The number of pay-TV subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa will increase from 10.6 million last year to 15.2 million by the end of 2019, according to London-based research group Ovum, The Wall Street Journal reported. Turkey and Israel account for 62% of the market currently, but OSN, with an estimated 941,000 subscribers, will grow to nearly 2.1 million customers within five years, Ovum says. Saudi Arabia alone is expected to double revenues from pay-TV to $659m by 2019 from $294m today. International private equity looks to have clocked the potential. San Francisco-based Hellman & Friedman LLC. had a $3.2bn bid for a majority stake in OSN rebuffed by its main shareholder Kuwait Projects Company, or KIPCO, according to people familiar with the matter. KIPCO owns 60.5% of OSN, while Saudi Arabia’s Mawarid Group holds 39.5%.
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