The number of Free to Air (FTA) satellite channels in the Arab World increased 19.3 per cent between April 2011 and March 2012 to reach 642 channels while fully operational channels reached 565.
Arab Advisors Group research revealed that the highest percentage of the analysed FTA satellite channels were privately-owned general channels. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, host the highest number of FTA satellite channels in the Arab World.
The number of FTA satellite channels targeting the Arab region continues to grow. The FTA landscape had a major growth of 542 per cent in the number of FTA satellite channels between January 2004 and March 2012. Based on Arab Advisors Group research, by March 2012, the total number of distinct FTA satellite channels reached 642 channels, an increase of 19.3 per cent over the number of channels recorded in April 2011. The number of the fully launched and operational channels; excluding channels in the test transmission phase, reached 565, up from 501 in April 2011.
"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. Around three quarters of the operational FTA satellite channels are privately owned," said Dalia Haddad, Arab Advisors Research Analyst,
"In terms of the types of channels, General-Private Sector channels constitute around a fifth of the operational FTA satellite channels followed by the General-Government Sector," Haddad added.
“A plurality of FTA channels is headquartered in Egypt which hosts 21.6 per cent of the fully launched and operational FTA channels. Saudi Arabia and the UAE follow with percentages of 14.0 per cent and 13.3 per cent, respectively,” Hind Qweider, Arab Advisors Research Analyst, said.