Piracy clampdown boosts Middle East & North Africa pay TV revenues

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 
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The number of pay TV homes in the Middle East and North Africa will double between 2011 and 2018 to 16.0 million, according to a new report from Digital TV Research. The third edition of the Digital TV Middle East and North Africa report forecasts that fewer than 15% of TV households (analog and digital) legitimately paid for TV signals by end-2012. This proportion will climb to 21.6% by 2018.

Split of pay TV subscribers by country in 2018 (000s)

Turkey    9,160
Israel    1,740
Egypt     1,739
S Arabia  1,103
UAE         575
Other     1,708

Source: Digital TV Research Ltd

Report author Simon Murray said: “Legitimate pay TV revenues [for the 16 countries covered in the report] will grow by more than 42% between 2012 and 2018 to $4.76 billion. Turkey accounts for more than half of the total.”

DTH will continue to dominate pay TV revenues, taking 71% of the 2018 total (similar to the 2012 proportion). DTH revenues will be $3.39 billion in 2018, up by more than $1 billion on 2012 and more than double the 2008 total. Turkey will account for $1,952 million of the 2018 total (almost quadruple its 2008 total). Regional pay DTH penetration will gradually climb from 6.2% in 2008 to 13.7% in 2018, with subscriber numbers rocketing from 3.9 million to 10.1 million.

Middle East and North Africa pay TV revenues (US$ mil.)

                   2008   2012   2018
                  -----  -----  -----
DTH               1,564  2,357  3,394
Digital cable TV    552    652    684
Analog cable TV     332    167      1
IPTV                 29    156    644
DTT                   -      -     38

Source: Digital TV Research Ltd

The number of homes paying for IPTV will overtake cable subs in 2016. Turkey and Egypt will be the leaders in terms of IPTV subscribers in 2018, although penetration will be higher in Cyprus (32%), Qatar (37%) and the UAE (46%). IPTV revenues will more than quadruple between 2012 and 2018 – to $644 million.

ATT penetration is falling – from 35.6% of the total in 2008 to 27.6% (18.5 million) by end-2012. Conversion will gather pace, though 9.6% of homes (7.1 million) will still receive ATT signals by 2018. Most of the ATT homes will be in Egypt (6.5 million) by 2018.

FTA DTT will be the main beneficiary of the converting homes; increasing from 1.75 million homes (2.6% TV household penetration) at end-2012 to 11.70 million (15.8%) by 2018.

Digital TV penetration for the 16 Middle East and North African countries forecast in this report will almost reach three-quarters of TV households by end-2013 (50.2 million) – up from two-thirds by end-2010 (43.4 million). Digital TV penetration will exceed 90% of TV households by 2018 (66.9 million). More than 54% of TV households watch free-to-air DTH signals.

The above forecasts are based on the 16 most advanced countries in the region, which collectively represent 67 million TV households. However, there are 104 million TV households across 31 countries in the whole region – a figure that will grow to 115 million by 2017. Major countries outside those that we have undertaken full forecasts for – that have longer term potential – include Iran (11 million TV households), Afghanistan (4.4 million TV households), Iraq (4.8 million TV households) and Uzbekistan (4.1 million TV households).

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