Digital TV homes to triple in Sub-Saharan Africa

Digital penetration will exceed half the TV households in Sub-Saharan Africa very soon, according to a new report from Digital TV Research. The Digital TV Sub-Saharan Africa Forecasts report estimates nearly every home will be converted by 2020.

Analog terrestrial switchover will account for much of this growth, with more than two-thirds of TV homes receiving DTT signals by 2020 – up from fewer than a fifth at end-2013. Around 28% of TV households will have satellite dishes (pay and FTA combined) in 2020.

Sub-Saharan Africa will add 20 million TV households between 2013 and 2020 to reach 68 million. However, this means that there are – and will continue to be – more than 100 million homes without a TV set. In fact, TV penetration of total households will only reach 38.4% by 2020.

Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, says: “This reveals the long-term potential for the region, with plenty of growth expected beyond the forecast period. The construction of next generation broadband networks will ensure that satellite TV and DTT will not be the only growth areas.”

Of the 11.01 million pay TV subscribers at end-2013, 8.50 million were pay satellite TV. The pay total will more than double to 25.65 million by 2020, with satellite TV contributing 14.34 million and pay DTT another 8.86 million. South Africa supplied 4.84 million of the 2013 total pay TV subs, and will grow by 2 million to 6.85 million in 2020. Nigeria will triple from 2.12 million in 2013 to 6.15 million in 2020. Excluding the relatively mature market of South Africa, the number of pay satellite TV households will more than double between 2013 and 2020 to 8.17 million.

Sub-Saharan pay TV revenues will reach $5.35 billion in 2020, up by 69% from $3.17 billion in 2013 and triple the $1.80 billion recorded in 2010. Satellite TV accounted for nearly all of the 2013 total, but pay DTT will make inroads (contributing $742 million in 2020). Competition and take-up of the cheaper DTT packages will force ARPU down in most countries.

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