Nart Bouran interview: Sky News Arabia


  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
Bouran says Sky News Arabia’s attempt to stand out from the crowd is its editorial advisory committee

Bouran says Sky News Arabia’s attempt to stand out from the crowd is its editorial advisory committee

Molotov cocktails, scarred souls, rising death tolls and coups d’état; right now, there seems to be plenty of fodder for the burgeoning pan-Arab news media market.

Flipping through the array of available channels, Doha-based Al Jazeera and Dubai-based Al Arabiya have won the eyes of the Arab world. By keeping up with the demands of the Arab Spring and by breaking the long-held taboo over the criticism of autocrats, both channels, at one point or another, have lost their signal temporarily due to angry governments.

There’s no doubt that it’s a tough world out there, as the channels strive to win an ever larger slice of the pie. And competition is about to get tougher. On May 6, another 24-hour Arabic-language channel is all set to hit the market.

That channel is Sky News Arabia. In one sense, it already has one major advantage. The Sky News brand is already well-known, through the presence of the UK-based Sky News, which has been beaming its coverage worldwide for 23 years.

However, the flipside to that brand recognition is Sky News’ link to Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp, a US-based multinational media conglomerate that has been tarnished by the recent UK hacking scandal.

Needless to say, Nart Bouran, the head of Sky News Arabia, disagrees strongly with that assessment. In fact, he is quick to stress the absence of any link between his new channel and NewsCorp.

“We are a 50-50 joint venture between Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation [ADMIC] and British Sky Broadcasting [BSkyB],” he says.

“We do not know anything about NewsCorp and we have nothing to do with them. All I know is who we are. We are Sky News Arabia. We are based in Abu Dhabi and we are an independent organisation; our ownership is very clear. It is ADMIC and BSkyB, no one else.

“We are not a translation of Sky News UK and we are not a copy of it,” Bouran continues, getting into his stride. “Our content is originated in Abu Dhabi and in our bureaus.

“We cooperate, we are sister channels, but in a sense, we complement and we complete each other in terms of news-gathering capabilities. But, in terms of output, we target Arabic viewers in the region as a pan-Arab channel,” he adds.

The troubled brand name aside, Bouran and his team are going to have to be bright enough to shine in a room stuffed to the brim with top-notch competition. Quite apart from the established presence of channels like Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabia is also going to have to fight off stiff competition from the likes of Saudi Arabia’s HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who is teaming up with financial news service Bloomberg to launch Al Arab, yet another 24-hour Arabic news station.

Article continued on next page...

Related:
Companies
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Bringing Hollywood to the desert

Bringing Hollywood to the desert

The seventh instalment of Fast and Furious — one of the biggest...

Little-known investor poised to score big with Twitter IPO

Little-known investor poised to score big with Twitter IPO

New Yorker Suhail Rizvi has quietly amassed a $1bn 15% stake...

Location… twofour54

Location… twofour54

Is Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 the right place for you to set-up business...

Most Discussed
  • 24
    World's most pierced man refused entry to the UAE

    Tolerance has its limits everywhere including Dubai and those who considered Dubai a lawless circus were held accountable...so thank you Dubai authorities... more

    Thursday, 21 August 2014 10:51 PM - Khalil
  • 23
    Baby NOT on board?

    Some of you cry babies need to get your own personal apartments on the plane ! You cry more then the babies I have seen in my travels. LOL more

    Thursday, 28 August 2014 9:10 AM - Jim
  • 21
    Israel “must be punished” over Gaza, says Dubai police chief

    This high moral ground that Mick is talking abt sound very familiar. May I remind Mick that the US & its British ally alone killed over 1 million innocent... more

    Thursday, 7 August 2014 4:12 PM - Mathew