The boom in the supply of free to air satellite TV channels in the Arab World has reduced the audiences for terrestrial TV. Yet local terrestrial TV stations are still alive in the region, but regulations and market dynamics have insured that -except in a few countries- the number of terrestrial TV stations did not grow in the past few years.
There are 120 terrestrial TV stations broadcasting in nineteen different Arab countries. Palestine and Iraq lead in the number of terrestrial TV stations, with the majority being privately owned, contributing 40% of total terrestrial TV channels in the Arab World. Egypt has the third highest number of terrestrial TV channels as well as the largest number of government-owned terrestrial TV channels.
A new report, "Terrestrial TV in the Arab World" was released to the Arab Advisors Group's Media Strategic Research Service subscribers on May 13, 2008. The 24-page report, which has 24 detailed exhibits, provides a detailed analysis of the terrestrial TV channels in the 19 Arab countries of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.
"According to surveys conducted by Arab Advisors Group, terrestrial TV channels in the region still have a relatively large audience although much reduced than before the Sat TV era." Miss Noura Abdulhadi, Arab Advisors Research Analyst wrote in the report.
Arab Advisors Group’s analysis reveals that "the vast majority of the countries covered, still have full government ownership of the operational terrestrial TV channels,” Miss Abdulhadi added. “Of the 19 countries covered in this report, only Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan allow private terrestrial TV channels. Sudan and Morocco have terrestrial channels that are jointly owned by the government and the private sector.”