After years of monopoly from the state-run TV and radio stations, Tunisia started opening up its media market just over a year ago.
Mosaique FM became the first private radio station in Tunisia, followed by Hannibal TV the first private TV channel.
Last year another private radio station Jawhara FM was launched in Sousse to cover the eastern coast region.
It seems the media sector will get more new players soon with two new TV channels being planned as well as another radio station.
Communication agency, Karoui & Karoui, are planning to launch a TV station under the name Nessma TV in September, on which they will be broadcasting the first season of Star Academy Maghreb among other programs.
They’re also planning to launch a radio station as well.
On the other hand, business man and journalist Tarak Bachraoui will be launching another TV channel under the name TT1 on Mars 20th 2007.
Mr. Faycal Habib will be the executive director of this channel, which will be intially broadcast on Hotbird and NileSat, before becoming available on the terrestrial hertzian network.
TT1 is currently in negotiations with French channels TF1, M6 and Arte, as well as Arab channels from the ART and Rotana bouquets regarding program exchanges.
I think it’s great to see the Tunisian media market growing, with new players making an entrance and trying new things, breathing more life into the audio visual sector.
Up to now, the most successful of the private ventures in the media sector has been Mosaique FM, which enjoys great popularity and has established itself quickly as a big player.
Hannibal TV was a bit of a dissapointment, and didn’t do as well as we all hoped it would, with quite average programming.
As for Jawhara FM, I personally only heard it once for a short while on my way to Monastir for a meeting with a client, and I thought it was pretty good.