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Industry Report: Focus: Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa expected to see rapid growth in TV industry


- Despite challenges from the Internet and mobile phones, Sub-Sahara Africa will see rapid growth in the TV industry, it was learned here on Thursday.

The number of TV households in Sub-Sahara Africa will grow from 34.5 million 2010 to 42.1 million by 2015, according to figures released at the ongoing Africa TV summit in Cape Town.

Of the current TV households, 3.5 million are pay TV subscribers, making up 11 percent of the total, figures showed.

The two-day AfricaCast 2011 summit, the biggest ever held on African soil, kicked off on Wednesday at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC), bringing together representatives from all TV fields in Africa to discuss the rapid changes influencing the medium.

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The representatives include TV executives from broadcasters and pay TV platforms in South Africa as well as the continent.

Facebook, Google, the BBC, cellphone operators such as MTN, Vodacom and Orange and new players such as SouthTel also sent representatives.The summit addressed television in Africa in a multi-platform age, the challenges of digital television with lessons learnt from Britain's migration, how Facebook is connecting Africa and whether Google is disrupting the market. The discussions also dealt with new TV services, increased competition, pay TV, internet connectivity, the explosion of local TV content, as well as the major trends, challenges and opportunities in all spheres of television.

Other topics included IPTV and TV online, 3D TV content for Africa, news content and the increasingly competitive TV market for free-to-air broadcasters as well as for pay television.

Participants stressed the need to take measures in accordance with the changing landscape in the TV industry.

Representatives from the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation), MultiChoice and TopTV introduced their businesses while satellite providers, telecommunication companies, regulators, content providers, producers and production facilities from across the African continent discussed Africa's migration to digital television, among other things.


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