Exciting times for digital TV in Sub-Saharan Africa

The digital TV revolution has well and truly arrived in Sub-Saharan Africa, with penetration set to increase from just over a third (35.3%) of TV homes at the end of 2012 to 95.5% by 2018, according to Digital TV Research.

Full digital transition is expected to have been completed in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia by the end of 2015. As a result of all this growth, digital TV households look set to quadruple over the same period to reach 49mn by the end of 2018.

Report author Simon Murray said: “Even we have been surprised by the pace of change and progress in the region’s television market in the year since the last edition of this report. These are exciting times for Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Two-thirds of television homes are expected to take DTT in 2018, up from only 11.7% at end-2012, and representing 33.8mn DTT homes by 2018 – of which 25.7mn will be free-to-air and 8mn pay. This is up from 4.6mn in total at the end of last year.

Of the 9.26mn pay-TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa at the end of last year, 79% were for pay DTH. The pay total is expected to double to 20.39mn by 2018, while pay-TV penetration of television households will grow from 23.3% in 2012 to 39.8% in 2018.

Sub-Saharan pay-TV revenues are forecast to reach US$ 4.62bn in 2018, up from US$ 2.88bn in 2012. South Africa will remain the dominant pay TV revenue generator through the forecast period, although its share of the total is expected to fall from 61% in 2012 to 47% in 2018.

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