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Tue 8 Jun 2010 02:33 PM

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Growth of Arabic free-to-air satellite channels slows

Number of FTA satellite channels grows 2.7% between March 2009 and April 2010.

Growth of Arabic free-to-air satellite channels slows
TV CHOICE: The total number of FTA satellite channels broadcast on Arabsat, Nilesat and Noorsat reached 487 by April 2010. (Getty Images)

Free-to-air Arabic satellite television channels have grown by 2.7 percent between March 2009 and April this year, figures released on Tuesday have shown.

Research by the Arab Advisors Group showed the total number of FTA satellite channels broadcast on Arabsat, Nilesat and Noorsat reached 487 by April 2010.

Thirteen channels were added to the sector during the last financial year, which represented a “slowing down” in the sector, when compared to the 104 channels added between August 2007 and March 2009, the group said in a statement.

The highest number of channel types are in the private-sector, followed by the government-sector, the statement said.

According to the statement, 69.9 percent of the region’s FTA channels are privately owned, while 29 percent are government owned, Danya Nusseir, Arab Advisors senior research analyst, said.

"In terms of the types of channels, general-private sector channels have the highest share (19.6%) amongst the total fully launched and operational FTA satellite channels, followed by the general-government sector channels at 12.7%," she said.

The new report, 'Satellite TV in the Arab World 2010', was released at the 7th annual Media and Telecoms Convergence Conference in Amman on Monday.

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