Digital broadcast migration in West Africa: Getting the most out of the transition
, March 2011
The digital migration is probably going to be one of the biggest upheavals in African television since the medium was first launched on the continent. It is a process of change that will affect both the broadcasters themselves and those who watch television.
Since the owners of televisions will need to buy either a digital set-top box or television, it will also have costs that will be widely felt, particularly amongst the poor. It may be necessary to subsidise set-top boxes for poorer television owners.
In a continent that has so many pressing economic demands, it is somewhat strange to be spending money on subsidising a medium that is not as widely used as say radio or mobiles unless there is some wider purpose. Without a clear and articulate statement of the potential “digital prize”, there is the danger that Africa’s citizens will simply not see the point of making the digital transition.
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