Pay TV Market Set for Growth in MENA

According to a new research report from Informa Telecoms & Media, the pay TV market in the Middle East and North Africa is set to grow some 36 percent over the next five years.

The fourth edition of the Informa Middle East and Africa TV report shows that the region's 4.5 million pay TV subscribers as of year-end 2006 will grow to 6.1 million by 2012 with much of the growth coming in Israel and Turkey.

The Informa research also discovered that, of the 54.8 million TV homes in the region, 30.5 million have a multichannel TV service. By 2012, that number will approach 40 million — a penetration rate of 62.3 percent.

The expansion is attributable to market liberalisation, improved technology and content, and signs of a more receptive stance towards foreign investment, according to Adam Thomas, Informa media research manager and author of the report.

The report identifies several other positive factors for the region, including: a common language and culture for much of MENA, media-friendly demographics weighted towards young adults, a tradition of high rates of TV consumption and the area's relative wealth. On the negative side, however, are concerns about economic disparity throughout much of the region.

The report analyses the 16 leading MENA markets, as well as developments across Sub-Saharan Africa.