Rising star

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

It’s been non-stop at Al Aan TV recently. The channel was the first to install its own transmitter in revolutionary Tripoli following last year’s uprising, beating both the BBC and Al Jazeera, with several more now in place around the country. With six transmitters from Tripoli to Benghazi, Misrata and beyond, the entire country is able to receive the Al Aan signal from its Dubai HQ. The next step on this front will be to begin transmitting local content for its Libyan audience.

Closer to home, recent market research showed the channel is becoming an increasing favourite among its target demographic of young, professional, Arab women with its mix of culture, fashion and entertainment shows proving especially popular with young, Blackberry-using Emirati women and female Arab expats in Saudi Arabia.

It’s not all entertainment and fashion though. The channel has repeatedly shown it is not afraid to cover the big issues too – in April 2011 it came into the international spotlight when it showed footage of a woman reportedly being stoned to death by the Taliban in Pakistan, while towards the end of the same year it was also the only TV channel in the world to film and report the secret funeral of Muammar Ghadaffi.

Al Aan has certainly made a big impact since its 2006 launch. In September of that year it was announced that the channel was among the first in the Arab world to produce its own content, 24-hours a day, through a combination of its own in-house facilities in Dubai and content outsourced to production companies in Beirut and KSA. There have been plenty more improvements to both content and infrastructure since then too, as Raad Haddadin, head of technical, explains:  “We’ve upgraded significantly since launch, most recently the servers. Initially we had only Harris device controllers and one Omneon server with four ports. We’ve now upgraded all that to being HD/SD capable and the infrastructure is all Harris now. We have two new ADC device controllers, eight ports and Nexio Gateway. We’ve also integrated our Avid edit suite with the server. Previously we were transmitting tapeless, but if we wanted to do any editing we had to do so on tape, but the whole workflow is now tapeless.”

Last year, Al Aan also launched Al Aan Services, making the channel’s equipment and expertise available to third party broadcasters who wish to shoot in, or broadcast from the region: “We have two OB vans complete with SNG, two HD flyaway kits and Sony 350K HD ENG cameras. Any client that wants to shoot HD can do so, and the studios here are also available to hire. The studio on our fifth floor has room for multiple sets, so we can use that area for more than one shoot, and we’ve already had clients like Euronews shooting up there.”

With further improvements planned to Al Aan’s fifth floor studio, it may well become increasingly popular over the coming months, as Haddadin explains: “The whole of the fifth floor will be changing very soon. I’m going to be replacing all the lights – currently we’re using Arri Tungsten, but I’ll be upgrading to Arri LED. With tungsten we’re limited by what we can do up there by the power consumption, and the heat. We can’t run more than one set at a time. I’ll be installing seven new LED sets in July – they consume just 22W of power and give you 1,000W of light.

“On top of that, I’ll be redesigning the Master Control Room. Currently it’s one big room with all the transmission and ingest in it, but soon it will be two separate rooms with all new equipment and more of a 2012 look and feel.

Article continued on next page

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
Concerned for stability, Saudi Arabia tightens curbs on dissent

Concerned for stability, Saudi Arabia tightens curbs on dissent

Gulf kingdom intensifies crackdown on domestic dissent, raising...

Saudi dynasty moves to forestall succession crisis

Saudi dynasty moves to forestall succession crisis

Appointment of Prince Muqrin as deputy crown prince is first...

Dubai mulls rule change to lure more domiciled funds

Dubai mulls rule change to lure more domiciled funds

Proposed rules would create a new class of funds in the Dubai...

Most Discussed
  • 54
    Three UAE women attacked with hammer at London hotel

    I really feel that Arabian Business.Com should now close this comments page. This should be all about sympathy for the families not what it is/has turned... more

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014 1:06 PM - Adrienne
  • 51
    Why Dubai isn't a plastic city

    What is definitely not a plastic city. The Arabs have a culture dating back to several centuries. 50 years back Dubai was just a fishing village. Today... more

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014 3:49 PM - P. MADHUSUDAN
  • 48
    DMCC boss Ahmed Bin Sulayem entertains Robert Mugabe in Dubai

    @fga ''However today, simply because he decided to dispossess a few white farmers of their land and redistribute to the poorer indigenous blacks'' more

    Sunday, 13 April 2014 3:02 PM - Matt Williams