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New York Times: Arab Spring reshapes market for TV news

October 31st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick

The New York Times published an interesting article yesterday (30 October) on potential changes facing the Arab television news market, looking at the impact of both the Arab Spring and the impending influx of new providers, national and local.

As author Eric Pfanner writes, the area is “poised for a shot of new competition” with two 24-hour news channels in the pipeline: Alarab from media company Rotana, to be run in partnership with Bloomberg and Sky Arabia, to be launched by BSkyB in spring next year.

As well as this, following the uprisings across the Arab world, the industry may start to see more local media and new channels opening up, he adds.

One reason that news providers like Al Jazeera attracted such a large following was that they were beyond the control of authoritarian regimes in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, where governments kept the local media on a tight leash.

Now that those regimes have fallen, the local news media are moving toward greater openness, and new channels providing news and commentary on current events have sprung up.

This could eventually undermine the audience for so-called pan-Arab channels beamed in from outside via satellite, analysts say.

Read more on how the Arab Spring is reshaping the market for TV news.

 

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MediaGuardian: Channel 5 plans revamp of news programmes

Channel 5 owner Richard Desmond is planning a revamp of the channel’s news bulletins, which could include ending its current contract with Sky News, the Guardian reported last night.

According to the article Desmond, also owner of the Daily Express, wants “greater personal control over the Channel 5 News bulletins” and has asked several other news producers to work on ideas for the channel’s news output.

Over the last few weeks executives at Desmond’s Northern & Shell have asked ITV News producer ITN, Question Time maker Mentorn, and US news channel CNN to draw up alternatives to the Sky-produced service.

Sky has also been asked to submit ideas, but the Rupert Murdoch-controlled satellite broadcaster is not thought likely to retain the contract.

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