New ME satellite pay-TV service set up
A new Mauritius-registered company has been created with the express aim of providing satellite television programming in the Middle East and North Africa. Dubbed Arab Digital Distribution (ADD), it is part of the Arab Media Corporation (AMC), which also owns Arab Radio and Television (ART).
According to Gulf News, ADD plans to offer Arabic, English and French-language television content produced by ART and other sources, which will be packaged together and targeted at specific viewership categories.
According to John Tydeman, ADD’s CEO, the new company will operates five platforms: Alawael, which will be primarily for Arabic-language viewers in the Gulf and Levant; Pehla, for the Asian viewers; FirstNet, which will offer both international and Western programming; Maghreb, which will be targeted at North African viewers, and Arabesque, for Arabic-language viewers in Europe.
The packages will comprising more than 60 channels, and will be priced at between $20 and $34 a month per household.
Previous efforts to build an profitable pay television subscriber base in the Middle East have been unsuccessful. Tydeman explained that this was due to high subscription rates and the fact that service providers did not service viewer demand for both Arabic and English programming. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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