ADDIS ABEBA – Global Satellite operator, SES, says it has signed agreements with the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters (AEB) and the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) that will result in the creation of a dedicated Ethiopian TV environment.
In particular, the deal with the AEB 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 and launched this August, the operator said in a statement.
AEB has 14 members including EBS, Fana Broadcasting, Walta TV, Arts TV, Afrihealth, OBS, LTV, Kana, JTV, DWTV, Asham TV, Ahadu TV, Ministry of Education and Nahoo TV.
The broadcasters currently account for over 50% of viewership in Ethiopia where more than 4 million TV households have access to television service via satellite.
The majority of content is broadcast from an orbital location that also supplies content to Middle Eastern and North African countries, mixing local and international content.
The latest agreement will help the development of the country’s FTA market, said SES, a major satellite operator with over 70 satellites in two different orbits, Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO).
The consolidation of Ethiopian content into one prime TV neighborhood under a new orbital location means that the AEB members will be able to easily expand their audience reach, according to SES.
It also said 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 HD.
Given that 16 million homes in Ethiopia do not have a TV service today, the consolidation of broadcasting Ethiopian-only content to the people offers strong potential growth in the local media sector, according to SES.
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.
Commenting on the development, Amman Fissehatsion, chairman of AEB, said: “We are at a critical juncture in Ethiopia. We want to harness the momentum for change and create a truly Ethiopian TV neighborhood that will deliver local content to viewers in high quality, and fuel growth in the Ethiopian media sector.
“We are pleased to be working with SES and its local team toward this goal as they provide the dedication and experience needed to successfully implement such an ambitious project.”
Belete Esubalew, deputy CEO and media technology cluster head of EBC, added: “We are excited for our 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”.
Ferdinand Kayser, CEO of SES Video, said, “We are honored to be working with AEB and EBC on this endeavor, which recognizes our full commitment to our customers.
“We are proud that the migration will bring a completely new television experience to Ethiopians and drive new levels of growth in the Ethiopian media industry.”
Caption: Ethiopian Broadcasters to Migrate to SES Satellite Creating Dedicated Ethiopian TV Environment (Photo: Business Wire)