Egypt Opens New Int'l Opportunity in MENA Region.

Author:Zuchowicki, Patrick

One of the DISCOP MENA markets is now in Cairo, and for a good reason. Egypt has one of the most well-established and influential entertainment and media industries in the MENA region, supplying much of the Arab-speaking world with TV shows. Egyptian production companies delivered the majority of the Arab world's television series in 2018.

Drama proves to be the most popular type of programming. Secret of the Nile, the first Arabic drama series available on Netflix, was produced in Egypt. Television is the most popular medium. There are two state-run national TV stations and six regional ones. Nearly 100 private networks have emerged in the last few years.

Egypt is also a big force in satellite TV. Most leading pay-TV networks have a presence there and Egypt was the first Arab nation to have its own satellite, Nilesat. Television remains the priciest medium for advertising, with an audience that amounts to 95 percent of the population on a weekly basis.

Most of the expenditure is centered on drama series, reality shows, factual entertainment, talk shows, and soap operas, which are very popular. Like everywhere else in the MENA region, the Ramadan month has historically been peak season for Egyptian television, commanding the highest advertising rates.

Located at the crossroads of Africa and the Middle East, Egypt is well positioned to service the MENA region, a media and entertainment marketplace that has experienced some dynamic changes in the last few months and will soon become a thriving contributor to the MENA region's economy with its diverse and distinctively creative voice.

There are currently close to 1,000 free-to-air TV channels in MENA, 75 percent of which originate from the region. There are also 275plus premium satellite-cable TV channels, half of which are produced in MENA. On top of linear broadcasters, there are over 20 OTT platforms servicing the region, and several telcos with independent VoD or IPTV services.

That's close to 1,000 finished programs and adaptation rights-buying entities seeking fresh content inside the MENA region. The impact of younger, more digitally inclined audiences on the media landscape in the region is very clear: MENA digitization is ahead of international trends, indicating that audiences are already there waiting to be served. Video-on-demand business grew at a rate that was six times faster than pay-TV in 2018. Streaming platforms have taken off in the region, with revenue reaching the...

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