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Sub-Saharan pay TV set to boom

The number of pay TV customers in Sub-Saharan Africa will almost double between 2016 and 2022, according to new research.

Simon_MurrayA Digital TV Research report claims that the total will climb from 19.47 million pay TV subscribers across 35 countries at the end of 2016 to 36.72 million by 2022, with the proportion of pay DTT households increasing over this period.

According to the study, there were 12.14 million satellite TV and 6.76 million pay DTT homes in Sub-Saharan Africa last year. This is tipped to reach 18.36 million satellite and 15.84 million pay DTT homes in 2022.

By operator, Multichoice is predicted to remain the biggest pay TV player in the region, though its market share will drop as StarTimes makes up more ground. Vivendi’s marketshare is expected to stay roughly flat in the years to 2022.

Multichoice had 11.61 million subscribers across its satellite TV platform DStv and DTT platform GOtv at the end-2016, which is expected to grow to 17.66 million by 2022. This means its marketshare will decrease from 59.6% in 2016 to 48.1% in 2022.

StarTimes and its StarSat satellite offering, meanwhile, is tipped to grow from 4.18 million subscribers at end-2016 to 10.61 million by 2022 – increasing its marketshare from 21.5% in 2016 to 28.9% in 2022.

Vivendi had 2.32 million subs to its Canal Plus satellite TV platform and Easy TV at the end of 2016. According to the research, this will climb to 4.32 million by 2022 meaning its total market share will go from 11.9% in 2016 to 11.8% in 2022.

“With a limited number of DTT licenses on offer, StarTimes is focusing more on its satellite TV operations, which is disrupting the sector. StarSat is much cheaper than DStv and Canal Plus and not that much more expensive than pay DTT,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

Total Sub-Saharan pay TV revenues are expected to climb from US$4.20 billion in 2016 to US$6.59 billion in 2022, with South Africa and Nigeria contributing nearly half of the region’s pay TV revenues by then.

Satellite TV accounted for 87% of 2016’s pay TV revenues, but this proportion is expected to fall to 78% by 2022. By contrast, pay DTT will climb from 11% of the total in 2016 to 18% by 2022.