Abu Dhabi-based satellite broadcaster YahLive, part-backed by SES, now has some 500 certified dealers and dish installation technicians working to help deliver its bouquet of HDTV channels over the Middle East and North Africa. 300 technicians were recently added from Saudi Arabia, the region’s most important market. YahLive is looking to train 2000 installer teams by the end of this year.
The challenge for YahLive has always been to persuade viewers to focus their dishes onto its orbital position at 52.5 deg East, which is very different from that used by Arabsat and Nilesat, the region’s market-leaders.
YahLive CEO Mohamed Youssif says that its home territory, the United Arab Emirates, is conducive to the firm’s all-HDTV strategy, “the [Saudi Arabian] market is also quickly catching up and is similarly witnessing the dynamic growth of the broadcast sector, specifically in HD. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information has recognized this growth and demand for HD broadcasts and is undertaking various initiatives to support the migration to HD. Our partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Information began last year with six Saudi TV channels being broadcast in High Definition exclusively on YahLive’s satellite platform.”