A TV set is part of the normal equipment of every Malian home, even in rural areas. In Bamako, only 5 percent of the population has no access to television, while 84 percent of the population in the region does, compared to 60.30 percent in the rural areas. Most TV channels are broadcasting in Bamako. The signal reception is limited in many areas of the country due to lack of electricity and television sets.
The audiovisual landscape is composed by five broadcasting operators: the public service operator ORTM, Malivision, Multichannel, Digitel and Canal Sud. While ORTM broadcasts its own programmes, the other operators relay programmes of foreign satellite channels. There are two public TV channels namely ORTM and TM2.
According to data collected by HAC in 2019 there are 23 television channels in the country. Only four were broadcasting before the creation of HAC, namely the two public channels, plus Africable and Liberté Télé. Since the creation of the HAC, 19 television licences have been granted: 16 commercial (Africable TV, Liberté TV, Mousso TV, TM1 TV, Energie TV, ETV - Afrique, Diafounou TV, Dambé TV, Anwar TV, 9 TV, Zahara TV, Diafou TV, Tropic TV, Tafing TV, Kéné TV, Ségou TV) and 3 non-commercial (FTN TV and Horonya TV in Bamako and Alafia TV in Gao). Most of these channels are generalist but there are also some specialised channels, some confessional ones and some belonging to politicians or religious leaders.
ORTM occupies a quasi-monopolistic position as the only national transmitter, followed by Africable, a pan-African channel which does not specifically target the Malian public. ORTM is especially followed in regional capitals and in rural areas where 70 percent of TV viewers are found. Education levels, geographical position, income and gender are determining factors in the choice of channels. According to the 2015 study The use of the media in Mali, by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), people out of school, living in rural areas and aged 50+ years tend to watch mainly ORTM while educated people and youths tend to zap between channels.