Four largest Middle East pay-TV networks to merge
The Middle East’s four largest satellite pay-TV networks—Star, FirstNet, Pehla and Al-Awael—confirmed that they will fully encrypt their channels’ broadcast on the Arab Digital Distribution (ADD) satellite platform as of January 23.
The move will create both the region’s largest line up of pay-TV channels as well as the largest potential pay-TV audience, according to a company press release, adding that it will be given at the lowest entry price offered in the Middle East by a single pay-TV operator starting at 59 Emirati dirhams a month.
FirstNet, Pehla and Al-Awael will add a combined number of 66 movie, sport, music and entertainment channels including STAR Select’s bouquet of 11 entertainment channels.
FirstNet, Pehla and Al-Awael are managed by ADD, which is backed through its holding company, Arab Media Corporation (AMC), by the multi-million dollar Dallah Al-Baraka Group and Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal.
Dallah Al-Baraka Group was founded by the Saudi Sheikh Saleh Kamel. Kamel also established Arab Radio and Television Network (ART) in 1993, a company in which Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal is also a major shareholder.
ART is a privately owned company with administrative headquarters in the Saudi city of Jeddah, technical headquarters in Amman, Jordan, playout and uplink facilities in Avezanno, Italy, and production facilities throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America.
Launched in 1991 with five television channels, today STAR broadcasts more than 30 services in eight languages, providing viewers with a comprehensive range of sports, music, movies, news, entertainment and documentaries. Reaching more than 300 million people in 53 countries across Asia, India and the Middle East, over 70 million people watch STAR everyday. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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