Ethiopia’s media market is set to grow even bigger following two agreements signed between SES – the world’s leading satellite operator, the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters (AEB), and the Ethiopian Broadcasting Cooperation (EBC).
The agreements will result in the creation of a dedicated Ethiopian TV environment. In particular, the AEB agreement will see the most popular Ethiopian TV channels migrate to a new TV neighbourhood hosted by SES’s NSS-12 satellite at 57 degrees East.
Ethiopia currently has more than 4 million TV households that access television service via satellite. The majority of content is currently broadcast from an orbital location that also supplies content to Middle Eastern and North African countries, mixing local and international content.
The migration agreement with AEB will create a dedicated TV neighbourhood for Ethiopians on SES’s East Africa Digital TV platform on NSS-12 at 57 degrees East and will be launched in August 2019.
The consolidation of Ethiopian content into one prime TV neighbourhood under a new orbital location means that the AEB members comprising private broadcasters EBS, Fana Broadcasting, Walta TV, Arts TV, Afrihealth, OBS, LTV, Kana, JTV, DWTV, Asham TV, Ahadu TV, Ministry of Education and Nahoo TV will be able to easily expand their audience reach.
Together, these 14 members of the association control more than 50% of the viewership of Ethiopia and will be able to foster healthy advertising markets that will strengthen the development of the country’s free-to-air (FTA) market.
In a separate agreement with SES, the public and regional channels including ETV News, ETV Entertainment, ETV Languages, OBN TV, Tigray TV, South TV and Amhara TV led by the public service broadcaster EBC will also be distributed via this Ethiopian-dedicated TV neighbourhood. The Ethiopian content via NSS-12 will be broadcast mainly in high-definition (HD), introducing a new level of viewing experience to Ethiopian audiences.
Given that 16 million homes in Ethiopia currently do not have TV service, the consolidation of broadcasting Ethiopian-only content to the people offers strong potential growth in the local media sector.
“We are at a critical juncture in Ethiopia. We want to harness the momentum for change and create a truly Ethiopian TV neighbourhood that will deliver local content to viewers in high quality, and fuel growth in the Ethiopian media sector,” said Amman Fissehazion, Chairman of AEB.
“Over the last few years, SES has been working closely with all the key stakeholders in the Ethiopian media sector and building up their local presence with the opening of SES East Africa office in Addis Ababa,” said Belete Esubalew Gemberie, Deputy CEO and Media Technology Cluster Head of EBC.
Commenting on the same, Ferdinand Kayser, CEO of SES Video said his organisation was proud that the migration will bring a completely new television experience to Ethiopians and drive new levels of growth in the Ethiopian media industry.