Advanced Television

Arab TV needs more high-quality content

May 14, 2013

By Chris Forrester

Arabsat’s 7th Broadcasters Forum event being held in Amman, Jordan, was told that broadcasters across the Arab world need to create more high-quality Arabic content on satellite channels. Arabsat also confirmed that its fleet expansion programme was progressing well, with 4 new satellites entering the fleet over the next 3 years, and that a new orbit position at 44 deg East is being developed. Arabsat already operates from 26 deg East, 20 deg East and 30.5 deg East.

Jordan’sMinister of Information and Communications Technology Hatem Halawani underlined the importance of paying attention to producing quality Arabic content on satellite channels, stressing the need for cooperation among broadcasters to realise this objective.

At the two-day event, Nabil Shanti, Arabsat VP/CCO, said the satellite operator will launch four satellites during the next three years, which will increase the number of available channels. The satellites will cover new areas in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia, he said. According to Shanti, there are currently about 450 channels on Arabsat, broadcast to around 170 million viewers.

“We will soon announce a series of agreements with production houses across the Arab world to increase the volume and quality of content available on Arabsat channels,” Shanti told journalists.

In a speech at the event, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Mohammad Momani stressed the importance of the role that satellite channels play, referring to a series of laws that Jordan enacted to facilitate the work of these channels and all media outlets.

Participants at the event said the developments witnessed during the Arab Spring negatively affected the work of satellite channels.  The uncertainties witnessed in several Arab states in light of the Arab Spring uprisings caused a drop in advertising, they said.  Providing objective and professional content by satellite channels, they agreed, is key to their sustainability.

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