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Sub-Saharan pay TV numbers to double

Sub-Sahara Africa. Sudan, in light green, is also classified as North Africa.

Sub-Sahara Africa. Sudan, in light green, is also classified as North Africa.

The number of pay TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will more than double to reach 25.65 million by 2020, according to new stats by Digital TV Research. 

The Digital TV Sub-Saharan Africa Forecasts report claims there were 11.01 million pay TV subscribers in the region at the end of 2013 – of which 8.5 million paid for satellite TV services.

Digital TV Research claims this will climb to 25.65 million pay TV subscribers by 2020, with satellite TV tipped to account for 14.34 million of these, and pay DTT another 8.86 million.

“This reveals the long-term potential for the region, with plenty of growth expected beyond the forecast period. The construction of next generation broadband networks will ensure that satellite TV and DTT will not be the only growth areas,” said Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

In terms of revenue, the Sub-Saharan pay TV market is expected to increase by 69% from US$3.17 billion in 2013 to US$5.35 billion in 2020.Compared to the US$1.80 billion in revenues this pay TV market recorded in 2010, this will mark a three-fold increase over 10 years.

“Satellite TV accounted for nearly all of the 2013 total, but pay DTT will make inroads, contributing US$742 million in 2020. Competition and take-up of the cheaper DTT packages will force ARPU down in most countries,” said the research.

In total, Sub-Sahara Africa is expected to have 68 million TV households – both free and paid – in 2020. Though this is an increase of 20 million households compared to 2013, TV penetration of total households will only reach 38.4% by 2020, according to Digital TV Research.

“This means that there are – and will continue to be – more than 100 million homes without a TV set,” said the report.