Piracy clampdown boosts MENA pay-TV revenues

The number of pay TV homes in the Middle East and North Africa will double between 2011 and 2018 to 16.0 million, according to a report from Digital TV Research.

The report forecasts that fewer than 15 per cent of TV households (analogue and digital) legitimately paid for TV signals by end-2012. This proportion will climb to 21.6 per cent by 2018.

Report author Simon Murray said: “Legitimate pay TV revenues [for the 16 countries covered in the report] will grow by more than 42 per cent between 2012 and 2018 to $4.76 billion. Turkey accounts for more than half of the total.”
DTH will continue to dominate pay TV revenues, taking 71 per cent of the 2018 total (similar to the 2012 proportion). DTH revenues will be $3.39 billion in 2018, up by more than $1 billion on 2012 and more than double the 2008 total. Turkey will account for $1,952 million of the 2018 total (almost quadruple its 2008 total). Regional pay DTH penetration will gradually climb from 6.2 per cent in 2008 to 13.7 per cent in 2018, with subscriber numbers rocketing from 3.9 million to 10.1 million.

The number of homes paying for IPTV will overtake cable subs in 2016. Turkey and Egypt will be the leaders in terms of IPTV subscribers in 2018, although penetration will be higher in Cyprus (32 per cent), Qatar (37 per cent) and the UAE (46 per cent). IPTV revenues will more than quadruple between 2012 and 2018 – to $644 million.

ATT penetration is falling – from 35.6 per cent of the total in 2008 to 27.6 per cent (18.5 million) by end-2012. Conversion will gather pace, though 9.6 per cent of homes (7.1 million) will still receive ATT signals by 2018. Most of the ATT homes will be in Egypt (6.5 million) by 2018.

FTA DTT will be the main beneficiary of the converting homes; increasing from 1.75 million homes (2.6 per cent TV household penetration) at end-2012 to 11.70 million (15.8 per cent) by 2018.

Digital TV penetration for the 16 Middle East and North African countries forecast in the report will almost reach three-quarters of TV households by end-2013 (50.2 million) – up from two-thirds by end-2010 (43.4 million). Digital TV penetration will exceed 90 per cent of TV households by 2018 (66.9 million). More than 54 per cent of TV households watch free-to-air DTH signals.

The forecasts are based on the 16 most advanced countries in the region, which collectively represent 67 million TV households. However, there are 104 million TV households across 31 countries in the whole region – a figure that will grow to 115 million by 2017. Major countries outside those that we have undertaken full forecasts for – that have longer term potential – include Iran (11 million TV households), Afghanistan (4.4 million TV households), Iraq (4.8 million TV households) and Uzbekistan (4.1 million TV households).

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