Advanced Television

Africa to add 17.4m pay-TV subs

January 8, 2018

The number of pay-TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will increase by 74 per cent between 2017 and 2023 to reach 40.89 million. However, the Sub-Saharan Africa Pay-TV Forecasts report from Digital TV Research estimates that subscriber growth will outstrip revenue progress. Pay-TV revenues will climb by 41 per cent to $6.64 billion (€5.52bn) by 2023, up by $2 billion on 2017.

“Pay-TV competition in Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming more and more intense, especially given the launch of Kwese TV in 14 countries during 2017,” explained Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research. “Pay-TV operators in most countries have lowered subscription fees and/or subsidised/given away equipment as competition intensifies. By no means are all of the existing pay-TV platforms are expected to survive in the long run. Having said that, several pay-TV operators are booming.”

Kenya will continue to show considerable digital TV growth, but it is overcrowded. Kenya now boasts two pay DTT platforms, a cable network and five main satellite TV operators – too many for a country with only 4.01 million TV households.

From the 23.49 million pay-TV subscribers at end-2017, 13.78 million were satellite TV and 9.11 million DTT. By 2023, satellite TV will contribute 20.89 million and DTT 17.53 million. This means an extra 7 million pay satellite TV subscribers and 8 million pay DTT homes.

Nigeria will have the most pay-TV subscribers by 2023 – having overtaken South Africa in 2021. The top eight countries will supply three-quarters of the total in 2023.

Multichoice had 12.48 million subs across satellite TV platform DStv and DTT platform GOtv by end-2017, which will grow to 16.66 million by 2023. France’s Vivendi had 2.96 million subs to its Canal Plus satellite TV platform and Easy TV by end-2017; forecast to climb by nearly 2 million to 4.87 million by 2023.

StarTimes/StarSat will enjoy the most impressive growth: from 6.23 million subs at end-2017 to 13.42 million by 2023 – growing from half the Multichoice total in 2017 to 81 per cent of its total by 2023.

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