Middle East TV downgraded

Digital TV Research has downgraded its pay TV revenue forecast for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by US$1 billion.

Simon MurrayThe research firm now predicts that MENA pay TV revenues will reach US$4 billion in 2021, down from an earlier forecast of US$5 billion.

“Along with long-running conflicts and slower economic growth, several countries – notably Turkey and Egypt – have suffered substantial currency devaluation,” said Digital TV Research principal analyst, Simon Murray (pictured).

Turkey experienced the largest downgrade, with Digital TV Research cutting US$361 million from its 2021 pay TV revenue forecast.

Israel came next with a decrease of US$220 million, with the report noting that this market in particular is seeing over-the-top services compete with traditional pay TV operators.

The UAE came next with a US$174 million cut in estimated revenues, while Saudi Arabia will suffer an estimated US$149 million drop.

Overall, Digital TV Research said that Turkey, Israel, the UAE and Saudi Arabia will account for 90% of the revenue shortfall between its last two Middle East and North Africa pay TV forecasts.

However, Murray said: “It’s not all bad news, with Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE enjoying good growth.”

By 2022, the research claims that MENA pay TV revenues will reach US$4.12 billion, while the number of pay TV homes will hit 19.52 million.

The number of TV households that paid for TV signals in 2016 was 18.7%. This is tipped to grow to 22.2% by 2022. Meanwhile, Digiturk is expected to remain the region’s largest pay TV operator in terms of subscribers.

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