Just under half of the countries in Africa have liberalised their broadcast markets and there has been a considerable growth in the number of new television and radio stations. The final opening up by the rest of the countries on the continent promises the kind of growth that the mobile market has experienced over the next five years. Whereas broadcast media used to be simply a small number of TV and radio channels, there is now a proliferation of ways in which broadcast programming can be received by its audiences including satellite, IP-TV, PC and mobile.
Taken together, the number of channels and the many different ways of receiving programming has begun to fragment the traditional market. African broadcasters need to find new ways to sustain their audiences and attract new advertising. African government broadcasters are particularly threatened by the new media landscape. Largely without funding they have to deliver public service obligations like coverage and at the same time, compete ever more fiercely in the market for premium rights, audiences and advertisers.
The First African Broadcast and Film Conference in Nairobi in September 2008 will bring together senior broadcast executives, producers, advertising agency executives, regulators and policy-makers to discuss the challenges faced by the industry over the next five years.