Eutelsat-Nilesat 7/8° West audience passes 50MN homes mark

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 11-03-2014

The audience of the Eutelsat-Nilesat 7/8 degrees West video neighbourhood has passed the 50 million homes mark in the Middle East and North Africa, Eutelsat has revealed at CABSAT, with viewers being able to receive a line-up of 1,050 Arabic and international channels.

According to the results of Eutelsat's 2014 observatory survey on TV reception modes and trends, satellite reception continues to grow across the region with 92% of TV homes equipped for satellite in 2013, up from 67% in 2010.

Over the same period, the number of homes receiving analogue terrestrial TV slumped from 18.2 million to 4.1 million, making satellite the most popular route to digital switchover. IPTV has gained some ground in the Gulf, with 0.7 million households being exclusively IPTV-equipped.

Eutelsat claimed that the Eutelsat-Nilesat 7/8° West neighbourhood has been "confirmed as the first choice for multi-channel viewing, with an audience of 51.5 million homes".

Excluding Iran, where Eutelsat's Hot Bird satellites are the primary video neighbourhood, the Eutelsat-Nilesat 7/8° West position boasts an average penetration rate of over 90% of satellite homes in MENA.

HD is also gaining traction, with one-third of TV homes now equipped. The number of homes equipped with an HD Ready or Full HD display has crossed a threshold of 20 million, accounting for 29% of TV homes in the region. Penetration of HD consumer equipment in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan is above 50%. Of the 41.3 million homes not equipped for HD TV, 50% intend to buy an HD display within the next 12 months

"Our new survey confirms the key role played by satellites that now reach into more than nine out of ten homes in the region. This result reflects longstanding partnerships between Eutelsat, Gulfsat, Nilesat, Noorsat, Viewsat and anchor media groups, including Al Jazeera, MBC and OSN that are experiencing strong commercial success and are well placed for further expansion in the region," Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat chairman and CEO, commented. "Going forward, we believe that the move to higher quality afforded by HD and, for the future, 4K will further consolidate satellite as a core infrastructure in the region."