The number of TV stations is almost constant since 2012 – and stands now at 48 stations according to the TCRA. The number of Free-To-Air stations was rising to 27 channels which are amongst the highest watched. In general, TV usages was for a long time facing barriers namely affordability and access. In the aftermath of the digital migration, this picture has changed: MCT state of the media 2016 report mentioned the spread of televisions stations to different parts of the country including remote areas, where, due to lack of appropriate infrastructure including power supply, access to TV had always been a big improvement.
Still, TV is considered as a less important news source as radio. 47 percent of Tanzanians use TV as an information source at least once a month, however, not even a quarter of the population uses it daily. A far larger number (39%) never watch TV to get information.
Ownership and audience concentration
The TV market is highly concentrated, as the major 4 companies, the state-run Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), Azam Media Limited, and Cloud Entertainment Ltd represent an audience share of XX.XXX%. The IPP Group is owned by the media entrepreneur Dr. Reginald A. Mengi. TBC is a public broadcaster on paper and state-run in practice. The Bakhresa family owns Azam Media Limited which belongs to their huge Bakhresa Group of companies which runs business ranging from food to ferries. Joseph Kusaga, who founded Clouds FM and made it big, also holds the majority shares in the company – while a number of his family members holder the remaining shares.
Decline in commercials as a challenge
Decline in commercials is on the one hand attributed to the Government position of withholding commercials and tightening of expenditure among corporate and big advertisers, on the other hand to the evolving online sphere. Broadcasting companies took several measures to deal with this situation, according to the MCT State of the Media Report 2016.
Those steps included amongst others new models of disseminating news content using digital devices. Another move was the current strategy where some radio and television stations were working with mobile phone companies to channel their news content through online gadgets where citizens (mobile phone users) subscribe to some news content from the stations under special rates. In the same effort of coping with the pace of technological changes, various radio and television stations in the country introduced a mobile phone-to-radio/television convergence where listeners or viewers using their mobile phones call studios and participate actively in the programme on air. This arrangement is said to have increased the popularity of the stations as well as widening coverage.