Satellites in Africa

Residents of Africa are spoilt for choice of satellite broadcast services. Paid and free services abound. While DStv is the 900-billion satellite broadcast gorilla, free satellite services are gaining root in Africa.

Considering Africa is the 2nd largest continent in the world, the geography varies wildly with the service available in each location being very diverse.

North Africa: the proximity to the Middle East means most of the Middle Eastern satellite broadcast services are available in the northern part of Africa. DStv doesn’t have much of a presence in this region with Arab services dominating the market.

West Africa: home to the continental giant, Nigeria, the market is very dynamic and diverse. French companies dominate the francophone countries while DStv and Multi TV hold sway in the anglophone countries.

East Africa: the cradle of humankind, this region holds its own with the variety of local content it generates.

Southern Africa: South Africa dominates this region, being the home of industry giant DStv, the country also has OpenView, a free-to-watch service, in addition to a litany of other independent channels.

Geostationary satellites hover at 36,000km above sea level and beam tv/radio signals to a footprint pre-determined by the satellite owners.

The following are geostationary satellites that offer TV/radio to African countries and territories:

  • EutelSat W7 at 36•E – DStv and a few FTA TV channels
  • EutelSat W4 at 36•E – some FTA channels
  • Astra 2B at XXX•E – Multi TV, Infinity TV, GTV, CRTV
  • NileSat1 & NileSat2 – most Arab-related TV channels targetted at the Middle East

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