The number of pay TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase by 74 per cent between 2017 and 2023 to reach 40.89 million.
However, the Sub-Saharan Africa Pay TV Forecasts report estimates that subscriber growth will outstrip revenue progress. Pay TV revenues will climb by 41 per cent to $6.64 billion by 2023, up by $2 billion in 2017.
Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, explained: “Pay TV competition in Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming more and more intense, especially given the launch of Kwese TV in 14 countries during 2017.”
Murray continued: “Pay TV operators in most countries have lowered subscription fees and/or subsidised/given away equipment as competition intensifies. By no means are all of the existing pay TV platforms are expected to survive in the long run. Having said that, several pay TV operators are booming.”
Kenya will continue to show considerable digital TV growth, but it is overcrowded. Kenya now boasts two pay DTT platforms, a cable network and five main satellite TV operators – too many for a country with only 4.01 million TV households.
From the 23.49 million pay TV subscribers at end-2017, 13.78 million were satellite TV and 9.11 million DTT. By 2023, satellite TV will contribute 20.89 million and DTT 17.53 million. This means an extra 7 million pay satellite TV subscribers and 8 million pay DTT homes.
Nigeria will have the most pay TV subscribers by 2023 – having overtaken South Africa in 2021. The top eight countries will supply three-quarters of the total in 2023.
Multichoice had 12.48 million subs across satellite TV platform DStv and DTT platform GOtv by end-2017, which will grow to 16.66 million by 2023. France’s Vivendi had 2.96 million subs to its Canal Plus satellite TV platform and Easy TV by end-2017; forecast to climb by nearly 2 million to 4.87 million by 2023.
StarTimes/StarSat will enjoy the most impressive growth: from 6.23 million subs at end-2017 to 13.42 million by 2023 – growing from half the Multichoice total in 2017 to 81 per cent of its total by 2023.