TV Penetration on the Rise In the Middle East Region

A new report by TV Informa Telecoms & Media predicts a dramatic rise in TV penetration in the Middle East and North Africa (the so-called MENA region)in the next few years. The report foresees an increase in the current 56.2 percent multi-channel TV penetration rate (29.5 million homes) to a projected 67.7 percent penetration rate (41 million homes) by 2010. Currently, Qatar has the highest percentage of TV penetration in the region. Israel comes in a close second, but has a much higher number of cable and satellite homes.

In 2004, TV ad revenues were worth $1.9 billion across the region, with report author Adam Thomas forecasting a growth of $3 billion in six years, mostly attributed to an expected 11.1 percent pay-TV penetration rate in Israel and Turkey, anticipated to account for 5.5 million pay-TV homes by 2010. According to the report, the disparity of wealth in the region is a major factor inhibiting greater growth, with pay-TV operators catering mostly to affluent locals and the ex-patriot community. The report cites general trends toward market liberalization, regional common languages and oil revenues in the region as providing the broadcast sector with increased TV penetration. (Janet Fine)

Pay TV Subscribers
2004
2005
2010
Israel
1,452
1,534
1,914
Turkey
2,139
2,322
3,554
Levant
168
178
237
Gulf States
589
613
787
North Africa
148
153
206
Total MENA
4,496
4,799
6,698
        Source: Informa Telecoms & Media


Top 5 countries in Terms of
Multi-channel TV Penetration (2004)
Country
TV households
Cable & satellite homes
Cable & satellite penetration
Qatar
99
95
96.0 %
Israel
1,729
1,640
94.9 %
Lebanon
850
780
91.8 %
Saudi Arabia
3,804
3,465
91.1 %
UAE
694
620
89.8 %
        Source: Informa Telecoms & Media