Number of African pay TV customers to double by 2021

satelliteThe total number of pay TV customers in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to more than double by 2021, according to new research.

The Research and Markets study said that there were 16.9 million pay TV subscribers in the region at the end of 2015 – 10.66 million pay satellite customers and 5.64 million pay digital terrestrial television (DTT) subscribers.

This figure is expected to climb to 33.23 million by 2021, with satellite TV contributing 15.88 million and pay DTT another 14.85 million.

“DTT will challenge satellite as the top pay TV platform by 2021. In fact, satellite TV will only grow from 19.3% of TV households in 2015 to 21.2% by 2021, whereas pay DTT will rocket from 10.2% to 19.9% over the same period,” according to the report.

The study said that some 36.2 million TV homes in Sub-Saharan Africa, nearly two thirds of television households, took digital TV signals by the end of 2015.

By the end of last year, complete digital switchover was achieved in six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa –Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Research and Markets predicts this figure will climb to 11 countries by the end of 2016, with digital TV penetration set to reach 99.9% in 35 forecast countries by 2021.

“About two-thirds (50.95 million) of TV households will take DTT (pay and free-to-air combined) as their primary TV signal in 2021, up from only 1.4% (0.59 million) at end-2010. By 2021, 14.85 million – nearly a fifth of TV households – will be primary pay DTT and 36.10 million free-to-air DTT (or 48.3% of TV homes),” said the report.

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