Television

The growth and development of television in South Sudan has largely been hampered by economic hardship and inflation amid huge cost of operations and production caused by limited electricity and telecommunication infrastructures. As of 2018, the state-run South Sudan Television (SSTV) which was since renamed to South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) is the only station operating in the country. SSBC broadcasts news and current-affairs programming, music and entertainment via the Arabsat Badr-4 Satellite, Multichoice DSTV and some online streaming services. The use of digital satellite technology has a limited reach, regarding slightly above 10 percent of the South Sudanese according to Internews surveys. Thus, a large percentage of the population remains unreached by television.

Lack of electricity and power sources was top among reasons that prevent South Sudanese from accessing television. According to Internews survey (2015), less than 29 percent of South Sudanese had at least one source of power and only 8 percent had television sets in their household. In regards to nationwide television penetration, even the most popular station had a reach of less than 5 percent, with South Sudan Television dominating the TV market (47 percent), followed by Al Jazeera Arabic (35 percent) and Al Jazeera English (28 percent).

Despite the enacting of media legislation from 2013 which provided for the establishment of a public broadcaster, leading to the state-run South Sudan Television (SSTV) switch to SSBC, the national broadcaster remains largely a government entity with journalists there focused on reporting government activities and events. Between 2012 and 2016, there were other television stations such as the privately-owned Citizen TV and Equator Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), run and managed by the former Central Equatorial government. But as of 2018, both have been switched off due to either excessive government censorship and/or huge costs of operations amid lack of revenue to maintain sustainability.

In 2018, new TV stations namely Junubna and Africa 360 were established in Juba targeting younger and more youthful audiences. The two stations have not been fully operational but represents a significant growth of privately owned televisions. However, their existence and success would highly depend on the government provision for free media environment and freedom of expression.

Gender and education level influence television viewership in South Sudan, according to the 2015 Internews survey. In the former Central Equatorial state, female viewers (17 percent) were less likely to watch Al Jazeera English compared to men (34 percent). Similarly, 16 percent of South Sudanese without education have ever watched English channels compared to 30 percent viewers with some level of education. The survey also found it more common for people with some education to watch SSTV (43 percent), compared to those with no education (34 percent).