My-HD to launch Maghreb package_21.12.2015


Rebecca Hawkes

| 21 December 2015

My-HD plans to launch a Maghreb package for Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia as the pay-TV operator looks to diversify its channel offer across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The Maghreb package, slated for 2016, will offer viewers a total of 75 channels, of which 46 will be available in HD. The package will also include 13 French-language channels.

The news follows My-HD’s recent announcement that it is bringing a South Asian channel bouquet to market in January. Once the Maghreb pack is launched, My-HD Media will become the second largest HD channel provider in the MENA region after OSN, which offers a total of 52 HD channels.

The plans for My-Asia and the Maghreb packages clearly show My-HD is now focussing primarily on overhauling its pay-TV proposition, says Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, senior analyst, IHS Television Media.

“The past two years have proved difficult for My-HD Media, with July 2015 seeing shareholders removing the company’s first CEO Cliff Nelson and appointing Samir Safer as a replacement,” said Constantinos Papavassilopoulos.

According to forecasts from IHS Television Media Intelligence, My-HD Media will end this year with 89,000 subscribers using the service on primary TV sets. In total, IHS estimates that around 260,000 households will have access to My-HD Media at the end of 2015.

“However, the majority of these households already possess a primary subscription to other major satellite or IPTV players’ services,” Papavassilopoulos added. The company’s former CEO had publically stated its target was around half a million customers by the middle of 2015.

The problems the company has faced with subscriber churn relate in part to My-HD’s focus on a low-cost HD offer rather than targeting specific demographics or ethnic groups, as it now appears to be, believes Papavassilopoulos. After all, there are some 120 free to air HD channels already available to satellite homes in the Gulf.

“Another setback for My-HD Media is the fact that its service is not offered in Egypt, the largest television market in the region. Pay-TV penetration in Egypt is less than 3% at the end of 2015 according to IHS, which thus provides a window of opportunity for My-HD Media to boost its subscriber base.”

It is also the only pay-TV operator in MENA so far which has not launched an online streaming or catch-up service to help reach a younger demographic, Papavassilopoulos adds.