The decline is attributed to low ARPUs and significant loss suffered by beIN on account of rampant piracy of its sports content in the region.
The latest report by Digital TV Research, titled Middle East and North Africa Pay TV Forecasts, projects the grim reality for Pay TV market in MENA. The report suggests that the pay TV revenues for 20 MENA countries declined 11% to just under US$3 billion (2.6 billion) between 2016 and 2018. The decline is attributed to low ARPUs and significant loss suffered by beIN on account of rampant piracy of its sports content in the region.
The revenues may rise in 2024 to ($3.28 bn) but will remain lower than 2016 figures, which closed at ($3.36 bn). Five countries would contribute 78% of MENAs pay-TV revenues by 2024.
The 13 Arabic-speaking countries studied, include Eqypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey and Bahrain among others. The figures for these markets show a decline in revenues of 16% from $1.254 billion in 2016 to $1.059 billion in 2018. However, researchers expect this total will recover to reach $1.432 billion by 2024. Pay-TV subscriptions in the Arab world fell by 9.5% to 3.4 million between 2016 and 2018, but will rise to 5.23 million by 2024 said the report.
In 2024, Turkey and Israel are expected to supply nearly half of the regions pay TV revenues. However, Israel is expected to lose a tenth of its pay TV subscribers between 2014 to 2024 and a third of its pay TV revenues between 2015 and 2024.
Turkish pay TV revenues are also expected to be in lower 2024 than in 2016, despite the number of pay TV subscribers growing from 7.15 million in 2018 to 9.01 million in 2024.