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Sun 12 Oct 2008 03:59 PM

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Abu Dhabi TV set for major shake-up

Abu Dhabi Media Company unveils new branding, programming for channels from midnight on Sunday.

The Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) will unveil at midnight on Sunday new onscreen identities and programming for three TV channels as part of a major rebranding of Abu Dhabi TV.

With a total of five channels, the company is also gearing up to launch its sixth.

Abu Dhabi TV has been renamed Abu Dhabi Al Oula, with a sister channel starting an hour later (Abu Dhabi Al Oula +1). Other channels include Abu Dhabi Al Emarat, Abu Dhabi Sports channels 1 and 2, and an upcoming third sports channel.

“For the first time we are presenting our channels which are now five, soon to be six, with a common brand that cuts across all the channels and gives us a common identity,” said Karim Sarkis, executive director of Broadcast at ADMC.

ADMC is an Abu Dhabi-based public media company, operating units including publishing, television, radio, digital media, distribution, and printing. It has recently announced a number of initiatives related to film and media.

These include a partnership with National Geographic Entertainment through ADMC’s subsidiary imagenation abu dhabi to produce feature films, and the creation of a new media zone in the UAE’s capital.

The newly-rebranded channels are meant to emphasise to “partners and advertisers” of ADMC that they fall under one unit.

“We work with a company called Lambie-Nairn, which is internationally renowned with some of its clients like BBC and Discovery channel. They’ve been working with us for a few months on this,” said Sarkis.

Abu Dhabi Al Oula has been rebranded but also given a “new grid” that links the channel with programmes such as Ton of Cash and Divided.

Abu Dhabi Al Emarat carries the name of the old channel, but with new content and is targeted towards Arabic-speakers across the UAE.

“We have programming relevant to anyone living in the country. We have talk shows discussing issues whether entertainment, economical, or other.

"There’s a morning show and news bulletins on the hour. Our plan is for this to become a reference channel for people living in the UAE who want to know what’s happening around them,” he said.

Sarkis added: “The news is currently in Arabic but soon we will announce something that will be able to extend beyond the Arabic.”

As for launching new English channels, Sarkis said the company was constantly evaluation opportunities but there were no concrete plans yet.

“There are certainly a lot of doors that have been opened to us because of this worldwide exposure due to initiatives such as imagenation and the launch of the media zone today. That’s starting a lot of conversations,” he said.

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