mbc tv

mbc tv
Advertising rates have hit a record high on the Middle East’s free-to-air satellite television channels, a new study shows.

But the average rate of US$3,362 (Dh12,348) for a 30-second spot remains well below prices charged by channels in other regions, an analysis by the Arab Advisers Group said.

With terrestrial television kept under tight control by government information ministries, the Middle East has had a boom in the number of satellite broadcasters in recent years.

There are now more than 475 free satellite channels in the region, with more than 200 launched since late 2006, and almost half with headquarters in the GCC.

Audiences have also been growing across the region, drawn by successful networks such as Al Jazeera and MBC.

But Arab Advisers said the networks had yet to fully capitalize on these growing audiences because of the lack of a single, credible audience-measurement system, without which TV networks struggle to demonstrate the popularity of channels and programmers, putting advertising buyers at an advantage.

In the UAE, one of the region’s most important advertising markets, two competing companies produce television viewer figures, but neither base their numbers on the electronic “people meter” systems that have become an industry standard elsewhere.

Both companies call random viewers and ask them to recall which programmers they watched in the previous day, a system prone to considerable human error.

Advertisers and networks applauded a recent announcement by the National Media Council, the industry regulator, that it would commission a television viewer ratings system based on people meter technology.

Lebanon is the only other country in the region to employ such a system, which produces the precise, comparative viewer data that networks need for premium advertising rates.

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