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African pay TV will double by 2017

The number of pay TV homes in sub-Saharan Africa will double between now and 2017, taking the total to 14.1 million, according to a new report.

Digital TV Research says that the number of homes in the region that receive digital TV will rocket from 25% at end-2011 to 54% by 2017. South Africa will have switched off analogue signals by that point while digital penetration will be much lower throughout the rest of the region.

The demographics in the region are attractive for TV companies with almost the same number of homes as western Europe and increasing prosperity.

Report author Simon Murray said: “Governments are opening up to investment, which involves several pioneering foreign TV players. Populations are growing fast and incomes per capita are on the rise, creating a burgeoning number of middle class consumers.”

The 2017 pay TV total will comprise 8.2 million DTH and 5.2 million DTT homes, according to the report. There will be an additional 11.2 million DTT homes in the region by this time with Nigeria largest single DTT nation with 3.1 million free-to-air and 1.7 million pay DTT homes.