Arab Spring impacts TV ad revenues

Social unrest in the Middle East has severely impacted TV ad revenues in the countries affected.

The wave of demonstrations throughout the region, collectively known as the Arab Spring, caused a sharp downturn in TV advertising revenues in Egypt and Bahrain, according to new data from the Pan Arab Research Centre (PARC).

PARC founder and general manager Sami Raffoul unveiled new numbers at the Digital TV Middle East conference in Dubai last week that showed that Egypt, previously the largest single territory in terms of ad revenues in the region, will see US$620 million (€450 million) wiped off its annual ad revenue income because of the unrest.

Egypt generated US$1.49 billion of ad revenues in 2010 and that will fall to US$870 million this year.

Bahrain, another country affected by the Arab Spring, will see ad revenues fall from the 2010 total of US$140 million to US$113 million.

However, PARC estimates that despite the declines in territories where there has been turmoil, total pan-Arab advertising will increase this year. Raffoul said that the 2011 region-wide total will be US$13.87 billion compared with US$13.75 billion last year.

Pan-Arabic ad spend will account for US$7.72 billion of the total and the United Arab Emirates will generate US$1.41 billion, a slight decrease on its contribution last year.

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