MEA to lead pay-TV growth

Due to rising incomes and greater competition, the pay-TV market in Africa and the Middle East will enjoy the world’s highest growth rate over the next five years, with subscriptions increasing at a CAGR of 13 per cent and total regional pay-TV revenue to almost double 2008 levels by year-end 2013, according to a report from Pyramid Research , the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network.

“Due to limited competition, the difficulty of obtaining content and the lack of an affordable mobile pay-TV platform, pay-TV markets in Africa and the Middle East are currently dominated by a small number of direct-to-home (DTH) operators,” notes Dearbhla McHenry, EMEA senior analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report.

The outlook, however, has recently become much more encouraging. Growth will accelerate significantly as regulatory changes and rising incomes enable new pay-TV entrants to begin tapping the region’s very underpenetrated pay-TV market. “Over the next five years, we expect these positive changes in the market environment to improve pay-TV subscription adoption rates in the region, leading to an overall CAGR of 13 per cent through 2013 and a total of 27.5 million subscriptions by year-end 2013,” says McHenry.”Although infrastructure shortcomings and limited content availability will continue to affect growth in the short term, we expect total regional pay-TV revenue to reach $8 billion by 2013, almost double 2008 levels.”

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