MxM) only for iOS tablets; Televisa video (Blackberry); Noticieros Televisa and Televisa Deportes can be downloaded in Android, iOS and Blackberry. To conduct this study, we focused on the television application where there appears exclusive content of the best programmes, series, soap operas, news and sports news. This app is available for iOS and Android and it is the same for both devices.

We are standing before a corporate application where there can be viewed Canal de las Estrellas, Canal 5 and Gala Tv, the three channels of the Televisa operator. It allows direct access to the applications Deportes (Sports) and Noticieros (News programmes). Their purpose is the sample of contents and it is possible to view about 20 contents on demand. The most relevant ones are programmes, specials and soap operas. The chapters are updated daily, and scenes can be viewed as well as some complete chapter.

The advertising appears when there is access to one of the contents and it is a full screen video that can be skipped after 5 seconds of view. There is offered an on demand service with 20 varied contents, although most are previews or parts of programmes. El Canal de las Estrellas offers the possibility to watch the broadcasting live in Mexico. This is the channel of most audience and the main one of the Televisa group. Its programming consists of the daily broadcast of soap operas, television contests and news. In addition to the “Live” section, there is access to diverse contents available through the menu. 

Interactivity is high because content can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and email. Moreover, it allows to publish content directly, as well as to send pictures and share videos. The user has the possibility to select favourite programmes, design a calendar of those programmes to be viewed and watch live events that allow live interaction.

6.5.2. TV Azteca

The general-interest private operator with greater audience is TV Azteca which broadcasts soap operas, contests, talk shows and entertaining programmes. This operator sustains three television channels: Azteca 13, Azteca 7 and Proyecto 40. It uses the application Azteca en Vivo of corporate character, through which its contents can be viewed. In Spain, it is not possible to download the app neither in iOS devices nor in Android. However, it is possible to download applications that are not focused on entertainment but in sports or information like Azteca Deporte, Azteca Noticias, Azteca Trends.

6.5.3. Canal Once

The app of the Mexican public channel is similar in iOS and Android. The structure of contents is simple and information and educational contents are prominent. Among the theme sections included in Canal Once, there are: “Arts”, “Opinion”, “Stories”, “Biographies”, “Youths”, “Children”, “Entertainment” and “Cuisine/ Travels”.

Once sections are accessed, it is observed that the contents offer includes twenty entries. Viewing previous chapters is possible and there appears a brief overview of the programme characteristics when positioning over its image.

In the period analysed, advertising is non-existent. Regarding interactivity, it does not allow the user to share links and contents on Facebook or Twitter directly.

7. Conclusions

After completing the presentation of results, the conclusions below are shown based on the hypotheses and objectives established at the beginning of this study:

The first hypothesis stablished, television networks use mobile audiovisual communication through smartphones to disseminate all kinds of contents, can be accepted since the great majority of televisions analysed have a mobile application available that allows access to different contents: information, entertainment, etc. Only TV Brasil does not offer an app.

The following hypothesis, the morphology of contents adapts to the platform, is not accepted because most of channels studied dump their contents in the application, just like they were broadcasted. Only cases like in Argentina, TP Argentina and El Trece, in Brasil SBT, or in Mexico with Televisa, Canal 13 of Colombia and Canal 13 interactivo of Chile offer other contents like previews or fragments, for example. Most of channels have a medium level of contents since they include 20/30 programmes except for TP Argentina which includes 40.

The third hypothesis, Televisions make the most of the interactive capacities of smartphones, is not accepted because most apps analysed do not potentiate this aspect. Only the Brazilian network SBT and the Mexican network Televisa have a high interactivity because they allow to send questions and videos to certain programmes. The rest of channels have a medium interactivity such as the Argentinean Telefe where the user can do screenshots of the contents and share. In the remaining channels, they limit to share the content viewed on social networks. Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are the prevailing social networks used; in the case of the Colombian Canal Tr3ce the possibility of Instagram, Google Plus and Vine are also available.

The last hypothesis, Broadcasters develop a business model targeted to the generation of income and creating communities of followers, is not accepted because its development is rather scarce in the television networks analysed. Delving into the business model, in general terms there predominates free access to contents, without the need of prior payment. The exceptions are found in Caracol Play of Colombia, in the Brazilian Globosat Play and TVN Nacional de Chile (from outside Chile).  There is neither an intensive exploitation of advertising, absent due to the public character of some broadcasters and very limited in the rest. There is only advertising in the Brazilian networks Globo and SBT, the Mexican Televisa, Canal 13 in Chile, the Argentinean Telefe TV and the Colombian RCN, all private television channels.

There are identified several channels that do not access to their app from Spain and others that, even though the application can be downloaded, it is not possible to access contents or part of them like the live broadcasting. The reason in most cases is due to lack of exploitation rights.

Finally, it is noteworthy that there are no differences by the device operating system iOS or Android used and the access to contents from Spain has limitations. These difficulties of access outside the country hinder the development of an Ibero-American audiovisual space from the perspective of the mobile audience. 

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How to cite this article in bibliographies / References

M J Formoso Barro, M García-Torre, J J Videla Rodríguez (2019): “Morphology and interactivity of the contents in the applications of Latin American television”. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 74, pp. 916 to 936.
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-2019-1364en

Paper received on 29 September. Acepted on 20 April.
Published on 16 May.