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.