BSkyB says plans Arabic langauge TV channel

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British pay-TV giant BSkyB will launch a free-to-air Arabic language news channel under a joint venture with Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp, the pair announced in a statement on Monday.

ADMIC, a private investment company owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and BSkyB "have formed a 50-50 joint venture to bring a new, free-to-air Arabic-language news channel to viewers across the Middle East and North Africa region from 2012", the pair announced.

Based in Abu Dhabi, the new company will operate under the Sky News brand and the channel will run for 24 hours a day.

"Sky News is already one of the world's leading news services and now we're looking forward to bringing a new voice to Arabic audiences," said BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch.

"The Middle East and North Africa is undergoing rapid development and our partnership with ADMIC means we are able to enter this dynamic marketplace with the support and expertise of a strong local partner."

ADMIC chairman Sultan Al Jaber said the new channel "will be an important, independent voice for the Arab world, providing accurate and in-depth reporting of all the interesting developments in the region".

© 2010 AFP

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