Record MENA growth with explosion of private broadcast channels in region
The increase in the number of private broadcast channels in the Middle East and the industry-wide push towards greater coverage and expansion into new markets have resulted in a year of record growth for ViewSat, a global provider of broadcast services for television and radio channels. During 2013, the company doubled its broadcast capacity and channel count with the launch of its second Middle East and North Africa (MENA) satellite transponder, expanded its service network throughout North Africa, the Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa and North America and increased its investment in the region. ViewSat now manages the distribution of over 70 regional channels.
By expanding its partnership with Intelsat, ViewSat secured capacity on the Galaxy 19 satellite, permitting its customers to target an audience of over 7 million viewers in North America. The company is also preparing to offer Over the Top (OTT) services to its customers as a cost effective solution for the web streaming of television channels.
Reflecting on the company's enormous success in the past year, Safia Rana, Head of Sales and Marketing at ViewSat, said, "2013 was truly the year where we took the MENA market by storm. Viewer interest in coverage of the unrest in the region proved to be a key factor in driving the need for broadcast services. While traditionally our customers have been religious channels, there are now a number of new entrants hoping to capitalize on the massive demand for news, entertainment, and life-style content."
"Our extensive investments in state-of-the-art equipment, deep regional expertise and step-by-step guidance make us the turn-key solution provider that these new channels need. We offer tailor made services with guaranteed QoS, which has proven to be a winning combination for our customers," she explained.
The company maintained its strong position in Egypt with steady growth in the country through 2013, and managed to expand further in the region with new business in Lebanon, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan. Advanced connectivity and penetration of internet services have also opened a new revenue stream for the company by way of web streaming of television and radio channels.
Outlining ViewSat's objectives for 2014, Safia said, "Besides rapidly expanding our capacity, network coverage and customer base, OTT will be our major focus this year. We have already witnessed the popularity of these services and are keen to position ourselves as the one-stop-shop for all our customers' broadcast needs." During the year, ViewSat plans to establish new regional offices to help grow its footprint and will increase its engagement with customers to drive uptake of its cost-effective live solutions across the Middle East.