Digital broadcast migration in West Africa: Getting the most out of the transition

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By Russell Southwood (APC and Balancing Act)
, 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.

Read more articles, summaries and reports about digital broadcast migration in West Africa.

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