Audience measurement organisations
The cost of audience’s research in such a restrictive environment discourages businesses from entering the market and the Thomson Foundation Media Project addressed the need for audience’s research in the country. The Project evaluated the impact a three-year media training programme and analysed the content of different media outlets such as television, radio and print media. The analysis findings indicted that limited attention has been given to the audience’s needs and interests. Adding to this lack of attention, media-based organisations such as BBC Media Action were banned from operating in the country due to the government’s fear of media research organisations. Furthermore, a recent media content survey suggested that the interests of the Sudanese audience focus on foreign media products such as Egyptian drama and Turkish soap operas. A recent article suggested that the number of people working in the National Television and Radio Cooperation may be actually higher than its viewing audience, with the exception of the annual Ramadan drama series.
As a result, audience market research for media outlets is very limited, as there are only a couple of regional media research companies active in Sudan. Telecommunication companies have resources to collect the needed data and they do have regular data collection operations after government approval; however, this does not appear to tangibly benefit the media sector.