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Middle East and Africa pay TV will be US$8 billion market in 2014

New research says that digital TV penetration in the Middle East and Africa region will cross the two-thirds mark by the end of this year, according to new research. Fuelled by the growth, pay TV revenues will hit US$8 billion this year compared with US$4.8 billion in 2010.

Digital TV penetration only reached 50% in 2011 and the new forecasts underline the rate of growth in the region. Penetration will hit 73.8% in the Middle East and Africa and 57.1% in sub-Saharan Africa, according to UK-based research house Digital TV Research.

Pay TV revenues from Middle East and North Africa will total US$4.4 billion this year, according to Digital TV Research, while pay revenues from sub-Saharan Africa will come in at US$3.6 billion.

Middle East & Africa will have 89.3 million digital TV households by end-2014, up by 12.4 million during the year and up by 32.4 million since 2010. Free-to-air satellite TV will become the most popular platform in 2014; overtaking the declining analog terrestrial total.

From the 32.4 million new digital TV homes, Nigeria will provide 7.2 million, Turkey 2.9 million, South Africa 2.5 million and Kenya 2.2 million.

There will still, however, be a large number of homes in the region without a TV set. By end-2014 113 million homes will not have a set while there will be 132.4 million TV homes region-wide.