Exciting prospects for Pay TV in Ghana

Although the global Pay TV market size is valued at US$210 billion in 2016, the market in Ghana continues to face challenges, which has made some operators to move out of this market.

More so, the shift of subscribers toward Over The Top (OTT) services is perceived by experts as a major threat to the pay TV industry, as well as the rise in programming expenses for traditional pay television, and the decline in multi-channel affordability, among others.

This, notwithstanding, the growth of the pay television market has substantially been driven by the growing penetration of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). Hence, service providers are focused on a cost-effective delivery of High Definition (HD) content to gain a competitive edge in the industry.

As at the second quarter of 2016, a total of 75 TV operators were authorized by the National Communications Authority (NCA). Of this number, seven were broadcasting Satellite Television, offering Pay TV Direct-To-Home Bouquet.

However as at last week, a Pay TV service providers has opted out of the market after a troublesome 18 months, indicating a change in the nature of its business approach.

In an interview, discussing the prospects of Pay TV in Ghana, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of StarTimes, Felix Ahonzo indicated that the Pay TV industry in the country is very challenging and expensive.

“Recent times, we have heard of some of our competitors change the nature of their business, because the Pay TV services is highly regulated and  has a lot of content purchase agreement that has to be signed every time to ensure that you remain relevant to your customers,” he said. “…indeed, when it comes to Pay TV, remaining relevant to the market and continuously investing in new content, so that you can keep your customers is very important.”

Ahonzo noted that StarTimes, have been operating in the business for the past 30 years, as it operations in Ghana has been two years.

He was confident that StarTimes would serve its customers for the foreseeable future, stating, “the Advantage we have is that, we have a parent company that gives us all the support we need to continue carry out all the activities we are doing in Ghana.”

In Africa StarTimes remains the leading Pay TV Company in Africa, with over 11 million subscribers across the region and 900 key distributors.

Ahonzo said Ghana is a key market for StarTimes, hence every investment is target at making sure that StarTimes product becomes relevant to the customers.

Currently, StarTimes has over 150,000 subscribers in Ghana.

“After two years in this market we say that we are better positioned to give to Ghanaians what they desire from us,” he said.

By Joshua W. Amlanu