Pan-African pay TV platforms set to boom

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015
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African operators lead regional pay TV surge

Pan-African pay TV platforms are set to boom, according to a new report from Digital TV Research. According to the Eastern Europe Middle East & Africa Pay TV Operator Forecasts report, pay DTT platform GOtv will gain 5.84 million subs between 2014 and 2020 to reach 7.50 million – more than quadruple its 2014 total. Rival StarTimes will experience similar growth to climb by 4.39 million. GOtv’s sister operator and satellite TV platform DStv will gain 4.32 million subs and satellite TV platform Canal Plus 1.34 million.

The Pan-Arab satellite TV services will also add subs, with beIN Sports up by 768,000 and OSN by 630,000. Other big strides will take place in Russia, with Tricolor up by 2,473,000, Orion by 910,000 and Rostelcom by 873,000. Liberty Global will add 869,000 subs in Central and Eastern Europe.

Top five EEMEA pay TV operators by subscribers (000)

                                   2014                            2020
								 ------                          ------
Tricolor (Russia)                10,919  Tricolor (Russia)       13,392
Rostelecom (Russia)               7,966  DStv (pan-Africa)       12,055
DStv (pan-Africa)                 7,740  Rostelecom (Russia)      8,839
Liberty Global (Eastern Europe)   4,122  GOtv (pan-Africa)        7,498
Cyfra Polsat (Poland)             3,539  StarTimes (pan-Africa)   6,131

Source: Digital TV Research

Tricolor, Russia’s low-cost satellite TV platform, will remain the largest pay TV operator by subscribers. Pan-African DStv will climb to second place; rocketing by 56% to 12.06 million subs. Sister company GOtv will occupy fourth place by 2020. Rival StarTimes will also show strong growth.

Pay TV subscriptions for the 112 operators across 33 territories covered in the report will nearly double from a collective 56.5 million in 2010 to 102.1 million by 2020. Covering 182 platforms, these operators represent more than 90% of the region’s pay TV subscribers.

However, not all of the operators will add subscribers, with 14 expected to decrease between 2014 and 2020. Romania’s RCS-RDS will lose 477,000 TV subs between 2014 and 2020, followed by pan-Arab ART (down 293,000) and Hungary’s Digi TV (down by 88,000 subs).

Top five EEMEA pay TV operators by subscription & VOD revenues ($ million)

                                   2014                                    2020
								 ------                                  ------
DStv (pan-Africa)                 2,718  DStv (pan-Africa)                3,963
Liberty Global (Eastern Europe)   1,629  Liberty Global (Eastern Europe)  1,982
Digiturk (Turkey)                 1,020  Digiturk (Turkey)                1,081
Cyfra Polsat (Poland)               586  Canal Plus (pan-Africa)            958
OSN (pan-Arab)                      579  OSN (pan-Arab)                     903

Source: Digital TV Research

Total subscription and VOD revenues for the 112 operators will nearly double between 2010 and 2020 to almost $15 billion. DStv will remain the wealthiest operator over the forecast period, followed by Liberty Global. However, Russia’s Tricolor, the largest pay TV operator by subscribers, does not even make it into the top 10 operators by revenues.

DStv will also be the biggest winner; increasing revenues by $1,246 million between 2014 and 2020. Sister company GOtv will follow by adding $545 million. More African growth will come from Canal Plus (up $484 million). Pan-Arab beIN will climb by $443 million.

These revenues are for subscriptions and VOD only, and therefore do not include other revenues such as broadband, telephony, advertising, equipment sales and rental, etc.