Television news stations exist but in one of the poorest nations in the world TV sets are limited. There are two main state-television news stations – but the private television news networks, many of which are found in the diaspora outside Somalia, dwarf them. While television coverage is limited, in recent years television has expanded as a major source of news and entertainment and is now more popular and influential than print. Television audiences have increased in recent years because of the development of satellite and online TV services. But, only those with electricity services to supply satellite dishes or cable connections can have this privilege, which has to date made television a largely an urban phenomenon. Indeed, it’s only in large cities such as Mogadishu, Hargeisa and Bossasso that citizens have regular television access.
In recent years many Somali-language satellite TV channels have been launched – many of them founded in the diaspora community. Many operate outside Somalia such as Universal TV, one of the oldest Somali TV stations, which is based in London and Hargeisa. Others like Horn Cable TV, which also operates from London, have changed the television market considerably. There are also two state-controlled TV stations, Somali National TV run by the internationally recognised government and Somaliland National TV operated from the breakaway region.