Private cash behind Arab TV boom

Amman’s Arab Advisors Group annual examination of Middle East TV shows that of the region’s 716 free-to-air (FTA) channels on air (the study does not include Israel or Turkish channels) shows that almost 10 per cent of channels are now available in HDTV.

The report (Satellite TV in the Arab World 2013) states that since January 2004 and May 2013 the FTA growth is 599 per cent, while the number of channels has grown from 565 in March last year to 658 today, excluding channels which are in test transmission phase.

Dalia Haddad, Arab Advisors research analyst, said: “76.6 per cent of the operational FTA satellite channels are privately owned. In terms of the types of channels, General-Private Sector channels constitute 18.5 per cent of the operational FTA satellite channels followed by News and Current Affairs channels.”

A plurality of FTA channels are headquartered in Egypt which hosts 19.1 per cent of the fully launched and operational FTA channels. The UAE and Saudi Arabia follow with per centages of 13.8 per cent and 12.3 per cent, respectively,” said the study.

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