Broadcast executives see challenges ahead in 2017 owing to budget cuts affecting broadcasters. However, the implementation of new broadcast technologies and increased investment in production offer some room for optimism.
Ian Davies, regional manager, Vizrt, said that the budget cuts that affected many broadcasters in 2016 happened suddenly, making it difficult for them to manage the situation in a coordinated manner. “A lot of things that should not have been cut were cut, and there have been some consequences for that. It’s a little too early to say with any degree of certainty what will happen in 2017, but I think that even if the overall budget situation does not improve, broadcasters have had a year to adapt to a low budget environment, so they should at least be able to handle the situation better.”
Paul Wallis, sales director, MEA, Imagine Communications, said that he believes there will be little “real growth” in the region’s broadcast industry in 2017. However, he added that rising oil prices could help to “kick-start” the economy in the region.
Jayant Bhargava, who leads the media practice for the Middle East at research firm PwC, said that the production industry “will do extremely well” owing to investment from a variety of sources including venture capital that is funding production for OTT platforms such as Netflix in the region.