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Analyst downgrades MENA pay-TV revenue forecasts

Pay-TV revenues for the 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa covered in the new edition of the Middle East and North Africa Pay TV Forecasts report from Digital TV Research will reach $4 billion in 2021 – down from $5 billion forecast in the last edition.

Turkish pay-TV revenue forecasts for 2021 are down $361 million (€336m) on the last edition, with Israel falling by $220 million, the UAE $174 million and Saudi Arabia $149 million. So, these four countries will account for 90 per cent of the revenue shortfall between the two editions.

According to Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, along with long-running conflicts and slower economic growth, several countries (notably Turkey and Egypt) have suffered substantial currency devaluation. OTT is creating competition to traditional pay-TV operators, especially in Israel. It’s not all bad news, with Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE enjoying good growth,” he advised.

Legitimate pay-TV revenues will reach $4.12 billion by 2022, up by 17 per cent from $3.52 billion in 2016. Five countries will contribute more than three-quarters of the region’s pay-TV revenues in 2022.

The number of pay-TV homes will increase by nearly 5 million between 2015 and 2022 to 19.52 million. About 18.7 per cent of TV households paid for TV signals by end-2016, which will climb to 22.2 per cent by 2022.

Digiturk will remain the region’s pay-TV operator leader in subscriber terms – by some distance. Second-placed beIN formally acquired Digiturk in September 2016.

beIN is forecast to have 1.67 million satellite TV subscribers by 2022 – ahead of OSN’s 1.50 million [so excluding subscribers to their channels on other platforms such as IPTV and cable]. beIN will overtake OSN in 2019.

However, OSN is the largest pay-TV operator when measured in revenue terms. OSN’s packages are expensive even compared with the most developed countries.

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