Reflecting a regional vibrancy evident to anyone that attended AfricaCast (henceforth TV Connect Africa) in 2014, pay-TV revenues in Sub-Saharan Africa are expected to reach $6.22 billion in 2020, up from $3.54 billion in 2014 and $1.92 billion in 2010,
The figures are the result of a new report from Digital TV Research. Excluding South Africa, pay-TV revenues will climb from $0.83 billion in 2010 to $1.73 billion in 2014 and onto $4.12 billion in 2020.
The fourth edition of the Digital TV Sub-Saharan Africa report forecasts that South Africa and Nigeria will contribute more than half of the region’s pay TV revenues by 2020 for the 34 countries covered. Second-placed Nigeria will more than double its revenues from $449 million in 2014 to $1,148 million in 2020.
Satellite TV accounted for 92% of the 2014 pay TV revenues, although pay DTT will make inroads (contributing $802 million in 2020 – quadruple the 2014 total). Competition and take-up of the cheaper DTT packages will force ARPU down in most countries.
Of the 12.92 million pay TV subscribers at end-2014, 9.65 million were pay satellite TV and 2.81 million pay DTT. The pay total will more than double to 27.95 million by 2020, with satellite TV contributing 16.21 million and pay DTT another 9.44 million.
“Three companies [Multichoice (DStv and GOtv), Canal Plus and StarTimes] accounted for more than 90% of pay TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa by end-2014,” comments Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research. “However, we have outlined plans for at least 30 major platform launches in 2015 throughout this report – at least twice as many as in 2014.”
He went on: “Kenya has shown – and will continue to show – considerable digital TV growth, but it may be showing signs of overheating. Kenya now boasts two pay DTT platforms, a cable network and four satellite TV operators – too many for a country with only 2.87 million TV households?”