Arab Advisors Group
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Al Jazeera viewers base in Saudi Arabia is 5 times larger than United States Sponsored AlHurra’s audience. Al Hurra’s credibility scores are quite bad in contrast with those of Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya
Sunday, September 5, 2004

A new scientific survey by the Arab Advisors Group revealed that close to 89% of Arab households in Saudi Arabia have Satellite TVs. The results also revealed that Arab SAT TV Viewers in Saudi Arabia have little trust in AlHurra News Channel. In contrast Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya news channels have much higher credibility amongst a much larger viewers base. The survey covered all channels viewed in Saudi Arabia be they news, music, sports and general entertainment. Radio listening patterns were also covered by the survey.

The Arab Advisors Group is pleased to announce that a major multi client survey of households in Saudi Arabia that use and view Satellite TV Channels has just been concluded. With a sample size of 134 households, the random sample survey has a 95% confidence level with a less than 9% margin of error. The survey’s fieldwork in Saudi Arabia has been finalized and its final report will be ready on September 15th.

The survey report is available for Arab Advisors Group’s Subscribers for US$ 2000. Non-Subscribers to Arab Advisors Group’s Strategic Research Services can order the survey report for US$ 2500.

Companies that pre-order the report before September 7th, 2004, get a 25% discount on the list price (i.e. US$ 1500 for subscribers, US$ 1875 for non-subscribers)

The survey indicates that close to 16% of Arab households in Saudi Arabia have a Pay TV subscription. The survey results show the market shares between the main Pay TV operators, ART, Orbit and Showtime.

90% of surveyed households indicated that they prefer to watch Sat TV programming in Arabic, or with Arabic subtitles. Only 10% prefer the English language.

The survey probed the brand name recognition of Sat TV channels in Saudi Arabia as well as the extent to which these channels are viewed. It covered the brand name recognition and viewer ship patterns the general entertainment channels (such as MBC, LBC, Future, etc.), the music channels (such as Rotana, Melody, Mezzika, etc.), Religious Programming Channels (such as Iqraa, Al Majd, etc.) and news channels.

On the news channels front, Al Jazeera topped the ranks in brand recognition and viewers with close to 82% of households watching the station. Al Jazeera is closely followed by Al Arabiya with 75% of households watching it. The Saudi Al Ekhbaria is viewed by 33% of households, while United States-sponsored Al Hurra is watched by 16% of households. CNN followed with 12% followed by Al Mustakila (11%), ANN (8%), NBN (8%), and BBC World (6%).

Close to 70% of respondents said that Al Arabiya is very trustworthy or trustworthy. Less than 1.5% indicated that they viewed the channel as not trustworthy. The remaining had no opinion on the level of trustworthiness of the station.

For Al Jazeera, 69% of respondents said that the channel is very trustworthy or trustworthy. Less than 3% indicated that they viewed the channel as not trustworthy. The remaining had no opinion on the level of trustworthiness of the station.

As for Al Hurra, only 17% of respondents said that the channel is very trustworthy or trustworthy. A full 20% indicated that they viewed the channel as not trustworthy. The remaining had no opinion on the level of trustworthiness of the station.

“This major survey of Sat TV viewers in Saudi Arabia is one of many surveys that the Arab Advisors Group intends to make across the region in the near future. The Arab Advisors Group mission is to continue providing all interested parties with reliable and insightful primary research and analysis of the Arab World’s media and telecoms markets” Mr. Jawad Jalal Abbassi, Arab Advisors Group Founder and President commented. “This new scientific survey is part of Arab Advisors Group’s efforts to serve the media industry in the Arab World and all stakeholders be they the channels, content producers, advertisers, investors, governments and viewers. The survey was independently made and we encourage all stakeholders to benefit from its insightful findings.”

The survey covers individuals from different households in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Dhahran. The 119 respondents that are Satellite TV viewers are divided into 67 males and 52 females. The sample is further divided into 82 Saudis and 37 non-Saudi but Arabic Speaking nationals. To mirror the demographic situation fully, the sample also corresponds to the age distribution of the Saudi population.

The survey covered households brand recognition of channels as well the channels they watched regularly. Channels and companies covered by the survey include the following (based on responses made by the surveyed households):

Pay TV operators:
Orbit, Showtime and ART

Arabic Channels:
Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Al Arabiya, Al Ekhbariya, Al Hurra, Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera Sports, Al Khalijiya, Al Majd, ART Movies, ART Sports, Bahrain, Dream 1, Dream 2, Dubai, Egypt Satellite Channel, Egypt Satellite Channel 2, Egyptian Channels 1-5, Emirates, Emirates Business, Future, Infinity, Iqraa, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kuwait Movies, Kuwait Youth, LBC, Lybia, Manar, Mazzika, MBC, Mehwar, Melody, Mihwar, Music now, Musica, Nagham, NBN, New Sat TV, Nojoom, NTV, Oman, Orbit, Palestine, Qatar Satellite, Rotana, Rotana clip, Saudi 1, Saudi 2, Sharjah, Spacetoons, Star Academy, Strike, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Zen TV.

Foreign languages Channels:
4 fun TV, Action, America Plus, Animal Planet , ART Movies, Aramco, B4U, Bahrain 55, BBC World, BNN, BVN, Cartoon Network, CCTV, Cinema City, CNN, Comedy Channel, Countdown, Dance TV, Discovery, Disney, Dubai 33, DWTV, ETV, Euronews, Eurosport, Fashion TV, Hollywood, nfosport, Italia 1, Magic, MBC 2, Moda, Movie Channel, MTV, Multivision, NBA TV, Nile TV, Orbit ESPN, Playboy, Rai uno, RTL 1, RTL 2, Saudi 2, Showtime, Style, Super Comedy, Super Movies, Travel, TV5, TVL, Ultrablue, VH1, VIVA, VOX, XXL, ZDF.

News channels covered

Al Alam, Al Arabiya, Al Ekhbariya, Al Fagr, Al Hurra, Al Jazeera, Al Mustakila, Al Sharqiya, ANB, ANN, CNBC Arabiya, CNN, Manar, Nile News, Saudi 1

Music Channels
ART Music, Dream 1, Dream 2, ETV, Mazzika, Melody, MTV, Music Plus, Musica, Nagham, Nojoom, Rotana, Rotana Clip, Strike, VH1, Zen TV

Sports Channels
ART Sports, Bahrain, Dubai Sports, Jazeera Sports, Kuwait Sports, NBA TV, Nile Sport, Orbit Al Riyadiah, Orbit ESPN, Rai Sport, Saudi Sports

Channels for religious content:
Al Majd, Al Sharqiya, Iqraa, Manar, Saudi 1, Sharjah

General entertainment channels:
Abu Dhabi, Ajman, ART, Bahrain, Bahrain 55, Disney, Dream 1, Dream 2, Dubai, Dubai 33, Egypt Satellite Channel, Egypt Satellite Channel 2, Ein TV
Emirates, Fantasia, Future, Heya, Infinity, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kuwait Plus, LBC, Lybia, MBC, MBC 2, Mehwar, Muritania, New Sat TV, NileTV, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi 1, Saudi 2, Sharja, Space toons, Sudan, Syria, Yemen.

News channels:
Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, Al Hurra , Al Ekhbariya, Al Mustakila, ANN, NBN, CNN, BBC World.

The survey has 54 detailed questions that address the following matters. Please feel free to request the survey questions from the Arab Advisors Group and to order the report.

Areas covered in the survey are:

Satellite TV viewing patterns
Recognition of Arabic satellite TV stations (general, music, news, religious,…)
Adoption of Pay TV and Pay TV operators
Actual viewing patterns and market shares of Arabic satellite TV stations
Confidence in reliability of channels
Household income levels
Radio listening patterns
Sat Radio
FM and AM Radio
Interactive voting on TV
Credibility of news channels and audience trust in their news

The Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region has already produced more than 270 reports on the Arab World’s communications and media markets. The reports can be purchased individually or received through an annual subscription to Arab Advisors Group’s Strategic Research Services (Media and Telecom). To date, Arab Advisors Group has served more than 170 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients.

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