Ethiopia’s private and public broadcasters as well as the local media industry players, recently 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 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 do not have TV service at the moment, 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 neighbourhood. SES’s local team will train local installers to correctly repoint the satellite dishes of each TV household, making the migration possible.
“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. “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.”
“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. 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. 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 can only benefit our economy and end consumers,” said Belete Esubalew Gemberie, Deputy CEO and Media Technology Cluster Head of EBC.
“We are honoured to be working with AEB and EBC on this endeavour, which recognises our full commitment to our customers,” said Ferdinand Kayser, CEO of SES Video. “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.”
SES is a global satellite operator with over 70 satellites in two different orbits, Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). It provides a diverse range of customers with global video distribution and data connectivity services through two business units: SES Video and SES Networks. SES Video reaches over 355 million TV homes, through Direct-to-Home (DTH) platforms and cable, terrestrial, and IPTV networks globally. The SES Video portfolio includes MX1, a leading media service provider offering a full suite of innovative services for both linear and digital distribution, and the ASTRA satellite system, which has the largest DTH television reach in Europe. SES Networks provides global managed data services, connecting people in a variety of sectors including telecoms, maritime, aeronautical, and energy, as well as governments and institutions across the world. The SES Networks portfolio includes GovSat, a 50/50 public-private partnership between SES and the Luxembourg government, and O3b.