Sheikh Hasher takes a tour after opening the CABSAT 2022 in Dubai on Tuesday.
Staff Reporter, Gulf Today
Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Director General of Dubai Department of Information has officially opened CABSAT 2022 – the region’s leading satellite, broadcast, and content event – at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) on Tuesday.
Sheikh Hasher was accompanied by several dignitaries as he toured the event, which is hosting over 200 brands from 35 countries and features three main conference pillars, the SATExpo Summit, Content Congress and NextGen Content.
CABSAT 2022 is hosting industry leaders including Arabsat, Nilesat, TECOM Group, Turksat, Qvest Media, Ross Video, Evertz Microsystems, Turksat and the Space Agency of Azerbaijan Republic as well as dedicated pavilions for Bavaria, Great Britain, and Northern Ireland.
The SatExpo Summit has a multi-national line up which includes c-suite decision makers from the the USA’s Kosmic Apple; the Global Satellite Operators’ Association; Canada’s Satellite Network Technologies Corporation and C-COM Satellite Systems; Israel’s Gilat Satellite Networks; the UK’s Inmarsat, Satcoms Innovation Group, SES Networks, ETL Systems, Kratos and GVF as well as Arabsat of Saudia Arabia.
Content Congress will hear from industry trailblazers who will explore the latest trends in the Metaverse, NFT, social content, streaming wars, podcasts, vlogging and music content. The line-up includes representatives of some of the biggest names in the business including Twitter, Meta, Rotana Media Group, MBC, Starzplay, Dubai Media City, Creative Media Authority & Abu Dhabi Gaming, CNBC Arabia, Saudi Media Rating Company (MRC) , Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Nigeria, Disney Plus.
The global satellite and broadcast industries focused on the ongoing issues surrounding space sustainability, the threat of space debris, and consumer mindset shifts in content consumption as satellite operators and content producers came together on the opening day of CABSAT 2022, the Middle East and Africa’s most competitive event for the satellite, broadcast, and filmed content industries.
CABSAT’S Content Congress opened with a keynote speech from Majed Al Suwaidi, managing director Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, and Dubai Production City. Al Suwaidi identified the growing number of entrepreneurs and Dubai’s shift to attracting talent, as well as corporations as a driver of the media industry.
“We are fostering the right landscape and ecosystem for entrepreneurs to thrive,” he said. “Over the past year, we have seen an influx of business as they invest here and see the potential of government reforms to support the media sector. CABSAT has become a platform of potential, especially this year as it offers numerous opportunities with our focus changing to not only attract companies, but also pioneering individuals.
“Our commitment going forward is entrepreneurship-focused, and at TECOM Group we take it very seriously. We invest heavily in creating the right infrastructure through our In5 arm, which recently saw the introduction of a new dedicated space to accommodate angel investors, venture capitalists, and institutional investors at the heart of in5 Tech Centre in Dubai Internet City.”
A panel discussion attracted leaders from regional and international broadcasters to discuss how content reaches consumers and the intricate decision-making processes made to ensure consumers are happy and businesses stays profitable in a time where traditional and digital fight for the spotlight.
Wael Mohammed Al Buti, VP & Chief Commercial Officer, ARABSAT believes a focus on localisation and quality is key to consumer satisfaction on the back of continued satellite adoption. “We have been operating since the 1980s and have become the leading satellite service provider in the Arab world,” he said. “Usually, at Arabsat, we don’t look at quantity, but rather the quality and how we can better serve a specific market. Off the back of new channel launches in Lebanon and Jordan, a recent MENA satellite penetration study we conducted revealed that satellite has a 97 per cent market share in this region. We have seen an increase in the number of HD receivers being used as well.”
Also speaking on the panel was Yuliya Fischer, Director at ZDF Studios GmbH, one of the largest broadcasters in Europe. “Our content is predominantly German, but we are looking at co-production opportunities here in the Middle East,” said Fischer, who oversees acquisition and sales in Asia, Middle East and Africa. “We produced The Killing, The Bridge etc, which really educated us on what binge-watching is – this was before Netflix and Disney+. There is an appetite for content not only from Hollywood and consumer burnout is becoming a thing. If the quality of content is great, there will be people that want to watch it.”
Running in tandem with the CABSAT Content Congress, the SatExpo Summit 2022 also prompted much discussion with guest speakers from around the world. With more than 900,000 pieces of debris in space, yet only around 20,000 of them catalogued, the issue of orbital congestion and sustainable, responsible space management is one of the hottest topics within the satellite industry.