Moreover, according to the findings of the latest Middle East and North Africa Pay-TV Forecasts report from Digital TV Research, given the hangover from the beIN ban and generally falling ARPUs, revenues in 2025 ($2.81 billion) will still be lower than in 2019.
Digital TV Research notes that Saudi Arabia is the only country in the region to officially ban beIN. However, beIN’s business in other countries has been adversely affected by the continued existence of beOutQ and piracy.
For the 13 Arabic-speaking countries, pay-TV revenues fell by 15% from $1,241 million in 2016 to $1,053 million in 2019. However, the total will recover to reach $1,269 million by 2025. Pay-TV subscriptions fell by 5% between 2016 and 2019 to 3.58 million,but will progress to 4.71 million by 2025.
Commenting on these trends, Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “The ongoing ban on beIN in most Arab-speaking countries is adversely affecting the whole sector. Even when the ban is lifted, we believe that an unofficial ban will remain. As beIN suffers, it is reducing its expenditure on top events – thus making it less attractive to potential subscribers.”
Pay -TV turmoil is not confined to the Arab world, with OTT platforms providing considerable competition to the traditional pay-TV sector in the region’s largest markets: Israel and Turkey.
Israel has the dubious honour of experiencing some of the worst cord-cutting outside the US. It will lose 24% of its pay- TV subs between 2015 to 2025. Digital TV Research forecasts that Israel’s pay-TV revenues will halve from more than $1 billion in 2015 to $524 million in 2025. These figures are for traditional pay-TV and Israel’s OTT sector will grow significantly.
Meanwhile, the Turkish pay-TV market has been shaken by greater competition. Turkish pay-TV revenues will reach $761 million in 2025; 16% lower than the peak year of 2016. However, the number of pay-TV subscribers will grow from 7.17 million in 2019 to 7.87 million in 2025.
More information on the report can be obtained from Simon Murray on firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +44 20 8248 5051