Free to air satellite TV channels in the Arab World reach 474

June 11th, 2009 - 10:11 UTC by Andy Sennitt

The number of free to air (FTA) satellite TV channels in the Arab World has grown by 28.1% between March 2009 and August 2007. By March 2009, the total number of FTA satellite channels reached 474 broadcasting on Arabsat, Nilesat and/or Noorsat. Arab Advisors Group research revealed that the highest number of channel types were the Private-sector general channels followed by Government-sector general channels.

These results were highlighted during Arab Advisors 6th annual media and telecoms convergence conference held in Amman on June 1 and 2, 2009 and attended by 533 delegates from over 180 companies spanning 25 countries.

“Of the 474 channels, 46 were in test transmission mode. 82.7% of the 428 fully launched and operational FTA satellite channels broadcast exclusively in Arabic. The remaining languages lag far behind the Arabic language. English follows with a 7.2% share”, Ms Danya Nusseir, Arab Advisors Senior research analyst, commented.

“In terms of the type of channels, general- private sector channels have the highest share (20.6%) amongst the total fully launched and operational FTA satellite channels, followed by the general-government sector channels at 13.3%”‘, Ms Nusseir added.

“With respect to the channels’ main headquarters, 46.5% of the fully launched and operational FTA channels are headquartered in the Gulf region. The African and Levant regions follow with percentages of 22.9% and 19.9% respectively. In line with the liberalization of the audio visual sectors in the region, the number of private satellite channels exceeds the number of government owned channels: 72.4% are privately owned while 26.6% are government owned.”