Sky News Arabia seals cross platform carriage deals

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 02-05-2012

Sky News Arabia, the latest rolling news channel for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has signed a raft of distribution deals for extended coverage from launch on 6 May 2012.

Subscription satellite TV platforms OSN and Abu Dhabi TV will broadcast the 24-hour Arabic channel in high definition (HD) region-wide, while in the UAE, Etisalat's eLife and du TV will carry Sky News Arabia in standard definition (SD) via their internet protocol television (IPTV) networks.

An agreement with multimedia service provider Eurostar will see Sky News Arabia made available in hotels across MENA, while a deal with Livestation will provide live internet streaming of the news channel worldwide.

Sky News Arabia will also be broadcast regionally free to air via Arabsat Badr4 and Nilesat 201, and is currently waiting regulatory approval for carriage on the UK's BSkyB satellite platform and free to air on Astra across Europe.

The news network will also be available via, and through iPad and smartphone applications.

"The key objective of any news organization is to provide accurate, independent breaking news 24 hours a day to widest possible audience. With these distribution deals Sky News Arabia can deliver on that promise, online, on mobile and tablet devices and with the widest reach on television," said Nart Bouran, head of Sky News Arabia.

"Our fresh, fast paced, continuous rolling news coverage and our completely integrated multimedia offering means our viewers get the breaking news first, whenever they want, in the format they want it."

Sky News Arabia, headquartered in Abu Dhabi's twofour54 media zone, is a 50:50 joint venture between BSkyB and the Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation. The channel will compete against popular pan-Arab satellite networks such as Qatar-based Al Jazeera and MBC's Al Arabiya, as well as a host of Arab language news channels from international broadcasters such as the BBC, France 24, and Russia Today.