Africa pay TV subscribers to reach 30 million in 2021


Africa Pay TV subscribers will reach 30 million in 2021, up from 16 million in 2015, according to the latest data published by Dataxis. Digital satellite Pay TV subscribers for 2021 is expected to arrive at 20 million compared to 8 million for digital terrestrial pay TV subscribers.

Dataxis estimates that TV households which stand at 114 million in 2015 will reach 159 million in 2021 and is still too low for the total population in Africa. The low TV penetration rate is attributed to various socio and economic factors that hinder the adoption of television.

Priscilla Tirvengadum, research analyst at Dataxis Africa, said: “Despite advances, statistics show that Africa still has a long way to go in terms of household TV penetration. This low rate is explained mainly by lack of basic economic infrastructures like electricity. Moreover, poverty in developing African countries make it impossible for its citizens to afford for television sets.”

According to Dataxis research, English speaking African countries will continue to add pay TV subscribers compared to Francophone Africa. Total pay TV subscribers in Anglophone countries which is estimated to 10 million in 2015 will double in 2021 compared to 3.5 million subscribers in 2015 for French speaking countries and is expected to reach 6 million in 2021. Satellite pay TV subscribers accounted for English speaking countries stands at 8 million in 2015 will reach 12 million in 2021 compared to 2 million in 2015 to arrive at 6.5 million in 2021 for French speaking countries. MultiChoice remain the dominant pay TV operator followed by StarTimes and Zuku.

“The satellite operator MultiChoice, owned by Naspers Limited has been the key player in Anglophone Africa pay TV market since its launch in 1995. Despite facing competition from StarTimes and Zuku, MultiChoice continues to add new content and innovative services to maintain its appeal,” said Tirvengadum.

On the other hand, for French speaking countries, satellite pay TV subscribers is also driving the figures with Canal Plus Overseas being the dominant operator. Out of the estimated 3.5 million total analogue and digital pay TV subscribers in 2015, 2.8 million were pay satellite and this figure is forecast to reach at 5 million in 2021.

“The rollout of digital terrestrial TV (DTT) in Africa will increase competition in the digital pay TV landscape. In this context, both subscriber numbers and pay TV revenues will continue to grow at an impressive rate in the next five years. In addition, to cater for low income TV households, MultiChoice offers a low-cost digital terrestrial services via its GOtv brand,” she added.

Total pay TV revenue which is estimated to be US$ 4 billion in 2015 is expected to climb to US$ 6 billion in 2021, with pay DTH revenue contributing up to US$ 5 billion. Digital migration, competition and cheaper DTT packages will bring ARPU down in most African countries.

All these forecast results will be debated at NexTV CEO Africa 2016 on 29 and 30 September 2016 at the Hilton Resort in Mauritius which is organized by Dataxis. The objective of the two-day event is to focus on the changing trends of TV/Telco business and new platforms/services in Africa. The conference will bring together more than 100 CEOs and high profile speakers of TV and Telco Business in Africa.

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Chanelle Ellaya is the editor of Screen Africa. She completed her BA Journalism degree at the University of Johannesburg in 2011. While writing is her passion, she has a keen interest in the media in various capacities. Chanelle is an avid social media networker and a firm believer in the power of social and online networking. Between writing and tweeting, she finds time to feed her love for live music.


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