Telecommunications specialist Gateway Communications has unveiled plans to launch GTV, a pan-African pay-TV satellite service. Gateway said GTV would provide "high quality international and local entertainment content with a subscription price aimed at penetrating the chronically underserved African television market".
According to Gateway, Africa is the world's least-penetrated pay-TV region in the world, with less than 1% of television-owning households in sub-Saharan Africa currently subscribing to pay-TV services. That compares to 15% in Eastern Europe, 36% in Western Europe, and 93% in North America.
Yet with more than 46m TV sets, and set-ownership growing at more than 10% each year, Africa "represents a large and rapidly growing market for subscription television which Gateway's own independently commissioned research estimates will grow to over $3bn by 2015".
GTV founder Julian McIntyre said: "The African market has been artificially constrained by monopoly pricing and non-relevant content. Consumers across Africa want to watch the latest high-quality television programming that combines international and local content which is relevant to their lives and at a price that is comparable to a utility.
"GTV will be a pay-TV platform for Africa, not simply rebroadcasts of European or South African content."
GTV aims to launch its service from mid-2007 with a phased roll-out across sub-Saharan Africa.
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