Egypt relaxes TV rules
By Chris Forrester

The new Egyptian government is making life easier for new privately-owned TV channels to get on air. The new rules are expected to lead to many more privately-financed TV stations emerging. Sixteen new channels have already been permitted.

On April 17th, Egypt’s Public Authority for Investment and Free Zones, which overseas broadcasting out of Egypt’s Media Production City and the Nilesat transmission facility, said the new – more relaxed – regulations were designed to attract fresh investment in the media sector. Broadcasters will no longer have to obtain the approval of Egypt’s security services.

Osama Saleh, head of the authority, announced that security will no longer make inquiries into Egyptians who wish to establish satellite channels, and that channels will be granted licenses to present general rather than specialised content.

The 16 new channels already approved include 5 from existing established companies, and the rest from new broadcasters. The new channels are permitted to show a variety of content and will enjoy what is described locally as “freedom of expression”.