Africa’s pay-TV subscriptions hit 23.7m


The total number of pay-TV subscribers in Africa has reached approximately 23.7 million.This is according to a report by market analyst firm Dataxis, which notes this represents quarter-on-quarter growth of 2%, and year-on-year growth of 18%, compared to the second quarter of 2016.

Among the subscribers, 70% receive television through satellite, said Dataxis. Direct-to-home is confirmed as the main mode of TV reception across the African continent, followed by digital terrestrial television (DTT) access with 24% of the market share. DTT is still being implemented and developed in several important African countries and Dataxis predicts this will allow DTT operators to gain new customers in the years to come.

Dataxis points out African pay-TV remains highly concentrated, with Naspers dominating both in terms of subscribers and revenues.However, it notes the arrival of Kwesé, a subsidiary of Econet Media, is expected to increase competition in Africa.

“The satellite operator MultiChoice, owned by Naspers, has been the key player in the Anglophone Africa pay-TV market since its launch. However, the new entrant of the year, Econet Media/Kwesé, along with in particular further deployments by StarTimes, will change this configuration,” says Pascal Orhan, chief analyst at Dataxis.

According to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, the pay-TV, video-on-demand (VOD) and Internet Protocol television services market is growing rapidly as significant Internet penetration and smartphone adoption in Africa alter the manner in which consumers view content.

It points out that MultiChoice DStv and GOtv, and StarTimes are among the leading pan-African pay-TV operators, while IROKOtv, ShowMax and Netflix lead the VOD space. Despite DStv’s dominance, SA has the most developed pay-TV market, whereas triple-play services are more developed in Kenya.

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