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Nearly 1,300 satellite TV channels in the Arab world

A report released by the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) and the High Committee for Coordination among Arab Satellite Channels reveals that a total of 1,294 satellite TV channels now operate in the Arab world.

There are 29 publicly-owned  and 729  privately owned, that is , a total of 758 Arab organisations now broadcasting or re-broadcasting satellite channels covering a variety of genres.  In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and other Arab regions, according to ASBU, the current boom has been brought mainly by the private sector. Various factors have helped the proliferation of channels, such as the growing role of the private sector, technology developments and digital satellite broadcasting that offered unlimited opportunities, low-cost access and wide prospects for development.

The report also found there has been an expansion in the geographical coverage of Arab satellite broadcasting, which now extends to Australia, New Zealand and the Americas. Most regionally-based satellite channels operate in Arabic. Programmes are also broadcast in English, French, Urdu, Kurdish, Persian, Hindi, and Turkish.