44% of SSA households utilise free satellite TV

29 May 2024

Free satellite is one of the most important ways to reach a significant audience in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In the region, 44% of households, around 110 million households in 2023, have access to free satellite television, according to Dataxis.

Television channels understand the importance of being accessible free of charge on satellite to reach a significant audience in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, France 24, the most followed channel in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa according to the Africascope 2023 study, is present both on paid platforms and free by satellite.

Among the most followed channels on free satellite in Africa, we also find BBC World News, the Turkish TRT World, the German Deutsche Welle and the Chinese CGTN, among others. Their presence confirms the interest in TV channels in being present unencrypted on satellite.

However, according to Dataxis, only 26 million households (10.6%) in sub-Saharan Africa use only free-to-air satellite television. Being present on free satellite only is therefore not enough to rank among the most followed channels in the region. The data also implies that many African households combine the two offers, free and paid, for television.