Quarter of Egyptians Tune to Alhurra During Recent Crisis

Results of a new poll of Egyptians in Cairo and Alexandria show that 25 percent of respondents tuned into Alhurra to follow the recent uprising in Egypt. The telephone survey was conducted during the network’s 18 days of live comprehensive coverage of the historic events in Egypt.

The poll, commissioned by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, focused on how Egyptians in Cairo and Alexandria consumed media during the recent protests in Egypt. Results show that Egyptians turned heavily to satellite television to follow the events in their country during the demonstrations.  Although the pan-Arab channel Al Arabiya was the most widely watched, surpassing Egyptian State TV, Alhurra TV reached a large audience during this period, with a quarter of all respondents saying they had used the station to follow the events.  The results also showed there was substantial use of communications methods such as text messaging, social networking, or email; in spite of Egyptian authorities’ attempts to block these technologies.

“The survey results confirm what we had been hearing throughout the last three weeks, that Alhurra was a prominent source of news and information for the Egyptian people,” stated MBN President Brian Conniff. “This is also a testament to Alhurra’s excellent journalists who covered this story, despite threats against them.”

Throughout the coverage of the events in Egypt, Alhurra correspondents were in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria providing viewers with a firsthand account of the stories of the protesters and their unwavering desire for reform. Alhurra also brought the American perspective on the crisis; both the official Administration position as well as reaction from diverse voices throughout the public policy community. The network’s comprehensive coverage culminated in being the first to report that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would resign and hand over power to the Egyptian Army.

The phone survey, conducted between Feb. 4-10, 2011, consisted of 500 randomly selected adults (age 15+) in the cities of Cairo and Alexandria. A complete copy of the survey can be found here.

Recent surveys by international research companies such as ACNielsen show that Alhurra has consistently averaged approximately 26 million weekly viewers for the last three years.  Alhurra is operated by the non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN).  MBN is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency.  The BBG serves oversight and as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.


Deirdre Kline

Director of Communications

Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.