The revenues of United Group, Syria’s largest media company, plunged 65 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2012 amidst a slump in the advertising market.
Eutelsat Communications, the French operator of the Hot Bird satellites, has suspended the broadcast of Syria’s main state-owned channel and of another channel featuring dramas and soap operas, according to the Syrian news agency.
Arabsat and Nilesat have stopped broadcasting Syrian television channels in line with recommendations passed by the Arab League in June.
Bashar Kiwan bought a large part of the United Group shares that were traded last week in the Syrian bourse, according to a local press report.
Revenues continued to plunge at UG, Syria’s largest media group, as the industry suffers from the economic downturn.
The Syrian authorities have criticized as an attack against the “freedom of expression” the request made by the Arab League on June 2 to Arabsat and Nilesat to remove the pro-government Syrian TV channels they are carrying.
The Syrian Government has announced that it was merging two of the three state-owned dailies and issuing licenses for new private sector dailies and magazines.
A Presidential decree has granted a 50 percent reduction in income taxes to film production companies, a move directed at an industry that has grown quickly in recent years.
The National Media Council, a body created under the media law enacted last year, has licensed 16 new publications, according to SANA.
The US Treasury has added the Syrian state-run Radio and Television organisation to its list of entities and individuals that face an asset freeze.
UG, Syria’s largest media group, reported a loss of SYP 45 million in its 2011 fiscal year amid a steep decline in revenues and a stricken media sector.
Al-Watan, Syria’s only private sector political daily, was included in a list of entities put under sanctions last week by the European Union.
Movie theatres will be exempted from customs duties on the import of their equipment as well as from other taxes for a period of 5 years in a move aimed at boosting their operations.
Syria has issued a new law aimed at granting more freedoms to the media and at better protecting journalists at a time the media blackout remains almost total on all the protests that have been taking place since last March.
Nour Al-Sham, a new government-sponsored Islamic television channel, started broadcasting on the evening of Friday July 30th on both Arabsat and Nilesat satellites.
Damascus International Fairground
Dama Rose Damascus Hotel