The number of pay-TV subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to increase by 74 percent between 2017 and 2023 to reach 40.89 million, according to Digital TV Research.
Yet the firm’s Sub-Saharan Africa Pay TV Forecasts report estimates that subscriber growth will outstrip revenue progress. Pay-TV revenues will increase by 41 percent to $6.64 billion by 2023, up by $2 billion from 2017. Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, explained: “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.”
He continued: “Pay-TV operators in most countries have lowered subscription fees and/or subsidized/given away equipment as competition intensifies. By no means are all of the existing pay-TV platforms expected to survive in the long run. Having said that, several pay-TV operators are booming.”
Kenya, in particular, will continue to show healthy 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, the report said. 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.
From the 23.49 million pay-TV subs 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.