Arab Advisors Group
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Close to 90 Arab Satellite Channels compete for the eyes of over 71 million viewers in the Arab World.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The Arab World remains mostly tuned to free to air satellite TV channels broadcasting mainly from Egypt, UAE and Lebanon. Satellite PayTV is still a niche market with no more than 1.5% of Arab Households subscribing. Still, the four Pay TV operators in the region will collect an estimated US$ 160 million in subscription revenues for 2003. October 21, 2003 - The Arab World has been undergoing an immense growth in Satellite TV viewer ship and content. This growth is mainly driven by factors related to advancement in technology. The decrease in cost of receivers, the increase in free to air channels, and the increase in specialized channels played an important role in expanding the audience size among the Arab world. Another important point is the relatively poor performance of the government-owned channels; such channels usually have poor content regarding entertainment, as entertainment is one of the main reasons for watching TV besides news. A new comprehensive country report, “Satellite TV in the Arab World” was released to the Arab Advisors Group’s ( Media Strategic Research Service subscribers on October 21, 2003. The 32-pages report gives a thorough overview and analysis of the Arab Satellite TV landscape. This comprehensive report can be purchased from Arab Advisors Group for only US$ 950. Any investment in this report will count towards a Strategic Research Service – Media subscription should the service be acquired within three months from purchasing the report. The Arab Advisors Group is lending a special 50% discount on this report to its Strategic Research Service – Telecoms annual subscribers (US$ 475), and a 33% special offer to all non-subscription clients of Arab Advisors Group (US$ 640). Purchasing the report also entails the ability to attend the Arab Advisors Group’s Media and Telecommunications Convergence Conference in June 2004 in Amman. Please contact the Arab Advisors Group to receive the reports Table of Contents. “The slow deregulation of the media industry in some Arab countries allowed for the emergence of a number of privately owned satellite TV channels. Some of these privately owned channels are allowed to operate and broadcast out of the Arab World such as the ART network.” Wrote Arab Advisors Group Media Research Analyst, Abdelrahaman Pharaon in the report. “The Arab Advisors Group estimates the number of satellite audience in the Arab world to be around 71 million viewers. North African –owing to their large populations- countries contribute more than 50% of viewers, followed by the Gulf countries and the Levant region.” Mr. Pharon added. The comprehensive report, -which classifies Arab Satellite TV channels by themes, strategy, ownership and location- shows that the majority of the Arab satellite channels broadcast from Egypt. 34% of the total channels are located in Egypt’s Media Production City, whereas 19% of the channels are located in Dubai’s Media City in UAE. Lebanon comes after Egypt and UAE with 12%. Saudi Arabia has 5%, followed by 3% for both Qatar and the United Kingdom. 24% of office locations come from other countries that include the North African region, Gulf countries, Levant, Iran, Mauritania, Somalia, and Spain. The report also details the advances made by Pay TV operators in the region. Pay TV channels are becoming more popular among the Arab audience, as the leading pay TV companies are fiercely competing over viewer ship. The Arab Advisors Group estimates the total size of pay TV in the Arab World at around 625,000 households by October 2003 (less than 1.5% of total households). Accordingly, the Arab Advisors Group estimates the total subscription revenues of pay TV operators in the region to reach US$ 160 million in 2003. The competition came in advantage for customers as the current offers include free installation, satellite receiver, and decoder, all of which will contribute to more growth. The major markets for Pay TV remain the richer gulf countries with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE having the biggest number of subscribers out of the total. Arab Advisors Group’s “Satellite TV in the Arab World” Media Report has nine major sections that detail the operating Sat TV stations targeting the Arab World, Privately and Publicly owned stations, the Satellite Audience in the Arab World, Main Arab Satellite Service Providers, Main TV Channels in the Arab World, Revenue Streams for Satellite Channels, Pay TV in the Arab World and Examples of Major Arab Satellite TV Channels. This report comes as part of Arab Advisors Group’s continued research and analysis of the Arab communications, media and information technology markets. The Arab Advisors Group is organizing a Media and Telecommunications Convergence Conference in June 2004 in Amman under the patronage of his Excellency, Dr. Fawaz Zubi Jordan’s Minister of ICT. The Arab Advisors Group’s team of analysts in the region has already produced more than 185 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 100 global and regional companies by providing reliable research analysis and forecasts of Arab communications markets to these clients.

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