Euromedia February March | Page 26

Company contribution

Company contribution

Satellites spur TV growth in MENA

Eutelsat ’ s key satellite neighbourhoods are leading the expansion of SD , HD and Ultra HD TV services across the Middle East and North Africa .

The Middle East and North Africa TV market continues to be one of the most exciting and dynamic in the world . Overall growth of all television viewers is higher than ever before , with exciting opportunities particularly in High Definition and Ultra HD .

Eutelsat , one of the world ’ s leading operators of communications satellites , operates the most popular satellite neighbourhoods in the region and continues to develop innovative services that enable TV platform operators and broadcasters to maximise the potential of their markets .
The 7 / 8 ° West position , commercialised by both Eutelsat and Nilesat , is the leading broadcast neighbourhood for MENA and already reaches 90 % of TV homes in the region .
The second most important TV neighbourhood in MENA is 13 ° East . Home to the HOTBIRD family of satellites , it reaches 38m homes across the region and is a unique bridge between MENA and Europe .
The new 7 ° East orbital position has also seen important growth for customers in South- East Europe , Turkey and the Middle East with over 8m homes . It is a growing hotspot for Farsi-speaking audiences with over 30 channels joining the neighbourhood in the last 12 months .
Vibrant market
TV channels reach into more than 52.3m homes in 14 Arab countries
The Middle East and North Africa region continues to show powerful growth according to the latest consumer survey from the Eutelsat TV Observatory . The total number of homes in 2016 stands at 64.7m with TV ownership at 94 %, and as high as 98 % in some countries . A staggering 91 % of TV homes are served by satellite .
“ Our 2016 survey takes the pulse of the vibrant Arab TV market and shows key trends that include the acceleration of High Definition broadcasting and the diversity of free-to-air channels in the region ,” said Markus Fritz , Eutelsat EVP commercial development and strategic partnerships .
“ The survey confirms the pole position of the 7 / 8 ° West neighbourhood that today enables TV channels to reach into more than 52.3 million homes in 14 Arab countries . The new wave of growth is also reflected in the 40 per cent increase in High Definition channels in 2016 , further confirming 7 / 8 ° West as the video neighbourhood of reference in the Middle East and North Africa .”
No . 1 in the region
Satellite in the MENA region remains the backbone of digital TV infrastructure , reaching into 56.1m homes . Over the last three years 75 % of the 3.4m new homes that have selected
Dual-feed maximises choice
A low-cost , dual-feed solution makes it simple for audiences to access services on both Eutelsat ’ s 7 ° East satellites and 13 ° East , home to EMEA ’ s prime HOTBIRD broadcast neighbourhood .
The easy-to-install monoblock LNB enables an 80cm satellite dish pointed at 13 ° East to access both neighbourhoods seamlessly . It means broadcasters can cost-effectively reach millions of TV homes across Europe , North Africa and the Middle East served by HOTBIRD , while 7 ° East satellites provide a key orbital position for audiences in South-East Europe , Turkey , the Middle East and North Africa .
Homes can receive over 1200 TV channels from the 13 ° East and 7 ° East orbital locations , creating even more value for audiences . satellite as primary means for TV reception have chosen the 7 / 8 ° West neighbourhood , further anchoring its leading position , up 2.6m since 2014 . The pull of 7 / 8 ° West is driven by a strong channel line-up of 1,264 Arabic and international channels , of which almost 150 are in High Definition , as well as the vast choice and unique offer of free-to-air content ( 44 % of channels are exclusive to this position ).
HD and beyond
2016 marked a tipping point for HDTV
HD is gaining traction , with the number of HD-equipped homes crossing a threshold of 20m , up from 14.4m and now accounting for 34 % of TV homes in the region . This percentage is even higher within the 7 / 8 º West audience ( 46 %).
HD channels are continuously being added to the offering , with free-to-air channels in HD now outnumbering pay-TV channels . The most recent addition includes five channels launched by Kuwait TV and Echourouk News HD , the 24 / 7 Algerian news channel .
Ali Fodil , managing director and founder of the Echourouk Group , said : “ With the launch last December of our all-news channel in HD via the EUTELSAT 7 West A satellite , we are fully embracing key technology trends and giving viewers the benefit of the superior image quality .”
Across all Eutelsat satellites , there are now more than 1,000 HD channels . “ 2016 marked a tipping point for High Definition TV across our video neighbourhoods , reaching a new landmark of 1,000 channels , many of which are exclusive to Eutelsat ,” said Eutelsat ’ s Fritz . “ We are fully equipped to accommodate this accelerating pace and work closely with broadcasters as they transition to an enhanced viewing experience .”
Fast-growing Ultra HD
Exclusive Ultra HD content continues to expand on Eutelsat satellites , helping spur growth for the next generation of high-end delivery . GfK data reveals that 1.2m Ultra HD sets were sold by the end of 2015 in the region .
FunBox UHD joined the HOTBIRD neighbourhood in 2016 , offering amazing Ultra HD content to cable networks , IP network operators and DTH communities across the satellite footprint , from Germany to Dubai , Qatar to Turkey . HOTBIRD already has an addressable Ultra HD connected market of 5m homes , and