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Digital TV to reach 20M homes in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020

08 January 2014, 12:20

Nairobi - Sub-Saharan Africa will add 20 million TV households between 2013 and 2020 to reach 68 million, a new report from Digital TV Research published on Tuesday forecasts.

However, this means that there are – and will continue to be – more than 100 million homes without a TV set and TV penetration of total households will only reach 38.4 percent by 2020.

The Digital TV Sub-Saharan Africa Forecasts report also projects digital penetration will exceed half the TV households in Sub-Saharan Africa very soon, noting that nearly every home will be converted by 2020.

"This reveals the long-term potential for the region, with plenty of growth expected beyond the forecast period," Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said in a statement.

"The construction of next generation broadband networks will ensure that satellite TV and DTT will not be the only growth areas. "

According to the report, analog terrestrial switchover will account for much of this growth, with more than two-thirds of TV homes receiving DTT signals by 2020 - up from fewer than a fifth at end-2013.

Around 28 percent of TV households will have satellite dishes (pay and FTA combined) in 2020.

Satellite TV accounted for nearly the entire 2013 total, but pay DTT will make inroads (contributing 742 million dollars in 2020). Competition and take-up of the cheaper DTT packages will force ARPU down in most countries.

The report comes after the High Court suspended the analogue broadcasting signal switch off for Nairobi and its environs has been put on hold, at least for 45 days pending the hearing and determination of an appeal by three media houses.

The media houses; Nation Media Group, the Standard Group and the Royal Media Services, moved to the Court of Appeal seeking orders to stop the switch off after the High Court dismissed their petition.

A three judge bench led by Justice Kihara Kariuki subsequently instructed the Communications Commission of Kenya and the ICT ministry to reinstate analogue broadcasting until Feb. 6 when the appeal will be heard.

On Dec. 26, 2013 analogue signals were switched off in Nairobi and its environs following a High Court ruling on Dec. 23, 2013 that dismissed a petition seeking to stop the process.

The High Court had found no reasonable ground to halt the switch off as the petitioners had failed to convince the court that the process was unconstitutional.

According to the study, Sub-Saharan pay TV revenues will reach 5.35 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, up by 69 percent from 3.17 billion dollars in 2013 and triple the 1.80 billion dollars recorded in 2010.

According to the report, of the 11.01 million pay TV subscribers at end-2013, 8.50 million were pay satellite TV. The pay total will more than double to 25.65 million by 2020, with satellite TV contributing 14.34 million and pay DTT another 8.86 million.

The report found that South Africa supplied 4.84 million of the 2013 total pay TV subs, and will grow by 2 million to 6.85 million in 2020.

Nigeria will triple from 2.12 million in 2013 to 6.15 million in 2020. Excluding the relatively mature market of South Africa, the number of pay satellite TV households will more than double between 2013 and 2020 to 8.17 million.

- Xinhua


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