The offering will feature both new content produced in-house as well as commissions and acquisitions.
Saudi Research & Media Group (SRMG) has revealed the upcoming launch of the Asharq Documentary, set to debut on Sunday, September 3 at 5 PM (GMT+3). Asharq Documentary is a new, Arabic-language factual documentary platform available for free across multiple mediums. Responding to the growing demand for documentaries in the region, the platform will offer an in-depth exploration of topics encompassing politics, business, economics, history, and more. It aims to provide comprehensive insights, thorough analyses, and expert perspectives on the latest trends, events, and influential figures shaping the contemporary world.
Asharq Documentary is the latest addition to the ‘Asharq News Network’, which includes Asharq News, Asharq Business with Bloomberg, and the soon-to-launch Asharq Discovery.
The motivation behind Asharq Documentary’s creation stems from a survey conducted, indicating that over 80% of respondents in the MENA region desire more high-quality Arabic content. This demand underscores a notable gap in the market for such content. Asharq News channel, under SRMG, has already aired more than 400 hours of compelling documentaries, yielding substantial viewership and audience engagement. This reinforces the appetite for premium Arabic language documentary programming within the region.
Asharq Documentary distinguishes itself by its in-house production capabilities, enabling access to exclusive, locally-generated high-quality content. This includes original programming that delves beyond headline news, offering in-depth analyses. The platform will supplement its in-house content with licensed and acquired materials. In addressing the current scarcity of regionally produced documentaries, Asharq Documentary seeks to not only meet but also foster the demand for original content, thereby supporting the regional filmmaking industry and nurturing local talent.
Commenting on the launch, Jomana R. Al-Rashid, CEO of SRMG, said: “The MENA region currently lacks a comprehensive Arabic language documentary channel that delves into the topics shaping our world today. SRMG has seized the opportunity to expand into this untapped market by creating Asharq Documentary – a new free-to-air factual documentary multi-platform dedicated to uncovering the stories behind the trending headlines and delving deeper into the related facts and information. The new multi-platform will provide unprecedented access to Arabic language documentaries – including new content produced in-house, specifically for the region. Asharq Documentary is a further demonstration of SRMG’s growth and expansion strategy to stay at the forefront of change by providing our audience with high-quality and thought-provoking content.”
Mohammed Al Yousei, Manager of Asharq Documentary, added: “Asharq Documentary aims to become the leading platform for prominent political documentaries, providing in-depth coverage of regional and international events. Asharq Documentary will produce factual films covering a wide range of topics including politics, economics, business, and history. The multiplatform offers in-depth insights and analysis utilising state-of-the-art technology in our production process, to bring the content to life.”
First acquisitions include America and the Taliban, a three-part investigation that first ran on PBS’s Frontline program; Oliver Stone’s pro-nuclear energy film Nuclear Now; Space War, about the superpowers’ space race and Real Madrid, about the history of the legendary Spanish soccer club.
Asharq Documentary will be accessible through its dedicated television channel, social media platforms, live streaming, and on-demand services via Asharq NOW.