beIN Sports Arabia records 26% growth in 2013

Rebecca Hawkes | 24-02-2014

Qatar-based beIN Sports Arabia (formerly Al Jazeera Sport) now reaches 2.43 million active subscribers across 23 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – recording 26% subscriber growth in 2013 – according to a new report.

Dataxis also says the sports television network took around 81% of its pay-TV revenues from direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV subscribers, with the remainder accessing its channels via IPTV networks in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. At the end of 2013, 1.34 million or 56% of beIN Sports' total MENA subscription base lived in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to Dataxis.

Al Jazeera integrated its global sports operations under the beIN Sports brand on 1 January 2014, and simultaneously launched an over-the-top (OTT) online video service across MENA for a monthly rate of US$19 per month, further discounted to $100 if paid for until 31 July 2014. The basic DTH package is priced at $29.45 per month.

Signal piracy remains a problem for pay-TV operators in the region. "In North Africa, for example, Algeria has the largest base of subscribers for beIN Sports, but black market usage is estimated at three times the official beIN Sport Arabia subscriber numbers," said Khadija Lokmane, Dataxis market analyst and report author.