EMM plans MENA free to air satellite TV channel

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 19-01-2012

A new 24-hour general entertainment TV channel is to be launched across the Arab world by the end of 2012 from UAE-based digital media company EMM.

The free to air satellite channel, whose name has not yet been publicised, will broadcast from Abu Dhabi's media zone twofour54. Around 650 hours of original multi-genre programming are also to be produced at the facility for the channel each year.
"EMM's existing digital audience will be drawn to the original and exciting offering from the distinctive new TV channel when we transmit across the Middle East and North Africa. Editorially, operationally and technically our TV programming will be distinctive, innovative, empowering and with high production values," says Nicholas Claxton, chief executive, EMM.
The channel will initially require 20 technical and operational staff, and up to 30 creatives for programme production. The company expects these numbers to grow once output increases after five years on air.
"Abu Dhabi is increasingly being seen as a seriously strong and creative production base and as we share in [twofour54's] vision to make this a reality it made sense to establish our operations there and help make it the number one destination of choice."
Wayne Borg, deputy chief executive and chief operating officer, twofour54 said: "This is a significant addition to the media ecosystem we are building at twofour54.
"Not only will EMM be creating and broadcasting engaging, contemporary Arabic content across multiple channels, but in doing so, they will add to the talent development and employment opportunities for young Arabs and, in particular, UAE Nationals. This is another step towards establishing a sustainable Arabic media industry in Abu Dhabi," added Borg.
A former managing director of several UK based independent production companies; Nicholas Claxton has also worked with major broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Discovery, National Geographic and A&E Network. He is also an Emmy award-winning producer/director.