Broadcast Regulator Grants Three Broadcast Licensees In Ivory Coast
In a statement, HACA recently revealed that Free’s founder Xavier Niel could go ahead with his plans to launch a satellite TV package in Ivory Coast, putting his firm in competition with the satellite offerings of the likes of Startimes and Canal Plus.
Niel who is a technology entrepreneur owns nearly 55 per cent of publicly-traded Iliad, the parent company of his telecom outfit Free. Free Mobile, which launched in France in 2012, offers unlimited calls, texts and data for a far cheaper rate than its competitors. WorldNet which was his initial venture was the first internet provider in France which floated in 1993 at age 25 and was worth $50 Million seven years later.
In the West African nation, French pay-TV company Canal+ is the leading satellite broadcaster which carries RTI’s radio and TV broadcasts. Reports show that many people receive Canal+ cheaply through cheap pirate connections. These pirated connections happen when these customers rely on one person who pays for a subscription and creates multiple TV connections from one decoder.
Radio is the most influential form of media in Cote d’Ivoire. It's National radio and TV stations broadcast mainly in French. As at August 2011, the only radio station with a functioning nationwide network of FM transmitters was the UN radio station ONUCI FM.
The broadcasting capacity of Radio Television Ivoirienne (RTI), the state broadcasting corporation, had suffered severe degradation due to the civil war and ultimately went off air between April and August 2011. Its broadcasting services were officially re-launched in August 2011 after an emergency repair programme was carried out.