Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Algerian State TV Stops Airing Djezzy Ads Over Orascom Dispute

­The dispute between Orascom Telecom and the Algerian government appears to have escalated after the country's state-owned television channels all stopped running adverts for the OTH's local mobile network, Djezzy.

Algerian state television, which controls all the country's terrestrial stations, refused to renew an annual advertising contract with Djezzy, an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

"They (state television) are no longer agreeing to run Djezzy's ads," said the source, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The timing is interesting as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is typically one of the strongest selling periods for companies operating in the country.

Adverts are continuing to be run on radio and in newspapers, while satellite television networks that operate overseas but are watched in Algeria are also running adverts.

Following a long running tax dispute, Orascom recently confirmed that the Algerian government was in talks to buy Djezzy. A clamp down on advertising could push down subscriber growth, and hence the price that the government would have to pay to buy the company.

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