Digital Broadcast Power List-Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel
Given ART’s recent sale of sports content some may be surprised to see Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel feature so highly on the list. ART may have sold off some of its programming assets but it maintains something more valuable – the largest pay TV subscriber base in the region. The loss of its sports rights to Al Jazeera is unlikely to affect its subscriber base negatively. Subscribers to rival pay TV platforms will also have to pay extra for Al Jazeera Sports so churn is likely to be minimal.
Meanwhile, in a hugely important development for the industry, ART is spearheading the development of the open platform set top box.
This could permit the region’s pay TV operators – including any possible pay TV channels from ADMC and Rotana – to use the same STB, meaning viewers can cherry pick the content they want. This bold move could cement a commercially successful future for the pay TV industry and create an environment no longer conducive to piracy.