The number of pay-TV homes in the Middle East and North Africa will double between 2010 and 2020 to 21.3 million, according to a report by Digital TV Research. Turkey will account for 37 percent of the 2020 total.
The report finds that 18 percent of TV households legitimately paid for TV signals by end-2014. This proportion will climb to 24 percent by 2020. Qatar will record 72 percent pay TV penetration by 2020, with Israel also high at 71 percent. However, pay-TV penetration will be below 10 percent of TV households in Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia.
Legitimate pay-TV revenues for the 20 countries covered in the report will grow by 75 percent between 2010 and 2020 to USD 5.63 billion. Turkey and Israel are expected to contribute 51 percent of the region’s pay-TV revenues in 2020; down from 61 percent in 2014.
Satellite TV will continue to dominate pay-TV revenues, taking two-thirds of the 2020 total (similar to the 2014 proportion). Satellite TV revenues will be USD 3.76 billion in 2020. Turkey will account for USD 1.57 billion of these revenues, followed by Saudi Arabia with USD 674 million. Saudi Arabia will take second place from Israel in 2015.
Pay satellite TV penetration will climb from 6.9 percent in 2010 to 11.8 percent in 2020, with subscriber numbers doubling from 5.01 million to 10.32 million. Of the 10.32 million total in 2020, Turkey will contribute 5.32 million and Saudi Arabia 1.24 million. Penetration in 2020 will reach 37 percent in Qatar, but will be less than 5 percent in 10 other countries.
Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: "Pay satellite TV has grown due mainly to the expansion of OSN and beIN Sports. We estimate that OSN had 1,162,000 residential satellite subscribers [excluding non-residential satellite subscribers and subscribers to non-satellite platforms] at end-2014, with beIN Sports providing a further 819,000. "
He cautioned: "Piracy remains a major problem, despite many efforts to eradicate it. There are 34.3 million free-to-air satellite TV homes in the Middle East and North Africa sub-regions [excluding Israel, Turkey and Eurasia]. We estimate that at least 10 percent of these homes also receive pirated premium satellite TV signals. This represents considerable revenue loss to the legitimate players. "
There will be 6.16 million legitimate IPTV subs across the whole region by 2020; triple the 2014 total. Turkey (1,631,000 subscribers – five times as many as 2014) will be the IPTV subscriber leader in 2020. However, Qatar (35 percent) will lead in penetration terms by 2020. IPTV revenues will grow tenfold between 2010 and 2020 – to USD 1.07 billion.
Click here for further details of the report.