MENA Pay TV market to grow 59% by 2014

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 

Orbit and Showtime merger means MENA pay TV sector will now be run as a viable commercial business

Informa Telecoms and Media forecasts that the pay TV market in the Middle East and North Africa will grow from 6.9 million subscribers at the end of 2008 to 11 million by end 2014. Although over 60% of these subscribers are based in Turkey and Israel, increasing growth levels in other countries in the region highlight that the sector is developing strongly.

Pay TV in the region has been bolstered by the confirmation of Orbit and Showtime’s merger, which will increase their chances of competing with pan-regional subscriber leader ART and will act to make the sector more financially stable.

Orbit and Showtime’s merger will see them have a combined pay TV subscriber base in excess of 600,000, giving it an 8.9% share of the regional total. Post-merger Orbit/Showtime has become the 4th largest pay TV player in the region, just behind ART.

“The merger of Orbit and Showtime is a major step in the right direction. Both have been investing heavily in content rights and this consolidation should help them to exploit those assets more effectively. Up until now the pay TV sector in the region has, to a large extent, relied on heavyweight financial backers to prop up ineffective business models. This deal provides a strong indication that those days are over and that the pay TV sector will now be run as a viable commercial business.” Says Adam Thomas, Media Research Manager, Informa Telecoms & Media.