Decrease of pay-TV revenues in the MENA region by $1.6 billion

Between 2016 and 2020, pay-TV revenues for the MENA countries experienced a 14 per cent decrease

The pay-TV revenues in the Middle East and North Africa region are projected to decrease by $1.6 billion by 2029, as indicated in a report by market analysis firm Digital TV Research.

The study attributes the 43 percent decline, amounting to $2.2 billion, to the growing popularity of over-the-top (OTT) media services and piracy issues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, noted that legitimate pay-TV penetration has historically been low in most MENA countries, and the decline is accelerating as pay-TV subscribers transition to OTT platforms.

Between 2016 and 2020, pay-TV revenues for the 20 MENA countries experienced a 14 per cent decrease, falling to $2.74 billion.

The forecast suggests a continued slow decline, reaching $2.52 billion in 2026, reflecting a 23 percent fall compared to 2016.

By 2026, four countries—Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Turkey—are expected to contribute 78 percent of the region’s pay-TV revenues.

Murray highlighted that there will be few winners, with eight of the 20 countries experiencing revenue losses between 2020 and 2026.

Despite an anticipated increase in pay-TV subscribers, projected to rise by 3 million between 2023 and 2029, reaching a total of 18 million, the report suggests that 13 out of the 20 countries are poised to face revenue losses.

Turkey is predicted to contribute almost half of the total pay-TV revenues for 2029, with Turkish revenue accounting for a total of $707 million.

In 2029, pay-TV revenue in the UAE is expected to be $270 million, Saudi Arabia at $192 million, and Kazakhstan at $142 million.

The combined total for other Arabic-speaking countries is projected to be $302 million, while the remaining MENA countries will see a combined total of $216 million.