Roundtables

HDTV footprint growing rapidly across MENA, says ASBU head at group meeting

The Arab HDTV and Beyond group concluded its 10th annual meeting last month in Dubai under the patronage of Eng Abdelrahim Suleiman, Director General of the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU). Headed by Hasan R Sayed Hasan, Chairman of the Group and MD of Master Media, the meeting brought together 70 professionals to discuss pressing issues in the HDTV segment. 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of ASBU.

ASBU’s DG briefed the attendees on the organisation’s activities. He also spoke about the upcoming 20th edition of the Arab Radio and TV Festival, to be held in Tunisia 27-30 June.

Chairman Hasan Sayed Hasan spoke about the status and growth statistics of HDTV and ultra HDTV in the Arab world. Underlining its rapid growth in the region since 2009, Hasan said: “We now have 380 unique HD channels across the region as of December 31, 2018.”

He highlighted that sports and general entertainment channels do not dominate the HD channel genres anymore. In fact, HD channels are almost evenly distributed across all genres. 194 HD channels are in Arabic, with 127 in English and 59 in other languages.

The meeting concluded with Hasan R Sayed Hasan re-elected as Chairman of the Group for another three-year term, together with Vice Chairs Dr Fares Lubbadeh and Hassan Ghoul. Eng Abdulla Ahmed Al-Balooshi, Assistant Undersecretary of Technical Affairs at Bahrain’s Ministry of Information Affairs, was also elected as Vice Chair.