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13 April 2024

Half of Arab TV channels based in Palestine, Iraq and Egypt

By Staff

Nearly half of the 138 Arab terrestrial televisions are based in Palestine, Iraq and Egypt and majority of the Arab channels are controlled by the governments, according to a study by Arab Advisors Group’.

"Vast majority of the nineteen covered countries still have full government ownership of the operational terrestrial TV channels," said Noura Abdulhadi, Arab Advisors Senior Research Analyst, said.

"Out of the 19 Arab countries, only Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon and Tunisia have operational private terrestrial TV channels. Libya, Morocco and Sudan have terrestrial TV channels that are jointly owned by the government and the private sector," Abdulhadi added

The history of terrestrial TV channels in the Arab World goes back to the early 1960s. Until the booming era of free to air satellite TV, terrestrial TV was the main source of entertainment and information for people in the Arab World.

Local terrestrial TV stations are still alive in the region, but regulations and market dynamics have insured that -except in a few countries- the number of terrestrial TV stations did not grow in the past few years.

Palestine, Iraq and Egypt lead in the number of terrestrial TV stations, constituting 50.7 per cent of total terrestrial TV channels in the Arab World. The majority of Palestine's and Iraq's terrestrial TV channels are privately-owned and they constitute 86.2 per cent of total private terrestrial TV channels in the Arab World. Egypt has the largest number of government owned terrestrial TV channels. 

The report covers terrestrial TV channels in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.