More than 70% of Naspers pay TV subscribers from South Africa

More than 70% of emerging markets media group Naspers’ African pay television subscribers are from South Africa alone.

In a summary of Naspers’ results for the year ended 31 March 2010, the group stated that 2.85 million homes in South Africa subscribed to its services, while it only had 1.1 million subscribers across 47 other African countries.

South Africa-based Naspers managed to expand its pay television segment revenues by 12% during the year, due to subscriber growth of 634,000 net households.

Naspers offers multichannel digital satellite television services across the African continent through its MultiChoice subsidiary on the DStv platform.

“After a satisfactory festive season, subscriber growth did slow in the last quarter of the financial year. Operating margins were slightly lower due to the cost of building the subscriber base, as well as higher content costs resulting from increased competition and more local production,” the statement read.

“In South Africa the base grew by 450,000 to 2.85 million homes. The service now offers nine different bouquet offerings and three high definition channels. With a strong content offering of soccer, general entertainment and movies, the mid-priced Compact bouquet attracted many customers. Advertising revenues were marginally better. The coming year will see even more competitors entering this market.

“In the other 47 countries in the rest of Africa, a focus on local content and additional sport delivered 184,000 additional subscribers, taking the base to 1.1 million homes. The Compact and Family bouquets stand at 447,000. Hausa and Yoruba language content was added in Nigeria. SuperSport is now one of the main funders of local sports leagues across the African continent, which means higher content costs for the group. However, if African sport is to become globally competitive, it needs funding by someone.”

In addition the group said that “mobile TV operations were launched in Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and Nigeria, whilst it still awaits a licence in South Africa”.