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“The MENA region has the largest offer of free HD TV channels in the world,” according to a study from Nabil Kazan, the highly-regarded advertising executive and CEO at KPTV-MENA.
Kazan was a guest speaker at Discop Istanbul last week, and says that last year there were some 250 HD channels on air in the region, and 47 per cent were free-to-view.
He told delegates that satellite remains the dominant delivery platform over the whole of the MENA region, with 77 per cent of primary pay-TV homes having a dish. IPTV is the second-most popular delivery method with 23 per cent of homes signed up via IP.
Pay-TV subscriber growth last year (compared with 2014) was 10.25 per cent, and which represented an expansion of the pay-TV from 4.49 million to 4.95 million. Pay-TV is continuing to make inroads in the MENA region, says Kazan, with current penetration at about 10 percent which is the highest it has ever been.
Kazan says that the region’s largest pay-TV operator is now the beIN Media Group with a total of 2.26 million primary satellite subscribers. Dubai-based OSN is the second-largest pay-TV player with 987,000 primary satellite subs in the MENA region.
Only two countries in the Arabic-speaking region have reliable audience measurement systems in place, says Kazan (the Lebanon and the UAE).