Chronicle of the Middle East and North Africa

Television and radio

Until very recently, the only broadcaster in Syria was the state-owned Syria Radio and TV. Now, there are a few privately owned channels, which do not broadcast news. There are also a number of satellite channels in this region, many of which broadcast one or more soaps, which are very popular in Syria as elsewhere in the Middle East, and are shown even on trains and buses. The website provides some quantitative data, but this may be obsolete. In 2002, there were 1,500,000 television sets, amounting to 89 sets per 1,000, and 4,150,000 radio receivers. Judging by the number of shops selling television sets – at least in the big cities – their number must have increased dramatically since. The same goes for satellite receivers, which are omnipresent. In 2002, the number of satellite subscribers was 435,000, which amounts to 26 subscribers per 1,000. At the time, 44 television channels and 17 radio stations could be received in Syria.

The state-run Syria Radio and TV is in Arabic and English. A privately-owned television channel (no newscasts) is al-Dunya (or Addounia). Privately-owned radio stations (no newscasts) are al-Madina; Arabesque; Melody FM; Mix FM (in English) and Farah FM.