From Cairo to Tunis, the Arab spring increases the number of TV channels

Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia bring a breath of fresh air in an area formerly tightly controlled or non-existent. Tahrir TV, Channel 25, CBC, Modern Horreya, Beit El Beitak: since the Egyptian revolution, new TV channels on NileSat’s satellite have started blooming with eighteen channels in total if you include the latest one “LTB”. Some broadcast for several months already. The origin of this passion that enriches an already abundant supply of satellite channels, mostly private is the lifting of security procedures - the green light from the State Security is no longer necessary - and the set up investment required is less important.

Previously, only very large groups such as Bahgat (real estate, household appliances) and Orascom Telecom could afford to invest in satellite TV. Today, the price of one frequency is US$ 200,000 per year. On the outskirts of Cairo, 70 equipped studios within the “Egyptian Media Production City” are rented at $ 1,700 per m2 per year.

In Tunisia, the movement is more modest: five licenses were issued, adding to the only two private channels in the country. The Forum for National Reform Information and Communication (INRIC) discarded the thirty other requests. Unlike in Egypt, foreign capital is prohibited in Tunisia. Also, the liberalization of the sector really took place in print (one hundred new titles) and on the airwaves’ fields (twelve radio frequencies were granted).

Ghana: Viasat 1 Holds First Media Bar
Viasat Broadcasting Gh Ltd is on a grand agenda to initiate an industry first in the country. The channel has instituted what it calls the Viasat 1 Media Bar.

This is to be held quarterly. The Viasat Media Bar is organized to give all media personnel a chance to fraternize under non- competitive and friendly atmospheres with each other and with advertisers.

The maiden edition came off last month at the Citizen Kofi Entertainment Centre in Osu, Accra.

Chief Executive Officer Charlotte Gustavsson told attendants that the set up was a successful adaptation employed from Europe which she believes will help further establish Ghana's growing media industry.

"In Europe such events are a huge part of media calendar events and have tremendous benefits both to individuals and companies", she said.

"Our aim", she explained "is to bring the media industry closer together, and we do so by arranging quarterly media bar events. Viasat1 provides you with a networking platform, and it's up to each individual to utilize this opportunity".

The next Viasat 1 Media Bar is expected to take place before close of 2011.

South Africa: digital terrestrial TV review
As the world prepares to switch off all analogue TV signals by 2015 and embrace digital terrestrial TV (DTT) - as per the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recommendations - the rush is on to meet the deadlines and revolutionise the broadcasting sector. But, as the battle for spectrum heats up behind the scenes, this looks easier said than done. Full story here: