The global pay TV market will be valued at US$236 billion by the end of 2012, pushed by the worldwide migration to digital broadcasting, a new report by ABI Research shows.
According to the report, the pay TV market will continue to grow 19 percent over the next five years, generating US$281 billion in 2017.
In Africa, pay TV was given little priority until recently when countries continent-wide decided on 2015 as the analogue to digital migration deadline. The upcoming change opened doors to payTV channels, given the increase of bandwidth and improved programming that comes with digital television.
In recent times, payTV such as Zuku and StarTimes have made inroads in African countries as the continent waits for the digital shift.
In Nigeria, it is reported that StarTimes now boasts of 800,000 customers with Zuku reporting to have 35,000 customers in Nairobi alone by December last year, with thousands more targeted in the East African market.
The Kenyan government hoped to switch to the digital broadcasting platform by the end of this year, but the deadline has since been pushed back until 2013. The set top boxes are still considered to be expensive, despite government promises to reduce import tax on them.
A report recently by Business Weekly suggests that Africa may miss the 2015 switch deadline as most countries in Africa haven’t even yet started trials for digital broadcasting.
In advanced countries such as the US, digital television is a reality with many players such as DirecTV dominating digital TV.
“DirecTV experienced ARPU growth in the United States as a result of higher penetration in premium packages; it saw significant subscriber and revenue growth in Latin America, although ARPU fell slightly as more customers chose less expensive packages,” Khin Sandi Lynn, a research analyst commented.