Africa poised for surging pay TV subs growth but revenues will be more muted

Pay TV will continue its growth in Africa with subscriber numbers set to increase to 47.26 million by 2025, according to recently revealed research.

The figure is up from 30.7 million at present, representing growth of 54%, with Nigeria set to be the largest individual market with 10 million subscribers by 2025. The country is estimated to overtake South Africa this year.

However, according to the Digital TV Research report, revenue growth will be more muted – at 31% – to reach US$7.2bn by 2025. This indicates that although more people will be paying for their TV, the competitive nature of the market among operators is set to remain.

Three operators currently dominate the sub-Saharan market – Mulitchoice’s DStv, StarTimes/StarSat and Vivendi’s Canal+ – accounting for 93% of subscribers. This stranglehold is set to weaken slightly by 2025, dropping down to 88%.

Multichoice will see numbers grow from 14.56 million to 18.05 million, while Canal+ will see a significant increase to 7.35 million from 4.73 million. The report says that StarTimes/StarSat will see the largest growth from 9.1 million subscribers to 16.39 million.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Despite the strong subscriber growth, competition is intense. Prices and ARPUs are falling as rivals fight to gain subscribers.”

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