TV in Saudi ArabiaHistorically, free-to-air (FTA) TV has been the most dominant, with FTA TV generating the most revenue in Saudi Arabia. FTA in Saudi Arabia is nearly entirely driven by satellite technology, with monetization via TV advertising. TV advertising continued to dominate the Saudi video industry, with total TV advertising revenues projected to exceed half a billion in 2023.
Pay-TV household penetration has been averaging approximately 20 percent. Piracy and the availability of a large FTA market have been major barriers to the development of the pay-TV industry. Traditional segments are stalling, partially because of obsolescence brought on by the expansion of digital segments. In particular, the video market that FTA traditionally dominated is becoming increasingly crowded by the emerging over-the-top television companies (OTT). OTT videos were expected to have the highest revenue growth among TV and OTT video revenues in Saudi Arabia between 2019 and 2025. With digital media segments expanding, growth in traditional media segments may experience even more barriers in the coming years.