"Tussle of Arab news stations set to heat up."

Posted: 24 Jul 2010   Print   Send a link
Financial Times, 16 July 2010, Andrew England and Robin Wigglesworth: "British Sky Broadcasting this week revealed it was negotiating with an investor from Abu Dhabi, the wealthy capital of the United Arab Emirates, to launch a 24-hour Arabic news channel. Last week, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a Saudi billionaire, announced he was setting up a similar venture. Both talk about launching within the next two years, but they will be entering a competitive market where costs are high and advertising revenues meagre. As well as Al-Jazeera, the entrants will be taking on Al-Arabiya, a private Saudi-backed channel, the BBC’s Arabic service, and a host of smaller rivals. Al-Arabiya, owned by the MBC Group, admits it has lost money since going on air seven years ago, despite claiming it attracts about eight times the advertising revenue of Al-Jazeera." See previous post about same subject.

Ammon, 22 July 2010, Nehad Ismail: "Two-third of Arab society is young people below the age of 35. This group is more media savvy than the older generation and demands high standard of entertainment and programs that deal with issues relevant to their lives. They are not interested in heavy adversarial political shouting matches. Soft content intelligently presented is gaining ground at the expense of heavy stuff. People want programs that promote co-existence and understanding between religions and people from different ethnicities. Exposing bad behaviour by the authorities and the promotion of democratic values and respect for human rights are vitally important but must be introduced in small dozes within the framework of a socially oriented program. To succeed and stand out in the Middle East Satellite TV Bazaar, a Satellite TV Channel must have something special, it must have a unique blend of programs that distinguish it from the crowd."

Committee to Protect Journalists blog, 21 July 2010, Kamel Labidi: "Moroccan Minister of Communication Khalid Naciri ... claimed that the draconian restrictions recently imposed on Arab and foreign TV reporting in the Kingdom of Morocco 'are also implemented in all democratic countries.' ... [T]his new restriction on press freedom has been adopted to mainly target Al-Jazeera satellite TV, whose coverage of social unrest in Morocco and critical guest speakers often anger the authorities and prompt reprisal. ... Naciri took precaution to mention that the Saudi satellite Al-Arabiya TV and the U.S.-government-backed Al-Hurra TV are also required to abide by what he euphemistically called this 'ordinary measure.' But neither of these networks has given the Moroccan authorities as much of a headache as Al-Jazeera."