Approximately twelve years ago, broadcasting TV over satellite in Brazil created new market opportunities for Distance Learning (EAD), but with the popularity of video online and streaming media, satellite broadcast for this market is now obsolete.

Education based companies that prepare students for Cursos para concursos públicos, and Exame da OAB are the largest users of satellite classes in Brazil.

The satellite broadcast method of transmitting classes to remote locations, TELEPRESENCIAL education, became popular through the local franchising model. It was implemented to allow those institutions to reach more students over a broader geographic distance. Classes are broadcast via satellite to the franchise offices where students watch the content as a group, in a classroom, in real time.

About seven years ago, these educational institutions introduced a hybrid model that combined broadcast satellite with video on demand.  The benefit of this hybrid was its flexibility.  It allowed these institutions to repurpose their content and make money with smaller audiences. Ultimately, the dependence on satellite became unnecessary.

As streaming technologies evolve, and with faster connections, and wider coverage, companies like You Tube, Netflix, and Amazon modified their business models and changed the viewing habits of their users.  Users migrated from TV to mobile devices, and computers to watch video content. Additionally, viewers now have the power to watch what they want, when they want and where they want. The new internet-based video cut the umbilical cord that connected student users to the satellite.  However, users are not disconnecting from the franchise offices, like Starbuck’s, franchise offices offer users a comfortable space to watch the videos on demand, chat about courses, and socialize with peers. Scientific evidence supports that group settings contribute to the acquisition of knowledge and stimulates learning.

Satellite based telepresencial education is doomed because it is much more expensive than video on demand, lacks interactivity, and it does not meet the user’s needs or the changes in the consumer’s viewing habits.