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Pay TV subs in Africa to grow by 17 million

Pay TV is set to continue its growth in Africa.

According to new estimates from Digital TV Research, the number of pay TV subscribers will increase to 47.26 million by 2025, up from  30.7 million. This represents a growth of 54%.

Nigeria will be the largest individual market with 10 million pay TV subscribers by 2025. The country is estimated to overtake South Africa this year.

Despite this large growth, revenue growth will be more muted – only at 31% – to reach US$7.2 billion by 2025. This indicates that while more people will be paying for their TV, the competitive nature of the market among operators.

Three operators currently dominate the sub-Saharan market – Mulitchoice’s DStv, StarTimes/StarSat and Vivendi’s Canal+ – making up 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.”