Somalia TV sales grow as many avoid public places

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Inside the small office, the line of sweating clients waiting to renew their satellite TV subscriptions keeps growing. Technicians crimp wires and test signal strength of boxes while others go to homes across the Somali capital to install new systems or fix faulty ones.
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Somalia TV sales grow as many avoid public places

The TV business is booming in Somalia, in part because of fears by people of gathering in public places like restaurants that are targeted for deadly attacks by the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab.

Movie theaters, long a source of entertainment for Mogadishu residents, have been shuttered following a wave of terrorist attacks. Many Somalis consider restaurants and hotels too dangerous to visit. And the Somali National Theater, which had started to pick up a large following after al-Shabab was ousted from Mogadishu in 2011 by African Union military forces, suffered a major blow after it was bombed in 2012 in an attack that killed dozens of people.

With the militants using violence to impose bans on modern cultural events, TV sales are going up, in turn fuelling demand for satellite TV services.

Access TV, a satellite service, was launched in 2012 and offers world news, local news and sports— a mix that many Somalis like. In the past, three satellite dishes were required to receive all that but now only one is needed, along with the receiver.


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