The regions most awaited news channel, Alarab, went live today at 5pm UAE time. Fahad Al Sukait CEO of Alarab News Channel and Rotana Media Group, who is at the helm of the channels operations said he is extremely excited about the launch. Its a proud moment for him and his team who have put […]
The regions most awaited news channel, Alarab, went live today at 5pm UAE time. Fahad Al Sukait CEO of Alarab News Channel and Rotana Media Group, who is at the helm of the channels operations said he is extremely excited about the launch. Its a proud moment for him and his team who have put in months of hard work into the project.
In an exclusive interview to BroadcastPro ME, a few hours before the launch, Al Sukait commented: Last few days have been quite tense in the office, we have had mixed feelings of excitement and responsibility with regards to the channels launch. Although, we have received very good feedback from all those who have had a chance to look at the sneak previews but anything new comes with its own set of challenges and rewards.
Alarab is one of the few channels in the world that has attempted a vertical startup as opposed to a soft startup, meaning the channel will go live full-fledged in one go with 17 hours of programming from day one. The news channel also launched its social media simultaneously – @ and Facebook accounts are now active.
Commenting on the several delays that the channel had before announcing the final launch date, Al Sukait said: Achieving a vertical startup is a challenge in itself but we are ready for it. We have focused on delivering quality, which is why we took our time until we were ready to give our viewers the best in terms of content and viewing experience. The channel is a culmination of efforts from every single member of the Alarab team.
While live news will constitute the bulk of its programming, Alarab will also offer weekly programmes, travel diaries, current affairs programmes, business news as well as programmes targeted at youth and women.
As a pan-Arab channel, our programming has a special focus on Saudi Arabia and the GCC. Our special talk show titled From Riyadh will offer current affairs news from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This talk show is being produced in our Riyadh studio. Then there is a weekly programme titled Parliamentary Affairs with news from around the world and Kudwa (Role Model), a programme that will feature young Arab entrepreneurs.
He added that Alarab will offer special programming for youth given that 65% of the population in the MENA region is under the age of 30.
We will offer programmes that are relevant to the youth. We need news now more than ever as news consumption is going up. Everyone is news hungry in the region especially the young people, who want to know whats going on around them. They want niche programmes and we at Alarab hope to fill that gap, he said.
As with any new channel, to sustain it will be a challenge for the team because of the plethora of channels already existing and the various online sources of news available to the viewers at the click of the mouse.
We are trying to have a 360-degree approach in our coverage of news. It will extend to both linear and online platforms to reach as many audiences as possible. Along with the TV channel we will be launching our website – http://alarabtv.net/ – as well.
Alarab is a very technology-driven channel. It is the only channel in the Arab world to have Viz Mosart to automate all of its services in our state-of-the-art studios in Manama, added Al Sukait.
The channel will broadcast in both SD and HD because a large part of the Arab world still watches TV in SD.