Sami Boustany, the Chief Executive Officer of Yahlive, speaks to Review Central about the company and its products and services offered on the regional market.
Tell us about Yahlive and its offerings in the region?
Yahlive is the fastest-growing regional satellite TV operator in terms of number of Free-to-Air TV channels and revenue, delivering more than 360 television channels to our viewers across the Middle East North Africa and Europe. Our primary markets are in the Middle East, Farsi-Speaking and Greater Maghreb countries.
We deliver several exclusive quality bouquets of entertainment and news channels to a potential audience, or reach, of more than 300 million people from different yet interlinked communities, primarily in the Gulf, Algeria, Morocco, Levant, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. We currently estimate today’s viewership size at 60-65 Million and growing fast.
Recenlty, we have undeniably established 52.5E – the Yahsat A1 satellite position from which we operate from- as the Farsi hotspot. In North Africa and the Levant, we are relatively new entrants, but we believe that we will be gaining market-share fast during the next few years to become the next Greater Maghreb Hotspot. In the Gulf, Levant and Iraq our audience is growing steadily but surely do the addition of several exclusive and highly entertaining Arabic channels that appeal to our Arabic-Speaking viewers.
We are also very happy to have announced the launch of the first fully licensed and authorized premium bouquet of South-Asian channels in the region with our partners at Earth TV. The feedback we have received from the South-West-Asian communities in the Middle East has been phenomenal. This has strengthened our resolve to serve this community even more.
What sort of solutions and technologies did Yahlive showcase through Cabsat?
We have backed our claim to the broadcasting community that we can offer high-quality TV broadcasting irrespective of required bandwidth. Our stand showcased the different versatile and cost-effective capabilities and services we offer ranging from playout services to receiving our signals using 50cm Dishes.
Our Standard TV 2Mbps offering per channel for instance is at par with our competitor’s 3.5Mbps offerings, in terms of image quality and availability, and has received very positive feedback from our customers; this has allowed SD broadcasters to save on bandwidth while marinating image quality. On the other hand and for the third year in a row, we have highlighted our Ultra High-Definition readiness by showcasing the first 4K fashion channel in the world and customer since 2015, Fashion One.
What was the highlight of Yahlive’s participation at Cabsat?
Yahlive announced their deal with See Africa Benin to bring on board 42 new African and French channels catering to the African viewers in MENA, which include 25 channels that are exclusive to the operator. The signing ceremony, held at Cabsat 2018, saw the two entities come together to launch the latest community and brings African viewers in the Middle East the content they’ve been waiting for.
Tell us about the company’s South Asian Bouquet. Which TV channels are included in the package? What is the subscription price?
The idea and vision behind EARTH DTH is aimed towards providing Asian communities living in GCC with TV content allowing them to view officially with an affordable price point. The objective is to bring up to 250 South Asian Channels, as there are above 7 million expats living in GCC from different Asian countries, our goal is to cover channels for everyone as true Asian DTH Services via our Brand ( “Earth DTH “).
Package Pakistan – Monthly AED 50 on an average: All Major Entertainment Official License Pakistani Channels which are around 60 in number, especially for 2.5 million Pakistani community living in GCC and another 260 million in the surrounding countries under the Yahsat South Beam.
Package International – Monthly AED 70 on an average: All Pakistani Entertainment channels plus 60 international Channels (6 channels from Philippines, 30 Channels from India, 2 Channels from Thailand 3 Channels from Indonesia and 20 well establish western movies / music / sports channels. The launch date of this package will be announced soon.
Does the company offer IP TV services in the region?
No, for the time being IP-TV and Satellite TV are competing with each other. As was done with in the 90’s and the 2000’s with Telco across the world, there will be specific markets with specific customer profiles, where both technologies (Space and Ground) will have to work together to provide the right hybrid solution to customers even IP-Based or not.