StarTimes reaps US$143MN a year in African TV revenues

Rebecca Hawkes | 12-02-2014

Chinese pay-TV operator StarTimes had 1.5 million active subscribers across Africa by the end of 2013, with annual revenues of US$143 million, according to a report from Dataxis.

StarTimes currently has subscription-based digital terrestrial television (DTT) services in ten African countries, namely Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. It is also actively pursuing other markets, including South Africa.

The Chinese pay-DTT operator is expected to grow its subscriber base "substantially" due to its "ambitious growth plans", according to researchers.

Dataxis estimates that StarTimes generated annual revenues from the sale of prepaid access cards of $101 million by the end of 2013, up from $673,000 in 2009, while revenue from the sale of set-top boxes is estimated to have risen to $42 million from $396,000 over the same period.