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Sun 31 Dec 2006 08:00 AM

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ME broadcasters boost supplier turnover

Middle Eastern broadcast markets are growing in importance in the broadcast and media technology industry and are now the third most active regional market, behind Europe and North America, according to the latest quarterly IABM Industry Trends analysis

Middle Eastern broadcast markets are growing in importance in the broadcast and media technology industry and are now the third most active regional market, behind Europe and North America, according to the latest quarterly IABM Industry Trends analysis. This is up from fifth place in the first quarter survey overtaking Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe.

The quarterly trends analysis is undertaken by Ernst & Young analysts on behalf of the IABM, the body that represents broadcast and media technology suppliers worldwide. Almost 70 suppliers from around the world participate in the survey making it the most comprehensive of its kind.

IABM chief executive, Roger Crumpton, who was in Dubai recently, says: “Al Jazeera English was launched in November with its HQ in Qatar; Dubai Media City is home to Reuters, the BBC and CNN; and with the Asian Games in Doha this month, the Middle East is becoming a base for many international broadcasters and showing amazing growth. Technology suppliers should not miss the opportunity to participate in the increased activity. “The industry worldwide is bristling with activity; broadcasters are demanding more content and need the facilities to generate it quickly, efficiently and skilfully.”

Manufacturing and development capacity remain the single biggest factors limiting growth in the industry stimulating new entrants to the market, according to the IABM report.

Supplier confidence is high and there are strong order books. However, the lack of capacity coupled with continuing lack of available skilled staff is holding the industry back. “Demand for specialist staff in a growing market coupled with changing technology is creating a skills bottleneck. The IABM is working with its members and others to address personnel requirements,” adds Crumpton.

50% of respondents reported increasing levels of confi dence for the next three months compared with only 11% who had less confidence. 36% stated better or much better than expected order volumes, up 7% from the previous quarter.

42% of respondents expect employee numbers to grow over the next quarter and 51% expect them to remain unchanged. R&D expenditure is expected to increase over the next 12 months by 50% of participants compared to only 7% who indicated it would fall.

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