Paytv used to be reserved for the affluent not until the UCC digital migration decree of 2013 came into practice and adoption took off in Uganda.
Supposedly it is the same trend that followed in other African countries that implemented digital migration and this brought about the advent of DTT TV services like GOtv, Startimes alongside old timer DTH Services like DSTV and now Zuku TV, StarSat among others.
Stats have trickled in and after a considerable traction of African countries implementing digital migration with others yet to follow suit, Africa now has 23.7 million Paytv subscribers.
It will surprise however that 70% of these access Paytv through satellite (DTH) while 24% do so through DTT according to data from Dataxis.
This represents an 18% YoY increase over the same period last year.
Also, Majority of the 70% DTH users subscribe to DSTV and in the process, the multichoice owned service takes the lions share of Paytv revenues thanks to their grip on premium content.
While Multichoice’s service can only be afforded by a fraction of the African population, other players have joined the industry like Startimes offering cheaper alternatives but DSTV still has a lead on premium content like the beloved English Premier League (EPL), UEFA Champions League, Nollywood content among others.
It is believed new Entrant Kwese TV might put a dent to DSTVs dominance but only time will tell but the latter has strongly invested in premium content too, though Multichoice still holds paytv rights to some of the aforementioned content like the EPL so Kwese is only permitted to broadcast Free-To-Air matches which is also limiting.
Startimes was eating into Multichoices lunch with its mass market DTT TV service till Multichoice launched a competing affordable service in terms of GOtv to level the playing field.
While majority of Paytv is transmitted over DTH and DTT, new players like Zuku Fiber are promising to deliver it over fiber or FTTP on top of internet and telephony services giving the consumers the freedom of choice and value addition. How this will transform the paytv industry only remains to be seen.