Digital migration: SSA’s PayTv revenue to hit $5.35b by 2020

Digital switchoverFROM the current 11 million PayTv subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, among others, growth in subscriber base is expected to reach 26.65 million, with revenue increasing from $3.17 billion to $5.35 billion by 2020.

In a latest report of Digital Television Forecast in Sub-Sahara Africa released by Digital Television Study in England, made available to journalists, at the 5th edition of the yearly African Digital TV Development Seminar, organized by StarTimes Group, in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, digital television household penetration in SSA is expected to soon exceed 50 per cent and it is estimated that digital migration will reach almost every family by 2020.

The report noted that 20 million television households will appear in Sub-Sahara during the period of 2013 to 2020, which means there is still 100 million households without televisions.

According to it, television household penetration will reach only 38.4 per cent by 2020, which is seen as the long-term potential in this area by the Chief Analyst of Digital Television Study, SemonTay.

“By the end of 2013, there had been 11 million subscribers of Pay-TV, among which 8.5 million users had opted for satellite television. By 2020, the number will reach 26.65 million. Pay-TV revenue in Sub-Sahara is $3.17 billion, estimated to increase by 69 per cent to $5.35 billion by 2020”, it stated.

According to the agreement between Africa and ITU in 2006, Africa is supposed to carry out digital migration by June 2015, which means a higher clarity of TV programs with quality approaching Full HD Definition 1080P, and more diversity in television content.

Permanent Secretary of News and Communication Service Department of Zambia, Musarra Bert, stated that they were cooperating with StarTimes to ensure that transmission stations would be built in 10 provincial capitals by the beginning of next year.

He noted: “China is helping Africa in the digital broadcasting and transmission technology, which means a great deal to us. China has got abundant experience in digital television, and Africa should do its part.”

Earlier in the conference, the President of Startimes Group, Xinxing Pang, who said China has achieved migration, described digitalization as an irresistible trend, stressing that the process is about clear image on television and more convenient services that appeal to customer experience. According to him, China will always be ready to assist countries that are ready.

“China started in 2003 and began a real development around it in 2008 with about 300 million digital television subscriptions. We believe the process will get to everywhere including the rural areas. China has achieved that.

“This is an information age and no country should be left behind in the train of development. We need to digitalize because of the future. Africa is lacking behind, so government should reduce the import of analogue television. We have discovered that more African countries are seriously in need of digital signal. There is also need for African government to develop their infrastructure. It is critical for any country’s development”, Pang stated.

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