Ethiopian private and public broadcasters have signed two agreements between SES and the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters (AEB) and the Ethiopian Broadcasting Cooperation (EBC) that 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 neighborhood hosted by SES’s NSS-12 satellite at 57 degrees East.
Ethiopia currently has more than four 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 neighborhood for Ethiopians on SES’s East Africa Digital TV platform on NSS-12 at 57 degrees East and will be launched in August of 2019. The consolidation of Ethiopian content into one prime TV neighborhood 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 percent 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 neighborhood. 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 do not have TV service today, the consolidation of broadcasting Ethiopian-only content to the people offers strong potential growth in the local media sector.
In addition to satellite capacity and video services such as content transportation and management, SES also will provide on-the-ground services to ensure the success of the new neighborhood. SES’s local team will train local installers to correctly repoint the satellite dishes of each TV household, making the migration possible. Technical details and additional information for installers will be released in the coming weeks.
Amman Fissehazion, Chairman of AEB, said this is a critical juncture in Ethiopia — the momentum is here to create a truly Ethiopian TV neighborhood that will deliver local content to viewers in high quality, and fuel growth in the Ethiopian media sector.
Belete Esubalew Gemberie, Deputy CEO and Media Technology Cluster Head of EBC said the firm is excited for the company's channels to be part of an Ethiopian-only TV bouquet that is broadcast on SES’s East Africa video platform on NSS-12 at 57 degrees East. Over the last few years, SES has been working closely with all the key stakeholders in the Ethiopian media sector and building their local presence with the opening of SES East Africa office in Addis Ababa. They have been providing excellent 24/7 technical support, and training locals how to install satellite dishes. These activities will intensify in the months to come and will benefit the nation's economy and end consumers.
Ferdinand Kayser, CEO of SES, added that the company is proud that the migration will bring a completely new television experience to Ethiopians and drive new levels of growth in the Ethiopian media industry.