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Q: Satellite Receivers ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Satellite Receivers
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Television
Asked by: redosam-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 10 Sep 2002 06:11 PDT
Expires: 10 Oct 2002 06:11 PDT
Question ID: 63415
What is the number of satellite receivers (Set Top Boxes) in Saudi
Please quantify the digital & analog receivers (if possible)? Please
provide the reference link.
Subject: Re: Satellite Receivers
Answered By: kyrie26-ga on 10 Sep 2002 11:47 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello redosam-ga,

Thank you for your question. I learned a lot about satellite TV in
Saudi Arabia. Here are the results of my research :



Overview of the Telecommunications Sector of Saudi Arabia!OpenDocument

Citing religious concerns with some satellite broadcast programming,
the Saudi Arabian government has turned to multichannel, multipoint
distribution service (MMDS) technology to provide pay TV service
throughout the Kingdom. SARA Cable, an offshoot of the Riyadh based
media and production company, ARA International, is managing the
project on behalf of the Government, which will have the ability to
censor all programs before broadcast. In 1995, General Instruments of
the United States was appointed to assist in the development and
deployment of the system and is also supplying analog MMDS equipment.
SARA began offering up to 20 channels of programming in the main
cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dharan in 1996, and expects to achieve
nationwide coverage by the end of 1997.



"The status of satellite dishes in Saudi Arabia remains unclear (see
4.4) and the introduction of an MMDS system has been awaited for some
time (see 3.2.4), but dish ownership is widespread. Eutelsat's
mid-1997 estimate is that 1,315,000 homes in Saudi Arabia have access
to satellite, representing over half the total. In a separate set of
data from PARC, which show a 21.5% increase in satellite penetration
between 1996 and 1997, 53% of the population are said to own dishes.
This proportion rises to 58.9% among Saudi nationals alone. Official
objections to satellite dishes are somewhat anomalous, given that
Saudi TV is broadcast via Arabsat and will be included in the Arabsat
bouquet transmitted via other satellites to North America (from March
1998) and receivers of Eutelsat Hot Bird Ku-band transmissions from
July 1998."

___ 1,315,000 households ___  (mid-1997)


BIGPIPE_com International Archives (January 1999)

"In Saudi Arabia, where dishes are officially prohibited, 63.8 per
cent of Saudi Arabia's 2.97 million TV households have satellite TV, ,
according to Zenith Media."

63.8% of 2.97 million =

___ 1,894,860 households ___ (January 1999)


Newsweek July 22 2002 : The Fire That Won't Die Out

"A ban against satellite dishes in the early 1990s was ignored into
irrelevance. According to a recently released survey by ACNielsen,
satellite- TV penetration into Saudi homes is now 80 percent: "Amongst
the highest in the world." "


CIA -- The World Factbook -- Saudi Arabia

Population: 22,757,092 
Total fertility rate: 6.25 children born/woman (2001 est.)   

*** If we assume 8 members per household, then there are :

2,844,637 households

... and 80% satellite-TV penetration means :

___ 2,275,709  households ___ (2002)




The exact breakdown is very hard to determine. It seems that most of
the broadcasters are now digital, so we can assume that there is a
substantial proportion of digital receivers. The broadcasters'
websites are not too specific about the numbers involved. Also, other
factors include "phase out" of older analog receivers versus purchase
of newer digital-capable ones. Here is are the references to the
satellite broadcasters for Saudi Arabia :

TBS The Pan-Arab Satellite Broadcasters

"The first of these satellite systems is MBC, the Middle East
Broadcasting Centre, which began transmission in September 1991."

"The second private Arab satellite system, and no doubt the largest in
reach and in Arabic programming, is ART (Arab Radio and Television)"

"The most recent Arab satellite system is Orbit, launched in May 1994
by the Saudi investment group al-Mawared and transmitted from Rome.
Orbit was the first of the three pan-Arab satellite broadcasters to go
digital and to encrypt, and it has been able to deliver an
extraordinary amount of programming because of its willingness to use
far more non-Arabic language programming than either of its two


Orbit Satellite Television

"The world's first fully-digital, multi-channel, multi-lingual,
direct-to-home, pay-TV and radio satellite service, with over 30
television and radio channels." ( )


Showtime Network Arabia

"Showtime is a new satellite pay-TV network for the Middle East, that
offers exciting Western entertainment for the entire family." ( )



This broadcaster, although not officially sanctioned by the Saudi
government, has prominent coverage (refer above articles) in Saudi



Google Search Terms :

set top boxes saudi arabia

saudi arabia satellite subscribers

saudi arabia satellite TV OR television subscribers OR "set top boxes"
OR "set-top boxes"

Hope that answers your question. Please do not hesitate to request for
clarification if you need it.


redosam-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Very good Answer . Thank you very much.

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