Advanced Television

Demand for new content driving growth of African pay-TV

July 11, 2008

African digital TV consumers are seeking more localised content from the pay-TV industry, and operators are answering the call by developing business models to meet this growing market's demands, according to IMS Research.

Sub-Saharan consumers previously limited to only South African content can now enjoy local programming from other countries because of the rise of new national and pan-regional African pay-TV operators such as HiTV and Gateway. Competition between major DTH operators is resulting in channel line-ups that offer international, country- and language-specific broadcasting to appeal to larger African audiences.

Over the years, African consumers‚ interest in international content has shifted toward a focus on local and national programming. Operators such as Nigeria's HiTV and Trend TV, which are seen as more culturally in touch with the tastes of African TV viewers, have been proactive about marketing local programming. Growth of content production facilities dedicated specifically to native content has made new programming available, and as a result Africans no longer need to rely on European or American programming for entertainment. Interest in sports content in particular influences demand for services such as Gateway‚s GTV, one of the only services authorised to broadcast English Premiere League football in Africa.

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