Television, Satellite and Cable TV in Qatar
Find out what domestic and cable TV channels are available in Qatar, as well as television licence regulations...
Qatar offers a good range of options for accessing TV services and channels from across the world. Cable and satellite services are both available, with a number of English language stations and packages. No TV licence is required in Qatar.
The television transmission standard in Qatar is PAL B. In order for foreign television sets to work in the country, they should be compatible with this standard. There are three main television/video standards in use throughout the world.
- NTSC: used in the USA, Canada, Japan and some other countries
- PAL: used in most of Western Europe, Australasia and South Africa
- SECAM: used in France, Africa and Eastern Europe
The three systems are not compatible with each other. It is not possible to watch television on an NTSC or SECAM appliance, or to use DVD or video players which are configured for these systems. Multi-standard televisions are compatible with PAL (or NTSC) video recorders, DVD players, games consoles and other video equipment.
Main TV Companies in Qatar
Qatar Television is the state-run domestic broadcaster, and has two main channels - one in Arabic, the other in English. The well-known Al Jazeera network is also Qatar-owned and is based in Doha. Its Arabic and English news and sports channels are broadcast throughout the region and internationally. Qatar News Agency is another local channel. All the networks are available through the cable and satellite providers listed below.
Overseas networks that broadcast via cable and satellite in Qatar include OSN (Orbit Showtime Network), ART, STAR, MBC, BBC, Fox and Abu Dhabi Sports (which shows the English Premier League football).
Qtel is the main provider of cable TV in Qatar. The company is the country's dominant telecommunications provider of landline, broadband and cable services.
The cable TV service provided by Qtel is known as Mozaic TV+, and there are various packages available that bundle together TV options with broadband and telephone connections. The basic TV package features around 160 channels, including stations from Qatar, the Middle East and beyond. Extra premium packages, featuring sports, film and entertainment channels can be added. Different TV networks transmit via the Mozaic service, and users can choose some or all of the options.
- For information on the packages available and costs: Click here
How to receive cable TV
It is possible to connect to Mozaic online or by telephone:
Alternatively, it is possible to sign up for the service at a Qtel outlet. Cable connection is tied in with broadband and telephone services, so signing up for all three at the same time when moving into a property is common, but TV can also be added to the package at a later date.
Users signing up in store need to present their Qatar ID and fill out an application form. The household's electricity account number is also required.
- To download the application form: Click here
Main Satellite Providers
Many of the same channels that are offered through the cable TV service can also be received through a satellite connection. Local providers offer installation services, or alternatively cards and decoders are available directly from some of the networks, for example OSN.
Satellite connection is a useful option when it is not possible to connect to a cable service. Doha-based satellite installation services are available from several companies including Al Muftah Group and StarLink.
English Language Programmes
A large selection of English language programmes from the UK and North America is available on the Mozaic cable platform, or through the main satellite broadcasters, depending on the package selected. Many channels are broadcast in English with Arabic subtitles. Al Jazeera has a dedicated English language news channel, and its sports channels have commentary available in both languages.