SA broadcast TV set for growth surge

By Content Nigeria reporter
September 1, 2023


Significant growth is expected in the TV broadcasting market in South Africa, particularly within the regions of Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Eastern Cape, according to a report from TechSci Research.

The penetration of TV is on the increase, as is the use of television in most South African households. In addition, the demand for African content that reflects the culture and values of the country in the local language is driving a surge in pay TV subscriptions that is propelling the broadcasting business.

India-based TechSci Research said around 89.2% of SA households now own a TV and the per capita income in the country is rising at 3.6% annually.

Consequently, the number of households with a linear pay TV subscription for leading pay TV supplier MultiChoice Group climbed by 900,000 to 21.8 million in 2022, with nine million in SA and 12.8 million in the rest of Africa. Moreover, SA will add between 18 and 20 million pay TV subscribers by 2027, said TechSci, citing the power of local content to drive subs.

Advancements in technology have enabled companies to provide TV broadcasting services via IPTV, harnessing the power of the internet to deliver live and on-demand television shows and videos.

The rise in sporting activities such as cricket, football and rugby is also contributing to the expansion of the TV broadcasting industry, since people prefer to watch these sports live on television and are ready to purchase subscription packages for uninterrupted coverage.

To further underscore the audiences’ desire for more local content, a survey conducted in 2019 by Futurefact in SA stated: “Eighty-six percent of respondents expressed their enjoyment of watching TV programmes centred around the nation’s social and cultural values.

“Consequently, to capture a substantial viewership, numerous channels have shifted their focus towards local content. This shift has significantly driven individuals to subscribe to pay TV services, thereby exerting a notable impact on the television broadcasting market in South Africa.”

As businesses aim to reach larger audiences and potential clients, the rising usage of smart TVs and evolving lifestyles are fuelling demand for digital content and cable subscriptions, while cable operators lead the revolution by airing popular TV shows, films, documentaries, news, sports and other programmes.

Set to benefit from this growth are SA players such as MultiChoice, Electronic Media Network, Openview, StarTimes Media South Africa and The South African Broadcasting Corp. However, challenges these companies may face include content piracy and high competition from international streaming platforms.