July 17, 2010
Quixotic Arab Sat Plans
I am bemused by this report. I have a very hard time believing there is market space for yet another Arab Sat in the news space (although perhaps it might convince the USA to finally put to death the laughing stock fiasco of its state run news service, Al Hurra)
Sky News considers launch in Arabic | Media | guardian.co.uk
BSkyB is in talks about launching a Sky News-branded 24-hour Arabic language service in conjunction with an Abu Dhabi-based private investor.
It would compete with the Qatar-based al-Jazeera and other Arabic language news services in the Middle East and North Africa.
Sky said that the channel will launch within the next two years if the discussions are successful.
The new channel, which would be a 50/50 joint venture between the two parties, will be based in Abu Dhabi and have bureaux "in most major regional and international news centres".
It would be broadcast free-to-air across the Middle East and North Africa regions offering, according to Sky News, "independent and neutral coverage of the news agenda".
"The Middle East is undergoing rapid economic and social development and is becoming an increasingly attractive region for media investment," said John Ryley, head of Sky News. "This venture would build on our existing strengths as an international news provider and bring the Sky News brand to a new audience. Discussions are progressing well and we look forward to bringing a new approach to Arabic-language news."
Well, I suppose if some gullible Emirati is willing to plump for this....
TrackBack URL for this entry:
there is dire need for local news, pan-arab and international news niches are obviously saturated.
And really, without Qatar and KSA financial support, I really doubt the existing channels could survive... supposing this one won't be backed by another Gulf State.
Posted by: xoussef at July 20, 2010 07:57 PM
My view precisely.
There are very significant indirect benefits to having those channels for the supporting states. But you won't see them on the channels' books.
From a strict company standpoint, they would benefit a lot from scheduling more localized content (and advertisements) in reserved windows.