Middle East satellite channels mushroom in media boom
Wednesday, November 14th, 2007
Arabic media, especially satellite TV networks, are currenty seeing exponential growth in the Middle East region in what observers are describing as boomtime. The number of satellite TV channels has more than doubled in the past three years, according to the Saudi newspaper al-Medina.
There are currently 370 Arabic satellite TV networks broadcasting in the Middle East - an increase of 270 percent since 2004. Among these, 56 belong to private companies, 54 are music channels and 38 are state owned.
The United Arab Emirates has become a media hub, with almost a quarter (22 percent) of Arabic satellite networks being headquartered there, including Al-Arabiya.
A signficant proportion of networks are based in Saudi Arabia (15 percent) and in Egypt (11 percent), media researcher Isa Qasusi was quoted as telling al-Medina.
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