Sky News Arabia went live on Sunday when it was broadcast into 50 million homes across the Middle East and North Africa.
Set up as a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation (ADMIC) and British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), Sky News Arabia will employ 400 journalists, including 16 presenters.
It claims to be the first news channel in the region supported by an editorial advisory committee ‘to ensure Sky News Arabia delivers balanced, accurate and consistent news”.
Its headquarters are in Abu Dhabi and the channel ‘promises a ‘new horizon’ in the way it delivers news across multiple platforms”, with the launch of mobile apps available on iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android devices.
At a launch ceremony hosted by the Chairman of ADMIC and Sky News Arabia, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: ‘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.
‘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, smart phones 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 confident Sky News Arabia will become an icon for objective news reporting,’Al Jaber explained.
He added: ‘With the vibrant cultural movement in the UAE, Abu Dhabi is attractive for an organization like Sky news Arabia to objectively disseminate news in the Arab World.”
Commenting on the channel’s launch, Nart Bouran, head of Sky News Arabia, said: ‘This is a momentous occasion for Sky News Arabia and, I believe, a leap forward for the news industry in the Arab world.
‘Our 400 strong editorial team will aim to set new standards for regional news through a high quality, engaging news product which informs viewers of events as and when they happen.”
The channel will broadcast on Transponder 15 on Arabsat Badr 4, Transponder 14 on Nilesat 201, on du IPTV and e-Life platforms plus in high definition on the OSN pay-TV platform as well as the Abu Dhabi TV Network.
Launch advertisers include Dolphin Energy, Etihad Airways, First Gulf Bank, Nova Chemicals, and Sebsa.papa