Sky News Arabia celebrates launch
Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 07-05-2012
Over 400 guests gathered at the Jumeriah Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi last night for the launch of Sky News Arabia – the Middle East's latest Arabic TV news channel, which promises 'balanced, accurate and consistent news' 24/7.
"The region demanded an Arab news product which incorporates both the technological developments and the fast changing media consumption habits that are transforming how news is gathered and disseminated," the channel's chairman, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber told those assembled.
"Our market research uncovered a strong appetite from Arab audiences for a high calibre, independent news channel which delivers news in real time and across multiple media platforms, be they high definition television sets, the internet, smartphones or tablets.
"This, coupled with the pace of change and development of the global media landscape, reaffirms the need for Sky News Arabia – a channel launched from the heart of the Arab world for the Arab world. I am confidant Sky News Arabia will become an icon for objective news reporting," added Al Jaber.
The channel, a 50:50 joint venture between Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation (ADMIC) and UK pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB, is headquartered in Abu Dhabi's twofour54 media zone.
Andrew Griffith, chief financial officer, BSkyB and Sky News Arabia Board Director, said: "BSkyB is one of the UK's most innovative and successful companies and Sky News has always been a pioneering part of our business. Our partnership with ADMIC to create truly independent news offering for the Middle East and North Africa is a project we are fully committed to. It is an investment that both parties are proud to have made and we aim to set a new standard for news delivery in the region."
Sky News Arabia is now available across the Arab world free to air on transponder 15 on Arabsat Badr 4 and transponder 14 on Nilesat 201, and in HD via the OSN pay-TV satellite platform and Abu Dhabi TV. In the UAE, it is also available on the IPTV services provided by Du TV and Etisalat e-Life.
The channel will compete with established Arabic news channels from Qatar's Al Jazeera and MBC's Al Arabiya, as well as a host of Arabic language news services from foreign broadcasters such as the BBC, France 24 and Russia Today.