Eutelsat Communications experienced solid growth in the MENA region in 2016 and sees significant ongoing growth potential after unveiling the results of its new survey on TV reception modes and trends across the Middle East and North Africa.
The survey confirms the pole position of Eutelsat’s 7/8 West neighbourhood that enables TV channels to reach into more than 52.3 million homes in 14 Arab countries.
The new wave of growth also reflects last year’s launch of the Eutelsat 8 West B satellite that has generated a 37% hike in High Definition channels and further consolidated 7/8° West as the video neighbourhood of reference in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Overall, satellite in the MENA region remains the backbone of digital TV infrastructure, reaching into 56.1 million homes. This represents more than 90% of the 61.1 million TV homes from Morocco to the Gulf States. Three out of four of the 3.4 million homes in 14 Arab countries that have adopted satellite over the last three years have preferred the 7/8° West neighbourhood that hosts Eutelsat and Nilesat satellites.
Eutelsat’s 7/8° West neighbourhood has further anchored its leading position, with reach into 52.3 million homes in 14 Arab countries, up 2.6 million since 2014. At equal perimeter, there is 7% growth in the six Arab countries surveyed in both 2014 and 2016 that represent 76% of TV homes in the region. The pull of 7/8° West is driven by a strong channel line-up of 1,264 Arabic and international channels, of which 149 in High Definition, and the diversity and exclusivity of free-to-air content (44% of channels are exclusive to this position).
HD is gaining traction, with the number of HD-equipped homes crossing a threshold of 20 million, up from 14.4 million and now accounting for 34% of TV homes in the region. This percentage is even higher within the 7/8 West audience (46%). Meanwhile, 50% of interviewed panellists were aware of Ultra HD. GfK data reveals that 1.2 million Ultra HD sets were sold by the end of 2015.
Michel Azibert, Eutelsat’s chief commercial and development officer, said: “Our 2016 survey takes the pulse of the vibrant Arab TV market and throws up key trends that include the acceleration of High Definition broadcasting and the diversity of free-to-air channels in the region.”