Arab satellite TV ad rates low

Stations lacks rating system

BAGHDAD — Advertising rates are low in Arab satellite television due to the lack of a consistent rating system, according to the influential Arab Advisers Group, which believes, however, that ad rates have at last stabilized.

Lack of a television rating system, the group said in a report, diminishes the bargaining power of TV stations.

But on the brighter side, average advertising rates appear to have stabilized in the past two years after dropping off in 2005. “The average advertising rate for a free-to-air satellite TV channel in the Arab world in 2007 is $3,698 for a 30-second advertisement during peak time,” it said in a report “Satellite TV Advertising Rates in the Arab World 2007.”

“In 2007, the rates of major channels appear to have stabilized: slightly above those of 2005 and below those of 2004,” said Jawad Abbassi, Arab Advisers general manager.

“This can be attributed to the fact that, although the number of FTA satellite TV channels in the region continues to increase dramatically, advertisers and channels alike are beginning to recognize that some popular channels grab the largest share of the viewership pie,” Abbassi said in the report.

The report analyzed advertising rates across 14 free-to-air satellite TV channels.

Average FTA Sat TV ad rates, it said, are at their highest ($3,698) between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., followed closely by the hour between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. (Saudi Arabia time).

“These rates are considerably higher than both their terrestrial and pay TV counterparts,” the report said. News channels have the highest average FTA advertising rates in the region, while music channels have the lowest.

The study compared satellite TV advertising rates across 14 FTA satellite TV  — Al Rai TV, Dubai TV, Future Television, LBC Sat, MBC1, Dubai One, MBC 4, MBC Action, Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, Melody Hits, Rotana Clip, MBC 3 and Spacetoon Arabic.