Pay-TV in the African market set to hit US$6bn

The revenue of African pay TV stood at US$4.4 billion in 2016. This is however forecasted to reach US$6 billion by 2021 reports IT Web Africa.

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According to market research firm Dataxis, Africa’s pay-TV subscribers stood at approximately 18.7 million in 2016, which represents an increase of approximately two million subscribers compared to the 2015. Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) is the fastest growing platform, up 31% from 1.7 million to 2.2 million and increasing its overall market share from 13% in Q2 2014 to 14% in Q2 2015. Approximately 22% of all new subscriptions over the period were to DTT platforms.

Dataxis research also reports an IPTV subscriptions increase 24% from 250 000 to 310 000, with Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Services (MMDS) up 10% to 460 000 and cable seeing just 4% growth to 270 000. The team has rolled out a new TV tracker product for Sub-Saharan Africa. The service provides quarterly reporting of the pay and distribution statistics for all TV channels active in the region. More than 1 000 channels were analysed and 25% of the channels are generalists, 19% are movies and fiction, and 9% represent sport channels.

Regarding the DTT migration process, the full transition is still far from completed, says Dataxis. One of the main issues is distribution of millions of DTT set-top boxes (STBs) to low income households, with associated industrial policies that are leading to further delays, it notes.

Dataxis predicts the DTT process should be completed in Sub-Saharan African by 2021. After missing the 2015 digital migration deadline for countries to migrate from analogue to DTT, SA subsequently began the registration process for STBs required to transmit digital signals.

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