Television is the main source of news and entertainment and is more popular and influential than radio.
A survey of media consumption habits carried out by the BBC World Service Trust in 2010 found that 86 percent of the respondents watched television on a daily basis, whereas only 19 percent listened to the radio and 12 percent read newspapers. TV viewing was equally popular among the young and elders alike. It is also widespread amongst all social and income groups, from wealthy, sophisticated citizenry to the rural poor. Television is still the most popular and consumed media, followed by social media networks at huge steps.
Yemen has around 17 television channels, 4 channels owned by the government (Yemen TV, Aden TV, Saba TV, Al-Iman TV).
Yemen TV is the first official channel to start broadcasting in North Yemen in 1975, joined by other Arab channels via Intelsat-59 in 1995 and later via Nilesat. After the unification of the country with Aden (South Yemen) to form the Republic of Yemen, the channel continued to be considered the main national broadcaster of the new united Yemen. After joining other Arab channels via Intelsat-59, a second channel was added in year 2000. On 19 january 2015, the Houthis seized the channel. The channel then split into two factions: one pro-Hadi, the other pro-Houthi. On 21 january the director of the channel, Tawfik al-Sharabi, resigned. The station’s director of the pro-Houthis faction was killed, with his entire family, on 9 February 2016 by an airstrike of the Saudi-led coalition, during the latter’s intervention in Yemen. On 19 february 2016, a cameraman of the Hadi faction was killed in Taiz.
Yamania Television was founded in 1980 in the South of Yemen asAden Channel and was renamed after the unity of Yemen. Another channel with many viewers in the South is Aden Live which is run by Southern separatists via Nilesat.
Most of the other channels broadcast via Nilesat, an Egyptian company established in 1996 with the purpose of operating egyptian satellites and their associated ground control station and uplinking facilities. The company is owned by the Egyptian radio and Television Union with a 40 percent share, the Arab organisation for Industrialisation with a 10 percent share, the Egyptian Company for Investment Projects with a 9 percent share and the rest is owned by the general public, Egyptian financial institutions and other investors. The company has two ground stations, a primary one in 6th of October City and a secondary ground station in Alexandria. Nilesat operates multiple geosynchronous communications satellites all of which are stationed at 7 degrees West. Nilesat includes more the 415 video channels, 300 of which are free-to-air.
In Yemen, the offer via Nilesat includes: Al-Saeedah television channel which broadcasts since 2007; Suhail television channel which started broadcasting in 2009 and is operated by Al-Islah political party; Sama Yemen TV; Belqees TV since 2014; Yemen Shabab TV which targets the youth; Yosr TV; Maeen TV; Al Saahaat TV which began broadcasting in 2014; Azal TV; Yemen Today; Al-Shareyyah since 2015; government-run Sheba TV and Al-Iman Television, an islamic-dedicated channel opened in 2008. It is run by the government and presents moderate positions against terrorism and radicalism. Last but not least, Al-Masirah is the channel run by the Houthi movement via Nilesat. The channel had a significant increase after Houthi rebels took the capital Sana'a and established their power in the region. It is currently the main channel in the North of the country and spreads an oriented vision of the ongoing war. It was closed on May 2015 along with other anti-Saudi channels on Nile Sat and Euro Sat, due to a saudi pressure on satellite companies which forced Al Masirah to restart broadcasting on the Russian satellite Express AM44. During the conflict Al Masirah lost three journalists covering the war.