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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Egyptian TV Hokum

By the time I got our satellite dish properly aimed and the receiver re-programmed this year, I found that we now receive a total of 540 free channels.  There are about a hundred that are "test" or otherwise vacant, so the real count is probably around 450 or so.

I blogged about the setup back on this post in 2009 where I originally had the dish aimed at the European Hot Bird satellite instead of Nilesat.  Now, you may be wondering just how an enterprising broadcaster is going to make money in this world of free television.  Hot Bird has "polskiporn" to generate some solid revenue but what about Nilesat?  Sure there are a few shopping channels but what else?

We had a friend over for the evening a few days ago and I posed this question to him about the Maestro channel, located right about in the middle of our 540 channels.

"What is this?  What's going on?"

It turns out that it is a "game show" of sorts.  The host on the right is offering $15,000 to the first caller who can identify the difference between the two pictures being displayed.  We watched for a few minutes as calls rolled in.

"The eyes?"  "NO!"

"The hair?"  "NO!"

And so it went for ten minutes or so.  I looked closely.
Egypt_TV-Hokum-2 Egypt_TV-Hokum-3

One hand has three fingers on the phone, the other only two.

"Shall we call?" I said.

"Sure, give me your phone," said my friend.

Yes, those listed numbers, each for a different middle-eastern country such as Kuwait and Iraq are the equivalent of our "900" numbers.

The next night there was a different picture.

But check the hands again - one lacks a thumb.
EgyptTV-2-1 EgyptTV-3-1

And no one besides us ever seems to figure out the answer.

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