Analyst Simon Murray wrote: "Gaining subscribers in the MENA is no mean feat as piracy remains rampant in most countries. More than half of the region's homes receive free-to-air satellite TV signals. Furthermore, established pay TV operators now have to compete against new platforms as several IPTV operators put greater emphasis on SVOD than on traditional linear channel packages."
Despite these hurdles, the number of pay TV homes across the 20 countries covered in the report are expected to double between 2010 and 2021 to 20.9 million, with Turkey accounting for 37% of the 2021 total. From the 5.40 million pay TV homes expected to be added between 2015 and 2021, 1.98 million are expected to come from Turkey, 0.63 million from Uzbekistan and 0.59 million from Egypt.
About a fifth of region TV households legitimately paid for TV signals by end-2015. The proportion is expected to climb to 24.2% by 2021. Qatar is expected to record 80% pay TV penetration by 2021, with Georgia (69%), Israel (68%) and the UAE (62%) also high. However, pay TV penetration is expected to be below 10% of TV households in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia.
Legitimate pay TV revenues are expected to climb by 82% between 2010 and 2021 to $5.02 billion. However, growth is expected to only be 25% between 2015 and 2021. Turkey and Israel are expected to contribute 45% of the region's pay TV revenues in 2021, down from 52% in 2015 and 63% in 2010.