First of five new Tunisian TV channels starts test signals
Test transmissions are set to begin by Tunisia World Television (TWT), a new privately-owned satellite channel which was recently granted a free to air licence by the newly liberated North African nation.
TWT has been broadcasting its test card on Nilesat since 24 October and will begin trial transmissions in the next few days, according to Tunisia's state news agency.
Owned by Issam Kherigi, the owner of production company Spad, the channel, will be officially launched in March 2012. It reportedly promises 'to listen in to citizens' concerns and meet their expectations'.
In September, Tunisia's National Forum for the Reform of Information and Communication recommended that five new broadcasting licences be issued to would-be free to air satellite operators. In addition to Kherigi's TWT, licences have been granted to Tahar Ben Hassine of El Hiwar Ettounsi, Mohamed Hannachi of Golden TV, Mohamed Moncef Lem-Kachar of Khamsa TV, and Nasr Ali Chakroun of Ulysses TV.
The Forum also recommended the creation of a digital terrestrial public sports channel in 2012.
There are currently three TV stations based in Tunisia: state broadcaster Le Television Tunisienne, as well as private channels Hannibal TV, which broadcasts mostly in French from Tunis, and Nessuma which is part of the Tunisian media company Karoui and Karoui. Between them they provide five channels.
According to the Tunisian news agency, 33 applications for broadcast licenses have been filed since the country's 'Jasmine' revolution.